British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program

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British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program
Provincial Nominee Program

There are two parts for the BC Provincial Nominee Program as described below:

1. The Strategic Occupations Component

The purpose of this component is to facilitate British Columbia employers to hire and/or retain well-qualified foreign workers in order to fulfil provincial labor market needs. The applicant is required to have a valid job offer from an employer based in BC and the respective employer should be able to show that the specific position cannot be possibly filled by a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. This component emphasizes on the following:

  • Skilled Workers:

Foreign nationals with a valid job offer from a BC employer in an occupation that is either managerial, professional, technician or one of the skilled trades (skill type 0 or skill levels A, and B of Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC);

  • International Graduates:

This is for recent graduates of a recognized Canadian post-secondary institution.

  • International Post-Graduates Pilot Project:

This category is for graduates with masters and doctorate degree in the field of natural, applied and health sciences. In this case a job offer is not mandatory but the applicant must have graduated from a recognized BC college or school within the last two years from the date of the application.

  • Designated Health Professionals:

This category is for healthcare professionals such as registered nurses, physicians, psychiatric nurses and midwives.

  • Entry Level and Semi-Skilled:

This is category includes tourism or hospitality, long-Haul trucking and food processing occupations respectively.

2. Business Immigration Component

The Business Immigration Component is basically aimed to recruit experienced and qualified business entrepreneurs who are willing to invest in and actively run/manage a business in British Columbia. For this, the applicants can apply under the following three categories:

  1. Business Skills Category
  2. Regional Business Category
  3. Strategic Projects Category
  4. Business Succession Plan Buy-out – This is a subcategory which falls under all three aforementioned categories. Applicants apply through this category if they are willing to purchase an existing business located somewhere outside of the Vancouver and Abbotsford metropolitan areas.

Eligible Businesses – Basic criteria for all categories

Applicants for all three business categories mentioned above must meet the following basic criteria relating to business eligibility:

  • The main goal of the business must be to earn profits from active income from the supply of products and/or services.
  • The business is required to have probable commercial viability that can be sustained;
  • The business must be benefitting the local economy of British Columbia in one of the following ways:
    • by increasing the volume of exports of goods and/or services;
    • by increasing value-added manufacturing, processing, or a primary resource activity;
    • by increasing tourism in British Columbia;
    • by providing services to an underserved regional/local market;
    • by increasing commercialization of R&D and technology;
    • by bringing in innovation in approaches to traditional businesses;
    • by transferring useful skills, technology and knowledge to BC;

Ineligible Businesses:

If BC Provincial Nominee Program finds that the potential of a specific business that is proposed is not viable, the respective application will be refused. In addition to this, PNP doesn’t approve applications that fall under the following types:

  • Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses;
  • Pawnbrokers;
  • Coin operated laundry;
  • Automated car wash setups;
  • Businesses associated with the sex industry, including the production, distribution or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services, or the provision of sexually oriented material;
  • Bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based business setups;
  • Sale of used products (excluding collectibles, or where the business provides value-added services such as repairs, refurbishing, or recycling of goods)
  • Real estate development or brokerage (includes insurance or business brokerage)
  • Any other nature of business that would tend to bring the BC PNP or the Government of British Columbia into any form of disrepute;

Apart from this, applications will not be considered for the following types of businesses in the Vancouver or for the Abbotsford metropolitan areas:

  • Video and DVD rental stores;
  • Convenience stores;
  • Gas stations;
  • Personal dry cleaning services;

Now let’s have a look at the British Columbia Business Immigration Component categories in detail:

I. Business Skills Category:

For those who are willing to get nominated under the business skills category, the following requirements will apply:

  • Applicants are required to make a minimum personal investment of $400,000 CAD to establish or to purchase and expand an eligible business in BC;
  • Applicants are required to have a minimum personal net worth of $800,000 CAD obtained from legitimate sources;
  • Applicants should have enough personal funds to make the necessary investment;
  • Applicants need to provide a viable business proposal;
  • The investment in the respective proposed business must create at least three new jobs in the business for Canadians or permanent residents;
  • Applicants should be able to demonstrate they have the set of skills and experience necessary to setup and operate the respective business they plan to invest in (whether a new business or existing);
  • Applicants are required to own a minimum of one third (33.33%) of the equity of the business.
  • Applicants should have active participation in the daily management and direction of the business.
  • Applicants are required to sign a performance agreement with the Province of BC and fulfil 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 provided that this individual is an important staff member essential to the proposed business plan, however, the principal applicant is still required to meet the requirement to create three new jobs for Canadians or permanent residents.

II. Regional Business Category:

This category is designed for those foreign nationals who are willing to invest in a business situated somewhere in BC outside the Vancouver and the Abbotsford metropolitan areas. The following requirements apply to those interested in being nominated under this category:

  • Applicants are required to make a minimum investment of $200,000 CAD into an eligible business somewhere outside of the Vancouver metropolitan area or Abbotsford metropolitan area;
  • Applicants must show that they have a minimum personal net worth of $400,000 CAD obtained from legitimate sources.
  • The applicant must have enough personal funds (free of any financial liability) to make the required investment along with a feasible business proposal;
  • Applicants must demonstrate that they have the necessary skills to establish and manage business in British Columbia.
  • The investment should create a minimum of one new job in the business for a Canadian or permanent resident (with the exception when the applicant is applying as a regional Succession Plan Buy-out);
  • The applicant is required to own at least one third of the business;
  • The applicant must have active participation in the daily management and direction of the business.
  • The applicant is required to sign a “Performance Agreement” with the Province of BC and must meet the conditions of this agreement in order to be nominated for permanent residence.

III. Strategic Projects Category:

This category is aimed to assist foreign controlled businesses that are looking to to establish an eligible business in British Columbia. This category allows the foreign controlled business owners to bring up to five foreign key employees to the business they will be operating in BC, with the intention of becoming Canadian permanent residents. The foreign employees that are vital for the business must either be managerial, professional or technical staff. If the owners of the foreign controlled business wish to immigrate to BC, they are required to apply through the Business Skills category or the Regional Business category.

Foreign controlled companies applying under this category need to meet the following conditions:

  • Make an equity investment of at least $500,000 CAD
  • The investment should create at least three jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in British Columbia for each foreign key employee the company wants to bring to Canada.
  • Company should have a record of good business practices and be able to demonstrate that they have ran similar and successful operations outside of Canada in the past.
  • The company must establish a new business or purchase and expand an eligible business somewhere in British Columbia;
  • In order to operate in British Columbia, the business must incorporate a Canadian subsidiary or register an extra-provincial company.
  • The business must show that the foreign key staff they wish to bring to Canada are well qualified senior personnel who are essential to the success of the business plan or purchase/expansion.
  • The business must sign a performance agreement with the province and also satisfy the conditions of this specific agreement.

General business requirements for all three Business Categories

Apart from the aforementioned requirements, there are some generic business requirements for all the three categories mentioned as follows:

  • The business must be located outside of the Vancouver and the Abbotsford metropolitan areas.
  • The proposed business must have been operated by the same owner for a minimum of 5 years with active participation.
  • The business must have employees, other than family members/relatives.

The general requirements for the applicants:

  • Applicants are required to do an exploratory visit to meet the retiring owners of the business they will purchase and, where applicable, they should meet with the local Economic Development Office;
  • Applicants need to provide evidence that reasonable efforts were made to establish a fair market value for the business being purchased;
  • Applicants are required to operate the business for a minimum of one year, prior to being considered for nomination and also have the intentions of continuing to operate the business in the longer run;
  • As a result of the succession plan buy-out transaction, the applicants need to take full ownership and control of the business.
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