British Columbia Entrepreneur Stream

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Entrepreneur Immigration

The Entrepreneur Immigration stream is for high net worth business people who can invest in and actively manage a valid business in B.C. It is a points-based system. Applicants must also have the required personal and investment funds.

We also have an option for companies looking to expand into B.C., and who need to get permanent residency for key employees.

Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category Program Requirements

If you want to immigrate to B.C. and are ready to invest in and actively manage a valid business here, you may qualify for our Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category. Here is an overview of the requirements.

Personal requirements

To qualify, you must:

  • have a personal net worth of at least CAD$600,000
  • demonstrate business and/or management experience
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada

You must also have been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently reside.

Please review our Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category Program Guide to see the complete personal requirements.

Business, job and investment requirements

To qualify you must:

  • establish an eligible new business or purchase and improve an existing business
  • make an eligible personal investment of at least CAD$200,000 in the business
  • create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the business

Please review our Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category Program Guide to see the complete business and investment requirements, including business eligibility and job requirements.

Registration and application fees

All applicants must pay the following fees:

  • $300 registration fee
  • $3,500 application fee
  • $1,000 for each key staff application

How does it work?

The first step is to research B.C.’s economy and regions to find a business opportunity. The WorkBC website provides comprehensive information and data about B.C.’s labor market and industries. When you have a business idea, please create a profile and a registration with our online application and registration system, BCPNP Online. Please include a business concept.

If you are eligible, you will receive a score based on your registration information. We will also put you into a qualified pool. Periodically, we invite people with the highest scores to apply through BCPNP Online.

Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot

The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot (EI – Regional Pilot) is focused on attracting entrepreneurs from around the world to establish businesses in regional communities. This will help meet the communities’ economic development needs and encourage investments outside urban areas.

Eligible Personal Investment

You must make an eligible personal investment of at least $100,000 in the proposed business within 610 days (approximately 20 months) of arriving in B.C. on a BC PNP-supported work permit. The minimum eligible personal investment of $100,000 must be derived from your personal net worth. Eligible personal investment is the minimum required investment of eligible business expenditures, which may include:

  • new equipment purchases
  • leasehold improvements
  • marketing costs
  • regular operating expenses such as rent, wages, utilities, etc.
  • start-up inventory

The process at a glance section provides a simple overview of the general process to apply under the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot.

Preparation before you register: in order to apply to the EI – Regional Pilot, you must first determine your eligibility based on the category requirements. You must conduct an exploratory visit to the community in order to learn more about the community and to discuss your business proposal with the designated community contact. After your visit, you may request a referral from the community in order to register under the EI – Regional Pilot.

Registration to the BC PNP: after you receive your referral, you complete and submit an online registration to the BC PNP. The registration includes details about your work and/or business experience, education, language ability, your net worth, and information about your proposed business in British Columbia. After your registration is scored, the BC PNP will invite the highest-scoring registrants to submit full applications to the BC PNP. Registrations are typically scored within four weeks. If invited to apply, you will then have four months from the date of your invitation to submit your application.

Application to the BC PNP: submit a complete application to the BC PNP. You may be invited to attend an in-person interview in Vancouver to discuss details of your application. If your application is approved, you must sign a Performance Agreement that outlines all of the requirements you must meet in order to be nominated. If your application is approved, the BC PNP will issue you a letter of confirmation (i.e. a work permit support letter) so you may apply for a work permit to IRCC and come to B.C. to implement your business plan.

Business establishment (work permit) period: after obtaining a 24-month work permit, you can begin to implement your business plan, make your investments, and create jobs. Your spouse or common-law partner may apply for an open work permit.

Nomination: after you meet the terms and conditions of your Performance Agreement, you must submit a Final Report to the BC PNP. If the BC PNP determines you have met all of the criteria from your Performance Agreement, you will be nominated for permanent residence.

Application for permanent residence: you, including your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children (if applicable), may then apply to IRCC to become permanent residents of Canada under the Provincial Nominee class

Eligibility Criteria

Experience: 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 $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

Business proposal: 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 51%

Investment: Minimum $100,000

Job creation: Must create at least one full-time equivalent job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada

Location: Participating communities

Exploratory visit required: Yes. You must engage and visit an enrolled community for support before registering.

Language requirement: Minimum of CLB 4 equivalent in English or French. Must submit a copy of the language proficiency test at registration.

Registration scores: Total 200 points (140 points for the self-declared section; 60 points for the business concept). No minimum business concept score

Net worth verification Yes, you must obtain a net worth verification report if you are invited to apply

Application timeframe Application decisions are typically made within 4 months.

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