British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration

The British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration stream is for skilled individuals who want to invest and manage a business in the region. The program looks for owner-managers or experienced managers to live in the province and become permanent residents of Canada.

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British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration
BC PNP

British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration

To immigrate to Canada and settle in British Columbia as a business owner, you can apply under the British Columbia PNP Entrepreneur immigration stream to run and manage your own business, help increase the province's economy, and get your Canadia permanent resident status.

British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration

The British Columbia PNP entrepreneur immigration program targets business owners to immigrate to the province and invest and run their businesses. Under the Provincial Nominee Program, qualified individuals have different options to establish their own business and be eligible for Canadian Permanent Residence.
The British Columbia entrepreneur immigration program supports senior managers or entrepreneurs in investing in B.C and having a successful company. B.C. is one of the favourite provinces to run a company because of its location, low taxes and operating costs; its economy is based on a solid natural resources sector, forestry and mining.

There are different options you can choose to immigrate as an entrepreneur to British Columbia:

  • Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category — This category is for senior managers or business owners who want to invest funds into a business in British Columbia.
  • Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot — This program is for international entrepreneurs looking to run a new business in a small community in British Columbia.

Application process for B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration - Base Category:

International entrepreneurs must conduct an exploratory visit to B.C. to learn about business opportunities and the local business environment.

During the exploratory visit, you can:

  • Investigate and evaluate potential business opportunities.
  • Conduct market research.
  • Make local business contacts.
  • Learn more about what it’s like living and doing business in B.C.

Create an online profile, pay the fees and obtain a registration score based on various factors, including business ownership or senior management experience, personal net worth, adaptability, business concept.
Candidates will be assigned a score for the business concept. The highest-ranked candidates are invited to apply by the BC PNP.

Candidates have 120 days to submit a complete application under the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Stream. Applications are assessed based on program criteria.
After this step, applicants may be invited to attend an in-person interview in Vancouver.

If the application is approved, applicants will sign a Performance Agreement and receive a Letter of Confirmation to apply for a two-year work permit with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

After arriving in B.C., entrepreneurs have up to 20 months to operate the business plan, actively manage their business and meet all the conditions of the signed Performance Agreement.

Between 18 and 20 months, entrepreneurs must submit a final report to the BC PNP describing their business activities on their valid work permit.

The Government of British Columbia nominates approved entrepreneur applicants by issuing a confirmation of nomination, facilitating entrepreneurs and their families to apply for permanent residence with IRCC.

Eligibility criteria for B.C Entrepreneur Immigration - Base Category:

To apply to this program, entrepreneurs must:

  • Invest in a new or existing business.
  • An English or French language proficiency equal to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 or higher.
  • Have a personal net worth of at least $600,000 (including cash, assets in bank accounts, fixed deposits, properties, investments, etc.). The net worth must be legally obtained and may be under the spouse or common-law partner’s name.
  • Prove post-secondary credentials or experience as an active business owner-manager for at least three years.
  • Have eligible experience as an active business owner/manager or senior manager.
  • Submit a business plan to demonstrate an active and ongoing management role in the daily operations of the proposed business.
  • Create at least one permanent new job for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the business.
  • Provide details about the business concept specific to the proposal and how the business will be successful in B.C.
  • Demonstrate an eligible personal investment of at least $200,000 in the proposed business.
  • Established in British Columbia.

Business requirements for B.C entrepreneur immigration program- Base category:

B.C. will assign points based on proposed commercial viability, transferability of the candidate’s skills, and economic benefits.

Submit a business plan that includes:

  • Types of goods and or services the business will provide
  • Proposed job title and duties.
  • Describe how the business will be commercially viable.
  • Description of staffing requirements.

Prove you will own at least one-third of the established or proposed business.  An individual looking to franchise may be considered under this stream if the proposed franchise is well-established. The applicant will be required to provide an expansion plan following franchisor requirements.

  • Registration Fee: CAD 300
  • Application Fee: CAD 3,500
  • Request for Review: CAD 500

British Columbia PNP Entrepreneur Immigration - Regional Pilot

The regional pilot for entrepreneur immigration encourages foreign individuals to start and run a new business in smaller communities across British Columbia.
The pilot aims to help demographic challenges in these communities, move young people to more densely populated cities in B.C. and distribute the economic benefits of immigration across the province.

Application process for B.C Entrepreneur Immigration - Regional pilot:

Check if you meet all the criteria to be eligible to apply under this PNP program.

All applicants must conduct an exploratory visit to the community where they are hoping to establish their business. The purpose of the visit is to obtain a community referral, which is a requirement to register to the BC PNP’s Regional Pilot.

The applicant must provide a business plan to establish a new business in the participating B.C. community. The proposed business must demonstrate the potential for long-term financial success.

For the community referral, the applicant must:

  • Learn about the community and their industry sectors and sub-sectors.
  • Understand the business conditions, local market and services available.
  • Create a business concept that aligns with a priority industry sub-sector identified.
  • Meet with the designated community representative to discuss the business concept.
  • Request a referral from the enrolled community so they can submit online registration.

Potential applicants must submit an online registration to the BC PNP to provide business experience, education, language ability, net worth, and details about the proposed business.
Also, they need to submit a copy of their community referral and language test results. The registration will give each candidate a score for their application.

The highest-ranked candidates are invited to submit a complete application to the program. After this step, the applicant may attend an interview in Vancouver to discuss the information provided in the application.
Applications are assessed within four months.

If approved, the applicant must sign a Performance Agreement that details all the requirements and conditions to meet before obtaining provincial nomination for permanent residence.
Once the Performance Agreement is signed, the applicant obtains a letter of confirmation to apply for a two-year work permit.
Applicants arrive in B.C. on a valid work permit to establish the business.

After running the business successfully for at least 12 months, the applicant may submit a final report to the BC PNP. If the final report is approved, the entrepreneur will receive a provincial nomination and may apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residency.

Eligibility criteria for B.C Entrepreneur immigration Regional Pilot

  • Have a minimum personal net worth of $300,000;
  • Experience: Ownership and senior management experience within the last five years that includes:
    • Three or more years of experience as an active business owner-manager; or
    • Four or more years of experience as a senior manager; or
    • Combination of 1 or more years of experience as business owner or manager.
  • Minimum language proficiency equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4.
  • Business plan to establish a new eligible business in an enrolled B.C. community
  • Have a post-secondary credential or experience as a business owner or /manager with 100% ownership of the business for at least 3.
  • Demonstrate the applicant will hold at least 51 % ownership of the proposed business.
  • Make a minimum investment of $100,000.

Frequently asked questions

Once you receive a provincial nomination through the Express Entry system, you gain 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. Getting a provincial nomination is an excellent pathway to support your permanent residence application with IRCC.

British Columbia has different options if you wish to immigrate and settle in the province:

  • Skills Immigration Stream.
  • Express Entry British Columbia Stream.
  • Entrepreneur Immigration (PNP)

To choose, it depends on your specific situation to select the stream that is right for you.

Register through the system, submit your online application through the BCPNP portal and submit a P.R. application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

It may be easy for one candidate but may be difficult for another. Depending on each case you can apply for the Skilled worker category, PNP Entrepreneur program, etc.

You must identify which immigration stream and category you are eligible for. To do it, you should check all the programs and see if you meet the criteria.
You must register with the Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) so that B.C. can review your job, education, location in B.C. You can register by completing all the sections of the registration with BC PNP Online.
If immigrating as an entrepreneur, you need to check the requirements, have your business plan, apply and get a registration score based on multiple factors. Those who meet specific criteria are invited to apply for a provincial nomination.
If you are selected, you will receive a provincial nomination through the Express Entry system.

The cost of living in B.C. depends on where you live. The cost depends on housing, taxes, healthcare, utilities and transportation, among other expenses.

The British Columbia PNP entrepreneur immigration program is for business owners or entrepreneurs who want to invest and open a business in B.C. There are also other categories for skilled workers, entry-level and semi-skilled workers, international graduates, international post-graduates and healthcare professionals.

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