British Columbia immigration has seen more than 30 communities enrol to be part of the province’s new Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot.
The two-year British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program pilot is designed to attract entrepreneurs to establish businesses in smaller communities with populations less than 75,000.
These smaller communities are facing some of the more acute issues with aging populations and shrinking labour markets.
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Investment and net worth requirements for the Regional Pilot are half of those stipulated for the main British Columbia Entrepreneur stream.
“Due to an aging workforce and a preference for city living, some smaller towns can face challenges growing their local economies,” said Bruce Ralston, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.
“This pilot will attract new businesses that create jobs and spread investment around the province so more British Columbians can benefit from shared prosperity.”
Under the Regional Pilot, candidates are required to invest $100,000, have a net worth of $300,000 and create one job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
The Regional Pilot is only for entrepreneurs wishing to start a new business. Those wishing to purchase an existing business should consider B.C.’s main Entrepreneur Immigration stream.
B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot
1) Community Involvement
Participation communities are actively involved in attracting the foreign entrepreneur, and helping them settle after arrival.
2) BC PNP Referrals
Communities can refer foreign entrepreneurs to the BC PNP. The candidates must have visited the community and have a business proposal aligned with its economic priorities.
3) Community Concierge
Participating communities have access to the services of a dedicated BC PNP Community Concierge.
4) Invitations and Prioritization
Referred candidates register is a separate BC PNP pool. Monthly invitations are issued to the best scoring candidates. Those invited received priority processing.
- Population of less than 75,000.
- Located beyond 30km from a municipality of more than 75,000 population.
- Demonstrated capacity to support foreign entrepreneurs with network of settlement and business support agencies.
- Immigration and pilot-specific training must be completed by community representatives.
- Desire to start a business and settle in a B.C. regional community.
- Complete an exploratory visit.
- Minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments.
- Minimum personal net worth of $300,000.
- Minimum of 51 per cent ownership.
- Minimum of one new job created.
Enrolled Communities By Development Region
- Prince George
- Williams Lake
- Regional District of Central Kootenay (Area J)
- Sunshine Coast Regional District – Egmont and Pender Harbour (Area A)
- Sunshine Coast Regional District – Halfmoon Bay (Area B)
- Sunshine Coast Regional District – Roberts Creek (Area D)
- Sunshine Coast Regional District – Elphinstone (Area E)
- Sunshine Coast Regional District – West Howe Sound (Area F)
- Burns Lake
- Tumbler Ridge
- Comox Valley Regional District – Baynes Sound – Denman/Hornby Island (Area A)
- Comox Valley Regional District – Lazo North (Area B)
- Comox Valley Regional District – Puntledge – Black Creek (Area C)
- Port Alberni
- Powell River
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