British Columbia operates three business streams:
- Entrepreneur Immigration
- Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot
- Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects
- Establish an eligible new business or purchase and improve an existing business in B.C.
- Investment of a minimum of $200,000 in the new or existing business.
- Create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Net worth of minimum of $600,000.
- 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.
- Business and/or management experience.
- Have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada.
- Have been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently reside.
- Pay a $300 registration fee, $3,500 application fee and $1,000 fee for each key staff application.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot
The British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot aims to attract entrepreneurs to rural parts of the province.
It was initially opened in 2019 as a two-year pilot, but has since been extended until 2024.
The Regional Pilot is only for entrepreneurs wishing to start a new business. Those wishing to purchase an existing business should consider B.S.’s main Entrepreneur Immigration stream.
1) Community Involvement
Participation communities are actively involved in attracting foreign entrepreneurs and helping them settle after arrival.
2) 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.
3) Community Concierge
Participating communities have access to the services of a dedicated BC PNP Community Concierge.
4) 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.
- Population of less than 75,000.
- Located beyond 30km from a municipality of more than 75,000 population.
- Demonstrated capacity to support foreign entrepreneurs with a network of settlement and business support agencies.
- Immigration and pilot-specific training must be completed by community representatives.
- Desire to start a business and settle in a B.C. regional community.
- Complete an exploratory visit.
- Minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments.
- Minimum personal net worth of $300,000.
- Minimum of 51 percent ownership.
- Minimum of one new job created.
- Canadian Language Benchmark Level 4 In English or French in each of the four competencies: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects
The B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects stream assists foreign-controlled companies establishing an eligible business in B.C. 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.
- Make a minimum equity investment of $500,000 to establish or purchase and expand an eligible business in B.C.
- 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 B.C.
- Exploratory visit
- Discuss proposal with BC PNP officials and register the company’s interest to apply