If you are an entrepreneur ready to invest in and actively manage a business in British Columbia, you may be eligible for the BC Provincial Nominee Program’s (PNP) Business Immigration stream. This stream accelerates the permanent residence application process for individuals who can establish themselves in B.C. and develops a business that will provide significant economic benefits to the province. To qualify, you must meet specific personal net worth thresholds, make a minimum investment in an eligible business, be actively involved in the daily management of the business, and create one or more new jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Please note that meeting the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee approval.
You can apply to the PNP as a business immigrant in one of three categories.
The Entrepreneur category is the best choice if:
- You would like to start or purchase and expand a business anywhere in B.C.
- You have a personal net worth of at least $800,000.
- You intend to invest at least $400,000 in (and acquire at least one-third equity ownership of) the business.
- You can commit to creating at least three new jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- You would like to propose one key staff member on your application.
The Regional Entrepreneur category is the best choice if:
- You would like to start or purchase and expand a business outside of theVancouverand Abbotsford metropolitan areas.
- You have a personal net worth of at least $400,000.
- You intend to invest at least $200,000 in (and acquire at least one-third equity ownership of) the business.
- You can commit to creating at least one new job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
The Strategic Projects category is the best choice if:
- Your company is interested in setting up a B.C.-based operation (such as a branch office or subsidiary) anywhere in the province.
- Your company intends to make an equity investment of at least $500,000 in the business.
- You would like to propose up to five key staff members on the application and you can commit to create at least three new jobs for each key staff member.
The Regional Business Succession Option is a good choice if you intend to purchase and manage an existing B.C. business. This option applies to all business immigration categories where the business is located outside of the Vancouver and Abbotsford metropolitan areas. This category offers priority processing and includes reduced job creation requirements.
The Business Immigration application process has two phases:
- In phase one, you sign a Performance Agreement and are initially supported for a two-year work permit.
- In phase two, you arrive in B.C. on the work permit, establish and actively manage your business, and complete the investment and job-creation requirements.
Applicants are nominated by the BC PNP for Permanent Residence in Canada only when they satisfy the terms of their Performance Agreement.
For more information on the process for each category, email for the specific category summary you wish to have more detail on.
The Strategic Projects category enables foreign-controlled companies to set up a B.C.-based operation (such as a branch office or operating facility). This category allows you to propose up to five key foreign managerial, professional or technical staff who intend to become permanent residents of Canada and settle in the province.
To apply to the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in the Strategic Projects category, your company must:
• Provide evidence of good business practices and successful business operations outside of Canada that are relevant to the proposed business.
• Demonstrate that the key staff members proposed are qualified senior personnel who are essential to establishing and operating the proposed business in B.C.
• Also, key staff members must have or be eligible for immigration status in Canada.
If PNP approves your company’s application, your company will be required to:
• Sign a Performance Agreement with the province.
• Make a minimum equity investment of at least $500,000 to establish or purchase and expand an eligible business.
• Create at least three new jobs for Canadians or permanent residents for each key staff member proposed.
• Establish or purchase and expand a company in B.C. that is incorporated or federally incorporated and registered extra-provincially in B.C.
1. An exploratory visit to the province to learn more about opportunities and the local business environment is encouraged.
2. To apply for the Strategic Projects category, you must contact PNP’s office to discuss your proposal. The proposal should include company information (e.g. the year established, a description of business activities, sales revenue, number of employees, etc.), a description of the business you intend to establish or purchase and expand in B.C., a detailed investment breakdown, the estimated annual revenue, and the types of jobs you will create for Canadians and permanent residents.
3. If your proposal fits the requirements of the Strategy Projects category, PNP will email you an application package. You and your key staff must submit all the required forms and supporting documentation, and pay the processing fee of $3,000, plus a $1,000 application fee for each key staff member in the application.
4. PNP will screen your application for completeness. PNP may ask you clarifying questions and request additional documentation.
5. If your application passes PNP’s initial assessment, PNP will ask all key staff members to attend an in-person interview.
6. If PNP approves the application, the designated signing authority for the company signs a Performance Agreement. PNP will then issue a work permit support letter to all key staff members so that they can apply for a two-year work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
Next steps if the application is approved
1. Key staff members arrive in B.C. with a valid work permit and submit an Arrival Report Form to the PNP.
2. When the company meets the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement, it submits the Final Report to the PNP.
3. PNP reviews the Final Report and may conduct site visits or interviews to verify information. If the company meets the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement, PNP will nominate the key staff members for permanent residence.
4. The key staff members apply to CIC for a permanent resident visa. They will have six months from the date of nomination to apply to CIC.