Canadian provinces can nominate foreign entrepreneurs and qualified businesses for permanent residency
There are several Provinces in Canada that have established provincial nomination as a way to attract valuable workers and successful business people to support local economies. In the province of British Columbia, the most developed and popular immigration program for business owners, experienced managers, and/or self-employed entrepreneurs is the Business Provincial Nominee stream. Most provinces have an agreement with the Government of Canada that allows them to nominate immigrants who wish to settle in that province. If you qualify to immigrate to Canada as a provincial nominee, you must first apply to the province where you wish to settle and meet their requirements. The province will consider your application based on:
- Provincial immigration needs and
- Your genuine intention to settle in the Province.
After you have been nominated by a province or territory, you have to make a separate application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for permanent residence (PR). You will have to pass a medical examination, security and criminal checks.
To avoid confusion and to give an example of how it works, we provide an overview of the Province of British Columbia’s Business Provincial Nominee Program. Below is the minimum program criteria. To find out if you are eligible and to go over any specific details, please contact us.
General Nomination Requirements
- You must demonstrate that you are actively managing the business in B.C.
- Active management means you are accountable for the day-to-day operations of the business.
- You must demonstrate that you reside within 100 kilometers of the business you operate in B.C.
- You must also demonstrate that you have been a resident in B.C. for at least 75% of the time while on a work permit.
In order to be eligible under the Entrepreneur Immigration stream, you must have been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently reside.
Personal Net Worth:
In order to register, you must have at least a minimum of $600,000 in personal net worth. Your personal net worth must be legally obtained and verifiable. Declared net worth must be in your name and/or your spouse’s name.
If you are invited to apply, you will be asked to provide supporting documentation to substantiate ownership, or percentage ownership, positions in any business.
Business and/or work experience:
The BC PNP will assign points for your business and/or work experience from the last 10 years.
To register, you must have a minimum of:
- more than three years of experience as an active business owner-manager, or
- more than four years of experience 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.
*An active role means that you are personally involved in the day-to-day operations of the company and have direct involvement in decision-making.
The BC PNP will consider adaptability factors and assign points for these factors as part of the registration score. The adaptability factors are not mandatory requirements of the BC PNP but are indicators to support the likelihood of your economic establishment in B.C.
English language proficiency:
English language is NOT a mandatory requirement of the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration stream. However, points are assigned for self-declared English language proficiency.
You must provide information on your highest level of education completed.
- A minimum of two-years of post-secondary education, or
- Experience as an active business owner-manager with 100% ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years.
Previous visit(s) to B.C.:
If you have previously visited British Columbia, you must provide details of your visit(s), including cities/municipalities visited, and the dates when you entered and exited B.C.
While the BC PNP does not have any age requirements or age limit, your age will be assigned points under the Entrepreneur Immigration Registration.
The BC PNP will assign points if you possess any of the following experience obtained in Canada within the last 10 years:
- Canadian, full-time work experience: You have legally worked in Canada for at least 12 consecutive months in any occupation, which may include the active management of a business under your ownership in Canada.
- Full-time studies in Canada: You have legally studied in Canada under a secondary or post-secondary program for at least 12 consecutive months.
- Points will not be assigned for language training such as English as a second language.
The BC PNP will only consider registrations to establish or purchase and improve a business that contributes to the economic growth of the Province.
The proposed business must be operated for the primary purpose of earning profits by providing products and/or services. Additionally, the business must have strong potential for sustained commercial success.
The BC PNP does not pre-approve or endorse business proposals.
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.
*You cannot change your business concept after you submit your registration.
- You must describe how your proposed business will generate revenue and profit, and how the business will have the potential for sustained commercial success under your management.
Minimum ownership percentage:
- You must demonstrate you will own at least one-third (33.3%) of the business in B.C., or
- If your personal equity investment is at least $1,000,000, you may own less than one-third (33.3%) of the business
- any business where the terms of investment include a redemption option
- bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based businesses
- pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses
- scrap metal recycling
- coin-operated laundries
- automated car wash operations
- businesses selling used goods (excluding collectibles, or businesses that provide value-added services such as repairs, refurbishing or recycling)
- real estate development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage
- businesses involved in producing, distributing or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing sexually oriented services
- any other type of business that by association would tend to bring the BC PNP or the Government of British Columbia into disrepute
*The following examples are business activities that may not offer significant economic benefit if the local market is already well-served:
- convenience stores
- DVD rental stores
- gasoline service stations
- personal dry cleaning services
- tanning salons
If you would like to know whether you could be eligible to immigrate to Canada in the Business Category or under other PNP programs, we invite you to complete our FREE online assessment.