Business Investment Program - British Columbia

Business Investment Program - British Columbia

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) is a way for international entrepreneurs wishing to immigrate to British Columbia (B.C.) to set up businesses that support innovation and economic growth in the province. Entrepreneur Immigration is a “temporary to permanent” immigration pathway. That means that if you are approved, you will initially come to B.C. as a temporary resident, and then apply to stay permanently once you have successfully started a business.

Streams for entrepreneurs:

  • Base Stream
  • Regional Pilot
  • Strategic Projects

Base Stream: Eligibility Criterias

Personal requirements
  • Personal net worth of at least CAD 600,000
  • Business and/or management experience; if no business experience, must have the equivalent of a 2-year post-secondary diploma
  • Basic English or French language skill equal to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 or higher
  • Have been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently live
  • Have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada
Business, job and investment requirements
  • Establish an eligible new business or buy and improve an existing business
  • Make an eligible personal investment of at least CAD$200,000 in the business
  • Create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • $300 registration fee
  • $3,500 application fee

    1.Prepare a business proposal

    2.Register your proposal with the BC PNP

    3.Get a work permit

    4.Build your business

    5.BC PNP nomination

    6.Permanent Residence

Regional Pilot: Eligibility Criterias


The EI - Regional Pilot is designed for foreign entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a new business in a smaller community. If you want to settle in one that is not participating in the EI Regional Pilot, or purchase an existing business, you are not eligible for this stream. Before considering the EI Regional Pilot, become familiar with the program criteria and check your eligibility. To qualify, you must:

  • establish an eligible new business aligned with the priorities of the referring community
  • show business and/or management experience
  • have a personal net worth of at least CAD 300,000
  • make an eligible personal investment of at least CAD 100,000 in the business
  • create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • demonstrate a minimum language proficiency of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada
  • have been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently live

Strategic Projects: Eligibility Criterias

The Strategic Projects stream is for foreign corporations who have identified strategic investment opportunities in B.C. to establish operations that are integral to the growth and expansion of their core business. This stream enables foreign corporations to permanently transfer key staff with the corporate knowledge and expertise to B.C. The foreign corporation may apply for provincial nomination to support the permanent residence of up to five of its current senior employees. These employees will actively manage the B.C. operation.

Is my company eligible?

To be eligible, the foreign corporation must meet the following requirements:

  • be well-established and in good financial standing
  • demonstrate investment readiness and capacity for international expansion into B.C
  • provide significant economic benefit to the province by making a high value investment in B.C
Are the key staff members eligible?

To be eligible as key staff, the individual(s) must meet the following requirements:

  • be current senior employees of the foreign corporation who have the qualifications and experience that are essential to establish and operate the business in B.C
  • is being appointed to an executive or senior managerial position, or has specialized knowledge essential to the proposed B.C. operation
  • will be employed in a permanent full-time capacity at the B.C. operation
  • is offered a wage commensurate with his/her expertise and consistent with industry and corporate compensation structures
What are the requirements?

The foreign corporation must:

  • make a minimum equity investment of at least $500,000 directed toward the corporation’s operations in B.C
  • establish new or purchase and expand an eligible business in B.C
  • create at least three new full-time equivalent jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for each foreign key staff member proposed (to a maximum of five key staff)

Application Process

Step 1: Make an exploratory visit to B.C

They encourage senior executives representing the company to visit B.C. to explore and learn more about opportunities and the local business environment.

Step 2: Discuss your proposal

Before applying to the Strategic Projects stream, the company must first contact the BC PNP to discuss the business proposal.

Step 3: Register

The company must register expressing the company’s interest to apply. There is a registration processing fee of $300. As part of the registration, the company will be asked to provide the following:

  • Company details
  • Proposed investment in B.C
  • Proposed key staff qualifications
Step 4: Invitation to apply

Government will review the registration and determine if the foreign corporation is eligible to apply. If invited to apply, the company must submit a full application within 90 days. The invitation to apply will expire after 90 days; the corporation may choose to submit a new registration.

Step 5: Applying to the BC PNP

The company must submit all the required forms as a single complete application package including key staff forms and other supporting documentation. The application processing fee is $3,500 for the company and an additional $1,000 for each key staff proposed. Government will review the application for completeness. We may ask the foreign corporation clarifying questions and request additional documentation. As part of the application assessment process, each key staff member may be invited to attend an in-person interview at the BC PNP offices in Vancouver. A decision will be made regarding the application and communicated to the company.

Step 6: Signing Performance Agreements

If the application is approved, the company’s designated signing authority signs a corporate Performance Agreement with the Province of B.C. Each approved key staff member will also be required to sign a Performance Agreement.

Step 7: Work Permit & Arrival Report

We will issue a work permit support letter to each approved key staff member so they can apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a work permit. This work permit support letter is valid for 90 days.

After signing their Performance Agreement, each key staff must arrive in B.C. with their valid work permit within 180 days (6 months) from the date of issuance of their work permit support letter.

Within 60 days (2 months) of arriving in B.C., each key staff must submit a completed arrival report form to the BC PNP.

Step 8: Business Establishment & Nomination

After fulfilling its obligations under the executed Performance Agreement, the foreign corporation must submit a final report to the BC PNP to demonstrate how the company has met the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement. We will review the report, and may conduct site visits or interviews to verify information.

If we determine that the company has met the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement, each key staff member who has satisfied the terms and conditions of his/her Performance Agreement will be nominated for permanent residence.

Step 9: Apply for Permanent Residence

Each key staff must submit their application for permanent residence to IRCC within 180 days from the date of nomination.

Our Offices