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The Entrepreneurs intending to immigrate to British Columbia province by using its new Regional Pilot can now plan their first step to obtain the community referral.  The pilot has opened on March 14. Additionally, it has the aim to help small/remote communities in attracting fresh businesses, and thereby create jobs. Entrepreneurs possessing the Experience approved by using the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot get a work permit (temporary) for starting the business. Moreover, they can subsequently apply to seek the provincial nomination for PR in Canada, when they meet the specific conditions of their Performance Agreement.

The modalities

The aim of the pilot is to cater to the regional communities, having a population lower than 75,000. Moreover, the location has to be 30 kilometers away from a large population center. It addresses the economic and demographic challenges, which the towns and cities are facing.  30 communities joined the pilot, and can now begin to refer eligible candidates, to get consideration in the BC PNP. The participation norms are that the communities must include the support services for helping in the settlement of business owners as well as their families also. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, and Technology, British Columbia, stated that owing to the aging workforce and a fondness for city life, small towns face the challenges of local economic growth. This pilot has a focus to attract new businesses which create additional jobs and also spread investment in the province.

Way of working

The steps for the interested entrepreneurs are:
  • They must first assess the eligibility to be in the program. Furthermore, they have to conduct an exploratory visit and explore whether the community is suitable for them to start their business.
  • In the visit, the candidates have to present the business proposal to the designated representative of the community.
  • After completing the visit, they must seek the community referral to register in the pilot.
  • In this registration process, candidates have to give details regarding their education, work, business experience, language proficiency, net worth and all information pertaining to the proposed business.
The criteria regarding personal net worth and investment were reduced. The aim here is a low cost of starting the business and settling in the regions, as against in Vancouver and or in densely populated urban regions.

Other details

Other eligibility criteria are:
  • Having $100,000 in business investments;
  • A personal net worth of $300,000;
  • Possessing more than three years of experience as a business owner or manager or of four years in a senior manager role during the past five years;
  • Taking 51 percent ownership;
  • Creating one new job for a PR/citizen of Canada; and finally
  • Having proficiency in English/French of CLB 4.
The candidates get a score on completing the registration. Top scoring candidates receive the invitation for submitting the full application to Program in the monthly rounds. The applications are assessed in three to four months. Also, the applicants are invited for a personal interview in Vancouver for discussing the relevant details. Applicants receiving the Approval have to sign a performance agreement with the Program, outlining the criteria to meet to get the PR nomination. Upon success, the applicants get a supporting letter from the PNP. Then they can apply to the Government and also seek a two-year temporary work permit. Entrepreneurs who meet the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement are nominated for PR.

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