British Columbia Launches New Entrepreneur Program For Canadian Immigration

CIC News
Published: July 14, 2015

The Canadian province of British Columbia has opened its doors to business immigrants from around the world, with a new online registration system allowing interested candidates to express their interest in the program.

Successful applicants will obtain a work permit and, if the business operation in British Columbia fulfills the requirements of the program on an ongoing basis, they, along with their families, will be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

This 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.

How it works

The BC PNP is attempting to attract as many registrations from eligible candidates as it can so that it may select the most attractive applicants. In order to do this, a pool of candidates has been established with individuals in the pool competing to get as many points as possible, out of a maximum of 200. Only 200 candidates are accepted into the pool each month, and the BC PNP will periodically invite the highest-scoring registrants to submit applications for the Entrepreneur Immigration program.

An Entrepreneur Immigration Registration is not an application to the Entrepreneur Immigration stream or a guarantee that a candidate will be invited to apply. Registrations that qualify for the selection pool are valid for up to six months. If a candidate is not invited to apply within six months of qualifying, his or her registration will expire. At that time, he or she may submit a new registration.

If a candidate is invited to apply, he or she will have four months to submit a complete application. If the application is approved, he or she will sign a Performance Agreement and will have up to 20 months to implement a business proposal in B.C. Learn more about the invitation to apply.

If the individual meets the requirements of the Performance Agreement within the 20 months while on a temporary work permit, 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 Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Learn more about the transition to permanent residence.


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.

Personal Requirements:

  • 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; and
  • 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 manager, 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.

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 of existing business, form a partnership with an existing business, and partner with a local or foreign entrepreneur to establish a new business.

Investment requirements:

In order to register, the candidate must demonstrate that he or she will make an eligible personal investment of at least CAD $200,000 in the proposed business. If the candidate is proposing a Key Staff Member and wishes for that person to also work for the business in B.C, he or she must demonstrate that he or she will make an eligible personal investment of CAD $400,000.

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. Job creation requirements differ for candidates who proposed to include a Key Staff member on their application.

If a candidate is invited to apply, he or she will have four months to submit a complete application. If the application is approved, he or she will sign a Performance Agreement and will have up to 20 months to implement a business proposal in B.C.

Once the successful applicant is living and working in B.C., he or she must demonstrate the following in order to be eligible to make an application for permanent residence under the BC PNP:

  • Active and ongoing management of the day-to-day business operations;
  • Demonstrated residence in B.C.; and
  • Admissibility to Canada.

Entrepreneur Immigration Registration: Scoring

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 total score available is 200. There is no minimum overall score threshold; as long as candidates make the minimum score for each section, they are eligible to enter the pool of candidates.

Candidates are ranked according to their scores for business experience, net worth, personal investment, proposed job creation, adaptability (including age, language proficiency, education, previous visits to B.C., and previous work or study in Canada), and business concept. Up to 80 of the 200 total points may be awarded for the business concept.

Learn more about the scoring system, including an in-depth points breakdown for each factor.

A unique business opportunity

“At a time when the entrepreneur program at the federal level is suspended, this revitalized British Columbia option is a breath of fresh air,” says Attorney David Cohen.

“With a strategic location, low taxes, competitive operating costs and a multicultural workforce that is well-educated, highly-skilled and productive, British Columbia is arguably not just one of the most dynamic and attractive places to do business in Canada, but also the entire continent of North America. The province represents unique opportunities for entrepreneurs.”


To find out if you are eligible for the British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration Program, as well as other Canadian business immigration programs, please fill out a business eligibility assessment form today.

British Columbia profile

Population: 4,667,000 (January, 2015)

Largest city: Vancouver

Capital city: Victoria

Official language: English (de facto)

Combined federal-provincial corporate tax rate: The general business tax rate is 26.00%, among the lowest in G7 countries. On the first $500,000 of business income, however, the combined federal-provincial corporate tax rate is just 13.00%.

Economy: B.C. has the highest percentage of service industry jobs in Western Canada, comprising 72% of industry. The largest section of this employment is in Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Corporate Management. Many areas outside metropolitan areas, however, are still heavily reliant on resource extraction. GDP per capita is CAD $50,121 (2013).

Location: West coast of North America. The Canadian province of Alberta is to the east, the states of Washington and Montana (U.S.) lie to the south, the Pacific Ocean and the state of Alaska (U.S.) lie to the West, and the Canadian territories of Yukon and Northwest Territories lie to the north.

Climate: The coast, as well as Metro Vancouver and certain valleys in the south-central part of the province, experience mild weather, encouraging outdoor recreation and long growing seasons. The interior has some of the warmest and longest summer climates in Canada. Colder climates, similar to other regions of Canada, are found in the central and northern areas of the province.

© 2015 CICnews All Rights Reserved

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