Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot Program

By Bryan Fitzpatrick

The new B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot Program is designed to attract entrepreneurs to participating regional communities in order to start new businesses that are in line with those communities’ economic development priorities. In order to participate in the Regional Pilot Program an applicant must be referred by one of the 41 participating communities.

Location of Business:

Unlike the B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category program, under the Regional Pilot Program one must establish their new business in one of the 41 participating communities. Conversely, under the Base Category, one can establish a new business or purchase an existing business anywhere in British Columbia. Moreover, in order to pursue the Regional Pilot Program one must visit and engage the community and obtain their support before registering for the program.

Lower Investment Threshold:

For individuals looking to immigrate to Canada BC’s new immigration entrepreneur Regional Pilot Program is an attractive option given the lower investment threshold required to qualify under the new category.

By way of comparison, while the Base Category requires an applicant to have a net worth of at least $600,000, the Regional Pilot program requires a minimum net worth of only $300,000. In both cases the applicant’s net worth must be verified if they are invited to apply.

Further, while the Base Category requires a minimum investment of $200,000, the Regional Pilot Program requires a minimum investment of only $100,000.  The upshot is that these lower thresholds are geared toward encouraging investment in smaller communities in British Columbia.

Ownership Percentage:

Under the Base Category program an individual must have an ownership percentage in the new or existing business of at least one-third (33%). However, under the Regional Pilot Program an individual must have an ownership percentage in the new business of at least 51%.

Program Similarities:

There are a number of similarities between the two entrepreneur programs and both programs require the same education or experience as an active business owner-manager for at least 3 of the last 5 years with 100% ownership in the business. Under both programs the business must create at least one full-time equivalent job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Prior to applying under either of these categories it can be helpful to take the time to speak with a Canadian immigration lawyer who can explain the application process and review the different requirements of each category.

For more information visit: https://www.welcomebc.ca/Immigrate-to-B-C/B-C-Provincial-Nominee-Program/Documents