The BC PNP Entrepreneur Regional Pilot aims to attract new businesses that create jobs and spread investment around the province so more British Columbians can benefit from shared prosperity. The program also aims to mitigate an aging workforce and a preference for city living among newcomers and British Columbians alike.
The BC PNP Entrepreneur Regional Pilot targets entrepreneurs with a desire to start a business and settle in regional BC communities by matching applicants with eligible communities. As such, immigration authorities in British Columbia have set eligibility criteria for applicants and communities alike.
The pilot program is in place until at least March 31, 2024.
BC PNP Entrepreneur Pilot: applicant eligibility
The criteria targets eligible entrepreneurs wishing to grow a business in a regional BC community (under populations of 75,000). Applicants must:
- conduct an exploratory community visit;
- have a minimum of $100,000 CAD in eligible business investments;
- have a minimum personal net worth of $300,000;
- have a minimum of 51% ownership in the business; and
- create at least one new job in the local community.
As part of the exploratory visit, international entrepreneurs must present their business idea to the community’s designated contact person. The contact person will prepare a referral form for submission as part of the applicant’s BC PNP registration.
To obtain a referral, applicants must learn about the enrolled communities and their priority industry subsectors (see below). Please see the BC PNP Entrepreneur Regional Pilot program guide for full details on the application process.
The BC PNP Entrepreneur Regional Pilot is intended for entrepreneurs who are starting a new business; entrepreneurs wishing to purchase existing businesses may be able to register/apply under the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration category.
BC PNP Entrepreneur Pilot: community eligibility
To be eligible for the BC PNP Entrepreneur Regional Pilot, communities must have a population of less than 75,000, be located beyond 30 km of a municipality of more than 75,000, and demonstrate their capacity to support foreign entrepreneurs through an established network of settlement and business support agencies.
Communities that are eligible under the BC PNP Entrepreneur Regional Pilot and that have enrolled are listed below. Each enrolled community identifies priority economic development industries, and will select or refer prospective applicants to the BC PNP.
The government of BC says that the BC PNP Entrepreneur Regional Pilot is intended to maximize the economic benefits of immigration to BC to support shared prosperity across the province.
Immigration and pilot-specific training has been available to community representatives, and this step must be completed before confirming the enrollment. Approved communities are in a position to host exploratory visits and issue referrals for potential applicants.