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British Columbia Base Category Program

Provincial Nominee Program

The Base Category Program stream is best suited for experienced entrepreneurs who wish to immigrate to British Columbia and are prepared to invest in and actively manage a legitimate business. Applicants may establish a new business or take over and continue developing an existing business in British Columbia. 

Personal Requirements

To qualify for the Program, the Principal Applicant must:

  • Have a verifiable personal net worth of at least CAD$600,000;
  • Have or be eligible for legal immigration status in Canada;
  • Have been lawfully admitted into the current country of residence;
  • Have a post-secondary education credential OR experience as an active business owner-manager with 100% ownership of the business for at least three (3) of the past five (5) years;
  • Demonstrate business and/or management experience of:
    • More than three (3) years of experience in the past ten (10) years as an active business owner-manager; OR
    • More than four (4) years of experience in the past ten (10) years as a senior manager; OR
    • A combination of at least one (1) year of experience as an active business owner-manager and at least two (2) years of experience as a senior manager.
  • Demonstrate intent to actively manage the business;
  • Demonstrate intent to reside within 100 kilometres of the business;
  • Demonstrate intent to reside in British Columbia for at least 75% of the time while on a work permit;

Business, Job and Investment Requirements

Along with the Personal Requirements listed above, in order to qualify for the Program, the Principal Applicant must:

  • Establish an eligible new business or purchase and develop an existing business;
  • Make an eligible personal investment of a minimum of CAD$200,000 in the business;
  • Demonstrate ownership of at least one-third of the business (if proposed ownership is less than one-third of the business, an equity investment of at least CAD$1 million is required);
  • If opening a new business, create at least one (1) new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the business within 365 days of date of arrival.
  • If purchasing an existing business, maintain the number of existing jobs in the business as well as create at least one (1) new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the business within 365 days of date of arrival;
  • Demonstrate that the required number of full-time jobs have been employed for at least 180 days before submitting the Final Report.

Upon approval of the application, Applicants will be required to sign a Performance Agreement with British Columbia.

Key Staff Applicant Requirements

Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements may propose one key staff member whose expertise is crucial to the success of the proposed business. Key staff members will be eligible to apply for a Canadian work permit and may be eligible to be nominated for permanent residence. In order to be eligible, the key staff applicant must:

  • Have education and experience consistent with the prospective occupation in British Columbia as senior manager, or in a professional or technical position;
  • If work experience and education are not specifically identified in the proposed position, possess at least two (2) years of post-secondary education;
  • Have worked with the Principal Applicant in a senior position for at least one (1) year in the last three (3) years;
  • Have the proposed position fall under NOC Skill Types 0 or A.

Key staff applicants are also required to sign a Performance Agreement with British Columbia if approved.

If the Principal Applicant is proposing a key staff member, the Principal Applicant must:

  • Make an eligible personal investment of at least CAD$400,000;
  • If opening a new business, create at least three (3) new, permanent, full-time jobs for Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents;
  • If purchasing an existing business, maintain the number of existing jobs in the business as well as create at least three (3) new full-time jobs for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • Offer wage to key staff member that is equal to or greater than the median for that occupation in British Columbia.

Partnership with a BC PNP Co-Registrant

Applicants may choose to partner with another BC PNP co-registrant under one business proposal. Each co-registrant must meet the Personal and Business, Job and Investment Requirements listed above to be eligible. Each co-registrant will be assessed separately.

Applications may be denied on the following grounds:

  • Direct or indirect misrepresentation;
  • If the Applicant has a criminal record;
  • If the Applicant proposes an ineligible business;
  • If proposing to purchase an established business, if the Applicant has not identified the target business, or if the business has not been in operation under same owner for at least five (5) years;
  • If the Applicant does not meet the minimum point requirements for any section;
  • If the Applicant does not score at least 32 points in the business concept section.

Acquiring a Work Permit and Permanent Residence

The Base Category Program stream is a multi-step process requiring registration and application to the BC PNP first. BC PNP will invite the highest-scoring registrants to submit a full application. Upon approval of the application, BC PNP will issue the Applicant a work permit support letter which will allow the Applicant to apply for a two (2) year work permit and begin implementing the business plan and making the required investments.

Applicants must submit a Final Report at least 18 months after receiving a work permit for determination on whether the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement were met. If the determination is positive, Applicants are nominated for permanent residence and may apply with eligible family members to IRCC to become permanent residents under the Provincial Nominee Class.

Application Processing Time

Registrations are typically scored within six (6) weeks and application decisions are usually made within four (4) months. Final Reports are usually assessed within four (4) months. Permanent residence application processing times for the Provincial Nominees class are currently 15 to 19 months.

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