The BC Entrepreneur Program provides an opportunity for qualified individuals and families to move to the Canadian Province of British Columbia and operate their own small business.
The program is part of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) and is best suited for experienced business owners and managers who have the financial ability and knowledge to create or improve a Canadian business.
The program's objective is to stimulate economic growth and create jobs in British Columbia. Immigrant entrepreneurs who are selected to participate in the program are given a two-year work permit. While that permit is in effect, an entrepreneur must actively manage his or her business for at least 18 months. Participants who successfully complete all BC business immigration requirements will become provincial nominees, making them and their family members eligible for expedited permanent residence in Canada. It is expected, but not required, that provincial nominees will continue to operate their business while living in British Columbia.
BC Entrepreneur Program 2018
To participate in the British Columbia Investor Program, an entrepreneur must be able to invest at least CAD $200,000 in a new business or, in some instances, an existing business that the applicant plans to improve. The business must create at least one new job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. The registrant must live near the business and manage the business on a daily basis.
Prospective immigrants who wish to be considered for the BC Investor Program should follow these steps, all of which are explained in greater detail below.
British Columbia Investment Immigration Steps:
Determine whether the Entrepreneur Program's eligibility requirements can be met
Submit an online registration (also known as a pre-application)
Wait for an invitation to apply after the pre-application has been scored
Within four months of receipt of an official invitation, submit an online application to the BCPNP that includes a comprehensive business plan
Cooperate with the assessment process, including an in-person interview
If investor immigration application is approved, sign a performance agreement and obtain a work permit
Establish residence in British Columbia within 100 km of the business
Establish and manage the business in British Columbia for 18 to 20 months
Submit a final report
Await confirmation of nomination as a provincial nominee
Apply for permanent residence (including eligible family members)
Obtain permanent residence visas
Not every person who registers for the BC Entrepreneur Program is invited to apply. It often helps to have legal advice and other professional assistance to present information in a way that will maximize your applicant score. The BCPNP assigns a score to every British Columbia business immigration registration. Points are assigned to registrants based on a number of factors. Eligible entrepreneurs who have the highest scores are invited to apply. It is therefore important to understand the scoring factors when deciding whether to register. Prospective applicants may also be able to improve their score by taking certain steps before registering.
BC Investor Immigration Eligibility
To be eligible for business immigration to British Columbia, registrants must meet three conditions.
be eligible to live and work in Canada
meet personal net worth requirements
have experience managing or operating a business
Each eligibility requirement is important. Unless each one is satisfied, the BC PNP will not invite the registrant to apply for the Investor Program. Entrepreneurs should therefore be certain they can meet all three qualifications before registering.
Eligibility requirements to live in Canada also apply to the entrepreneur's spouse and dependent family members if they will also be seeking a visa pursuant to the Entrepreneur Immigration Program. For eligibility purposes, a spouse includes a common-law partner. Entrepreneurs who are unsure whether or not their unmarried partner would qualify as a common-law partner should seek legal advice. In some cases, an immigrant entrepreneur can also obtain a Canadian Work Visa for a key staff member. The requirements to bring a key staff member to the province are discussed in more detail below.
Canadian Immigration Eligibility
To be eligible for the Immigrant Investor Program, an entrepreneur must be a citizen or legal resident of the country where he or she presently resides. In addition, the entrepreneur must be qualified to enter and work in Canada.
A number of factors might prevent an entrepreneur from living or working in British Columbia. An applicant is likely to be disqualified in the following situations.
Disqualifying Factors for Entrepreneurs:
lived in Canada illegally at any time
was ever subject to a removal order from Canada
has an unresolved refugee claim in Canada
engaged in terrorism or committed an act of terrorism
committed a war crime or a crime against humanity
engaged in espionage against Canada
attempted to subvert a democratic government
poses a security