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British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program

The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) offers accelerated immigration for qualified skilled workers and experienced entrepreneurs who wish to settle in British Columbia (BC) and become permanent residents of Canada.

- British Columbia PNP Business Immigrants Stream

British Columbia has several programs designed to attract potential immigrants who have the intention and the ability to establish themselves in the province as well as to develop and actively manage a business that will provide substantial economic benefits to British Columbia. Note that simply meeting the nomination criteria does not guarantee approval. Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate the most potential in terms of being able to create a successful business and contribute to the economy of the province.

*Basic Criteria:

The criteria that applies to all three categories relates to eligible businesses:

The business' primary purpose is to earn its profits from active income from the supply of products/services;
The sustained commercial viability of the business must be feasible.
The business needs to provide economic benefits to the province through one of the following avenues:
Increasing the exports of goods/services;
Increasing value-added manufacturing, processing, or primary resource activity;
Increasing tourism to the province;
Increasing research and development and technology commercialization;
Creating innovative approaches to traditional businesses;
Providing services to an underserved regional market;
Transferring skills, technology, and know-how to the province;
Succession plan buy-outs where eligible businesses are purchased from retiring owners.

Business Skills Category

To be considered eligible for this category, applicants must meet the following criteria:

Have a minimum personal net worth of CDN $800,000, accumulated legally, and sufficient funds that are unencumbered in order to make the required investment Make a minimum investment of CDN $400,000 to establish the eligible business Create a workable business plan that generates at least three jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
Own at least a third of the equity of the new business
Be actively involved in the daily management and direction of the business
Demonstrate they possess the skills and experience necessary to establish a commercially successful business in the province, and have previous lucrative business experience This application is limited to the principal applicant; foreign key staff cannot be included as co-applicants.

Regional Business Category

To be considered under this program, the business that the applicant invests in must be located outside of the Vancouver metropolitan area and the Abbotsford metropolitan area. In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria:

Have a minimum personal net worth of CDN $400,000, accumulated legally, and sufficient funds that are unencumbered in order to make the required investment
Make a minimum investment of CDN $200,000 to establish the eligible business Create a workable business plan that generates at least one new job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Own at least a third of the equity of the new business
Be actively involved in the daily management and direction of the business
Demonstrate they possess the skills and experience necessary to establish a commercially successful business in the province, and have previous lucrative business experience This application is limited to the principal applicant; foreign key staff cannot be included as co-applicants.

Strategic Projects Category

This category assists foreign-controlled companies who wish to establish a presence in British Columbia. It allows them to bring key foreign professional, managerial, or technical staff members , up to five per company , who intend to become Canadian Permanent Residents. Owners of companies who wish to immigrate should submit an application under either of the other two categories.

Companies who wish to apply in this category must:

Make an equity investment of at least CDN $500,000
For each key staff member proposed by the sponsor company, they must create at least three jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents
Provide evidence of a record of good business practices and lucrative business operations outside of Canada which are relevant to the business that is being proposed
Start or buy and expand an eligible business anywhere in the province
Either incorporate a Canadian subsidy to operate the proposed business or register an extra-provincial company in British Columbia to do so
Show that the key staff members are qualified leading personally who are vital to establishing or expanding and operating the proposed business
Processing Fees: $3000 (additional $1000 per key staff member proposed to be included)

Business Succession Plan Buy-Out

Applicants who commit to purchasing an existing business receive priority processing. In addition, the stipulated job creation requirements are reduced. For example, under the Business Skills category, for each existing job that is to be maintained for Canadian citizens or permanent residents, the job creation requirement is reduced by one. Applicants under the Regional Business Category will not be required to create a new job for Canadian citizens or permanent residents when applying under this subcategory.

In addition to the specific requirements of each category, the following requirements must also be met:

Requirements for the target business:

Must be located outside of the Vancouver metropolitan area and the Abbotsford metropolitan area
Has to have been operated by the same owner for at least five years
Have employees that are not family members
Needs to be actively in operation

Requirements for the applicant / sponsoring business:

Needs to carry out an exploratory visit to meet the retiring owners. If possible, they should also visit the local Economic Development office.
Will need to show proof that they have made a reasonable effort to determine a fair market price for the target business.

Before Key Staff can be considered for nomination, the business will need to be operated for at least one full year, with the intention of continuing to run the business in the long term.
As a result of the succession plan buy-out transaction, a complete change of ownership must take place whereby the purchaser(s) take full control of the business.

-British Columbia PNP Strategic Occupations Stream:

To qualify you must have a job offer from an employer in British Columbia that cannot be filled by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and be either:
- A skilled worker: Applications in the Skilled Worker category must have a job offer in an eligible occupation in skill type 0 or skill levels A, and B of Canada's National Occupational Classification Matrix (NOC);
- A health care professional, specifically physicians, registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, and midwives; or
- An international graduate of a recognized Canadian post-secondary institution. A semi-skilled worker in select Tourism/Hospitality occupations, Long-Haul Trucking occupations, and Food Processing occupations.

The province of British Columbia recently added the International Post-Graduates Pilot Project to its PNP. Under this category, international students who have obtained masters or doctorate degrees in the natural, applied or health sciences from eligible, recognized BC institutions within the last two years may apply even if they have not obtained a job offer from a BC employer.