British Columbia Business Immigration
Last Updated on March 24, 2021
The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program offers an excellent immigration process for qualified candidates wishing to permanently settle in B.C.
The BCPNP Business category is aimed at high net worth individuals who wish to invest and operate a business in British Columbia and eventually settle in the province. The streams include:
- Entrepreneur Immigration
- Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot
- Strategic Projects
British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration Stream
As the province establishes nomination targets for the program, priority is given to candidates demonstrating the highest potential under a scoring system, to create a successful business and to contribute significant economic benefits to the province.
The Entrepreneur immigration stream targets senior managers or business owners who wish to invest in British Columbia businesses.
The Eligibility Requirements
- The personal net worth of minimum $600,000, legally obtained.
- Invest minimum $200,000 in an eligible new business or to purchase and improve an existing business in BC.
- Create at least one new full-time job in your business for a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
- Canadian Language Benchmark Level 4 In English or French in each of the four competencies: listening, speaking, reading and writing, BY THE TIME OF NOMINATION.
- Suitable business and/or management experience.
- Have, or be eligible for, legal temporary immigration status in Canada.
- Have been lawfully admitted to the country where you currently reside.
The Application Process
There are several stages for acquiring a permanent residence and settling in British Columbia through the Entrepreneur Stream:
Step 1. Registration
Complete an online registration including a short business concept and pay a non-refundable fee of $300. Candidates are scored on the information they provide and are placed in a pool for six months or 180 days, or until they receive an invitation.
Step 2. Invitation
British Columbia carries out regular draws, on average one each month for the Entrepreneur stream. Candidates who are invited to apply have four months to submit a complete application. The score takes into account English language ability, age and Canadian work experience. Candidates can improve their score while in the pool, including by submitting a new business concept.
Step. 3 Net Worth Review
Candidates receiving an invitation to apply will have their net worth reviewed by a qualified supplier, who is a professional chartered accountant. The review includes the amount and source of funds and supporting documents. The candidate is responsible for all costs.
Step 4. Application
Candidates have four months, or 120 days, to submit an application once an invitation is received. Candidates may be required to attend an interview. Approved applicants must sign a performance agreement with B.C. They then have 20 months, or 610 days to implement their business proposal.
Step 5. Building the Business
Candidates get a letter of support from B.C. to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for a two-year work permit. Candidates and their dependents must arrive in B.C. with a valid work permit within 12 months, or 365 days, of receiving a letter of confirmation. The 20 months to implement the business starts when the candidate lands. At the end of the period, candidates must submit a final report to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program.
Step 6. Nomination for Permanent Residence
Candidates who meet the terms of their performance agreement are nominated for Canadian permanent residence by B.C.
Dependents (if applicable) will also receive nominations.
British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot
The Entrepreneur Regional Pilot aims to attract motivated and experienced entrepreneurs to open a business in smaller communities of British Columbia and contribute to their specific labour needs.
It was initially opened in 2019 as a two-year pilot, but has since been extended until 2024.
The Eligibility Requirements for Candidates
- Net worth of minimum $300,000.
- Minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments.
- Minimum of 51% ownership in the new business.
- Canadian Language Benchmark Level 4 In English or French in each of the four competencies: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
- Create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- Conduct an exploratory visit in the target community
The Eligibility Requirements for Communities
- A population of fewer than 75,000 people.
- Located beyond 30 km of a municipality of more than 75,000 people.
- Demonstrate capacity to support the entrepreneur through a network of established settlement and business support agencies.
Program Key Features
- Community Involvement: Participation communities are actively involved in attracting foreign entrepreneur, and helping them settle after arrival.
- BC PNP Referrals: Communities can refer foreign entrepreneurs to the BC PNP. The candidates must have visited the community and have a business proposal aligned with its economic priorities.
- Community Concierge: Participating communities have access to the services of a dedicated BC PNP Community Concierge.
- Invitations and Prioritization: Referred candidates register is a separate BC PNP pool. Monthly invitations are issued to the best scoring candidates. Those invited received priority processing.
British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects
The B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects stream assists foreign-controlled companies establishing an eligible business in BC with the timely entry of foreign key managerial, professional or technical staff who intend to become permanent residents of Canada and settle in B.C.
Eligibility Requirements for Companies
- Make a minimum equity investment of $500,000.
- Create at least three new jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for each foreign key staff member proposed (to a maximum of five key staff).
- Establish or purchase and expand a company in BC.
The Application Process
- Exploratory visit to BC
- Discuss proposal with BC PNP officials and register the company’s interest to apply
- If approved, the company signs a Performance Agreement with BC. A work permit support letter is issued to each key staff member so they can apply for a two-year work permit from IRCC.
- After the work permit is complete, if the company has met the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement, the key staff members will be nominated for permanent residency.