British Columbia

                                                              Applicants can come to British Columbia initially on a work visa and can be nominated for permanent residence when requirements of a Performance Agreement are met.  Business Skills Category

The British Columbia Entrepreneur Program Summary


Each month BC PNP will only accept a maximum of 200 initial Entrepreneur Immigration Registrations per month.

Applicants who meet the minimum registration requirements will be entered into a selection pool.

Periodically, the BC PNP will invite the highest-scoring registrants on the BC Point Grid to submit an application.

  • If invited to apply, you will have four months to submit a complete application.
  • After your application is approved, you will sign a Performance Agreement.
  • After you sign the Performance Agreement you will have up to 20 months to implement your business proposal in B.C.
  • After you meet the requirements of the Performance Agreement within the 20 months, the BC PNP will nominate you for permanent residence.
  • You and your dependent family members can then apply for permanent residence under the Provincial Nominee class with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The BC PNP will consider registrations to establish a new business, purchase an existing business, form a partnership with an existing business, and partner with a local or foreign entrepreneur to establish a new business. You must decide on a specific type of business you intend to establish or purchase in B.C. before you register.

You cannot change your business proposal after you submit your registration.

The minimum personal investment must be at least $200,000 in the proposed business.

You may use external financing from a business partner or financial institutions, however, you must identify how you will obtain the financing and how it will be applied in your proposed investment.

If you are bringing a Key Staff member the minimum investment is at least $400,000.

Typical eligible expenditures include:

  • Purchase of existing business assets (including inventory) or equity
  • New equipment purchases
  • Start-up inventory or new inventory related to an expansion plan
  • Leasehold improvements
  • New marketing costs
  • Operating expenses
  • Real estate that’s essential to the business

If purchasing an existing business or real estate, you must commit to make an eligible investment of at least $50,000 to improve, upgrade and/or expand the business and as such BC PNP may consider as an eligible investment to be the lesser of the total business purchase price or $150,000.

Eligible investments toward improving, upgrading and/or expanding a business may include new capital purchases and equipment, leasehold improvements, introduction of new technology, job creation, etc.  Improvement/expansion does not include regular operating expenses such as recurring inventory, wages, rent, utilities, or maintaining the same levels of marketing or advertising expenses, legal or professional fees, business licenses, etc.

The BC PNP discourages all registrants and applicants from making any investment prior to signing a Performance Agreement with the BC PNP and obtaining a valid work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Signing an agreement to purchase a business and/or making a deposit is solely at your own risk.

Eligible investment to meet the minimum $50,000 requirement can include capital purchases and equipment, leasehold improvements, introduction of new technology, creation of new jobs, etc. It cannot include regular operating expenses such inventory, wages, rent, utilities, or business licences, etc.

Personal Net Worth Requirements: Applicants must have at least a minimum of $600,000 in personal net worth, which includes all your assets and those of your spouse or common-law partner, less any liabilities including mortgages and personal debts:

Residency Requirements: You must demonstrate that you reside within 100 kilometres of the business you intend to operate in B.C. and that you have been a resident in B.C. for at least 75% of the time while on a work permit.

Business and/or work experience: The BC PNP assigns points for business and/or work experience from the last 10 years and must have a minimum of:

  1. Three years of experience as an active business owner-manager (owning more than 10%), or
  2. More than four years of experience as a senior manager (supervising at least 3 people), or
  3. A combination of at least one year of experience as an active business owner-manager and at least two years of experience as a senior manager.

English language proficiency: 
English language is NOT a mandatory requirement of the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration stream, however, points are assigned for self-declared English language proficiency. 
Test scores are NOT required when you register but may be requested later.

Education:  To register, you must have a minimum of two-years of post-secondary education, or
experience as an active business owner-manager with 100% ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years.

Previous visit(s) to B.C.: If you have previously visited British Columbia, you must provide details of your visits, including cities/municipalities visited, and the dates when you entered and exited B.C. If you are invited to apply, you will be required to provide evidence of your previous visit(s) to B.C.

Age: While the BC PNP does not have any age requirements or age limit, your age will be assigned points under the Entrepreneur Immigration Registration.

Canadian experience: Points will be assigned if you have legally worked in Canada for at least 12 consecutive months in the last 10 years in any occupation, which may include the active management of a business under your ownership in Canada.

Full-time studies in Canada: You have legally studied in Canada under a secondary or post- secondary program for at least 12 consecutive months (including scheduled breaks such as winter and summer breaks and holidays – a minimum of two consecutive semesters).  Points will not be assigned for language training such as English as a second language.

Business Requirements: Entrepreneurs must include a short business concept that will be assigned points based on proposed commercial viability, transferability of applicant skills, and economic benefits.  Selected applicants will be required to submit a comprehensive business plan including pro-forma financial statements. The personal and business requirements remain the same for both the registration and application.

Eligible Businesses: The BC PNP only wants entrepreneurs that buy, start or improve a business that contributes to the economic growth of the Province. Proposed business must be operated for the primary purpose of earning profits by providing products and/or services and must have strong potential for sustained commercial success.  The BC PNP does not pre-approve or endorse business proposals.

Commercial Viability: Business model: You must describe how your proposed business will generate revenue and profit, and how the business will have the potential for sustained commercial success under your management. You demonstrate a market entry strategy to show how your proposed business will be 
successful in British Columbia. If you are planning to purchase an existing business, you must be able to demonstrate how the business will grow and expand under your management.

Minimum ownership percentage:  You must demonstrate you will own at least one-third (33.3%) of the business in B.C., or invest at least $1,000,000

Products/services: You must describe the types of products and/or services that will be offered, or that are currently offered if you are purchasing an existing business. Describe the uniqueness of the product(s) and/or service(s).

Reasonable proposed investment and job creation figures: Points are given for the proposed investment and job creation.

Risk factors: 
Risks are assessed

Expansion plan (existing business):Entrepreneurs must identify how they will improve, upgrade and/or expand the existing business.

Transferability of Skills:  Applicants working in the same occupation and industry are preferred.

Economic Benefits: 
Points are allocated for smaller rural locations and in key sectors such as technology, manufacturing, tourism, research and development.

 Well-established franchises may be considered as eligible businesses.

Ineligible businesses include

  • Immigration-linked investment schemes
  • Bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based businesses
  • Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Scrap metal recycling
  • Coin-operated laundries
  • Automated car wash operations
  • Businesses selling used goods (excluding collectibles, or value-added services 
such as repairs, refurbishing or recycling)
  • Real estate development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage
  • Businesses involved in producing, distributing or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing sexually oriented services
  • Any other type of business that by association would tend to bring the BC PNP or the Government of 
BC into disrepute
  • The BC PNP may not consider registrations for businesses proposed in locations that are saturated by similar businesses and businesses that don’t offer significant economic benefits if the local market is already well-served i.e. convenience stores DVD rental stores, gasoline service stations, personal dry cleaning services, tanning salons


Key Staff Requirements (if applicable):  You may request one Key Staff member to work as a senior manager, professional or technical position whose expertise is essential to the success of your proposed business but they must not hold any ownership of the proposed business. The Key Staff member can qualify for a work permit eligible to be nominated for permanent residence.  If you buy a business then you must invest at least $100,000 towards the improvement of the business and create three new full-time jobs. The Key Staff must have worked with the Applicant, in a senior position, for at least one year out of the last three years.   The Key Staff must have an occupation classified as NOC 0 or A.  If education and work experience are not specifically identified in the proposed position in B.C., the Key Staff must possess a minimum of two-years post-secondary education. The wage offered must be equal to or greater than the median for that occupation in B.C.

Partnership with a Co-Registrant (if applicable): Entrepreneurs may partner with another registrant under one business proposal.