British Columbia makes Entrepreneur Regional Pilot Program permanent

Asheesh Moosapeta
Published: June 21, 2024

British Columbia (B.C.) has made the Entrepreneur Regional Pilot Program a permanent fixture of their Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The program is now called the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) Regional Stream.

Eligible newcomers looking to start businesses within the province and settle permanently in B.C. will now have an additional pathway to choose from when applying to immigrate.

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What are entrepreneur immigration programs in British Columbia and how do they function?

Entrepreneur immigration programs within the British Columbia PNP (BCPNP) are a pathway for international entrepreneurs to start businesses and settle in B.C. The BCPNP looks for businesses that support innovation and economic growth within the province.

Entrepreneur class immigration (which includes the EI Regional Stream) is a temporary to permanent residence (PR) pathway. This means that applicants who are accepted under the program are first given temporary status to live and work in Canada, before ultimately transitioning to PR status once they have successfully started their business.

What is the EI Regional Stream, and who is eligible to apply?

The EI Regional Stream is for international entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business in a small community to support the development of B.C.’s regional areas.

As a key part of the program, communities will participate in the business, with each having already identified the types of businesses they are prioritising. Prospective candidates must also visit the community they plan on working with and be assigned a community contact to facilitate early stages of the process.

Entrepreneurs must then (if they would like to pursue settling and starting a business in the community) receive a community referral, allowing them to register and apply under the EI Regional Stream.

In addition to the above, to be eligible to apply under the program, entrepreneurs must:

  • Establish an eligible new business aligned with the priorities of the referring community;
  • Demonstrate business and/or management experience;
  • Have a personal net worth of more than $300,000 CAD;
  • Make an eligible personal investment of at least $100,000 CAD in the business;
  • Create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or PR;
  • Demonstrate a minimum language proficiency of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4;
  • Have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada; and
  • Have been lawfully admitted into the country where they currently live.

If candidates meet the above criteria, and they have the necessary business experience that a community is looking for, they are free to contact them using information from the community’s profile page. To view the complete list of participating community profile pages, click here.

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