BC PNP - EI Regional Pilot Program

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Overview

The Regional Pilot within the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration stream is designed to address regional communities’ economic development needs and attract foreign investors to the areas outside major population centers.

Communities play an active role in selecting the best candidates for the EI Regional Pilot Program. They know the local business environment and can quickly identify the economic development priorities. They also provide support services to foreign entrepreneurs and encourage them to establish successful businesses and contribute to growing the local economy.

What is BC PNP Regional Pilot Program?

The Entrepreneur Immigration EI Regional Pilot program is for entrepreneurs who intend to settle in specific regional communities in British Columbia and start a business there. The province introduced this program to help grow these communities and increase employment prospects for its population.

If you are interested in obtaining permanent residence through the Regional Pilot program, get familiar with the list of regional communities first and learn about their respective economic priorities. You must do your research and consider the chosen community’s business opportunities.

Eligibility Requirements

Prospective entrepreneur applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the EI Regional Pilot:

Work Experience (within last 5 years)

  • minimum of 3+ years of work experience in a business ownership role.
  • Alternatively, you must possess at least 4 years of work experience in a senior management role.
  • A combination of 1 year of business ownership + and 2 years of senior management experience is also acceptable.
  • Applicants must gain this work experience within the last five years.

Net Worth

Applicants must possess a net worth of at least $300,000 CAD.

Minimum Investment

Applicants must invest a minimum of $100,000 CAD.

Education

  • Applicants must possess a post-secondary education credential such as a degree or diploma from a University or College.
  • They can bypass this requirement if they have worked as a business owner for three years in the last five years with 100% ownership of the business.

Business Proposal

Applicants must submit a business proposal to start their new business in the province. This proposal also helps them receive a referral from the community.

Business Ownership Amount

Applicants must possess a 51% or greater ownership share in the business.

Job Creation

The business must create one or more full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents.

Location

The business must be created in one of the communities participating in the EI Regional Pilot program.

Exploratory Visit

Applicants are required to complete an exploratory visit to the community for support before completing their registration.

Language Proficiency

  • Applicants must demonstrate their fluency in English or French by scoring a minimum CLB 4 on a language test.
  • They must submit valid proof of their language proficiency when registering for the EI Regional Pilot.

Step-by-Step Process

Applicants who meet the above requirements can begin the BC Entrepreneur Program Base Category process using the following steps:

Stage 1

  • Research & Preparation
  • Registration
  • Receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
  • Application

Stage 2

  • Applying for a Temporary Work Permit Before Arriving in BC
  • Establishing the Business After Arriving in BC
  • Receiving a Nomination for Permanent Residence
  • Applying For Permanent Residence

Stage One

1. Research & Preparation

Applicants must first determine their eligibility based on the EI Regional Pilot requirements mentioned above. They must then choose a community that is participating in the program and conduct an exploratory visit to their chosen region.

During the visit, applicants must discuss their business proposal with designated contact in the community. They may then submit a request for a community referral to apply for the EI Regional Pilot.

Choose a Community and Identify Business Needs

Researching your selected community, their market situation, and economic needs and developing your business proposal is one of the most critical parts of the application. Since communities play a crucial role in selecting suitable candidates, make the most out of your visit to the region and meet with the designated representatives.

Each community profile will include information about:

  • Geographic location
  • Community’s current population
  • Contact information for the designated contact person
  • Economic development priorities (business sectors, as defined by NAICS
    codes)
  • Community description
  • Website and/or other information

Your main task is to assess business opportunities, evaluate your suggested business plan, and make corrections to ensure it meets the community’s needs.

Exploratory Visit

It is essential to visit the selected community to learn about their local market, business conditions, labor resources, and support services.

During the visit, you should present your business concept to the designated community representative and explain how your plan aligns with their main industry sectors and how you can contribute to the regional economic development.

After the visit, you can request a referral that you will submit to the BC PNP.

Community Referral

You must receive a referral from a community enrolled in the BC PNP EI Regional Pilot program. To obtain a referral, you need to learn the details about the participating communities and their prioritized industries to choose the one that is the best fit for you.

2. BC PNP Registration

After receiving a referral, applicants must complete their registration for the Regional Pilot. This involves creating a profile and submitting their registration online with the BC PNP.

This registration form includes key details about the applicant’s work or business ownership experience, language proficiency, education, net worth, and information about the business being set up or acquired.

Applicants are then assigned scores based on their answers  (within four weeks of submission). The BC PNP invites applicants with the highest number of points to apply. Following this, applicants will have four months to submit their completed applications.

A non-refundable registration fee of $300 will be charged at the time of registration submission. Also, the BC PNP will accept a maximum of 200 Entrepreneur Immigration registrations every month.

Self-Declared Scoring (140 points)

You can score up to 140 points in Self-declared scoring section:

  • Experience & Ownership: 24 points
  • Net Worth: 6 points
  • Total Personal Investment: 10 points
  • Jobs: 15 points
  • Community Population: 6
  • B.C.’s Regions: 12 points
  • Adaptability: 67 points

Business Concept (60 points)

In this section, you can score up to 60 points.

  • Commercial Viability: 30 points
  • Transferability of Skills: 15 points
  • Economic Benefits: 15 points

3. Receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

If the BC PNP gives you a high score, you might be invited to apply among other high-ranking candidates. You will receive detailed instructions regarding how to proceed with your application and be given approximately four months to complete it.

If you do not get an invitation to apply, you may want to improve your score to increase your chances. Revise your business plan and enhance your adaptability to secure a better score in the next registration.

4. Application

Applicants are then required to submit their completed application with the BC PNP. Certain applicants may also be required to undergo an in-person interview in Vancouver.

If the BC PNP approves the application, the applicant will be asked to sign a “performance agreement”. This agreement describes several requirements the applicant must meet if they wish to be nominated.

Net Worth Review

As part of your application, you will be required to submit a report verifying your personal net worth and accumulation of funds. This report should be created by an authorized accounting firm approved by the BC PNP.

Processing Fee

Complete your application with a personal net worth report, a comprehensive business plan, and all supporting documentation. At this time, you will need to pay a non-refundable $3,500 CAD fee for the processing of your Canada immigration application.

Interview

Once your application is assessed, you might be required to go to an in-person interview with the BC PNP. During the meeting, you will need to answer your business and work experience questions and provide more details about your business plan and your Canada PR application.

Performance Agreement

As soon as your application is finalized and approved, you may be asked to sign a performance agreement that will determine your business operation’s terms and conditions. After that, you will get a confirmation letter that will enable you to apply for a Canada work visa for a period of two years.

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Stage Two

6. Applying for a Work Permit Before Arriving in BC

Once the application has been approved, BC PNP will send the applicant a confirmation letter. Applicants can use this letter to apply for a work permit.

This work permit allows them to work in Canada and perform different activities to establish or acquire their business. This includes making investments, creating jobs, and hiring workers.

An applicant’s spouse or common-law partner may apply for an open work permit during this stage if they are accompanying them to Canada.

7. Establishing the Business After Arriving in British Columbia

Once you arrive in BC, you are encouraged to meet with your community’s designated representatives to discuss the details of establishing your business and request assistance in resolving any settlement issues you might have.

You will be given approximately 20 months to implement your business plan, actively participate in managing your business and submit a report to the BC PNP to demonstrate that you have met the conditions and the terms of your performance agreement.

Submitting the Final Report

You must submit a final report to the BC PNP minimum of 12 months after the issuance of a work permit.

Work Permit Extensions After Arrival

  • In case your work permit gets expired within 120 days (approximately four months), you must
    contact en.imm@gov.bc.ca to request a work permit support letter.
  • It will allow you to apply to IRCC to extend your work permit.
  • The BC PNP may request evidence to confirm you are meeting the terms of your signed performance agreement.

8. Receiving a Nomination for Permanent Residence

Applicants who meet all the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category requirements can then submit a special “Final Report” with the BC PNP. The province will then review the applicant’s performance and assess if they have met the terms and conditions of the performance agreement. Successful entrepreneurs will then be nominated for permanent residence.

9. Applying For Permanent Residence

Once the applicant has been nominated, they may complete and submit an application for permanent residence with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) under the Provincial Nominee category. The applicant’s common-law partner or spouse and dependent children can also apply for permanent resident status during this final step.

Let's Setup Your Business in BC Province Together

Prospective entrepreneurs and corporations who wish to apply for the BC PNP EI Regional Pilot Program should get in touch with us. Our team of Regulated Immigration Consultants can help optimize your application and business proposal to maximize your chances of succeeding under your chosen BC PNP entrepreneur immigration pathway.

Let's Setup Your Business in BC Province Together

Immigrate to Canada as an entrepreneur and get Canadian permanent residence through BC PNP EI Regional Pilot Program.

Check Eligibility

Start a Free Assessment

Schedule Meeting

Book a Strategy Meeting