Business Immigration Component – BC PNP
The Business immigration component of the BC PNP is designed to recruit experienced business entrepreneurs who want to invest in and actively manage a business in BC. There are three categories that applicants can apply for under the Business Immigration Component. Although each category has its own requirements, please note that applicants under all three categories must also meet the Basic Requirements listed below on this page.
- Business Skills Category
- Regional Business Category
- Strategic Projects Category
*Business Succession Plan Buy-Out
The “Business Succession Plan Buy-Out” is a subcategory which falls under all three categories above. Applicants apply through this category if they wish to purchase an existing business somewhere outside of the Vancouver metropolitan and Abbotsford metropolitan areas.
Eligible Businesses – The basic criteria for all three categories
Applicants for all three business categories must meet the following basic criteria relating to business eligibility:
- The primary purpose of the business must be to earn profits from active income from the supply of products and/or services;
- The business must have probable commercial viability that can be sustained;
- The business must be able to provide an economic benefit to BC by contributing in one of the following ways:
- by increasing the exports of goods and/or services;
- by increasing value-added manufacturing, processing, or a primary resource activity;
- by increasing British Columbia tourism;
- by increasing research and development and technology commercialization;
- by creating innovative approaches to traditional businesses;
- by providing services an underserved regional market;
- by transferring skills, technology, and know-how to British Columbia;
by succession plan buy-outs where eligible businesses are purchased from retiring owners.
Applications will be refused where the BC PNP finds that the potential of the proposed business is not viable. Furthermore, the BC PNP will not approve applications for the following type of businesses:
- Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses;
- Coin operated laundry businesses;
- Automated car wash businesses;
- Bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based businesses;
- Sale of used goods (excluding collectibles, or where the business provides value-added services such as repairs, refurbishing, or recycling)
- Real estate development or brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage
- Businesses involved in the sex industry, including the production, distribution or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services, or in the provision of 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;
Furthermore, applications will not be considered for the following types of businesses in the Vancouver metropolitan area or for the Abbotsford metropolitan area:
- Video stores and DVD rental stores;
- Convenience stores;
- Gas stations;
- Personal dry cleaning services;
Business Skills category – BC PNP
The following requirements apply to those interested in being nominated under the Business Skills category:
- Applicants must make a minimum personal investment of $400,000 CAD to establish or to purchase and expand an eligible business in British Columbia;
- Applicants must have a minimum personal net worth of $800,000 CAD obtained from legal sources;
- Applicants must have sufficient personal funds to make the necessary investment;
- Applicants must provide a viable business proposal;
- The investment in the proposed business must create at least three new jobs in the business for Canadians or permanent residents;
- Applicants must demonstrate they have the skills and experience necessary to establish and operate the business the plan to invest in (whether a new business or existing);
- Applicants must own a minimum of one third (33.33%) of the equity of the business.
- Applicants must have an active and on-going role in the daily management and direction of the business.
- Applicants must sign a performance agreement with the Province of British Columbia and satisfy the conditions of the agreement in order to be nominated for permanent residence.
- Principal applicants in the Business Skills category may include one foreign national as a co-applicant for nomination if this person is a key staff member essential to the proposed business plan, however, the principal applicant must still meet the requirement to create three new jobs for Canadians or permanent residents.
Regional Business Category – BC PNP
This category is for those foreign nationals who wish to invest in a business somewhere in British Columbia outside the Vancouver metropolitan area and the Abbotsford metropolitan area. The following requirements apply to those interested in being nominated under the Regional Business Category:
- Applicants must make a minimum investment of $200,000 CAD into an eligible business somewhere outside of the Vancouver metropolitan area of Abbotsford metropolitan area;
- Applicants must demonstrate that they have a minimum personal net worth of $400,000 CAD obtained from legal sources.
- The applicant must have sufficient unencumbered personal funds to make the required investment along with a viable business proposal;
- Applicants must demonstrate that they have the skills and experience necessary to establish and viable business in British Columbia.
- The investment must create a minimum of one new job in the business for a Canadian or permanent resident (except when the applicant is applying as a regional Succession Plan Buy-out);
- The applicant must own at least one third of the business;
- The applicant must have active and continuous role in the daily management and direction of the business.
- The applicant must sign a “Performance Agreement” with the Province of BC and must satisfy the conditions of this agreement in order to be nominated for permanent residence.
Strategic Projects Category – BC PNP
This BC PNP category is designed to assist foreign controlled businesses that wish to establish an eligible business in BC. This category allows the foreign controlled business to bring up to 5 foreign key employees to the business they will be bringing to BC, with the intention becoming Canadian permanent residents. The foreign key employees must either be managerial, professional or technical staff. If the owners of the foreign controlled business wish to immigrate to BC, then they must apply through the Business Skills category or the Regional Business category.
Foreign controlled companies applying under this BC PNP category must meet the following requirements:
- make an equity investment of at least $500,000 CAD
- the investment must create at least 3 jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in BC for each foreign key employee the company wants to bring to Canada. If the company is applying as a Business Succession Plan Buy-Out, then the company has the option to create three new jobs as described above, or they must maintain the employment of three Canadians or permanent residents for each foreign key staff they wish to bring to the company in BC.
- Company must has a record of good business practices and be able to demonstrate that they have ran similar and successful operations outside of Canada.
- The company must establish a new business or purchase and expand an eligible business somewhere in British company;
- In order to operate in BC, the company must incorporate a Canadian subsidiary or register an extra-provincial company.
- The company must demonstrate the foreign key staff they wish to bring to Canada are qualified senior personnel who are essential to the success of the proposed business plan or purchase/expansion.
- The company must sign a performance agreement with the province and the company must meet the conditions of this agreement.
Business Succession Plan Buy-Out – BC PNP
The Business Succession Plan Buy-out is a subcategory applicable to all three business immigration categories. Applicants under this category must commit to purchasing an existing business in BC and such applications will receive priority process under the BC PNP.
Applicants under this category will have their stipulated job creation requirements reduced by a certain amount depending on which type of applicant they are applying as. Business Skills Applicants and Strategic Project Applicants will have their stipulated job creation amounts reduced by one for each job that is maintained for a Canadian citizen or permanent residents. Regional business applicants who apply through the Business Succession Plan Buy-Out subcategory will not be required to create any new jobs where they maintain the existing jobs with Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
General business requirements for all three Business Categories
The business to be bought must meet the following requirements:
- The business must be located outside of the Vancouver metropolitan area and the Abbotsford metropolitan area.
- The business must have been operated by the same owner for a minimum of 5 years and be actively in operation.
- The business must have employees, other than family members.
The general requirements for the applicants:
- Applicants must do an exploratory visit to meet the retiring owners of the business they will purchase and, where possible, they should meet with the local Economic Development Office;
- Applicants must provide evidence that reasonable efforts were made to establish a fair market value for the business being purchased;
- Applicants must operate the business for a minimum of one full year prior to being considered for nomination and must have the intentions of continuing to operate the business in the long-term;
- As a result of the succession plan buy-out transaction, the applicants must take full ownership and control of the business.