There are many avenues through which aspiring immigrants to Canada can apply for Permanent Residence. One of them is called the Provincial Nominee Program. Under this program, territories and provinces are permitted to nominate immigrants of their choice. Successful candidates can then use their nominations to apply to Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residency.
In British Columbia, the PNP program has immigration multiple streams through which you can be nominated, and several immigration sub-programs. One of them is the BC PNP Entrepreneur Program.
How Do I Get Nominated by a Province or Territory?
To be nominated you must first apply to the province or territory of your choice. Each province has their own specific nomination program, each with the goal of meeting economic growth targets and labour market needs. The British Columbia PNP process is designed to help recruit skilled foreign workers and experienced entrepreneurs in the hope that, if successful, they will then apply for permanent residence in BC and continue to contribute the local economy.
If you want to apply to the BC PNP in order to contribute to the economic advancement of the province, and if you believe that you have the skills, work experience and education required to be nominated, you must first create an online immigration profile with BC PNP online.
The BC Immigration Registration System will evaluate your immigration application and award you points based on your immigration profile. Using this points-based system, they will be able to identify the candidates that are likely to make the highest positive economic impact on the province. Once you have registered, you will remain in a selection pool for 12 months. Periodically, the province will reach into the pool and select the most promising candidates as eligible to be provincial nominees. They choose a number of applications each year based on the province’s capacity to process them.
Once you have been selected as a potential provincial nominee, you have four months from the date of your invitation to submit your full application.
I’ve Been Approved as a Provincial Nominee. What Next?
Once you have been approved as a provincial nominee, both you and your dependent family members can apply to the IRCC to become permanent residents of Canada in the Provincial Nominee class. You can choose a registration option from the following options of the Entrepreneur Immigration stream:
- Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category: This is intended for experienced entrepreneurs who plan to start a new proposed business in BC, or take over and grow an existing business in BC.
- Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot: This pilot program is intended to attract entrepreneurs that want to work in regional communities and establish a proposed business that align with the economic goals of that community, or revitalize an existing business through their own personal investment.
- Strategic Projects: This is intended for foreign corporations that intend to establish a branch or subsidiary in BC.
What are the Qualifications for the Entrepreneur Immigration Streams?
In order to qualify for this program, you need to meet the following registration criteria:
- Have a personal net worth of at least $600,000 CAD
- Demonstrate business or management experience
- Be able to lawfully and legally enter Canada to work
- Submit a business proposal to establish a new business or buy and expand an existing one
- Meet the minimum English proficiency standards of the province
- Make a personal investment of $200,000 CAD in the business
- Create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident within the business.
Applicants may be invited to an in-person interview in Vancouver to discuss the details of the application. If approved, the BC PNP will issue you a letter of confirmation that will allow you to apply for and receive a work permit so you can come to BC to implement your business plan.
As with any PNP registration application, it is recommended you contact a professional before applying.
Business and Investment Requirements
Once you have met the basic registration requirements, you must also meet the following ongoing benchmarks.
Active Management of Business
Active management means you must actually plan on managing the business yourself. You are accountable for the day-to-day operations, and must actively manage it from the BC location of your business. You may not manage it from a remote location.
When you move to BC in an exploratory visit to run your new company, you must live within 100 km of it. During the initial setup phase, you will be using a work permit. During this time, you must spend at least 75% of your time in BC as a resident. Typically, you will spend up to two years operating your company in BC before you submit your final report for the PNP nomination.
Eligibility for Entry to Canada
Like all immigration streams, you must be eligible to immigrate to Canada in order to be nominated. The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program will not nominate someone who is:
- Prohibited from entering Canada
- Has not been lawfully admitted to the country of their residence
- Has been in Canada without proper immigration status
- Is working in Canada without authorization
- Has an unresolved refugee claim in Canada
- Is under a removal order within Canada
Personal Net Worth
In order to register for the BC PNP Entrepreneur stream, you must have a minimum net worth of $600,000 CAD. This value must be legally obtained, and verifiable.
You will disclose your personal net worth, including all the assets, liabilities, debts for you and your common law partner or spouse. To see more instructions on calculating your personal net worth for the BC PNP program, click here.
Business and Work Experience
As a BC Business Entrepreneur applicant, you must have at least 3 years of active business ownership experience, or more than 4 years experience as a senior manager. If you are applying as a business owner, you must hold at least 10% ownership of the company.
Your education records must show that you have acquired an education credential from a recognized post secondary educational institution. If you do not meet this requirement, you can still successfully apply, but your experience as a business owner must have involved 100% ownership of the business in question. If you own 100% of the company, you do not need to meet the education registration requirement.
Eligibility of the Business
The BC PNP will only consider business proposals that will positively contribute to the growth and well being of the BC economy. They must be profitable, and each business concept must provide products or services for the primary purpose of earning profits.Your proposal will not be “pre-approved”. It will have to stand a test of application within the economy before the business concept is endorsed.
There are a series of businesses that are not eligible under the BC PNP Entrepreneur stream. They can be found in the program information guide, on page 16.
Minimum Investment Requirements
In addition to the active operation of the business, you must also invest a minimum of $200,000 CAD in the business concept.
Minimum Job Requirement
As a BC PNP Entrepreneur applicant, you will be responsible for creating at least one full time job for a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident.
Application Process and Timeline
The BC PNP Entrepreneur stream is a comprehensive and enduring process. It usually takes about 2 years to process the approval since there is a significant amount of time needed to propose a business model and actively manage the business.
The first step is to learn more about how to go about registration, and then to apply. If you would like to speak to a professional about your options for the BC PNP program, click here for an assessment.