What You Need to Know About BC’s Entrepreneur Immigration Program
British Columbia has unveiled a new path to permanent residency for business immigrants, opening an online registration program that allows potentially qualified applicants to express their interest by completing a comprehensive application package.
For experienced business people who can establish themselves in B.C. while investing in and operating a commercially successful business – one providing significant benefit to the provincial government – the Entrepreneur Immigration program aims to provide a tailored, fast-tracked pathway to Canadian permanent residency.
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program
The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program will oversee the new scheme, with successful applicants being awarded a work permit to try and successfully establish a business over a 20 month period. If the applicant’s business fulfills the ongoing requirements of the program, they, along with their dependents will then be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada.
In order to attract as many registrations as possible from eligible candidates, the BCPN has established advantageous application requirements including: no age restrictions, no minimum language skill requirement, a minimum of only 33% business ownership stake, a registration fee of only $300 and low thresholds for investment and net worth (CAD $200,000 and CAD $600,000, respectively.)
Under the scheme, 200 qualifying registrations will be accepted into the pool of potential EI program applicants each month with candidates earning points (to a maximum of 200) based on business plan, prior business experience, potential investment, proposed job creation and “adaptability” (encompassing factors such as age, language proficiency, education, previous work or study in Canada and time spent in B.C.) The BC PNP will then periodically invite the highest scoring candidates to apply for the Entrepreneur Immigration Program. Registrants selected to apply will be assessed on a number of factors, both personal and related to their business experience
Job & Investment Requirements
In order to register, a candidate must show that they are willing and able to make an eligible personal investment in the proposed business of at least CAD $200, 000. If the candidate’s proposal includes a specified Key Staff member that they wish to have work for the business in B.C., the personal investment must be at least CAD $400,000.
Registrants must include a short business proposal and will be assigned points based on the plan’s proposed commercial viability, economic benefits and the transferability of the registrant’s skills to said business. If the registrant is invited to apply, he or she will then have to submit a comprehensive business plan to the BC PNP. The Program will consider registrations aiming to establish new businesses, purchase existing ones, and form partnerships with other businesses or entrepreneurs.
Finally, once accepted into the pool, candidates must show that their proposal will create at least one permanent new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident via the business itself. These requirements differ if the application proposed to include a specified Key Staff member.
Individual registrants must also have a legally obtained and verifiable personal net worth of at least CAD $600,000 from all sources, registered in the candidate’s name or candidate’s spouse’s name.
Possess a minimum of two years’ experience as a business owner-manager (with 100% ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years) OR a minimum of two years post-secondary education.
Demonstrate sufficient knowledge and experience to successfully establish the proposed business in B.C. by showing: 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.
Registrations that qualify for the candidate pool will remain valid for six months. If the applicant is not invited to apply to the program after six months the registration will expire and applicants are then permitted to submit a new registration.
If a candidate is invited to apply, they will have four months to submit a completed application and then, if approved, have an additional twenty months from the date of signing a Performance Agreement to implement their business proposal within B.C.
The individual will be awarded a temporary work permit in the interim and if the requirements of the Performance Agreement are met within the twenty month period, the BC PNP will nominate him or her for permanent resident status. With this nomination, the applicant and any dependent family members may apply for permanent residency with Immigration Canada.
Are You Interested in BC’s Entrepreneur Immigration Program
If you’re interested in BC’s entrepreneur program, or are in need of immigration services, we at Visaplace can help you. The first step towards a successful visa application is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our FREE immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and visa options.
About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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