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British Columbia’s Entrepreneur Immigration Program

by | Feb 16, 2021 | Emerging Growth & Technology Practice, Immigration & Global Mobility Practice

British Columbia (“BC”), like many other Canadian provinces, has a special immigration program set up for Entrepreneurs. The Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) has a special immigration stream for experienced entrepreneurs, which is designed to attract immigrant entrepreneurs who can support innovation and economic growth in the province.

British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada. BC is home to the city of Vancouver, which is incredibly diverse and naturally stunning. The coastal cities of BC have the mildest winters in all of Canada, and are some of the most beautiful places in the world.

Basic Qualifications: 

In order to apply under the BC PNP, an Entrepreneur must satisfy the following minimum criteria:

  • have a personal net worth of at least $600,000CAD,
  • demonstrate business and/or management experience,
  • be eligible for legal immigration to Canada (i.e., have no inadmissibility issues).

Additionally, the Entrepreneur must also demonstrate an ability to do the following:

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

The Process: 
The first step for those who meet the basic qualifications is to register with the BC PNP online and submit a basic business plan along with other information. The applicants are then assigned a numerical score based on the information provided in their application. The highest-ranking individuals receive an invitation to apply for the Entrepreneur Immigration Stream. Applicants remain in the pool for up to six months, and if you do not receive an invitation to apply in the six months, you can take steps to improve your application and reapply with a different business plan.

Upon receipt of the invitation to apply for the program, the Entrepreneur has four months to submit a complete application to the BC PNP. Entrepreneurs must also submit documentation for review by an authorized accounting firm, which files a report with BC PNP assessing the proof of the personal net worth claims of the applicant and verifies the source of funds by assessing supporting financial documentation.

The government of BC may request that you attend an interview in Canada to discuss your business idea. If your application differs significantly from your initial proposal, your application may be denied.

If the application is approved, the Entrepreneur will sign a unique Performance Agreement with the government of BC. The government of BC will provide support for the Entrepreneur to apply for a two-year work permit. The Entrepreneur will then have 20 months or 610 days to implement their idea in BC. The dependents and spouse of the Entrepreneur will also be able to study or work in Canada.

The Entrepreneur must submit a final report to the BC PNP within 18 to 20 months of arriving in BC. If the BC PNP is satisfied that the final report shows that you have met your obligations under the Performance Plan, you will be provided a provincial nomination which will allow you to apply for permanent residence in Canada. Applicants must have a minimum language score of Canadian Language Benchmark Level 4.

If you are an entrepreneur with a great idea and would like to move to Canada, please reach out to us for more information. Even if you do not qualify for the BC Entrepreneur Program, you may be eligible under another Canadian immigration program and our team can help you assess all of your Canadian immigration options. Please contact us at [email protected] to discuss your Canadian immigration options.