鶹ӳý

Skip to content

Advertisement

With a dynamic, educated, and skilled workforce, low operating costs, competitive tax rates, and strategic location, British Columbia is one of the best locations in North America to develop a business.

Fortunately for international entrepreneurs, the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) offers a unique entrepreneur immigration stream. Eligible entrepreneurs who successfully establish their business in BC, as well their accompanying family members, can look forward to obtaining Canadian permanent residence, which may then be followed by Canadian citizenship if residency requirements are met.

There are, however, a few preliminaries that must be satisfied before permanent residence may be acquired through this immigration option. First, you have to determine your eligibility for the BC PNP entrepreneur stream. If eligible, you may then make a formal Expression of Interest (EOI) in applying to the program.

Once the EOI has been submitted, you will be assigned a score reflecting your credentials. BC immigration authorities then invited the highest-ranked candidates to apply during periodic draws from this pool. If invited, you may submit an application. Successful applicants obtain a work permit and, if the business operation in BC fulfills the requirements on an ongoing basis, work permit holders will then be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

BC PNP Entrepreneur Stream Criteria

To qualify, candidates must have:

1. a personal net worth of at least CAD$600,000, legally obtained and verifiable;

2. 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; and

3. a post-secondary education credential OR experience as an active business owner-manager with 100 per cent ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years;

4. have basic English or French language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 or higher;

Candidates must also answer questions and provide details of their business proposal, which will be scored by the BC PNP. Candidates must aim to:

  • establish an eligible new business or purchase and improve an existing business;
  • make an eligible personal investment of at least CAD$200,000 in the business; and
  • create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the business.

If invited to submit an application, the business plan must then demonstrate:

  • the proposed business is consistent with the registration business concept; and
  • potential for commercial viability, including a market entry strategy to show how the proposed business will be successful in BC.

In addition, if planning to purchase an existing business candidates must also be able to demonstrate:

  • how the business will grow;
  • that the business is a going concern (i.e. the business is in operation and is not in receivership at the time of purchase);
  • that the business will generate a profit and can sustain the expanded workforce; and
  • that the business has been operated by the current owner for at least five years.

Candidates cannot change their business concept after submitting a registration.

In order to register, candidates must demonstrate that they can and will make an eligible personal investment of at least $200,000 in the proposed business. If proposing a Key Staff Member, candidates must demonstrate that they will make an eligible personal investment of $400,000.

BC PNP Entrepreneur Stream points system

Up to 200 points are available to eligible candidates, who will receive a score upon registration. Candidates must meet the minimum scores in each section in order to be entered into the selection pool.

Scoring section

Points

Self-declaredExperience20
Ownership4
Net worth12
Total personal investment20
Jobs20
Regional district12
Adaptability32
Self-declared subtotal120
Business conceptCommercial viability30
Transferability of skills20
Economic benefits30
Business concept subtotal80
Maximum score available200

Experience

Maximum score available: 24

Minimum requirements for eligibility: 8

Details of the candidate’s business/work experience for the last 10 years should be included, but experience should not be duplicated. For example, if a candidate owned 100 percent of a business but also worked at the business as the General Manager, only the Business Owner-Manager experience should be selected.

Experience

Total duration

Points

Business owner-manager experienceLess than 12 months0
12 to 24 months4
25 to 36 months6
37 to 48 months12
49 to 60 months15
More than 60 months20
Senior manager work experienceLess than 24 months0
24 to 48 months4
49 to 60 months8
More than 60 months12
Maximum score available20

In addition, candidates may be awarded points if they have owned 100 per cent of a business for at least three of the most recent five years. The 100 per cent ownership of the business may be shared between the candidate, his or her spouse or common-law partner and/or your dependent child(ren).

Ownership

Amount

Points

Business ownershipLess than three years of 100% business ownership in the past five years0
100% ownership of a business for at least three of the last five years4
Maximum score available4

Net worth

Maximum score available: 12

Minimum requirements for eligibility: 5

Candidates may receive points based on their total net worth including that of their spouse or common-law partner, if applicable.

Personal net worth

Points

Total current assets (cash and liquid funds)Less than $50,0000
$50,000 to $199,9992
$200,000 to $399,9993
$400,000 or more4
Subtotal4
Total personal net worthLess than $600,0000
$600,000 to $799,9995
$800,000 to $1,999,9996
$2,000,000 to $4,999,9997
$5,000,000 or more8
Subtotal8
Maximum score available12

Personal investment

Maximum score available: 20

Minimum requirements for eligibility: 8 (10, if proposing a key staff member)

Total personal investment

Points

Less than $200,0000
$200,000 to $399,9998
$400,000 to $599,99910
$600,000 to $999,99911
$1,000,000 to $1,999,99912
$2,000,000 to $3,999,99914
$4,000,000 to $7,999,99916
$8,000,000 or more20
Maximum score available20

Jobs created/maintained

Maximum score available: 20

Minimum requirements for eligibility: Create at least 1 job (3, if proposing a key staff member)

Total Proposed FTE Jobs

Points

Less than 10
1 job8
2 jobs9
3 jobs10
4 jobs11
5 jobs12
6 jobs13
7 to 9 jobs14
10 to 19 jobs16
20 or more jobs20
Maximum score available20

Regional District

Maximum score available: 12

Minimum requirements for eligibility: The applicant must work at the primary place of business in the proposed regional district.

Points are awarded for the location of the proposed business based on the population sizes of BC’s Regional Districts.

Location Based on BC Regional District

Points

500,000 people or more0
200,000 to 499,9991
100,000 to 199,9993
70,000 to 99,9996
60,000 to 69,9998
35,000 to 59,99910
Fewer than 35,000 people12
Maximum score available12

Based on official 2016 data, this would translate into the following points totals being awarded in specific Regional Districts.

Regional District

Population

Points

Greater Vancouver2,558,0290
Capital382,6451
Fraser Valley301,2381
Central Okanagan197,0753
Nanaimo157,5993
Thompson-Nicola135,0743
Fraser-Fort George90,9156
North Okanagan85,1646
Cowichan Valley84,0146
Okanagan-Similkameen80,6226
Peace River66,5048
Comox64,8478
Cariboo63,1118
Central Kootenay60,7758
East Kootenay58,96010
Columbia-Shuswap52,02110
Strathcona46,17510
Squamish-Lillooet41,53110
Bulkley-Nechako40,38310
Kitimat-Stikine36,27010
Alberni-Clayoquot30,72112
Kootenay-Boundary29,92612
Sunshine Coast29,24312
Powell River20,32812
Skeena-Queen Charlotte17,38912
Mount Waddington11,13912
Northern Rockies5,99212
Central Coast3,24812
Stikine67412

*Source: BC Stats 2016 Sub-Provincial Population Estimates

Adaptability

Maximum score available: 32

Minimum requirements for eligibility: none

Adaptability Factor

Points

English or French language proficiencyNone or minimal, similar to CLB 3 and below0
Basic understanding, similar to CLB 42
Intermediate and advanced, similar to CLB 5 and above4
Education levelSecondary school or less0*
Associate degree2
Diploma / certificate (non-trades)2
Diploma / certificate (trades)2
Bachelor’s degree5
Post-graduate diploma / certificate5
Master’s degree8
Doctorate / PhD8
AgeLess than 250
25 – 344
35 – 448
45 – 546
55 – 644
65 or older0
Business exploratory visitsNo, or visited BC more than 3 years ago0
Yes, visited BC 1 – 3 years ago1
Yes, visited BC less than 1 year ago, but did not visit the Regional District of the proposed business2
Yes, visited the Regional District of the proposed business less than 1 year ago4
Canadian work experience, business experience, or studies from within Canada for at least 12 monthsNo0
Yes8
Maximum score available32

*If your score for Education Level is 0, you will not be eligible to register unless you have at least three years of active management experience of a business that you had 100 per cent ownership in the last five years.

Business concept

Maximum score available: 80

Minimum requirements for eligibility: 32

The BC PNP assesses the business concept and scores it according to the following framework: commercial viability (up to 30 points), transferability of skills (up to 20 points), and economic benefits (up to 30 points).

Commercial viability

This section is divided into the following factors, with a corresponding points breakdown.

Overall Commercial Viability

Points

Business model10
Market & products/services4
Eligible personal investment4
Assessment of proposed personal investment6
Ownership percentage4
Risk factors2
Maximum score available30

Business Model

Points

Unsatisfactory / Unclear
·         Proposed scale of business is not consistent with industry/regional norms.
·         Business model does not clearly identify and/or describe the business operation from start to finish.
·         Business model does not clearly identify the products and/or services being offered.
·         Business concept does not provide details of applicant’s proposed role.
·         Business concept does not provide substantive information on local business partner and/or co-applicant and/or key staff (if applicable).
·         Proposed key staff is ineligible and/or the co-registrants do not demonstrate a prior working/business relationship.
·         If purchasing an existing business: the proposed expansion plan does not effectively address a plan to upgrade/improve or expand the existing business, or is ineligible.
·         If purchasing an existing business: the proposed expansion plan relies primarily upon unsubstantiated investment and/or job creation and appears to be inconsistent with industry/regional norms.
1
Fair
·         Business model is clearly identified and describes the business operation from start to finish.
·         Business model clearly identifies the products and/or services being offered.
·         Proposed scale of business is consistent with industry/regional norms iv. business concept provides substantive information on local business partner and/or co-applicant and/or key staff (if applicable).
5
Good
A good business model will be determined if, in addition to core requirements for fair, the business concept also meets at least 3 of the following factors:
·         Proposed investment and jobs plan is consistent with the business model (must score 6 points for assessment of investment and score 6 points for jobs assessment)
·         Business model identifies a clear strategy to become commercially viable.
·         Business model’s operational plan is internally consistent iv. applicant’s proposed duties with the business are consistent with applicant’s experience
10
Maximum score available10

Market & Product

Points

Does not satisfactorily address any of the Market/Product factors1
Addresses at least one of the Market/Product factors, and is consistent with Business Model4
Maximum score available4

Eligible Personal Investment

Points

Less than $200,000 or less than $50,000 of eligible expansion investments0*
$200,000 to $399,9991
$400,000 to $599,9992**
$600,000 to $799,9993
$800,000 or more4
Maximum score available4

* If you score 0 points in this section, your registration will be disqualified.

** If you are proposing a key staff and your score in this section is less than 2 points, your registration will be disqualified.

Assessment of Proposed Personal Investment

Points

Investment proposal does not correspond to the type or scale of the business0
Investment proposal corresponds to the type and scale of the business4
Investment proposal corresponds to the type and scale of the business, the market, the proposed products and/or services, the business model, and the industry standard6
Maximum score available6

Ownership percentage*

Points

100% ownership4
More than 50% and less than 100%3
33 1/3 rd % to 50%2
Less than 33 1/3 rd % ownership*0
Maximum score available4

*If your ownership is less than 33 1/3 per cent, you must invest a minimum of $1 million in order to not be disqualified. This investment must be an equity purchase.

Risk factors

Points

· proposing external financing OR
· proposing to invest more than 50% of your personal net worth OR
· you are proposing to partner with a co-registrant
0
None of the above2
Maximum score available2

Transferability of skills

Candidates will receive points based on their direct experience and/or experience in related industries for the last 10 years, according to the following points breakdown.

Transferability of Skills

Points

Business experience only12+ months of experience in an unrelated industry2
12 months or less of direct experience or 12 to 36 months of related experience5
13 to 24 months of direct experience or 37+ months of related experience8
13 to 24 months of direct experience and 37+ months of related experience10
25 to 36 months of direct experience12
25 to 36 months of direct experience and 37+ months of related experience14
37 to 60 months of direct experience16
37 to 60 months of direct experience and 37+ months of related experience18
More than 60 months of direct experience20
Subtotal
20
Work experience only12+ months of experience in an unrelated industry2
12 months or less of direct experience or 12 to 36 months of related experience4
13 to 36 months of direct experience or 37+ months of related experience6
13 to 36 months of direct experience and 37+ months of related experience8
37 to 60 months of direct experience10
37 to 60 months of direct experience and 37+ months of related experience12
More than 60 months of direct experience14
Subtotal
14
Language abilityMinimal to none (Similar to CLB 3 or below)0
Basic language proficiency (Similar to CLB 4)1
Intermediate or above language proficiency (Similar to CLB 5 or above)2
Maximum score available
20

Economic benefits

This section is divided into the following factors and corresponding points totals.

Overall Economic Benefit Points

Points

Key Sector & Significant Economic Benefit12
Jobs assessment6
High-skilled jobs (NOC TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3)4
Regional Development8
Maximum score available30

The following key sectors are eligible for additional points:

  • Agrifoods: food production and food processing
  • Technology and Green Economy
  • Forestry
  • Transportation
  • International Education: proposed accredited educational institutions that offer educational programs in B.C. to foreign students
  • Biomedical: includes research and development, manufacturing, etc.
  • Mining & Energy or Natural Gas Sector
  • Destination Tourism: businesses that target tourists directly where its products/services are the tourist attractions rather than businesses that offer spin-off activities from the tourism industry
  • Value-Added Manufacturing: for businesses the offer high-value added manufacturing – not basic or simple assembly of foreign-made products
  • Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations: partnering with or receiving support from First Nations communities for businesses that affect the First Nation community, and/or largely benefit First Nations communities

Other significant economic benefits that the proposed business may demonstrate:

  • Adopting new technology: the new technology must not already be in regular use in similar business
  • Developing new products & services
  • Developing innovative approaches to traditional businesses: innovative approaches are considered high-value (technology-based) and not already in regular use by similar businesses
  • Increasing exports: primary businesses that will/may increase exports. This does not include businesses that facilitate exports/trade such as trading companies or agencies
  • Increasing research and development, and technology commercialization
  • Providing products or services to an under-served local or regional market
  • Transferring technology and specialized knowledge to BC: facilitates and/or supports the high technology industry, and/or provides opportunities to develop technology products/services in BC

Key Sector / Significant Economic Benefit Scoring

Points

Does not identify or substantiate any key sectors or any significant economic benefits3
Substantiates at least 1 key sector or at least 1 significant economic benefit8
Substantiates at least 1 key sector and at least 1 significant economic benefit12
Maximum score available12

Jobs assessment

Points

The business concept does not support the creation of at least 1 FTE position, or, if proposing a key staff, the creation of at least 3 FTE positions0*
Jobs plan does not correspond to the type and scale of the business1
Jobs plan corresponds to the type and scale of the business6
Maximum score available6

*If you score 0 points in this section, your registration will be disqualified.

High-skilled jobs (NOC TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3)

Points

Business concept does not propose or substantiate hiring any high-skilled positions0
Business concept substantiates the creation/maintenance of 1 high-skilled position2
Business concept substantiates the creation/maintenance of 2 or more high-skilled positions4
Maximum score available4

The BC PNP will assign additional points for the location of the proposed business based on BC’s development regions.

Development Region

Points

Lower Mainland / Southwest2
Vancouver Island and Coast4
Thompson / Okanagan4
Cariboo6
Kootenay8
Nechako8
North Coast8
Northeast8
Maximum score available8

The pool

Registrations that meet the minimum points total in every section will be entered into the qualified pool. Registrations in the qualified pool are valid for 180 days.

Candidates who are not invited to apply to the BC PNP within 180 days of qualifying will be removed from the pool. Registrants may only have one active BC PNP registration or application at any given time.

Invitation to Apply

When the BC PNP conducts one of its periodic draws from the pool, the highest-ranked candidates are invited to apply to the program.

In the event of a tie, registrants will be ranked according to the scores in the individual sections in the following order:

1. business concept
2. job creation
3. business/work experience

Candidates who are invited to apply will have up to 120 days from the date of invitation to submit a complete application. This allows invited candidates time to finalize their business plan and obtain a verification report of net worth from a qualified supplier.

The BC PNP may refuse an application if the information in the application is materially different from that provided in the registration.

Work Permit stage

If an application is approved, the BC PNP will issue a Letter of Confirmation. This serves as a work permit support letter in order to apply for a two-year work permit to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This will enable the applicant, along with his or her family, to move to B.C. and implement the business plan. The applicant will sign a Performance Agreement and will have up to 20 months to implement the business proposal in B.C.

Applicants who are invited to apply will need to engage a qualified supplier to verify their personal net worth and accumulation of funds as part of the nomination process.

Transition to Permanent Residence

If the individual meets the requirements of the Performance Agreement within the 20 months, 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 IRCC.

Once the entrepreneur completes the terms of the Performance Agreement, he or she can submit a Final Report to the BC PNP to be issued a nomination certificate. The entrepreneur must demonstrate to the BC PNP that he or she:

  • is actively managing a business (i.e., be accountable for the day-to-day operations of the business) in British Columbia;
  • resides within 100 kilometers of the business;
  • has been physically present in BC for at least 75 percent of the time that he or she was on a work permit; and
  • has complied with any other terms of the Performance Agreement.

Get help

The BC PNP Entrepreneur stream provides a wonderful opportunity for international business people and their families to enjoy the best that Canada has to offer, both from a business perspective and in quality of life. This immigration options may prove particularly attractive to potential applicants who may not necessarily be eligible under one of the skilled worker immigration programs, either at the federal or provincial level.

However, it should be noted that this is a complex and unpredictable program, with many stages and documentation requirements. Consequently, it may be beneficial to retain the services of an accredited representative with extensive experience in assisting with BC PNP applications. Our recommended immigration consultant in BC, Jenny Perez, will be able to provide a consultation of your options, as well as the full range of immigration services if you choose to work together.

To learn more and to book a consultation with Jenny, please visit this page.

About the author

Rebecca Major profile picture
RCIC logo

Rebecca Major

She/Her
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Rebecca Major is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (R511564) with nearly 15 years of licenced Canadian Immigration experience, gained after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in the UK. She specializes in Canadian immigration at 鶹ӳý.
Read more about Rebecca Major
Citation "British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration." 鶹ӳý. . Copy for Citation