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The Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot is now a permanent immigration stream in the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program. This is welcome news for hopeful entrepreneurs looking to move to regional BC to start a business.

BC’s Entrepreneur Immigration stream is a two-step immigration process that allows hopeful business owners from abroad to come to select regional towns in British Columbia on a temporary resident visa. Once the eligible business has been successfully started, the business owner can apply to stay permanently in Canada. 

Key Takeaways

  • BC’s Entrepreneur Immigration Regional stream was introduced in March 2019 as a Pilot Program. It will now be a permanent stream. 
  • BC has not announced if its Base Stream, which allows entrepreneurs to set up any eligible business anywhere in BC, will become permanent. 
  • This news may be especially welcome given the recent changes to the Federal Start Up Visa and pause for the Federal Self-Employed Persons Visa. 


Is The Permanent Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Stream Different To The Pilot Program?

No, the only difference is that the pilot program has become a permanent stream for immigration via BC’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

To recap, BC’s PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Stream is designed to allow entrepreneurs to start a new business in small communities in BC. The communities identify types of businesses that are a priority for the community, and only businesses in these industries will be eligible for the program. The types of business therefore vary from region to region. 

Which Regions Participate In The Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Stream?

The following regions and communities are participating in the BC PNP EI Regional Stream: 


  • 100 Mile House
  • Mackenzie
  • Quesnel
  • Williams Lake (currently temporarily paused)


  • Castlegar & Central Kootenay
  • Columbia Valley and East Kootenay
  • Kimberley
  • Nelson
  • Rossland
  • Trail


  • Bulkley-Nechako

Vancouver Island/Coast

  • Campbell River
  • Comox
  • Mount Waddington
  • Powell River

Thompson Okanagan

  • Clinton (currently temporarily paused)
  • Penticton
  • Salmon Arm
  • Vernon

North Coast

  • Kitimat-Stikine


  • Fort St John

How Does An Applicant Qualify for The Program?

In addition to starting a new business in a small BC community, applicants must also satisfy the following:
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.


What’s Happening With The Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category? 

The short answer is: we don’t know. The BC PNP hasn’t announced what it plans to do with the EI Base Category stream and it seems unusual to announce one program without the other if the intention is for them both to become permanent.  

We would be surprised if it did not become permanent, however. BC has continued to complete regular draws for the EI Base Category and for the EI Regional Stream. 

If you want updates about this program and other relevant news in your inbox, create a free Moving2Canada account. You’ll receive instant access to tailored checklists, job resources, and more to make your move to Canada run smoothly. 

About the author

Stephanie Ford profile picture

Stephanie Ford

Finance, Law and Immigration Writer
Stephanie is a content marketer who has written for law firms (with a focus on immigration and privacy), legal tech companies, and finance professionals for more than 9 years. She earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning in Australia. Stephanie is now a permanent resident of Canada and a full-time writer at Moving2Canada.
Read more about Stephanie Ford
Citation "BC Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Stream Now Permanent." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation


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