The British Columbia (B.C.) Business Immigration Program is designed for seasoned entrepreneurs who are looking to establish new ventures or take over and expand existing businesses. The investment environment in B.C. offers a plethora of opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs in sectors such as agrifoods, forestry, mining, natural gas, technology, tourism, and transportation.
The province is grappling with the demographic challenge of an aging population. Many business owners in B.C. are contemplating retirement and are in search of entrepreneurs to acquire their businesses. The Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category provides a pathway for foreign entrepreneurs to buy and enhance existing businesses in B.C., thereby securing permanent residence.
B.C. selects the top-ranked investors with the most economically viable business ideas from the pool using a points-based online system. Candidates can then secure a two-year work permit to operate a business in B.C., after which they are nominated for Canadian Permanent Residence.
Eligibility requirements for prospective immigrants (business owners) include a net worth of CAD 600,000, 3+ years of business or 4+ years of managerial experience, or 1 year of business and 2 years of management experience within the last 10 years. Language ability should be at the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 level. There is no age restriction.
A Business Proposal should include an investment of CAD $200,000, at least one-third (33.33%) ownership/control, and a business plan. The business should be located in British Columbia at all times. There are certain types of businesses that are ineligible.
The process/stages include expression of interest (EOI), exploratory visit, interview, performance agreement, work permit, business establishment, job creation, residency, active management, nomination for PR, and monitoring after nomination.
The BC PNP will accept a maximum of 200 registrations per month. There are certain minimum eligibility requirements for an entrepreneur and proposed business to start business immigration. Investors are scored under 9 criteria and can gain a maximum of 200 points.
Entrepreneurs that meet the total minimum points in every section will register in the qualified pool where they can stay for approximately (six) 6 months (180 days). Periodically, the BC PNP will invite the highest-scoring registrants to apply. If not invited within that timeframe, they must re-register.
Overall, it may take around two (2) years to immigrate as an investor to British Columbia through establishing and operating a business there.