British Columbia Entrepreneur Stream

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Entrepreneur Immigration

Entrepreneur Immigration is for high-net-worth individuals who can invest in and actively manage a legal business in British Columbia. The system is based on points. In addition, applicants must have the necessary personal and investment capital.

We also have a solution for businesses wishing to expand into British Columbia and need to secure permanent residency for essential personnel.

Requirements for Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category Program

If you want to immigrate to British Columbia and are willing to invest in and actively manage a legitimate business here, you may be eligible for our Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category. The requirements are summarised below.

Personal necessities

To be eligible, you must:

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

You must also be legally admitted to the country in which you currently reside.
For a complete list of personal requirements, please see our Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category Program Guide.

Business, employment, and investment requirements

To be eligible, you must:

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

Please consult our Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category Program Guide for a complete list of business and investment requirements, including business eligibility and job requirements.

Fees for registration and application

The following fees must be paid by all applicants:

  • The registration fee is $300.
  • The application fee is $3,500.
  • Each key personnel application is worth $1,000.

How does it function?

The first step is to research the economy and regions of British Columbia in order to identify a business opportunity. The WorkBC website provides detailed information and data about the labour market and industries in British Columbia. When you have a business idea, please create a profile and register with BCPNP Online, our online application and registration system. Please include a business plan.
If you are eligible, your registration information will be used to generate a score. We’ll also place you in a qualified pool. We invite people with the highest scores to apply through BCPNP Online on a regular basis.

Regional Entrepreneur Immigration Pilot

The Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot (EI – Regional Pilot) of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) aims to attract entrepreneurs from around the world to establish businesses in regional communities. This will help meet the economic development needs of the communities and encourage investment outside of urban areas.

Personal Investment Eligible

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

  • Purchases of new equipment
  • leasehold enhancements
  • marketing expenses
  • Rent, wages, utilities, and other regular operating expenses
  • inventory for new businesses

The process at a glance section gives a quick overview of the general application process for the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot.

Before registering for the EI – Regional Pilot, you must first determine your eligibility based on the category requirements. You must make an exploratory visit to the community to learn more about it and to discuss your business proposal with the designated community contact. Following your visit, you may request a referral from the community to enrol in the EI – Regional Pilot.

After receiving your referral, you must complete and submit an online registration form to the BC PNP. The registration form includes information about your work and/or business experience, education, language ability, net worth, and proposed business in British Columbia. Following the scoring of your registration, the BC PNP will invite the highest-scoring registrants to submit full applications to the BC PNP. Registrations are typically scored within four weeks of submission. If you are invited to apply, you will have four months from the date of your invitation to do so.

Application to the BC PNP: Submit an application to the BC PNP in its entirety. You may be invited to a face-to-face interview in Vancouver to discuss the specifics of your application. If your application is approved, you will be required to sign a Performance Agreement outlining all of the requirements you must meet in order to be nominated. If your application is approved, the BC PNP will send you a letter of confirmation (also known as a work permit support letter) so that you can apply for a work permit through IRCC and come to B.C. to carry out your business plan.

Period of business establishment (work permit): After obtaining a 24-month work permit, you can start implementing your business plan, making investments, and creating jobs. An open work permit may be applied for by your spouse or common-law partner.

After fulfilling the terms and conditions of your Performance Agreement, you must submit a Final Report to the BC PNP. You will be nominated for permanent residence if the BC PNP determines you have met all of the criteria in your Performance Agreement.

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

Criteria for Eligibility

Experience: 3+ years of experience as a business owner-manager, OR 4+ years of experience as a senior manager, OR a combination of 1+ year as a business owner-manager and 2+ years of experience as a senior manager within the last 5 years.

At least $300,000 in net worth

Education: Possession of a postsecondary credential OR experience as an active business owner-manager for at least three of the last five years with 100 percent ownership of the business.

Business proposal: To start a new business in British Columbia, you must submit a business proposal and be referred by an enrolled community.

At least 51% ownership is required.

Minimum investment: $100,000

Job creation: At least one full-time equivalent job must be created for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Participating communities’ locations

A preliminary visit is required: Yes. Before registering, you must engage with and visit an enrolled community for assistance.

Minimum language requirement: CLB 4 equivalent in English or French. At the time of registration, a copy of the language proficiency test must be submitted.

Total points for registration: 200 (140 points for the self-declared section; 60 points for the business concept). There is no minimum business concept score.

Verification of net worth Yes, if you are invited to apply, you must obtain a net worth verification report.

Timetable for application Decisions on applications are typically made within four months.