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Immigration and Citizenship

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

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1 British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

Through the British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program, prospective immigrants with the skills and experience targeted by the province may receive a British Columbia Provincial Nomination Certificate, which will allow that foreign national to apply for Canadian permanent residence. 


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The BC PNP accepts applications under two main immigration streams:

  • Skills Immigration (including Express Entry British Columbia)
  • Entrepreneur Immigration

These streams are further divided into categories. Below we provide you with additional information about each to help you determine if the BC PNP is right for you.

1. Express Entry British Columbia (EEBC)

Express Entry British Columbia is aligned with the federal Express Entry immigration selection system, which should result in significantly reduced application processing times.

The British Columbia Express Entry (EEBC) stream allows eligible applicants to receive priority processing of both their BC PNP application, and if nominated, their permanent residence application. Potential Express Entry candidates are required to meet minimum provincial eligibility criteria for one of the following categories under the BC PNP:


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In addition, candidates must be eligible for one of the federal economic immigration programs in order to enter the Express Entry pool:

  • Federal Skilled Worker
  • Federal Skilled Trades
  • Canadian Experience Class

The federal economic immigration programs require candidates to meet a mandatory language proficiency level and demonstrate sufficient funds to support the applicant and their family on arrival in Canada. Candidates eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Program are also required to submit the results of an Educational Credential Assessment.

EEBC — Skilled Worker Category (including Health Care Professionals Category)

The Skilled Worker category is for international skilled workers who have post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a professional, management, technical, trade or other skilled occupation. The candidate’s occupation must be classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) matrix as skill level 0, A, or B.

Candidates applying under the Skilled Worker category must have a full-time permanent qualifying job offer in a skilled occupation from a B.C. employer. Candidates with a job offer in a regulated occupation that requires mandatory certification or licensing must demonstrate that they meet provincial requirements for the particular occupation when they make their application under this category. Experience in paid co-op work placements is accepted as work experience, if it was full-time and at an NOC level equal to or greater than the level of the job offer.

CategoryEmploymentOccupationExperienceEducationOther requirements
EEBC —Skilled WorkerFull-time indeterminate job offer* from an eligible B.C. employerOccupation Skill Level 0, A or BMinimum two years of directly-related (or full-time equivalent) work experienceApplicable credentials or qualificationsCandidate must be eligible for a federal economic immigration programCandidate must meet minimum income requirements (see below)
EEBC —Health Care ProfessionalsFull-time job offer from a Public Health Authority in B.C.Physicians, specialist physicians, nurses, psychiatric nurses, nurse practitioners, midwives and allied health professionalsMinimum two years of directly-related full-time work experienceApplicable licensing or registrationCandidate must be eligible for a federal economic immigration programCandidate must meet minimum income requirements (see below)Candidate must meet all the requirements of the BC PNP Skills Immigration – Health Care Professional Category

*Please see the BC PNP Tech Pilot page for the “indeterminate job offer” exception for eligible tech occupations.


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Apply without a job offer to the EEBC — International Post-Graduate Category

B.C. employers have made it known that they are seeking workers with graduate degrees in the sciences, and the government of B.C. has reacted accordingly.

Individuals with a master’s or doctoral degree in the sciences received within the past three years from an eligible program at a post-secondary institution in B.C. may be eligible to apply under the International Post Graduate category, as long as the post-graduate degree was obtained in one of the following natural, applied or health sciences:

  • Agriculture
  • Biological and biomedical sciences
  • Computer and information sciences and support services
  • Engineering
  • Engineering technology
  • Health professions and related clinical sciences
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Natural resources conservation and research
  • Physical sciences

Candidates must provide evidence of their intention to reside in B.C. This evidence may include:

  • the length of any previous and/or current period of residence in B.C.;
  • connections to B.C. through work, study or family; and/or
  • a description of any actions taken to settle in B.C., such as finding a job or place to live.
CategoryEmploymentEducationOther requirements
EEBC — International Post GraduateJob offer not requiredMaster’s or doctoral degree from an eligible B.C. institution. Only open to natural, applied or health sciences graduates.Candidate must be eligible for a federal economic immigration programCandidate must meet minimum income requirements (see below)

List of eligible programs of study

Private post-secondary institutions 
InstitutionProgram name
New York Institute of TechnologyMaster of Science in Information, Network and Computer Security
New York Institute of TechnologyMaster of Science in Energy Management
Trinity Western UniversityMaster of Science in Nursing

EEBC — International Graduates Category

International graduates who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within the past three years may be eligible to apply under the International Graduates category. Candidates applying under the EEBC — International Graduates category must have a full-time permanent qualifying job offer in a skilled occupation from a B.C. employer.

Candidates eligible under this category must have a degree, diploma or certificate from a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada. Candidates with an undergraduate or graduate degree must have obtained the degree from a Canadian post-secondary institution authorized to grant degrees. Candidates with a diploma or certificate must have obtained the diploma or certificate from a public post-secondary institution in Canada. Diplomas or certificates from private institutions are not eligible. The program must have entailed at least eight months (two semesters) of full-time study. The program is not eligible if the candidate spent more than one-quarter of the program time in a co-op work term or internship.

CategoryEmploymentOccupationExperienceEducationOther requirements
International GraduateFull-time indeterminate job offer* from an eligible B.C. employerOccupation Skill Level 0, A or BNot requiredEligible degree or diploma from a Canadian college or universityCandidate must be eligible for a federal economic immigration programCandidate must meet minimum income requirements (see below)

*Please see the BC PNP Tech Pilot page for the “indeterminate job offer” exception for eligible tech occupations.


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Minimum Income Requirements

The following are the minimum income thresholds depending on family size. Applicants must show that their – and their spouse’s, if applicable – annual wage in B.C. meets the income threshold. Bonuses, commissions, tips, living allowances, or overtime in the calculation of the annual wage.

Family Income Threshold by Area of Residence
Size of FamilyGreater Vancouver Regional DistrictRest of B.C.
1$22,804$19,006
2$28,390$23,659
3$34,902$29,087
4$42,376$35,316
5$48,062$40,054
6$54,205$45,175
7 or more$60,350$50,296

When Not to Apply

Candidates should not apply if they:

  • Are prohibited from entering Canada;
  • Are currently in Canada and are out of status;
    • If an applicant’s status has expired and he or she cannot demonstrate that they have applied for a restoration of status with the 90-day eligibility period, the applicant will be considered out of status.
  • Are currently working in Canada without authorization;
  • Have an unresolved refugee claim in Canada; or
  • Are under a removal order in or outside of Canada.

2. BC PNP Skills Immigration Stream

The Skills Immigration Program is composed of a number categories, each with their own unique eligibility requirements.

  • Skilled Worker Category
  • Health Care Professional Category
  • International Graduate Category
  • International Post-Graduate Category
  • Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Category – including employment in the Northeast Development Region of B.C.
  • Employer requirements
  • Minimum income required 

The Skilled Worker, Health Care Professional, International Graduate, and International Post-Graduate categories may also be processed through an application to the Express Entry British Columbia stream (see earlier above), which is aligned with the federal Express Entry immigration selection system.

Skills Immigration and BC Express Entry candidates may also be eligible for immigration under the BC PNP Tech Pilot if they have an eligible job offer in one of the program’s 29 occupations.

General Requirements

In addition to meeting the specific requirements for the category under which they are applying, applicants must also meet the general requirements for the BC Skills Immigration Stream.

Unless otherwise noted, applicants in the Skills Immigration stream must meet the following requirements: 

  • Have accepted a job offer for indeterminate, full-time employment — except candidates in the Skills Immigration: International Post-Graduate category and BC PNP Tech Pilot registrants — in an eligible occupation at a wage rate that meets industry standards and is in line with rates offered by B.C. employers for the same occupation;
  • Be qualified for the offered position. The BC PNP may refer to the National Occupational Classification (NOC), Work BC or industry standards to determine the minimum qualifications for an occupation;
  • Applicants with a job offer for an occupation categorized under NOC level 0 or A are not required to submit valid language test results; however, the BC PNP may ask for results at its discretion to ensure an applicant has the language proficiency required in order to perform the duties of the position or if the applicant claims points for language under the registration system; 
  • Demonstrate English or French language ability at Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4, for all occupations classified under NOC level B, C, or D;
  • Not have ownership or equity stake of more than 10 per cent in the B.C. company that has made the job offer in the five years preceding the application and throughout the entire BC PNP application process; and,
  • Benefit B.C. economically through their employment. For example, the applicant’s employment may:
    • Transfer knowledge and skills to Canadians;
    • Build the workforce for a major project;
    • Create or maintain jobs for Canadians; and/or,
    • Support the development of proprietary new products;
  • Meet minimum income requirements;
  • Submit a complete application, along with the $700 application fee, if invited to apply.
  • Applicants’ employment must not adversely affect the settlement of a labour dispute, or the employment of anyone involved in a labour dispute. Also, applicants’ employment must not prevent the training or employment of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Candidates will not receive a nomination if they:

  • Are prohibited from entering Canada;
  • Are currently in Canada and are out of status;
    • If an applicant’s status has expired and he or she cannot demonstrate that they have applied for a restoration of status with the 90-day eligibility period, the applicant will be considered out of status. 
  • Are currently working in Canada without authorization;
  • Have an unresolved refugee claim in Canada; or
  • Are under a removal order in or outside of Canada.

Skilled Worker Category 

This category is open to workers with post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a skilled occupation.

Minimum Requirements for Applicants

In addition to meeting the general requirements for the BC Skills Immigration Stream, eligible applicants under the Skilled Worker Category must:

  • Have received an offer of indeterminate, full-time employment from an eligible B.C. employer (with the exception of BC PNP Tech Pilot registrants);
    • The job offer must be in an occupation classified as NOC level 0, A, or B;
      • For occupations classified as NOC level B, applicants must demonstrate sufficient language proficiency in English or French by submitting language test results showing a minimum score of benchmark 4 under the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all competencies.
      • For occupations classified as NOC level 0 or A, no language test results are necessary unless the applicant is claiming points for language. The BC PNP, however, may require valid language test results at its discretion to determine whether the applicant has the language proficiency to perform the duties of the position.
  • Have at least two years of directly related full-time (or full-time equivalent) work experience in the skilled occupation offered to them, and the credentials and qualification requirements of the position, if applicable;
    • The BC PNP defines directly related work experience as paid employment that is classified under the same NOC code as the B.C. job offer accepted by the applicant. Experience in a related occupation at a NOC skill level equal to or greater than the NOC skill level of the B.C. job offer may also be considered if the applicant can sufficiently demonstrate how this work experience is directly related to the skilled occupation.
  • Meet the language requirements for their classified occupation:
    • For occupations classified as NOC level B, applicants must demonstrate sufficient language proficiency in English or French by submitting language test results showing a minimum score of benchmark 4 under the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all competencies.
    • For occupations classified as NOC level 0 or A, no language test results are necessary – the BC PNP, however, may require valid language test results at its discretion.
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet minimum income requirements and pay for housing and living expenses in British Columbia by showing:
    • Annual wage in the province;
    • Location of residence in the province;
    • The number of dependents.

Additionally, the employer offering the job to the BC PNP candidate must meet the BC PNP minimum requirements for employers. 

Healthcare Professional Category

Minimum Requirements for Applicants

In addition to meeting the general requirements for the BC Skills Immigration Stream, eligible applicants under the Health Care Professional Category must:

  • Have received an offer of indeterminate, full-time employment from an eligible B.C. public health authority in of the following fields:
    • Physician;
    • Specialist;
    • Registered nurse;
    • Registered psychiatric nurse;
    • Nurse practitioner; or
    • Allied health professional such as a:
      • Diagnostic medical sonographer;
      • Clinical pharmacist;
      • Medical laboratory technologist;
      • Medical radiation technologist;
      • Occupational therapist; or
      • Physiotherapist.
    • As a midwife, an applicant must be registered with the College of Midwives of British Columbia. Also, the applicant must have a letter of confirmation from an established practice group in British Columbia confirming their acceptance into the group as an affiliated midwife for a period of at least six months. This letter must be on the practice group’s official letterhead and must be signed by the applicant and the head of the practice group.
  • Have at least two years of directly related full-time (or full-time equivalent) work experience in the skilled occupation offered to them, and the credentials and qualification requirements of the position, if applicable;
    • The BC PNP defines directly related work experience as paid employment that is classified under the same NOC code as the B.C. job offer accepted by the applicant. Experience in a related occupation at a NOC skill level equal to or greater than the NOC skill level of the B.C. job offer may also be considered if the applicant can sufficiently demonstrate how this work experience is directly related to the skilled occupation.
  • Meet the language requirements for their classified occupation:
    • For occupations classified as NOC level B, applicants must demonstrate sufficient language proficiency in English or French by submitting language test results showing a minimum score of benchmark 4 under the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all competencies.
    • For occupations classified as NOC level 0 or A, no language test results are necessary – the BC PNP, however, may require valid language test results at its discretion.
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet minimum income requirements and pay for housing and living expenses in British Columbia by showing:
    • Annual wage in the province;
    • Location of residence in the province;
    • The number of dependents.
  • Midwives must:
    • Have a letter of confirmation from an established practice group in the province confirming acceptance into the group for at least six months, written on official group letterhead and signed by the head of the practice group and the applicant; and
    • Be registered, or eligible to be registered, with the College of Midwives of British Columbia.

International Graduate Category

This category is for international students who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within three years of applying to the BC PNP. While applicants do not necessarily need prior work experience, applicants are required to obtain a job offer from a B.C. employer.

Minimum Requirements for Applicants

In addition to meeting the general requirements for the BC Skills Immigration Stream, eligible applicants under the International Graduate Category must:

  • Have received an offer of indeterminate, full-time employment for an occupation classified as NOC level 0, A, or B from an eligible B.C. employer (with the exception of BC PNP Tech Pilot registrants);
  • Applicants must have obtained a degree, diploma or certificate from an eligible post-secondary institution in Canada within three years of the date of completion shown on the official transcript;
    • An undergraduate or graduate degree from an eligible Canadian post-secondary institution; or
    • A diploma from an eligible public post-secondary institution in Canada. Diplomas from private institutions are not eligible for this program.
    • A diploma program must be at least eight months (two semesters) of full-time equivalent coursework.
    • The diploma program is not eligible if more than one-quarter is co-op work or an internship.
  • Applicants must have the credentials and qualification requirements of the position, if applicable;
  • Applicants must provide evidence that they can support themselves and their dependents in Canada, including the following:
    • Income and employment prospects;
    • Location of intended residence in British Columbia; and
    • Information on the number of dependents.
  • Meet the language requirements for their classified occupation:
    • For NOC level B, C, or D occupations, applicants must demonstrate sufficient language proficiency in English or French by submitting language test results showing a minimum score of benchmark 4 under the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all competencies.
    • No language test results are required for NOC level 0 and A occupations unless the applicant is claiming points for language. The BC PNP, however, may request valid language test results at its discretion.

International Post-Graduate Category

This category is for individuals who have obtained a master’s or doctoral degree in the natural, applied or health sciences from a British Columbia institution. No job offer is needed to apply to this program.

Minimum Requirements for Applicants

In addition to meeting the general requirements for the BC Skills Immigration Stream, eligible applicants under the International Post-Graduate Category must:

  • Have obtained a master’s or doctoral degree from an eligible British Columbia institution within the three years preceding the application to the BC PNP in one of the following fields:
    • Agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences 
    • Biological and biomedical sciences
    • Computer and information sciences and support services
    • Engineering
    • Engineering technology and engineering-related fields
    • Health professions and related programs
    • Mathematics and statistics
    • Natural resources conservation
    • Physical sciences
  • Provide evidence that they intend to reside permanently in B.C., such as:
    • The length of current or previous periods of residence in B.C.;
    • The applicant’s connections to B.C. through work, study, or family;
    • A description of any settlement activities that the applicant has undertaken (finding a job or place to reside);
    • current employment in B.C.;
    • employment search details (prospective employers, applications, networking efforts, business development, etc.);
    • community involvement;
    • An applicant’s ability to be financially self-sufficient in B.C.; or 
    • A plan to obtain or maintain legal authorization to work in B.C.
List of eligible programs of study
Private post-secondary institutions 
InstitutionProgram name
New York Institute of TechnologyMaster of Science in Information, Network and Computer Security
New York Institute of TechnologyMaster of Science in Energy Management
Trinity Western UniversityMaster of Science in Nursing

Entry Level and Semi-Skilled Category

This category is for individuals currently living and working in B.C. in an eligible occupation within the tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking, or food processing industries, or in a NOC skill level C or D occupation in the Northeast Development Region of the province.

Minimum Requirements for Applicants

In addition to meeting the general requirements for the BC Skills Immigration Stream, eligible applicants under the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled (ELSS) Category must:

  • Have received an offer of indeterminate, full-time employment from an eligible B.C. employer, in an eligible occupation
  • Have been employed full-time in an ELSS eligible occupation (see list in table below) for at least nine consecutive months immediately before applying with the same B.C. employer supporting the application;
    • Individuals currently working in the Northeast Development Region of B.C. in any C or D level occupation (excluding live-in caregivers) may be eligible for this category.
    • Eligibility in the Northeast Development Region of B.C. is not restricted to occupations in the tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking, or food processing industries;
    • Note: Work conducted during a program of study (co-op) or while on a Study Permit or an Off-Campus Work Permit does not qualify. 
  • Maintain full-time employment throughout the application process;
    • If the applicant is no longer eligible to work for the supporting employer when he or she receives an Invitation to Apply for the BC PNP, but still has status in Canada (for example, as a visitor) or has left Canada, he or she may submit an application as long as:
      • He or she met the conditions at the time of registration for the BC PNP; and,
      • the job offer remains valid throughout the application process.
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet minimum income requirements and pay for housing and living expenses in British Columbia by showing:
    • Annual wage in the province;
    • Location of residence in the province;
    • Number of dependents;
    • NoteEntry level and semi-skilled applicants must show a history of meeting this requirement for the previous nine months in the position;
  • Have completed secondary education and any licensing or certification required for the job; and,
  • Long-haul truck drivers must have: 
    • a valid B.C. Class 1 driver’s licence
    • air brake endorsement and
    • other certification(s) (such as certification for transporting dangerous goods). 
  • Submit language proficiency test results showing a proficiency in English of at least Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 in all components (listening, speaking, reading, writing).

ELSS Eligible Occupations

Occupations in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry
NOCOccupation
6525Hotel Front Desk Clerks
6531Tour and Travel Guides
6532Outdoor Sport and Recreational Guides
6533Casino Occupations
6511Maîtres d’hotel and Hosts/Hostesses
6512Bartenders
6513Food and Beverage Servers
6711Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers and Related Occupations
6731Light Duty Cleaners
6732Specialized Cleaners
6733Janitors, Caretakers and Building Superintendents
6721Support Occupations in Accommodation, Travel and Facilities Set-Up Services
6741Dry Cleaning, Laundry and Related Occupations
6742Other Service Support Occupations
Occupations in the Food Processing Industry
NOCOccupation
9461Process Control and Machine Operators, Food and Beverage Processing
9462Industrial Butchers and Meat Cutters, Poultry Preparers and Related Workers
9463Fish and Seafood Plant Workers
9465Testers and Graders, Food, Beverage and Associated Products Processing
9617Labourers in Food, Beverage and Associated Products Processing
9618 Labourers in Fish and Seafood Processing 
Occupations in the Trucking Industry
NOCOccupation
 7511Long-Haul Truck Driver

Minimum Requirements for Employers

The employer offering the job to a BC PNP candidate must meet the following requirements:

  • The business must be established in British Columbia, and have been operating for at least one year (two years if the applicant is registering under the Entry Level and Semi-Skilled category, including employment in the Northeast Development Region of B.C.);
  • The business must already have permanent, full-time employees;
    • If the business is located in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the business must have at least five permanent, full-time employees (or full-time equivalent) in B.C.;
    • If the business is located outside the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the business must have at least three permanent, full-time employees (or full-time equivalent) in B.C.;
  • The business must show a history of good business practices;
  • The employer must offer the candidate a wage that meets industry standards;
  • The employer must meet domestic labour market recruitment requirements;
    • In this case, the employer must demonstrate recruitment efforts for the vacant position during the period when the candidate is not authorized to work.
  • The employer must sign an employer declaration stating that all of these requirements are met; 
  • A written offer of employment must be extended to the applicant on official company letterhead and must meet all of the following requirements:
    • The offer must be signed and dated by both the employer and applicant.
    • The offer must include:
      • A description of job duties;
      • The rate of pay;
      • The working hours for the position (minimum of 30 hours per week);
      • A statement that the position is permanent and full time (with the exception of BC PNP Tech Pilot registrants) ;
      • A list of additional benefits; and
      • A mention of any applicable collective bargaining agreements, if relevant.
  • The employer may not make deductions from pay for recruitment, immigration fees, etc.
  • The wage offered must be at market rate and comparable to the average salary for that occupation in British Columbia.
  • Individuals originally hired on a Labour Market Opinion must receive an equal or greater wage than that stated on the Labour Market Opinion.

Minimum Income Requirements

The following are the minimum income thresholds depending on family size. An applicant must show that his or her annual wage in B.C. (and his or her spouse’s, if applicable) meets the income threshold. Bonuses, commissions, tips, living allowances, or overtime in the calculation of the annual wage.

Family Income Threshold by Area of Residence
Size of FamilyGreater Vancouver Regional DistrictRest of B.C.
1$22,804$19,006
2$28,390$23,659
3$34,902$29,087
4$42,376$35,316
5$48,062$40,054
6$54,205$45,175
7 or more$60,350$50,296

3. BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration

The British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration stream of the BC PNP has a unique registration system, known as the Entrepreneur Immigration Registration. The registration process functions like an ‘Expression of Interest Model’, which means eligible candidates, who have registered, must be invited to apply before they can submit an application to the program. 

Successful candidates will obtain a work permit and, if the business operation in British Columbia fulfills the requirements of the stream on an ongoing basis, they will be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada through the BC PNP. This stream provides a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for experienced businesspeople who can establish themselves in B.C. and invest in and operate a commercially viable business that can provide significant benefits to the provincial economy.

BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Stream Overview

Minimum Requirements for Candidates

  • Personal net worth of at least $600,000 (including cash, assets in bank accounts, fixed deposits, real properties, investments, etc). The net worth must be legally obtained and may be under the spouse or common-law partner’s name. This net worth must verifiable if invited to apply;
  • Post-secondary credential or experience as an active business owner-manager with 100 percent ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years.
  • Eligible experience as an active business owner/manager and/or senior manager;
  • Submit a business concept that demonstrates an active and ongoing management role in the day-to-day operations of the proposed business and the creation of at least one new job in the proposed B.C. business; and
  • Personal investment of CAD $200,000 in eligible expenses. If proposing a key staff member, the investment requirement increases to $400,000 and the job creation to three.

Application Process

  1. Prepare for registration by conducting business research. International entrepreneurs are encouraged to conduct an exploratory visit to B.C. to learn about business opportunities and the local business environment.
  2. Individuals must register with the BC PNP by creating an online profile, paying fees and obtaining a registration score based on various factors, including business ownership/senior management experience, personal net worth, adaptability, business concept and others. Candidates will be assigned a score within six weeks of creating a profile.
  3. The highest-ranked candidates are invited during periodic draws held by the BC PNP.
  4. If invited to apply, candidates have four months (120 days) to submit a complete application under the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Stream, obtain a review of the declared personal net worth and funds, and pay the required fees. Applications are assessed based on program criteria. Applicants may be invited to attend an in-person interview in Vancouver during the application assessment stage.
  5. If an application is approved, international entrepreneurs sign a Performance Agreement and receive a Letter of Confirmation to apply for a two-year work permit with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  6. Once they arrive in B.C., international entrepreneurs have up to 20 months, or 610 days, to implement the business plan, actively manage their business, meet all the conditions of the signed Performance Agreement, and demonstrate residency within 100km of the business (for at least 75% of the work permit period).
  7. Between 18 and 20 months after arriving in the province, entrepreneurs must submit a final report to the BC PNP describing their business activities while on a valid work permit.
  8. The Government of British Columbia nominates approved entrepreneur applicants by issuing a confirmation of nomination, which enables entrepreneurs and their eligible dependent family members to apply for permanent residence with IRCC.
  9. IRCC may review additional information in the application to ensure that the nominee continues operation of the business and residence in B.C.

Entrepreneur Immigration Pre-Registration Process

Prior to registering, international entrepreneurs are encouraged to conduct business research, correspond with the BC PNP, and make an exploratory visit to the province. In this visit, international entrepreneurs can:

  • investigate and evaluate potential business opportunities;
  • conduct market research;
  • make local business contacts; and/or
  • learn more about what it’s like living and doing business in B.C., and gain a better understanding of our health care and education programs, housing, culture, recreation opportunities, and lifestyle.

If purchasing an existing business, the prospective applicant must ensure the business meets all the eligibility requirements for the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Stream.

To register to the BC PNP, individuals must create an online profile, complete all sections and include a business concept.

BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Registration Requirements

Candidate Requirements 

In order to be eligible to register, individuals must:

  • must have been lawfully admitted in the country where they are currently residing;
  • have at least a minimum of $600,000 in personal net worth. The personal net worth must be legally obtained and verifiable. The candidate must disclose personal net worth, including all your assets and those of your spouse or common-law partner, less any liabilities including mortgages and personal debts;

If invited to apply, individuals must obtain a verification report from BC PNP-qualified supplier. Failure to provide satisfactory evidence to verify personal net worth and source of funds may result in the refusal of an application.

  • have a minimum of three or more years as an active business owner-manager OR four or more years as a senior manager OR 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 (in the past 10 years);
  • have a post-secondary credential OR experience as an active business owner-manager with 100 per cent ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years. The percentage of ownership of the business may be shared between the candidate, the spouse or common-law partner, and/or his or her dependent child(ren);

If invited to apply, individuals will be required to provide evidence of their education and may be required to provide an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

  • provide details about the business concept specific to the proposal;

If invited to apply, individuals must demonstrate the proposed business is consistent with the registration business concept and show the potential for commercial viability to show how the proposed business will be successful in B.C.

  • demonstrate an eligible personal investment of at least $200,000 in the proposed business within 610 days (approximately 20 months) of arriving in B.C. on a BC PNP-supported work permit;
  • demonstrate that the business will create at least one permanent, new full-time equivalent job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada within 365 days (12 months) of the arrival date.

Business Concept Requirements

The registration must include a short business concept that will be assigned points based on proposed commercial viability, transferability of the candidate’s skills, and economic benefits. If the candidate is subsequently invited to apply, he or she will be required to submit a comprehensive business plan. 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.

4. BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot

The BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot is a new immigration pathway for foreign nationals looking to start and run a new business in smaller communities across British Columbia.

The business must be established in a community of fewer than 75,000 people located more than 30 kilometres from a larger city.

The two-year pilot is designed to help address demographic challenges in these communities, including the movement of young people to more densely populated cities in B.C. in search of better opportunities.

The BC PNP says the two-year pilot is intended to help distribute the economic benefits of immigration to B.C. more evenly across the province.

Foreign entrepreneurs approved through the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) — Regional Pilot will first obtain a temporary work permit to establish and run their business in British Columbia for at least 12 months in accordance with the terms of their established Performance Agreement.

If the business is then deemed by the BC PNP to meet the requirements of this agreement on an ongoing basis, the entrepreneur will receive a provincial nomination and can apply to the Government of Canada for permanent residence.

Registration for the pilot is expected to begin in early 2019.

Key Features of the BC PNP EI Regional Pilot:

  • Active community role — participating communities have an active role in the selection of prospective applicants. Designated community representatives meet with prospective entrepreneurs, hear their business proposals and refer them to the BC PNP if their proposal is selected. Communities and local partners also provide settlement support services to assist entrepreneurs once they arrive. 
  • BC PNP referrals — participating communities can refer immigrant entrepreneurs to the BC PNP. In order to be referred, the entrepreneur candidate must conduct an exploratory visit to the community and the proposed business must meet the community’s economic development priorities. 
  • Community concierge — participating communities can benefit from a dedicated Community Concierge appointed through the pilot to assist with their immigration needs. 
  • Invitations & prioritization – immigrant entrepreneurs with community referrals will be able to register in a separate candidate pool for the EI Regional Pilot. BC PNP will prioritize eligible applications and invitations will be issued on a monthly basis. 

Eligibility Requirements for the Community 

In order to be eligible, the B.C. community must have a population under 75,000 and must be located 30 kilometres away from a city with more than 75,000 inhabitants. The community must prove that it can offer the newcomer entrepreneur a network of settlement and business agencies. It is the responsibility of community representatives to attend immigration and pilot-specific training prior to hosting exploratory visits and referring prospective EI Regional Pilot applicants.

Eligible B.C. communities enrolled with the EI Regional Pilot will be listed here once their profiles are posted by the BC PNP. 

Eligibility Requirements for the Applicant 

The EI Regional Pilot is for entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business in a smaller, regional community in British Columbia. Foreign entrepreneurs who have or are looking to purchase a pre-existing business may determine their eligibility under the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Category (see above).

In order to register and apply to the EI Regional Pilot, applicants must:

A. Determine Eligibility for the BC PNP EI Regional Pilot

Before registering to the pilot, future entrepreneur applicants must:

  • have active business ownership and senior management experience within the last 5 years that includes:
    • 3 or more years of experience as an active business owner-manager; or
    • 4 or more years of experience as a senior manager; or 
    • a combination of 1 or more years of experience as an active business owner/manager and 2 or more years of experience as a senior manager. 
  • have either a post-secondary credential OR experience as a business owner/manager with 100% ownership of the business for at least 3 out of 5 years;
  • have a minimum personal net worth of $300,000;
  • provide a business plan to establish a new eligible business in an enrolled B.C. community;
  • hold at least 51 per cent ownership of the proposed business;
  • make a minimum investment of $100,000 in the proposed business;
  • create at least one full-time equivalent position for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • demonstrate a minimum language proficiency equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4;
  • actively manage their business in B.C. for at least 12 months in order to obtain a provincial nomination;
  • reside within the enrolled community where the business is established for at least 75 percent of the time while on a work permit.
B. Conduct a Community Exploratory Visit

All candidates must conduct an exploratory visit to the community in which they are hoping to establish their business. During the exploratory visit, the prospective EI Regional Pilot candidate presents their business proposal to the community’s pilot representative. The purpose of the visit is to obtain a community referral, which is required as part of the entrepreneur candidate’s registration.

Business proposal and referral request 

In the business proposal, the applicant must provide a business plan. The business must be established with the sole purpose of earning profits by providing products and/or services to the local community. The business must also demonstrate the potential for long-term financial success.

Ineligible businesses include bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based business, real estate development /brokerage, insurance or business brokerage. A complete list of BC PNP EI Regional Pilot ineligible businesses will be available in early 2019. 

For the community referral, the applicant must:

  1. Learn about the enrolled community and their priority industry sub-sectors;
  2. Understand the business conditions, local market and support services available to establish the business;
  3. Propose and develop a business concept that aligns with a priority industry sub-sector identified by the enrolled community;
  4. Meet with the designated community representative to discuss your business concept; 
  5. Request a referral from the enrolled community so they can submit an online registration with the BC PNP.
D. Submit Registration to the BC PNP and Obtain a Registration Score

Following the issuance of a community referral, potential applicants must submit an online registration to the BC PNP by providing information such as work and/or business experience, education, language ability, net worth, and details about the proposed business.

EI Regional Pilot registrants must also submit a copy of their community referral and test results to prove their official language abilities.

The registration will result in candidates being scored out of a maximum 200 points based on the following breakdown:

Scoring SectionsPoints
Self-DeclaredBusiness owner-manager or senior management experience22
Ownership (100%)2
Net Worth6
Total Personal Investment10
Jobs created and/or maintained15
Location: Population size of enrolled community 6
Location: Regional District of enrolled community12
Adaptability: Minimum language proficiency23
Adaptability: Education level16
Adaptability: Age16
Adaptability: Family in the community of proposed business4
Adaptability: Work, business, or studies in Canada9
Self-declared subtotal score140
Business ConceptCommercial Viability: Business model12
Commercial Viability: Market and products/services4
Commercial Viability: Eligible personal investment4
Commercial Viability: Assessment of proposed investment8
Commercial Viability: Ownership percentage2
Transferability of Skills15
Economic Benefits: Significant economic benefits5
Economic Benefits: Jobs assessment10
Business concept subtotal score60
MAXIMUM SCORE AVAILABLE200

The BC PNP will invite the highest-ranked candidates to submit a complete application to the program. The complete BC PNP EI Regional Pilot score grid will become available in early 2019. 

E. Submit a Complete Application to the BC PNP 

When invited to submit an application to the BC PNP, the applicant may be required to attend an interview in Vancouver to discuss information provided in the application. Once an application is approved, the applicant must sign a Performance Agreement that details all the requirements that must be met before the provincial nomination for permanent residence is issued by the Government of British Columbia. Applications will be assessed within four months of receipt. 

Applicants must hold a valid work permit when arriving in B.C. to establish the business, make investments and create jobs. The accompanying spouse or common-law partner of an applicant is eligible for an open work permit during this time.

After running the business successfully for at least 12 months, the applicant may submit a final report to the BC PNP. The BC PNP will then assess the report and whether the applicant has satisfied the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement. Final reports are typically assessed within four months.

F. Application for Permanent Residence

If the BC PNP approves the final report, the entrepreneur will be issued a provincial nomination certificate and may then apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for permanent residence. 

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