With a strategic location, low taxes, competitive operating costs and a multicultural workforce that is well-educated, highly-skilled and productive, British Columbia is one of Canada’s most dynamic places to do business, presenting unique business opportunities for entrepreneurs.
British Columbia has introduced a mandatory online registration system, known as Entrepreneur Immigration Registration (EIR), for all prospective applicants to the Entrepreneur Immigration stream of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). A maximum of 200 registrations may be accepted per month, and the BC PNP will periodically invite the highest-scoring registrants to submit applications.
Successful applicants will obtain a work permit and, if the business operation in British Columbia fulfills the requirements of the stream on an ongoing basis, they will be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada through the BC PNP. This stream provides a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for experienced businesspeople who can establish themselves in B.C. and invest in and operate a commercially viable business that can provide significant benefits to the provincial economy.
The BC PNP encourages applicants to make an exploratory visit to B.C. to learn more about opportunities and the local business environment before they register. Registrants and applicants are not advised to make any investments or financial commitments prior to signing a Performance Agreement with the BC PNP and obtaining a valid work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Any investment made before an applicant obtains a valid work permit is solely at his or her own risk.
This page will cover the following topics:
BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Requirements
Applications are assessed on a number of factors, including:
- Business and/or work experience;
- Personal net worth and source of funds;
- Adaptability; and
- Business proposal, which includes proposed investment and job creation in B.C.
Minimum Personal Requirements
- Active and ongoing management of the day-to-day business operations;
- Demonstrated residence in B.C. within 100 kilometres of the business;
- The applicant must demonstrate B.C. residence for at least 75 percent of the time while on a work permit
- Admissibility to Canada.
- The applicant must not:
- Be prohibited from entering Canada
- Be or have been in Canada illegally
- Have an unresolved refugee claim in Canada
- Be under a removal order in Canada
- The applicant must not:
- Personal net worth of at least $600,000 (including cash, assets in bank accounts, fixed deposits, real properties, investments, etc) under the candidate's name or candidate's spouse's name. The net worth must be legally obtained and verifiable;
- A minimum of two years of post-secondary education or experience as an active business owner-manager with 100 percent ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years;
- The 100 percent ownership may be shared between the applicant, the applicant's spouse, and any dependent children.
- Work experience — the candidate must demonstrate that he or she has sufficient knowledge and experience to successfully establish his or her business in B.C. The candidate must have a minimum of:
- more than three years of experience as an active business owner-manager, or
- more than four years of experience as a senior manage, or
- a combination of at least one year of experience as an active business owner-manager and at least two years of experience as a senior manager.
Minimum Business Requirements
The registration must include a short business concept that will be assigned points based on proposed commercial viability, transferability of the candidate’s skills, and economic benefits. If the candidate is subsequently invited to apply, he or she will be required to submit a comprehensive business plan. The BC PNP will consider registrations to establish a new business, purchase an existing business, form a partnership with an existing business, and partner with a local or foreign entrepreneur to establish a new business.
Minimum Investment Requirements
In order to register, the candidate must demonstrate that he or she will make an eligible personal investment of at least $200,000 CAD in the proposed business. If proposing a Key Staff Member, the candidate must demonstrate that he or she will make an eligible personal investment of $400,000 CAD.
Minimum Job Requirements
Candidates must demonstrate that they will create at least one permanent new full-time equivalent job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the proposed business as well as the likelihood of supporting long-term employment of Canadians or permanent residents in the business. Job creation requirements differ for candidates who proposed to include a Key Staff member on their application.
NOTE: An Entrepreneur Immigration Registration is not an application to the Entrepreneur Immigration stream or a guarantee that a candidate will be invited to apply.
The Invitation to Apply
Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee that a candidate will be invited to submit a complete application.
If a candidate has entered into the selection pool, his or her final registration score will be ranked along with other registrants. Periodically, the BC PNP will invite the highest-ranked registrants to apply to the Entrepreneur Program. If a candidate is invited to apply, he or she will receive an email notification and will have up to four months from the date of invitation to submit a complete application.
At this stage, the applicant must pay a $3,500 CAD processing fee to the province. His or her spouse and dependent children are included in the application fee.
If requested, he or she will be required to attend an in-person interview at the BC PNP office in Vancouver. Interviews are conducted in English or French only.
If an application is approved, the BC PNP will issue a Letter of Confirmation. This serves as a work permit support letter in order to apply for a two-year work permit to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This will enable the applicant, along with his or her family, to move to B.C. and implement the business plan. The applicant will sign a Performance Agreement and will have up to 20 months to implement the business proposal in B.C.
Applicants who are invited to apply will need to engage a qualified supplier to verify their personal net worth and accumulation of funds as part of the nomination process.
Transition to Permanent Residence
If the individual meets the requirements of the Performance Agreement within the 20 months, the BC PNP will nominate him or her for permanent residence. He or she, along with his or her dependent family members can then apply for permanent residence under the BC PNP with IRCC.
Once the entrepreneur completes the terms of the Performance Agreement, he or she can submit a Final Report to the BC PNP to be issued a nomination certificate. The entrepreneur must demonstrate to the BC PNP that he or she:
- is actively managing a business (i.e., be accountable for the day-to-day operations of the business) in British Columbia;
- resides within 100 kilometers of the business;
- has been physically present in BC for at least 75 percent of the time that he or she was on a work permit; and
- has complied with any other terms of the Performance Agreement.
Each section of the registration has a minimum eligibility score. Candidates must meet the minimum scores in each section in order to be entered into the selection pool.
The maximum score available is 200.
|2. Net worth||12|
|3. Personal investment||30|
|6. Business Concept||80|
|TOTAL POINTS AVAILABLE||200|
Candidates will receive points based on their business ownership and/or senior management work experience.
Details of the candidate's business/work experience for the last 10 years should be included. Details of work experience should not be duplicated in both sections. For example, if a candidate owned 100 percent of a business but also worked at the business as the General Manager, he or she may only select Business Owner-Manager Experience. The transferability and relevance of the candidate's background to his or her proposed business in B.C. will be assessed as part of the BC PNP scoring of the Business Concept.
The maximum score available for this section is 24. Candidates must score at least eight points to meet the minimum requirements for this section.
|Business Owner-Manager Experience||Less than 12 months||0|
|12 to 24 months||4|
|25 to 36 months||6|
|37 to 48 months||12|
|49 to 60 months||15|
|61 months or more||20|
|Senior Manager Work Experience||Less than 24 months||0|
|24 to 48 months||4|
|49 to 60 months||8|
|61 months or more||12|
Candidates will receive points based on their total net worth including that of their spouse or common-law partner, if applicable.
The maximum score available for this section is 12. Candidates must score at least 1 point to meet the minimum requirements for total personal net worth.
|Personal Net Worth||Points|
|Total current assets (cash and liquid funds)||Less than $50,000||0|
|$50,000 to $199,999||1|
|$200,000 to $399,999||3|
|More than $400,000||6|
|Total personal net worth||Less than $600,000||0|
|$600,000 to $799,999||1|
|$800,000 to $1,999,999||3|
|$2,000,000 to $4,999,999||5|
|$5,000,000 or more||6|
Candidates will receive points based on their proposed eligible personal investment for the business, including proposed total investment and eligible investment for the proposed investments. If a candidate is proposing a partnership with a co-registrant, he or she must include the names of each partner with the registration.
The maximum score available for this section is 30. Candidates must score at least six points, or 20 points if they are proposing a Key Staff Member, to meet the minimum requirement for this section.
|Eligible Personal Investment||Points|
|Less than $200,000||0|
|$200,000 to $399,999||6|
|$400,000 to $999,999||20|
|$1,000,000 or more||30|
Candidates will receive points based on their proposed job creation, and job maintenance if they are purchasing an existing business. For the proposed business, candidates must identify the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions that will be created and maintained.
The maximum score available for this section is 36. Candidates must score at least two points, or 12 points if they are proposing a Key Staff Member, to meet the minimum requirements for this section. In addition, candidates will not qualify if they do not create at least one FTE. If proposing a Key Staff Member, candidates must create a minimum of three FTEs.
|Number of FTE Job Positions Created and Maintained||Points|
|Less than 1||0|
|11 or more||36|
Candidates will receive points based on their self-declared adaptability factors. Language test results or certificates are not required with the registration or application, if invited to apply.
The maximum score available for this section is 18. There is no minimum required score for this section.
|English language proficiency||None or minimal, similar to CLB 3 and below||0|
|Basic understanding, similar to CLB 4||2|
|Intermediate and advanced, similar to CLB 5 and above||4|
|Education level||Less than two years of post-secondary education||0|
|Two years or more of post-secondary education||3|
|Age||Less than 20||0|
|21 – 39||3|
|40 – 60||4|
|61 – 64||2|
|65 or older||0|
|Business exploratory visits to British Columbia||No||0|
|Yes, 1 or more years ago||1|
|Yes, less than 1 year ago||2|
Canadian work experience,business experience, or studies
from within Canada for at least 12 months
Candidates must provide a brief business concept of approximately 1,000 words - not exceeding 1,500 words - specific to their proposal. The Business Concept may address topics covered in other sections of the registration.
The proposed Business Concept will be evaluated by the BC PNP and must include an overview of the following:
- description of business and its operations;
- competitive analysis;
- elaboration of proposed investments, and rationale for major investment items;
- human resources, including job creation/maintenance details;
- the candidate's skill set and experience and an assessment of business viability under his or her management;
- the candidate's proposed role in the business;
- due diligence activities; and
- potential risk factors.
Additionally, candidates planning to purchase an existing business,whether wholly or partially, must:
- identify and describe the business, including staffing;
- summarize the company’s financial performance, with approximate annual revenue, net profit, and total wages paid from the past three years;
- comment on business history and financial health;
- explain how they established the value of the business; and
- provide a description and rationale of the expansion plan.
General market research should not be included in the Business Concept.
The Business Concept will be scored on the following factors. A candidate must score at least 32 points overall, but there is no minimum requirement in each category.
|Commercial viability||Up to 28|
|Transferability of skills||Up to 24|
|Economic benefits||Up to 28|
As part of the Economic Benefits factor, points are awarded for the location of the proposed business based on the population sizes of B.C.’s Regional Districts.
There is no minimum required score for this part of the Business Concept.
|Population of BC Regional District||Points|
|More than 500,000 people||0|
|200,000 to 500,000||1|
|100,000 to 200,000||3|
|70,000 to 100,000||6|
|60,000 to 70,000||8|
|35,000 to 60,000||10|
|Fewer than 35,000 people||12|
Final Scoring and the Selection Pool
The BC PNP will assign scores to the Business Concept and calculate the candidate's final score.
If the candidate qualifies for the selection pool, he or she will receive an email confirmation from the BC PNP. Candidates are able to view their final registration score, including scores for each section.
- Registrations that meet the minimum points total in every section will be entered into the selection pool.
- Registrations that qualify for the selection pool are valid for up to six months.
- If a candidate is not invited to apply to the BC PNP within six months of qualifying, the registration will expire. At that time, he or she may submit a new registration to the BC PNP.
- Registrants may only have one active BC PNP registration at any given time.
- If the candidate is proposing a partnership with a co-registrant, the total score of the lowest-scoring registrant(s) will be applied to all co-registrants.