Immigration authorities in British Columbia have launched an exciting new pilot program aimed at revitalizing regional communities in BC. The BC PNP Entrepreneur Regional Pilot targets entrepreneurs with a desire to start a business and settle in regional BC communities, with enrolment registration set to begin in early 2019.
The BC PNP Entrepreneur Regional Pilot matches applicants with eligible communities, and so immigration authorities in British Columbia have set eligibility criteria for applicants and communities alike.
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 (to be listed on this page in early 2019).
The BC PNP Entrepreneur Regional Pilot is intended for entrepreneurs who are starting a new business; entrepreneurs wishing to purchase existing businesses are 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 will be listed here soon. Each enrolled community will identify 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 will be offered to community representatives and must be completed before confirming the enrollment. Communities will then be in a position to host exploratory visits and issue referrals for potential applicants.