A new Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot immigration stream has been launched in British Columbia, aimed at attracting business immigrants to rural communities.
The two-year British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program pilot is designed to get foreign entrepreneurs to start businesses, create jobs and settle in smaller B.C. 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.
A BC PNP statement said: “The EI Regional Pilot is a partnership between communities and the province, focused on attracting motivated entrepreneurs from around the world to establish new businesses in regional communities to meet the community’s specific needs.”
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The pilot empowers B.C. communities to attract entrepreneurs and refer to the BC PNP for priority immigration.
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.S.’s main Entrepreneur Immigration stream.
“Community support is critical to the successful establishment, settlement and integration of foreign entrepreneur talent,” the BC PNP statement said.
“With the support of local community members, immigrant entrepreneurs can flourish and succeed in the communities where they will reside and establish their business.”
The province will host an information session about the pilot in December 6, 2018, with enrolment registration to open in early 2019.
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.
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