British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) reopened its doors for business immigrants to Canada on July 2, 2015. In a landscape of unfriendly federal business immigration programs and preference for employer-driven individual immigration programs, the new BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration program is extremely attractive for prospective business immigrants to Canada.

The appeal

  • No minimum English language skills required
  • No age restriction
  • Minimum of 33 percent business ownership only
  • Low thresholds for minimum net worth (CA$600,000) and investment (CA$200,000)
  • Low initial registration fee of CA$300

Looking closer

It may sound too good to be true, because it probably is. BC PNP is attracting as many applications as it can so it can choose the best. In fact, BC PNP will now have a Pool of applicants competing to get as many points (maximum 200) as possible—however, only 200 applicants are accepted into the Pool each month. BC PNP will then make periodic draws from the Pool to award applicants holding the highest scores with an Invitation to Apply for the Entrepreneur Immigration program. So while the bar seems to be set low, applicants will need a competitive score to be successful.

A competitive score can come from increasing individual points as much as possible for each category:

Click here to view table.  

This could mean having greater management experience, higher net worth, significant investments, English language skills or even choosing a better business. For instance, an eligible business for the Business Concept must, at minimum, contribute to the province’s economic growth. However, there is also a list of business types that offer significant economic benefits and those would presumably be more valuable on the points system.

Other requirements for the program, like its predecessor, include:

  • Business or management experience;
  • Active management of a new or improved existing business located in British Columbia;
  • Intention to reside in British Columbia; and
  • Introduction of at least one full-time job for a Canadian or permanent resident.

Undoubtedly, the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration program will reopen doors of opportunity for prospective business immigrants to Canada.