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BC – Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot

BC – Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot

October 23, 2019

About the Pilot

In the quest to promote the economy in the provinces, the BC PNP is introducing the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot with 66 communities participate. The pilot creates an innovative partnership between communities and the provincial government to attract, recruit, select and integrate foreign entrepreneurs to become new British Columbians. The pilot launched on March 14, 2019, and will be delivered for an initial two-year period. 

The EI – Regional Pilot will have 4 key features:

  • Active community role: The community representative will review and refer to the BC PNP if the proposed business is eligible. Communities and local partners provide settlement support services to assist entrepreneurs once they arrive.
  • BC PNP referrals — participating communities can refer immigrant entrepreneurs to the BC PNP. In order to be referred, the entrepreneur candidate must conduct an exploratory visit to the community and the proposed business must meet the community’s economic development priorities. 
  • Community concierge — participating communities can benefit from a dedicated Community Concierge appointed through the pilot to assist with their immigration needs. 
  • Invitations & prioritization – immigrant entrepreneurs with community referrals will be able to register in a separate candidate pool for the EI Regional Pilot. BC PNP will prioritize eligible applications and invitations will be issued on a monthly basis.

Eligibility

The pilot was strictly regulated with not only 5 groups of requirements but also a scoring table. The BC PNP would also use a points-based system, you will receive a score based on the information you provide. Your score will determine whether you will receive an invitation to apply under the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot. Only candidates meet all the requirements and with the highest points are invited. Here are the groups of minimum requirements:

1. General Nomination Requirements

a. Active management

You must demonstrate that you have been actively managing the business in B.C in day-to-day operations at the time of your application.

b. Residency

While applying, you need to prove that you have an actual plan to reside most of the time in the geographical area of the community that you choose to establish the business. You would need to demonstrate in details that you have been physically present in that regional community for at least 75% valid time of a work permit as described in your Performance Agreement

2. Personal Requirements:

a. Immigration Eligibility

The BC PNP will not approve the application from a candidate who is illegally staying in or working in Canada without valid immigration authorization. These circumstances are also considered as inadmissible to the BC PNP:

  • The individual is prohibited from entering Canada
  • Has not been lawfully admitted in the country of current residence
  • An individual who is currently in Canada and out of status: For the status has expired, if the individual has not been applied for restoration of the status within the 90-day eligibility period, it will be considered out of status.
  • Working in Canada without authorization
  • Has an unresolved refugee claim in Canada
  • Under a removal order in or outside of Canada
b. Personal Net Worth

You must have a minimum of $300,000 in personal net worth, which includes your spouse or common-law partner, and your dependent children, if applicable. Your personal net worth must be legally obtained and verifiable. These types of asset are viewed as considered by the BC PNP:

  • Cash
  • Assets in bank accounts (e.g., personal chequing and savings accounts)
  • Fixed (term) deposits (redeemable/cashable within one year)
  • Real property (e.g., real estate, personal and commercial property ownership)
  • Investments in bonds, stocks, and mutual funds
  • Investments in one or more businesses (current value of your percentage ownership in business(es), excluding stocks held in investment portfolios that have been included under liquid investments above)
  • Pensions and other assets (i.e. jewelry, collectibles, etc.)
  • Liabilities such as real property mortgage(s) or other debts (e.g., personal loans, credit card debt)

Future inheritances cannot be included in your personal net worth. The share of business or property ownership must be supported by legal documents, such as deeds, shareholder agreements,…

c. Business Owner-Manager and/or Senior Manager Experience

The Pilot requires you to meet the following standard in company ownership and management experience:

  • For a company in which you have 10% or more of ownership: more than 3 years of experience during 5 years prior to the application from an active role of business owner-manager.
  • For a company in which you have less than 10% of ownership: more than 4 years of experience during the previous 5 years before you apply. Your role must be an active senior manager with main duties aligned with occupations classified as NOC skill type 0 or skill level A. There should be at least 3 full-time employees under your supervisor.
  • At least 1 year of experience as an active business owner-manager and at least 2 years of experience as a senior manager in combination

You would be considered as an active owner-manager or a senior manager if on a daily basis:

  • You manage the organization, a department, subdivision, or component of the organization; or an essential function within the organization
  • You supervise and control the work of other managers, supervisors or professional employees
  • You have the authority to hire and fire, or recommend these and other personnel actions, such as promotion and leave authorization
  • You exercise discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has the authority.
d. Education

The minimum requirement for education is you must have successfully completed post-secondary education from a licensed institution. Language training courses will not be accepted.

You would need to submit a copy (in English) of your highest level diploma, certificate, degree, or transcripts. For people who completed in an oversea institution, you can acquire an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) to verify that your degree, diploma, or certificate (or other proof of your credential) is valid and equal to a Canadian one. 

If you are unable to meet this then you must have experience as an active business owner-manager with 100% ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years. The ownership of the business may be shared between you, your spouse or common-law partner, and/or your dependent children

e. Language Proficiency

You need to prove that your result scored equal or greater than the benchmark 4 under the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all four competencies: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Your test result must from a designated agency by the IRCC and be valid for 2 years from the date of issuance at the time you apply. 

For English: The IELTS General Training and the CELPIP-General

For French: the TEF

The following list shows the minimum mark in each test to meet the CLB 4:

IELTS General Training: Listening 4.5; Reading 3.5; Writing 4.0; Speaking 4.0.

CELPIP – General: Listening 4; Reading 4; Writing 4; Speaking 4.

TEF: Listening 145; Reading 121; Writing 181; Speaking 181.

3. Business Requirements

a. Eligible Businesses

The specific type of business that you intend to establish in a particular community which you have decided must coordinate with the community’s economic development priorities. The business structure must be clearly defined. A partnership with a local partner is permitted. You have to decide business type and structure before registering because afterward, you will not be able to change or modify your business concept. 

b. Ineligible Businesses

The following types of business are ineligible under the regulations of the BC PNP:

  • An immigration-linked investment scheme pursuant to Provincial Immigration Programs Regulation section 6(e) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) section 87(5)(b) and as defined in IRPR 87(9)
  • Any business where the terms of investment include a redemption option pursuant to IRPR 87(6)(d)
  • Any business that may be a passive investment pursuant to IRPR 87(6)(c)
  • Bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based businesses
  • The payday loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Tanning salons
  • DVD rental stores
  • Coin-operated laundries
  • Automated car wash operations
  • Scrap metal recycling
  • Businesses selling used goods (excluding businesses that provide value-added services such as repairs, refurbishing or recycling)
  • Real estate development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage
  • Businesses involved in producing, distributing or selling pornography or sexually explicit
  • products or services, or providing sexually oriented services
  • Any other type of business that by association would tend to bring the BC PNP or the
  • Government of British Columbia into disrepute.
c. Percent Ownership:

You must own at least 51% of the business that you intend to establish in the B.C. community.

d. Franchises

It would be considered as an eligible business as long as you can prove the proposed franchise is well-established. Your application must include evidence that you have received support from the franchisor to set up and operate a new franchise location.

e. Seasonal Businesses

Unless the proposed business operates for at least eight months per year and meets all other requirements outlined in this guide, the BC PNP will not approve a seasonal business proposal.

4. Minimum Investment Requirements

a. Eligible Personal Investment

You must personally invest at least $100,000 CAD in the proposed business within 610 days (approximately 20 months) of arriving in B.C. on a BC PNP-supported work permit. The eligible personal investment must be derived from your personal net worth and be directed to one business location. The BC PNP will assess the investment’s eligibility depend on the necessity of this investment to the expenditure for the establishment and operation of the new business. 

Acceptable expenditure including:

  • New equipment purchases
  • Leasehold improvements
  • Marketing costs
  • Regular operating expenses such as rent, wages, utilities, etc.
  • Start-up inventory

The following expenses will be eligible with limitations from the BC PNP:

  • Purchase of a business vehicle: You must demonstrate that the vehicle is essential to the business. The maximum investment for this expense is $25,000 CAD.
  • Operating expenses: regular, recurring monthly expenses which are essential to other business operations such as rent, salaries, utilities, advertising, accounting,… For new business, BC PNP only considers a maximum of six months of operating expenses. For the establishment of a new franchise location, the maximum is three months of operating expenses.
  • Inventory: For the establishment of a new business, the BC PNP may consider a reasonable amount of start-up inventory. The reasonableness of the start-up inventory is based on the industry’s standard, type of products, and the size and scope of the proposed business. A maximum of three months of inventory may be considered eligible
b. Ineligible Investments
  • Cash and working capital
  • Wage payments made to yourself and your family members, or other business co-owners
  • Refundable deposits
  • Real estate
  • Purchase of an existing business or business assets
c. Timing of your Investment

Investments are made before you are invited to apply by the BC PNP will not be considered. You should only make the investment after signing the Performance Agreement with the BC PNP and obtain a valid work permit from the IRCC.

d. External Financing

The BC PNP requires that you make the minimum eligible personal investment from your personal funds. However, you may also use external financing from a business partner or financial institutions for investments beyond the minimum requirement.

If external financing is a requirement of business operations, you must identify how you will obtain the financing and how it will be applied in your proposed investment.

5. Job Requirements

a. Minimum Job Creation Requirements

You must create at least one new, permanent full-time equivalent (FTE) job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada in the proposed business within 365 days (12 months) since your arrival date. An FTE job means a position of at least 30 hours per week on average and 1,560 hours per year, worked by one or more employees under continuous employment at the primary place of business and not remote work.

You must also demonstrate that your business will support the long-term employment of Canadians or permanent residents of Canada. Independent contractors will not be considered as part of your job creation requirement – only direct employees of the proposed business will be considered. Any shareholder with 10% ownership or more of the business will not be considered as part of your job creation/maintenance requirement. All job creation and employment in B.C. are regulated by the Employment Standards Act.

b. Determining the Skill Level of Positions

You can use the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system to understand the main job duties and employment requirements. Based on the skill level, the employee’s wage needs to be appropriate with the market rate. 

c. Requirements at Nomination Stage

In a minimum of 180 days (approximately 6 months) prior to the time you submit the final report, you must have met the requirement of FTE jobs creation continuously.


The point table of the EI – Regional Pilot

The highest registration points in your ability will enhance your application amongst many candidates. The BCPNP Online system will automatically assign points based on the information you provide. The BC PNP will verify this information and may adjust your score if necessary. 

The maximum point is 200 and they are separated into two major groups: the self-declared (the maximum point is 140) and the business concept (the maximum point is 60)

Since the beginning of the pilot, BC PNP has recorded the minimum point for the invitation draw is 111 – 118 points.

1. Self-declared:

The self-declared is the applicant’s qualities, including experience and ownership; net worth; total personal investment; jobs; community population; B.C.’s regions; Adaptability.

a. Experience & Ownership 

You will receive points based on your business ownership and/or senior management work experience for the last 5 years. You may not claim senior management experience if you worked at the same business of which you owned more than 10% during the same period of time.

You must indicate the industry sector code(s) based on the three-digit NAICS code and four-digit occupation code(s) from the NOC that best relate to your experience.

You must score at least 8 points to meet the minimum requirements for this section. You can gain an additional 2 points if you have owned 100% of a business for at least three of the most recent five years. The 100% ownership of the business may be shared between you, your spouse or common-law partner, and/or your dependent children.

Business owner-manager experience

  • Less than 12 months: 0 points
  • 12 to 24 months: 7 points
  • 25 to 36 months: 12 points
  • 37 to 48 months: 16 points
  • 49 to 59 months: 19 points
  • 60 months or more: 22 points

Senior manager work experience

  • Less than 24 months: 0 points
  • 25 to 48 months: 4 points
  • 49 to 59 months: 8 points
  • 60 months or more: 12 points

MAXIMUM POINTS: 22 points

b. Personal Net Worth 

You must score at least 2 points in the total personal net worth section.

You will have to provide information on the following:

  • Current assets:
    • Bank deposits (e.g. personal chequing and savings accounts)
    • Liquid investments (e.g. stocks, bonds, term deposits redeemable within one year)
    • Other liquid assets (you must specify)
  • Other assets:
    • Real property (e.g. real estate, personal and commercial property ownership)
    • Business ownership (i.e. current book value of the percent ownership of your
    • business(es))
    • Pension funds and other assets (you must specify)
  • Liabilities:
    • Real property mortgage
    • Other debts (e.g. personal loans, credit card debt)

Total current assets (cash and liquid funds) (Currency: CAD)

  • Less than $10,000: 0 points
  • $10,000 to $49,999: 1 point
  • $50,000 to $199,999: 2 points
  • $200,000 or more: 3 points

Total personal net worth (Currency: CAD)

  • Less than $300,000: 0 points
  • $300,000 to $999,999: 2 points
  • $1,000,000 or more: 3 points

MAXIMUM POINTS: 6 points

c. Total Personal Investment 

You must score at least 6 points to meet the minimum requirement for this section. (Currency: CAD)

  • Less than $100,000: 0 points
  • $100,000 to $349,999: 6 points
  • $350,000 to $599,999: 8 points
  • $600,000 or more: 10 points

MAXIMUM POINTS: 10 points

d. Jobs 

You will receive points based on your proposed full-time equivalent (FTE) job creation. You must score at least 10 points to meet the minimum requirement for this section.

  • Less than 1: 0 points
  • 1 job: 10 points
  • 2 to 4 jobs: 11 points
  • 5 to 7 jobs: 13 points
  • 8 jobs or more: 15 points

MAXIMUM POINTS: 15 points

e. Community Population 

Higher points are awarded for investments proposed in communities with smaller populations. There is no minimum required score for this section.

  • 40,000 – 75,000 residents: 1 point
  • 20,000 – 39,999 residents: 2 points
  • 15,000 – 19,999 residents: 3 points
  • 10,000 – 14,999 residents: 4 points
  • 5,000 – 9,999 residents: 5 points
  • Less than 5,000 residents: 6 points

MAXIMUM POINTS: 6 points

f. B.C.’s Regions 

There is no minimum required score for this section.

  • Score 1 point: Lower Mainland / Southwest (Fraser Valley, Greater Vancouver, Squamish-Lillooet, Sunshine Coast)
  • Score 2 points: Vancouver Island and Coast (Alberni-Clayoquot, Capital, Central Coast, Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Mount Waddington, Nanaimo, Powell River, Strathcona)
  • Score 6 points: Thompson-Okanagan (Central Okanagan, Columbia-Shuswap, North Okanagan, Okanagan-Similkameen, Thompson-Nicola)
  • Score 10 points: Cariboo (Cariboo, Fraser-Fort George), Kootenay (Central Kootenay, East Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary)
  • Score 12 points: Nechako (Bulkley-Nechako), North Coast (Kitimat-Stikine, Skeena-Queen Charlotte), Northeast (Northern Rockies, Peace River)

MAXIMUM POINTS: 12 points

g. Adaptability
1. Language Proficiency

You must score at least 5 points to meet the minimum requirement for this section.

  •  None or minimal, equivalent to CLB 3 and below: 0 points
  • Basic understanding, equivalent to CLB 4: 5 points
  • Intermediate understanding, equivalent to CLB 5: 10 points
  • Intermediate understanding, equivalent to CLB 6: 15 points
  • Advanced to fluent, equivalent to CLB 7 or higher: 23 points
2. Education

If you are invited to apply, you will be required to provide evidence of your education, and you may be required to provide an educational credential assessment. 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% ownership in the last five years.

  • Score 0 points: Secondary school or less
  • Score 6 points: Associate degree, Diploma / certificate (non-trades), Diploma / certificate (trades)
  • Score 14 points: Bachelor’s degree, Post-graduate diploma/certificate, Master’s degree
  • Score 16 points: Doctorate / PhD
3. Age
  • Less than 25 years old: 2 points
  • 25 – 29 years old: 8 points
  • 30 – 44 years old: 16 points
  • 45 – 54 years old: 10 points
  • 55 – 64 years old: 4 points
  • 65 or older: 0 points
4. Canadian Experience

The BC PNP will assign for the following experience obtained in Canada within the last 10 years (Language training such as English as a second language is not considered in this section):

  • Canadian, full-time work experience: You have legally worked in Canada for at least 12 consecutive months in any occupation, which may include the active management of business under your ownership in Canada. During this time, you must have had a valid Canadian work permit to claim this experience
  • Full-time studies in Canada: You have legally studied in Canada under a secondary or post-secondary program for at least 12 consecutive months (including scheduled breaks such as winter and summer breaks and holidays – a minimum of two consecutive semesters). During this time, you must have had a valid Canadian study permit to claim this experience

If you are in one of these two cases then

  • Less than 12 months: 0 points
  • From 12 – 24 months: 4 points
  • More than 24 months: 8 points
5. Family in the Community

The BC PNP will assign 4 points if you have an immediate family member who lives in the community in which you intend to establish your business. The family member must have been living in the community for at least 12 months prior to your registration. Immediate family members include your spouse or common-law partner, mother, father, sister(s), brother(s), child(ren), mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister(s)-in-law, and brother(s)-inlaw. You will be required to provide evidence of their residence in the community at the application stage.

MAXIMUM POINTS FOR ADAPTABILITY: 67 points

 

2. Business concept:

Business concept points are rewarded toward commercial viability; Transferability of Skills and Economic Benefits.

a. Commercial Viability
1. Business model

You must describe how your proposed business will generate revenue and profit, and how the business will have the potential for sustained commercial success under your management.

  • Unsatisfactory / Unclear: 1 point
    • The business model does not clearly identify and/or describe the business operation from start to finish
    • The business model does not clearly identify the products and/or services being offered
    • The proposed scale of business is not consistent with industry/regional norms
    • The business concept does not provide details of the applicant’s proposed role
    • The business concept does not provide substantive information on a local business partner (if applicable)
    • The business concept is materially inconsistent with the community referral
  • Fair / Good: 8 points
    • The business model is clearly identified and describes the business operation from start to finish
    • The business model clearly identifies the products and/or services being offered
    • The proposed scale of business is consistent with industry/regional norms
    • The business concept provides substantive information on a local business partner (if applicable)
    • The business concept is materially consistent with the community referral
  • Excellent: 12 points
    • The proposed investment and the jobs plan are consistent with the business model (must score 8 points for assessment of investment and score 10 points for jobs assessment)
    • The business model identifies a clear strategy to become commercially viable
    • The business model’s operational plan is internally consistent
    • The applicant’s proposed duties with the business are consistent with the applicant’s experience

Maximum Score Available 12 points

2. Market and products/services

You must provide an effective market entry strategy to show how your proposed business will be successful in British Columbia and demonstrate the types of products and/or services that will be offered (the uniqueness of the product(s) and/or service(s))

Based on these 4 factors, you must at least demonstrate that you meet one of them to gain the maximum 4 points:

  • Competitive edge: the product/service offers a distinction from its potential competitors. If local competitors offer the same or similar product/service, then it does not offer substantive distinction.
  • High-value: the proposed product/service will be a specialized product/service that is differentiated from generic, mid to low-value products/services.
  • New product/service: the product/service is “new to the market” or “new to the world”. The business concept should demonstrate that the product/service is not locally available.
  • Competitive analysis/market entry strategy: business concept provides a competitive analysis that identifies current/potential competitors, how to make the product/service unique or distinguishable, how to attract the target market, strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors, and how the proposed business’s competitive advantage and how it will effectively enter the market.

If you can not qualify for any factors then you can only obtain 1 point.

3. Eligible personal investment

You must score at least 1 point to meet the minimum requirement for this section 

(Currency CAD)

  • Less than $100,000: 0 points
  • $100,000 to $299,999: 1 point
  • $300,000 to $499,999: 2 points
  • $500,000 to $799,999: 3 points
  • $800,000 or more: 4 points

Maximum Score Available 4 points

4. Assessment of proposed personal investment

You must describe your proposed investments. Your proposed personal investment will be considered against the expenditure is deemed essential to establish and operate a new business; the type and scope of the proposed business; the market; the products/services; the business model; and the industry and/or local standards. The BC PNP will assess your proposed investments based on the following criteria:

  • Unsubstantiated (0 points): the proposed investments are not substantiated, or appear overstated and/or unreasonable based on the type and scale of the business.
  • Substantiated (5 points): the investment appears to correspond to the type and scale of the business given the information provided.
  • Well-substantiated and researched (8 points): the proposed investments are detailed and substantiated in the business concept, which demonstrates that the registrant has conducted a significant amount of due diligence. The investment appears to correspond to the type and scale of the business as well as the market, the proposed products and/or services, the business model, and the industry standard.
5. Ownership percentage

You must score at least 1 point to meet the minimum requirement for this section.

  • 100% ownership: 2 points
  • Between 51% and 99.99%: 1 point
  • Less than 51%: 0 points
b. Transferability of Skills 

You will receive points based on your direct experience and/or experience in related industries for the last 60 months (5 years).

  • Direct experience is defined as experience gained in the same industry and sector corresponding to the first three digits of the proposed NAICS code.
  • Related experience is defined as experience gained in a similar industry operating in a related business line as the proposed business based on the proposed NAICS code
1. Business owner-manager experience only
  • Less than 12 months: 0 points
  • 12 to 35 months (related experience): 2 points
  • 12 to 35 months (direct experience): 5 points
  • 36 to 59 months (related experience): 6 points
  • 36 to 59 months (direct experience): 10 points
  • 60 months (related experience): 12 points
  • 60 months (direct experience): 15 points
2. Senior manager work experience only
  • Less than 12 months: 0 points
  • 12 to 35 months (related experience): 1 point
  • 12 to 35 months (direct experience): 4 points
  • 36 to 59 months (related experience): 5 points
  • 36 to 59 months (direct experience): 6 points
  • 60 months (related experience): 8 points
  • 60 months (direct experience): 10 points
c. Economic Benefits
1. Significant economic benefits

You must substantiate that your proposed business will provide at least one of the following significant economic benefits to gain 5 points:

  • Adopting new technology: the new technology must not already be in regular use in similar businesses
  • 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
  • Indigenous 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 and/or Indigenous peoples
  • Providing products or services to an under-served local or regional market
  • Transferring technology and specialized knowledge to B.C.: facilitates and/or supports the high technology industry, and/or provides opportunities to develop technology products/services in B.C
2. Jobs assessment

The BC PNP will assess your job plan based on the type and scope of the proposed business, the market, the proposed products and/or services, the business model, and the industry standard. You must score at least 1 point to meet the minimum requirement for this section.

The jobs assessment is based on the following criteria:

  • It does not support minimum eligibility criteria (0 points): the job plan provides insufficient or incomplete information where the BC PNP cannot determine whether the business concept supports the creation of the minimum FTE requirement. Or, the job plan only proposes the creation of occupations that are typically contracted out or do not meet the minimum of 30 hours per week (or 1,560 hours per year).
  • Unsubstantiated (1 point): the proposed job creation plan is not substantiated, or appears overstated and/or unreasonable based on the type and scale of the business and/or industry norms.
  • Substantiated (10 points): the job plan appears consistent with the business model and corresponds to the type and scale of the business. Satisfactory information provided

How to apply

Before getting started the first step, you should make sure that you are capable to meet all the requirements at the time you register online. Your eligible employer also needs to be ready to support your submission.

The whole procedure will have 6 stages :

Stage 1: Preparation

1. Research the community and its business needs

An eligible community must have a population under 75,000 and must be located 30 kilometers away from a city with more than 75,000 residents. The community would also need to have a network of settlement and business agencies to offer the newcomer business. You can look through a list of more than 60 approved communities on the list at the end of this article. In each community description, there is basic information about the contact line, population, geographic location, economic priorities, and useful community-based websites. 

2. Exploratory visit

Use the specific contact address which is provided in the Community profile to arranging an exploratory visit in your preferred community. You can not obtain a referral from any community without an exploratory visit in advance. The community would instruction you more about its conditions and processes once you contact them. During your exploratory visit, you must meet with the designated community contact person to discuss your business proposal, including your suitability. You are encouraged to develop a preliminary investment breakdown, a job creation plan, and gather additional information on how to establish a commercially viable business under your management. For a better result from the visit, you can arrange your time to do other things like conduct market research, networking with local businesses and economic development officers, research about living and doing business in order for future settlement,…

The BC PNP and participating communities will not provide a letter of support for you to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa to conduct an exploratory visit to B.C. In case you need to obtain a visitor visa, you must apply online or to a Canadian visa office.

3. Community referral

If you don’t have a referral from the supporting community, you can not be eligible to register the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot. You may be required to meet any conditions or requirements set by the community in order to obtain a referral. If the designated community contact person determines you are a suitable candidate, he or she will fill out a referral form and provide a copy to you and to the BC PNP.  A referral is valid for 90 days from the date of issue.

You must upload a copy of your valid referral form when you submit your online registration. If you do not upload your valid referral form in your registration, your registration will be disqualified.

Stage 2: Registration

1. Submit

The BC PNP will accept a maximum of 200 registrations per month. Registrations are typically scored within four weeks of submission.

In order to register, you must create a profile with BCPNP Online. This includes your personal email and home address, telephone number and passport information as well as security questions and passwords. You will receive an email from the BC PNP asking you to confirm your email address and password. You are responsible for updating your contact information in your profile and ensuring that it is current and up to date. The BC PNP requires that the email address in your BCPNP Online Profile be your personal email address. This is to ensure you receive all correspondence relevant to your file.

When you select the EI – Regional Pilot, you will be directed to My Dashboard, where you can complete your registration. You are able to copy and paste from another program into text fields. Tables requiring numbers will automatically calculate totals. The system will save your information when you click on any tab and when you click the Next or Previous buttons.

Before you can submit your registration, you must upload clear scanned copies of the required documents.

You can withdraw your registration through My Dashboard.

When you select Submit this registration form, the system will calculate your section scores, based on the information you provided. The business concept section will be scored separately by the BC PNP within four weeks. If you do not meet the minimum eligibility score, you will be directed to My Dashboard. Any sections where you did not meet the minimum score or sections where there was an error will be highlighted in red. You may return to the section and correct any errors. If your scores in each section meet the minimum eligibility scores, you will be directed to the electronic payment system. Once you have paid the fee and submitted your registration, you will not able to make changes or modify any information in your registration. 

The BC PNP may request additional information to verify the contents of your registration/application or to provide you with an opportunity to respond to concerns with your registration/application.

For registrations, you will be asked to provide details of the following:

  • Description of the business model and its operations: what will the business do and how will it do it?
  • Description of the types of goods and/or services the business will provide
  • Your proposed job title and duties, and how your qualifications relate to the proposed business
  • Description of how your business will be commercially viable: what is your market entry strategy?
  • Description and rationale for your staffing requirements

Do not include general market research or statistics in your business concept.

In the business concept section, you will be also required to indicate whether you are proposing any of the following:

  • Franchise business: If you are proposing to establish a new franchise location, you must provide details on the franchisor. In addition, you must identify any franchisor conditions or restrictions on approving you as a franchisee, and describe the franchisor’s response to your request for a proposed new location. 
  • Partnership with local partner(s): If you are proposing to partner with a local business person, you must provide a rationale for the business partnership and describe your business relationship with each partner. You must identify the partner(s), their proposed ownership percentage, whether the local partner(s) will make any investment into the business, and what role, if any, the partner(s) will have in the business
2. After submit

After you complete your registration, please ensure that you have received a confirmation email that includes your BC PNP registration number. If you do not receive this email, check your spam or junk folders. If you still could not find any email within 24 hours, please email the BC PNP at [email protected] for further instructions. 

If you are invited, you will receive a notification via the registered email with some important information for your application:

  • Instructions on how to complete an EI – Regional Pilot application 
  • List of authorized accounting firms for the verification of your net worth 
  • Timelines for application submission

The number of invitation in each draw will depend on the BC PNP processing capacity and the annual number of nomination which is allocated to the program.

Once you have received an invitation, your registration will be removed from the selection pool but your profile will still remain active. In case you accidentally select the “decline” button in My Dashboard, your invitation to apply will be declined and your registration and invitation will be canceled. You would need to submit a new registration. However, re-registration does not mean you will receive another invitation. 

Stage 3: Application

After receiving the invitation to apply, you will have up to 120 days (approximately four months) from the date of invitation to submit a complete application. This allows you time to finalize your business plan and obtain a verification report of your net worth from a BC PNP-authorized accounting firm based on the list the BC PNP had provided in your email notification. In your application, mandatory documents are a verification report of your net worth, all supporting documents, and a comprehensive business plan. Your application must be submitted through My Dashboard (refer to your Invitation to Apply and My Dashboard for instructions). A maximum of 50 attachments can be uploaded to your application and the maximum size for each attachment is 3MB.

You should arrange the service, enter an agreement with the authorized accounting firm as soon as possible. You would need to provide the accounting firm with these documents:

  • A completed IRCC Schedule 4A Personal Net Worth form
  • Section J – Accumulation of Wealth Narrative from the Schedule 4A form
  • All supporting documentation identified in the Entrepreneur Immigration Application Guide available on the BC PNP website

You are responsible to provide a complete account of your personal net worth and source of

funds. To complete the report, you should cooperate with the firm in case they request additional information. The net worth verification report is valid for one year from the date of issuance by the supplier.

The cost of obtaining a verification report will depend on which authorized accounting firm you choose, and the extent and complexity of your net worth. The amount of time it takes to evaluate your financial documentation and prepare a verification report will vary. However, the authorized accounting firm may take up to 60 days to complete a verification report.

Your business plan must demonstrate: 

  • The proposed business is consistent with your registration business concept 
  • Potential for commercial viability under your ownership, including a market entry strategy to show how your proposed business will be successful in British Columbia.

The BC PNP may refuse your application if the information in your application is different from what you submitted in your registration.

After a review of your application, the BC PNP may either offer you an opportunity to respond to any concerns regarding your application or contact you to attend an in-person interview at the Vancouver office.  In the interview, you will be expected to describe your business/work experience, answer in-depth questions about your application and address any concerns that are raised. Interviews are conducted in English only but if you want, you can use the service of a certified court interpreter. You must submit a Use of an Interpreter form a minimum of ten days prior to your scheduled interview.

The interview invitation email may be used in support of you if you require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to attend the interview.

If your application is approved, you will be required to sign a Performance Agreement with the Province of British Columbia. The Performance Agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions you must meet for nomination.

You can withdraw your application by contacting the BC PNP via email [email protected]

Stage 4: Business establishment period

After signing a Performance Agreement, the BC PNP will issue you a letter of confirmation or in other words, a work permit support letter. This will allow you to apply to IRCC for a two-year work permit. With this, you and your dependents can be able to move to B.C. so you can start implementing your business plan. Your spouse or common-law partner will be eligible to apply for an open work permit, and your dependent child(ren) will be eligible for study permits to attend elementary or secondary school (if applicable). 

You are required to include proof that $200,000 CAD (or $400,000 CAD if a key staff has been approved as part of your application) has been transferred to a bank account in B.C. to make the minimum eligible personal investment in the business. The letter of confirmation is valid for 90 days (approximately three months). You must arrive in B.C. with your valid work permit within 365 days (12 months) from the date of your letter of confirmation or else your BC PNP application will be closed with no further support from the province. 

Arrival Report

Within 60 days of arriving in B.C. with your valid work permit, you must submit an Arrival report to the BC PNP through My Dashboard. Separate arrival reports are to be completed by both the principal applicant and the key staff. Supporting documentation of the report includes a photocopy of work permit, proof of funds documentation, photocopies of dependent’s work permit or study permit.

You should contact the designated person from the community to discuss your progress in establishing your business and settlement issues. Since the date of your arrival, you will have up to 610 days (roughly 20 months). You are not permitted to vary any terms of the Performance Agreement without obtaining approval in writing from the BC PNP. 

Stage 5: Nomination

In order to be approved for the nomination, you submit a final report to the BC PNP.

Final report

The final report is the form and supporting documents that you must submit in order to apply for nomination. Your final report must be submitted through My Dashboard.

In your final report, it is your responsibility to demonstrate that you have met the terms and conditions described in your signed Performance Agreement. The BC PNP will review and evaluate your final report, and may at its discretion, request additional information and/or conduct a site visit at your B.C. business in order to assess eligibility for nomination. If you fail to meet the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement during the mandatory timeframes, your application may be refused at the nomination stage and your file will be closed. After assessing the final report, The BC PNP may support your work permit extension too.

Nomination

If you are nominated, the BC PNP will issue you a confirmation of nomination as a provincial nominee. The nomination will allow you and your eligible dependent family members to apply for permanent residence to IRCC under the Provincial Nominee Class. 

The date you submit your registration to the BC PNP will be considered as the age lock-in date of your dependent children. You need to make sure that at that time, your children are under 22 years old and have no spouse or common-law partner. If they are over 22 years old, they need to prove that they have depended on you for financial support even before the age of 22 and they have a mental or physical disability which prevents them from financially independent. 

You will receive the conditions of nomination, which outline the conditions you must continue to meet while your application for permanent residence is in process. The conditions include:

Immigration status and admissibility:

  • You are not prohibited from entering Canada
  • You are not under a removal order in or outside of Canada
  • Not working in Canada for any employer without authorization

Business and work authorization:

  • Continue to meet the conditions outlined in the signed Performance Agreement, including the agreed-upon nature of business operations, business location, ownership percentage, job creation (and maintenance), investment, location of residence, as well as your ongoing and active management of the business;
  • Operate the business in a manner consistent with any required permit, license, approval or
  • other legal or regulatory requirements;
  • Maintain legal authorization to work in Canada, or if the status has expired, be able to demonstrate that an application for restoration of status within the 90-day eligibility period has been submitted; 
  • Comply with the requirements of Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations section 87, and Provincial Immigration Programs Regulation subsection 6(g).

If you have these faults, the BC PNP will withdraw your nomination:

  • Violated conditions of nomination
  • Failed to inform the BC PNP of a material change
  • Obstructed or interfered with an inspection
  • Retained a paid representative who is not qualified under the Act
  • Provided false or misleading information

If your application is approved, you will receive a nomination to apply to IRCC for permanent residence. You have 180 days (approximately 6 months) from the date on your confirmation of nomination to apply to IRCC for a permanent resident visa. IRCC will assess your application and make the final decision on your visa. IRCC will assess that you meet the security and admissibility to be issued permanent residence to Canada, including medical and security checks. 

IRCC may review additional information related to your application and ensure you continue to meet the conditions of your performance agreement such as continuing to actively manage your business.

Throughout the BC PNP and the permanent residence application process, in case your work permit is due to expire within 120 days (approximately 4 months) but you can still maintain your legal resident status in Canada and continue to meet the conditions of your nomination, you must contact the BC PNP to request a support letter to extend your work permit. The BC PNP may request evidence to confirm you continue to meet the Conditions of Nomination. 

Any changes to your circumstance must be notified to the BC PNP, such as:

  • Change in business operations
  • Change in business location
  • Change in the residential address
  • Change in marital status or number of dependants
  • Change in immigration status
  • Refusal of a Work Permit and/or refusal of a Temporary Resident Visa

Contact information of the BC PNP:

Website: https://www.welcomebc.ca/Immigrate-to-B-C

General information: (604) 775-2227

Email: [email protected]

Stage 6: Permanent Residence Application

The IRCC has Application package for Provincial Nominees in the link below with all the necessary documents that you need to prepare:

You should take in the notices for the documents as well:

  • Do not staple your application package together
  • Do not separate sections with plastic page protectors, binders or envelopes 
  • Do remove transcripts from envelopes (if applicable)
  • You and your spouse, if applicable, must both sign the application form

Extension of Nomination

You can request the BC PNP to extend your nomination to submit a new, correct application for permanent residence if your application has been returned by IRCC because it was incomplete and was submitted before the expiry of the BC PNP nomination. 

You need to provide the following information to the email address [email protected]:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth (DD/MMM/YYYY) e.g. 01 JAN 1981
  • Your provincial nominee file number
  • State in the subject line that you are asking for an Extension of Nomination
  • Provide a copy of the R10 letter from IRCC which states that your application was returned to you
  • Provide confirmation from IRCC that you submitted your permanent residence application before the date of expiry on the BC PNP nomination

When you apply to become a permanent residence, you and your family members must include police certificates, plus the medical examination. To avoid delay, you should start to acquire your police certificate immediately and submit your application even if the police certificate has not been issued. When you send it to the IRCC after that, quote your full name, date of birth and EP + “Filename”. For the medical examination, only schedule to get the examination once you have received the instructions and IRCC request to do so. 

Send your application using regular mail to the following address:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Provincial Nominee Program

Centralized Intake Office

P.O. BOX 1450 Sydney, NS B1P 6K5

Canada

If you use courier mail then send to this address:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Provincial Nominee Program

Centralized Intake Office

49 Dorchester Street

Sydney, NS B1P 5Z2

Canada


Must-have documents

Registration:

  • Your valid referral form
  • Your valid language test result *
  • Biographical page (and signature page) of your current passport *
  • Current photograph *
  • Use of a representative form, if applicable *

Valid language test result: Submit a clear, scanned copy of the IELTS test results form, the

CELPIP official score report or TEF as a PDF file. Note that the BC PNP may request an original copy of the test results if needed.

Biographical page of passport: You must provide a clear, scanned copy of the biographical

page of your current passport, as a PDF file. The biographical page is the page in the passport with the name, photo, passport/travel document number, issue date, expiration date, and signature.

Current photograph: You must provide one passport-style photograph taken within the last

six months. Please attach the photograph as a PDF or JPG file.  Spouses/common-law partners and dependants do not need to submit photographs. A guarantor is not required.

Use of a representative form: if you are using the services of an immigration

representative, you must upload a scanned copy of the use of a representative form available on our website. The form must be current and signed by both you and the representative within six months before you submit your registration. Non-English documents must be translated by a certified translation with photocopies of the originals. Documents must be stamped and certified by a person officially authorized to notarize documents as accurate translations

In the best scenario where you would be invited to apply for the permanent residency, you can use the checklist in the IRCC’s provincial nominees package in the link we provide below

Some forms from the IRCC would require you to open it using the latest version of Adobe Reader. If you couldn’t see in on your internet browser, you just need to download it and open on your computer with the latest version of Adobe Reader.


Cost

A non-refundable registration fee of $300 CAD will be charged at the time of registration submission. If you are invited to apply by the BC PNP, you must pay a $3,500 CAD non-refundable processing fee. 

On the occasion that you are invited to apply for permanent residency, you would need to pay these fees:

  • Processing fee for you/your spouse or partner: $550 CAD 
  • Right of permanent residence fee: $490 CAD
  • Dependent Child: $150 CAD
  • Biometric fees: $85 CAD/person and $170 CAD for a family from 2 person

To pay your fees for your permanent residence application you’ll need a valid email address; access to a printer (you’ll need to print the receipt), and a credit card or Canadian debit card.

Visit the link below and follow these instructions to pay:

  • Go to Online Payment.
  • Follow the online instructions.
  • In the end, click on the print button to print the IRCC official receipt with a barcode. Print two copies.
  • Attach a copy of this receipt to your completed application.
  • Keep the second copy of the receipt for your records.

Other fees (e.g. the authorized accounting firm fee for the verification report, for interpreters, translating, medical examination,…) will be vary depending on your situation. 


After you apply

An applicant may only submit a request to review a decision issued by the BC PNP (not decisions issued by IRCC). The review process is limited to the following types of BC PNP decisions:

  • Entrepreneur Immigration registration disqualifications
  • Entrepreneur Immigration – stage 1 – application refusals
  • Entrepreneur Immigration – stage 2 – nomination refusals (not nomination withdrawal by the BC PNP)

All requests for a review of a decision must be made within 30 calendar days of the date of the decision notice if the applicant is a resident in Canada or 60 calendar days of the date of the decision notice if the applicant is not a resident in Canada.

You must submit your written review request on the BCPNP online. The reasons for the request must be declared clearly in the review request and you should provide any information the BC PNP requires you. The review fee is $200 CAD and non-refundable.

The average processing time of categories in the BC PNP Skills Immigration Program is around 2 – 3 months. The permanent residence is a paper procedure so it would normally take approximately 14 – 18 months.


List of informative websites for your post-arrival period

It is your responsibility to learn, understand and comply with all laws and regulations as a business owner in B.C. and Canada. You can start learning and research to figure out carefully what you should do to settle your life and building the business with this list of websites from B.C. agencies: 

1. Starting Up and Registering a Business

Trade and Invest in BC

Information for companies to invest in British Columbia, and for B.C. companies to export products. We highly recommend you refer to the Doing Business in British Columbia guide.

BC Business Resources

Valuable resources for business owners and investors.

Starting a Small Business

Information on starting a small business in British Columbia. The “Starting a Small business” guide is available in multiple languages.

Small Business BC

Seminars, resources, registration services, and various guides and publications.

Canada Business Network

Assistance through an organized network of service centers across Canada. There is a center in each province and territory.

Community Futures BC

supporting local, community-based economic development by offering business support services, business planning advice, loans, and self-employment assistance.

OneStop BC Business Registry

A public sector partnership where you can do the most commonly required business registrations and transactions, including business naming, tax and WorkSafeBC registration, incorporating and licensing. The business registration service enables a business to register with multiple public sector agencies and local government in one step.

Corporations Canada

Creating and operating a business corporation. Electronic filing available.

Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)

Detailed information, databases and application forms for trademarks, patents, copyright, and industrial designs.

BizPal

BizPaL is a B.C. government-operated service that provides simplified access to information about business permits and licenses you may require when starting or operating your business.

Workers’ Compensation Board (WorkSafeBC)

When work-related injuries or diseases occur, WorkSafeBC provides compensation and support to people in their recovery, rehabilitation, and safe return to work. Most business operations in B.C. are required to have accident compensation coverage.

Employers’ Advisers Office

Government-operated and independent advice, assistance, representation and education to employers related to the workers’ compensation system.

2. Taxation and Employment

Canada Revenue Agency

Information regarding federal business taxes, GST/HST, and payroll. Online services to register, file and pay taxes, view and change information, and calculate deductions.

eTaxBC

Online system to pay your provincial taxes and file your returns.

WorkBC Employer Resources

Information and resources for employers on business growth, staff training, how to access funding, and how to secure talent with the job board’s free job postings.

BC Employment Standards Branch

The Employment Standards Branch administers the Employment Standards Act and Regulation, which set minimum standards for wages and working conditions in most workplaces. Both the Employment Standards Act and the Canada Labour Code set out a minimum standard for employment and workplace safety that employers and employees must follow.

BC Employment Standards Branch Factsheets

Simple factsheets on a number of topics from the Employment Standards Act, available in multiple languages. Highly recommended.

Federal Labour Standards

Service Canada – HR Management for Employers

Information and resources regarding government programs for employers, as well as the hiring, training, managing, and departure of employees.

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Information and resources for organizations and businesses.

3. Importing / Exporting

Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

Contact a trade commissioner, connect with international contacts, get exporting assistance, read sector and country information, and find upcoming trade events.

Canada Border Services Agency – Facilitating Trade

CBSA’s information on trade including customs tariffs, initiatives, and regulations, trade facilitation programs, and international trade agreements and partnerships.

Global Affairs Canada

Find information and resources about exports and imports of controlled products and Canada’s trade negotiations and agreements. Get notices to importers and exporters, access export and import control systems.

Import/Export Guide

Information and resources are available to help you navigate the world of international trade.

Export Development Corporation

Export Development Canada provides Canadian exporters with financing, insurance, and bonding services, as well as foreign market expertise. Various insurance programs for exporters to minimize possible risks.

Importing a Motor Vehicle

Detailed information about how to import a motor vehicle into Canada.

4. Settlement and Immigrant Services

Pre-Arrival Services

Get help before arriving in Canada with online and in-person services that you and your family can access as soon as you are selected to immigrate to Canada. These services are provided free of charge by settlement service providers while you are still overseas.

Settlement Services

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) free, interactive map will help you search for immigrant services in your area.

Medical Services Plan (MSP) and PharmaCare

MSP insures medically-required services provided by physicians and supplementary health care practitioners, and diagnostic procedures. BC PharmaCare helps B.C. residents with the cost of eligible prescription drugs, and certain medical supplies and pharmacy services.

BC Health Guide

The BC HealthGuide Program provides reliable health information and online advice and contains useful links to medically-approved resources that can be used to help you stay healthy and work with your doctor and other health professionals to manage your health concerns.

WelcomeBC

WelcomeBC.ca can help you find the information, tools, and resources you and your family need to get settled and join your community, as well as links to useful resources for community leaders and service providers as they help new members of their communities. The B.C. Newcomers’ Guide contains information on school registration, healthcare, banking, drivers licensing and other common issues, and is available in 11 languages. There are also local editions, specific to 26 towns and cities in B.C.


List of qualified communities

1. Cariboo

2. Kootenay

3. Mainland/Southwest

4. Nechako

5. North Coast

6. Northeast

7. Thompson-Okanagan

8. Vancouver Island/Coast

 



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