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BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration

For people who are weighing their immigration options, the province of British Columbia (B.C.) in Canada may be an interesting option. B.C. is well known for its natural beauty and good education system. In addition, B.C.’s  immigrant population is made up of people from all parts of the world, which makes it one of the most culturally diverse province in Canada. In B.C., everyone celebrates diversity, and there is a respect of other people’s lifestyles, cultures, religions and beliefs.

B.C. is also attractive for its very strong and sustainable economy, providing jobs for people with many different qualifications, skills and experience. Over the next ten years, the demand for labour will be greater than what the B.C. workforce can supply. This means there will be many opportunities for better job prospects.

If you are interested in applying for entrepreneur immigration programs in order to relocate to British Columbia in Canada, the new The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) Regional Pilot could be an interesting option for you.

BC PNP EI Regional Pilot Requirements

In order to attract applicants to start a business and settle in regional communities with smaller populations, the government of British Columbia has made the EI Regional Pilot’s personal net worth and investment criteria lower than the existing Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category (EI – Base Category). The table below is a comparison of EI-Base Category and EI-Regional Pilot.

EI – Base Category EI – Regional Pilot
Experience Within last 10 years: 3+ years of experience as a business owner-manager, OR, 4+ years of experience as a senior manager, OR, a combination of 1+ year of experience as a business owner-manager and 2+ years of experience as a senior manager. Within last 5 years: 3+ years of experience as a business owner-manager, OR, 4+ years of experience as a senior manager, OR, a combination of 1+ year of experience as a business owner-manager and 2+ years of experience as a senior manager.
Net worth At least $600,000 At least $300,000
Education Obtained a post-secondary credential, OR, experience as an active business owner-manager for at least 3 of the last 5 years with 100% ownership in the business. Same as Base Category
Business proposal You must submit a business proposal to establish a new business or purchase of an existing business in B.C. You must submit a business proposal to establish a new business in B.C. and be referred by an enrolled community
Ownership percentage At least one-third (33.33%) At least 51%
Investment Minimum $200,000 Minimum $100,000
Job creation Must create at least one full-time equivalent job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada Same as Base Category
Location Anywhere in British Columbia Participating communities
Exploratory visit required? No Yes. You must engage and visit an enrolled community for support before registering.
Language requirement? No, language test may be requested if official language skills claimed Minimum of CLB 4 equivalent in English or French. Must submit copy of language proficiency test at registration.
Partner with co-registrant? Yes No
Partner with a local business/person? Yes Yes
Include a key staff? Yes No
Registration scores Total 200 points (120 points for self-declared section; 80 points for business concept). Must score minimum of 32 points in business concept section. Total 200 points (140 points for self-declared section; 60 points for business concept). No minimum business concept score.
Registration timeframe Registrations are scored within 6 weeks Registrations are scored within 4 weeks
Net worth verification Yes, you must obtain a net worth verification report if you are invited to apply. Same as Base Category
Application timeframe Application decisions are typically made within 4 months Same as Base Category
Interview required for approval? Yes Yes
Minimum amount of time to submit a final report 18 months after issuance of a work permit 12 months after issuance of a work permit
Fees Registration: $300; Application: $3,500; Key staff application: $1,000 Registration: $300; Application: $3,500

(Source: https://www.welcomebc.ca)

Eligibility Requirements for the Community

In order to be eligible, the B.C. community must have a population under 75,000 and must be located 30 kilometers away from a city with more than 75,000 inhabitants. The community must prove that it can offer the newcomer entrepreneur a network of settlement and business agencies. It is the responsibility of community representatives to attend immigration and pilot-specific training prior to hosting exploratory visits and referring prospective EI Regional Pilot applicants.

Eligibility Requirements for the Applicant

The EI Regional Pilot is for entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business in a smaller, regional community in British Columbia. In order to register and apply to the EI Regional Pilot, applicants must

A. Determine Eligibility for the BC PNP EI Regional Pilot

Before registering to the pilot, future entrepreneur applicants must:

  • have active business ownership and senior management experience within the last 5 years that includes:
    • 3 or more years of experience as an active business owner-manager; or
    • 4 or more years of experience as a senior manager; or
    • a combination of 1 or more years of experience as an active business owner/manager and 2 or more years of experience as a senior manager.
  • have either a post-secondary credential OR experience as a business owner/manager with 100% ownership of the business for at least 3 out of 5 years;
  • have a minimum personal net worth of $300,000 CAD;
  • provide a business plan to establish a new eligible business in an enrolled B.C. community;
  • hold at least 51 percent ownership of the proposed business;
  • make a minimum investment of $100,000 CAD in the proposed business;
  • create at least one full-time equivalent position for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • demonstrate a minimum language proficiency equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4;
  • actively manage their business in B.C. for at least 12 months in order to obtain a provincial nomination;
  • reside within the enrolled community where the business is established for at least 75 percent of the time while on a work permit.

B. Conduct a Community Exploratory Visit

All candidates must conduct an exploratory visit to the community in which they are hoping to establish their business. During the exploratory visit, the prospective EI Regional Pilot candidate presents their business proposal to the community’s pilot representative. The purpose of the visit is to obtain a community referral, which is required as part of the entrepreneur candidate’s registration.

If you are interested to know more about BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot, do not hesitate to contact our Canadian immigration specialists at Simard & Associates.