Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot by British Columbia is opening soon to attracting foreign entrepreneurs to smaller communities around the province.
The new immigration pilot programme will be launching in early 2019, and will see the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) work in partnership with regional communities of less than 75,000 people to welcome approved immigrant entrepreneurs who want to open a new business.
Requirements for BC PNP
- Communities must be located farther than 30 kilometres from a population centre of more than 75,000 people in order to be enrolled in the pilot.
- Applicants must have a minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments
- conduct an exploratory community visit
- Must have a minimum personal net worth of $300,000
- Must have 3+ years of experience as an active business owner-manager or 4+ years as a senior manager within the last 5 years
- take on a minimum of 51 per cent ownership
- create a minimum of one new job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
While announcing the programme, BC PNP said the Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot would help tackle economic and demographic challenges facing the province caused by their aging populations and a lack of opportunities for younger residents.
“This initiative is intended to maximize the economic benefits of immigration to B.C. to support shared prosperity across the province,” CIC News quoted BC PNP as saying.
The businesses created will have to address specific needs identified by the participating communities and, in exchange, the communities and local partners will be required to support selected entrepreneurs as they settle.
According to BC PNP, successful candidates will be granted a temporary work permit. The BC PNP will issue a nomination for permanent residence once it determines that the business has met all the criteria outlined in its Performance Agreement.
The BC PNP says personal net worth and investment criteria will be reduced for the pilot compared to its base Entrepreneur Immigration category.
This reflects the lower costs of starting a business and settling in B.C.’s regions compared to Vancouver and the province’s more densely populated urban centres.
During the exploratory visit, candidates will present their business proposal to the community’s designated pilot representative, who will then submit a referral form to the BC PNP as part of the candidate’s registration.
All candidates will receive a score upon registering and the highest-scoring candidates will be invited to submit a full application to the BC PNP through monthly invitation rounds.
The pilot will open to registrations in early January and will run for an initial period of two years.