I want to invest in and manage a business in B.C.
British Columbia is one of North America's most dynamic places to do business. Entrepreneurs benefit from our strategic location, low taxes, competitive operating costs and a multicultural workforce that is well educated, highly skilled and productive.
If you are an entrepreneur ready to invest in and actively manage a business in the province, you may be eligible for the BC Provincial Nominee Program's (PNP) Business Immigration stream. This stream accelerates the permanent residence application process for individuals who can establish themselves in B.C. and develop a business that will provide significant economic benefits to the province. To qualify, you must meet specific personal net worth thresholds, make a minimum investment in an eligible business, be actively involved in the daily management of the business, and create one or more new jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Please note that meeting the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee approval.
The Business Immigration application process has two phases:
- In phase one, you sign a performance agreement and are initially supported for a two-year work permit.
- In phase two, you arrive in B.C. on the work permit, establish and actively manage your business, and complete the investment and job-creation requirements.
Applicants are nominated by the BC PNP for Permanent Residence in Canada only when they satisfy the terms of their performance agreement.
You can apply to the PNP as a business immigrant in one of three categories as described below. Each category has specific requirements.
The Entrepreneur category is the best choice if:
- You would like to start or purchase and expand a business anywhere in B.C.
- You have a personal net worth of at least $800,000.
- You intend to invest at least $400,000 in (and acquire at least one-third equity ownership of) the business.
- You can commit to creating at least three new jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- You would like to propose one key staff member on your application.
The Regional Entrepreneur category is the best choice if:
- You would like to start or purchase and expand a business outside of the
Vancouver and Abbotsford metropolitan areas.
- You have a personal net worth of at least $400,000.
- You intend to invest at least $200,000 in (and acquire at least one-third equity ownership of) the business.
- You can commit to creating at least one new job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
The Strategic Projects category is the best choice if:
- Your company is interested in setting up a B.C.-based operation (such as branch office or subsidiary) anywhere in the province.
- Your company intends to make an equity investment of at least $500,000 in the business.
- You would like to propose up to five key staff members on the application and you can commit to create at least three new jobs for each key staff member.
The Regional Business Succession Option is a good choice if you intend to purchase and manage an existing B.C. business. This option applies to all business immigration categories where the business is located outside of the Vancouver and Abbotsford metropolitan areas.
This category offers priority processing and includes reduced job creation requirements.
Read more about the criteria required to apply under these categories.
You may wish to explore other options for immigrating to Canada. Visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website to read about federal business immigration options.
How does the program work?
We have included a simplified overview of the application process below.
1 - We strongly encourage you to make an exploratory visit to B.C. to learn more about opportunities and the local business environment before you submit your
2 - You submit all application forms, along with the required fees, to the PNP office.
3 - BC PNP assess your application against program criteria and may follow up with specific questions or ask for more information.
4 - If your application passes BC PNP initial assessment, we will ask you to attend an in-Person interview in Vancouver to discuss your application and make a final decision.
5 - If BC PNP approve your application, you must sign a Performance Agreement. It describes the type of business you intend to invest in and manage, the breakdown of
your total investment, the number of jobs you intend to create, and other milestones associated with your business proposal.
6 - BC PNP will issue you a work permit support letter so you can apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for a two-year work permit. This will enable you and your
dependants to move to B.C. so you can start implementing your business plan.
7 - Within the designated timelines, you notify the BC PNP of your arrival in B.C. and submit proof that you have transferred the required funds for your investment.
8 - You implement your business plan. When you have met the conditions of the Performance Agreement, you submit a final report to the BC PNP.
9 - The BC PNP reviews your final report and, if you have satisfied the conditions of the Performance Agreement, nominates you (and your eligible dependants and, if
applicable, key staff members) for permanent residence.
10 - BC PNP will issue you a nomination certificate that you will include with your application for permanent residence (and those of your spouse, eligible dependent
children and, if applicable, key staff members) to CIC. If CIC approves your application, you will be issued a permanent resident visa to live and work in Canada.
You are responsible for demonstrating that your application meets the program criteria.