The BC PNP Strategic Projects category enables foreign companies to establish a presence in British Columbia by setting up a branch office or other operating facility.
The Strategic Projects Category of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) falls under the Entrepreneur Immigration Stream and functions as a Canadian immigration pathway for key staff of successful foreign corporations that have identified strategic investment opportunities in B.C. for the growth and expansion of their core businesses.
In the process, the company can propose up to five key staff members to work and settle in the province to manage the company's operations in British Columbia.
If nominated successfully under this category, the key staff members running the enterprise in B.C. may apply for Canadian permanent resident status.
Industries that have made use of the BC PNP Strategic Projects category advanced manufacturing, technology, new media, specialized engineering, forestry and scientific research and development. In most cases, these businesses have created high-impact occupations in British Columbia.
Minimum Requirements for Companies
To be eligible under the BC PNP Strategic Projects category, companies must:
- be in excellent financial health; provide evidence of good business practices and successful business operations outside Canada that are relevant to the proposed B.C. business.
- identify investment opportunities in B.C. based on commercial decisions and credible foundations.
- demonstrate that the proposed key employees are qualified senior employees who are essential to establishing and operating the business
In most cases, successful corporate applicants typically have at least 150 staff members and annual revenues of at least $20,000,000.
The company will be required to:
- make a minimum equity investment of at least $500,000 to establish or purchase and expand an eligible business in B.C.
- create at least three new jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for each foreign key staff member proposed (to a maximum of five key staff)
- establish or purchase and expand a company in B.C.
Minimum Requirements for Key Staff Members
The BC PNP requires key staff members to have, or be eligible for, immigration status in Canada. The BC PNP will not accept applications of key staff members who:
- Are prohibited from entering Canada,
- Have not been lawfully admitted in their country of current residence,
- Are in Canada without authorization or are out of status,
- Are working in Canada without authorization,
- Have an unresolved refugee claim in Canada,
- Are under a removal order in or outside of Canada.
How to Apply to the BC PNP Strategic Projects Category
In order to apply to the BC PNP under the Strategic Projects Category, applicants must undergo three main steps: Exploratory visit, discuss their proposal, and submit an application to the BC PNP.
The BC PNP highly recommends that companies make an exploratory visit to B.C. to better understand the local business environment and opportunities prior to making an application.
Discussion of proposal
All Strategic Projects category applicants must first contact the BC PNP to discuss their business proposal and learn about the program. Companies are also required to register their interest to apply to the category, pay the $300 registration fee, and provide the following information in their proposals:
- General company information (year of establishment, a description of business activities, sales revenue, number of employees, etc.);
- Description of the business the applicant intends to establish or purchase and expand in the province;
- Explanation of how the business is related to the company’s core business;
- Due diligence and commercial viabilities study that has been conducted;
- Rationale for the investment, including a detailed investment breakdown;
- Estimated annual revenue;
- Types of jobs the proposed business will create for Canadian citizens and permanent residents; and
- Other information as required.
If the business proposal meets the requirements, the BC PNP will send the candidate an application package by email. It is then up to the candidate and the key staff members to submit all required forms and supporting documentation. The candidate must pay a corporate application processing fee of $3,500 CAD plus an additional $1,000 CAD application fee for each proposed key staff member.
The BC PNP will then review the application. If it passes the initial assessment, all key staff members will be required to attend an in-person interview in Vancouver at the BC PNP offices.
After Application Approval
If an application is approved, the company must perform the following:
- Sign a Performance Agreement with the Government of British Columbia;
- If the application is approved, a Performance Agreement must be signed with the Province of British Columbia by the company's designated signing authority. Each key staff member will be issued a work permit support letter by the BC PNP in order to apply for a two-year work permit from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
- Submit a final report to the BC PNP to demonstrate how the company has met the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement; and
- (Key staff members) must apply to IRCC for a Canadian permanent resident visa within 180 days from the date of nomination (if the company has met the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement).