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British Columbia Regional Pilot Program

Provincial Nominee Program

The Regional Pilot Program stream was implemented to attract entrepreneurs to work with participating regional communities by establishing new businesses that align with the communities’ economic development priorities. This stream was designed to encourage investment outside urban areas and will be administered for a period of two (2) years.

Communities may refer foreign entrepreneurs to the BC PNP which will place their application in a prioritized registration pool. Entrepreneurs will be required to visit the community to present their business concept to the designated contact person prior to receiving a referral.

Personal Requirements

To qualify for the Program, the Principal Applicant must:

  • Have a verifiable personal net worth of at least CAD$300,000;
  • 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;
  • Have basic English or French language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark level four (4) or higher in each category on a valid language test;
  • Demonstrate business and/or management experience of:
    • More than three (3) years of experience in the past five (5) years as an active business owner-manager; OR
    • More than four (4) years of experience in the past five (5) 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 the boundaries of the community that is supporting the application;
  • 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 a new eligible business in a participating community in British Columbia that aligns with one of the economic priorities as identified by the community;
  • Make an eligible personal investment of a minimum of CAD$100,000 in the business;
  • Demonstrate ownership of at least 51% of the 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;
  • 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.

Applications may be denied on the following grounds:

  • Direct or indirect misrepresentation;
  • If the Applicant proposes an ineligible business;
  • If the Applicant has a criminal record;
  • If the Applicant is prohibited from entering Canada;
  • If the Applicant has not been legally admitted into their current country of residence;
  • If the Applicant is in Canada and is out of status or has been working without authorization;
  • If the Applicant has an unresolved refugee claim in Canada or is under a removal order in or outside of Canada.

Acquiring a Work Permit and Permanent Residence

The Regional Pilot 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.

Upon fulfilling the conditions stipulated in the Performance Agreement, the Applicant must submit a final report to demonstrate how the terms and conditions 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 four (4) 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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