BC PROVINCIAL NOMINEE PROGRAM - BUSINESS IMMIGRANTS

BC Provincial Nominee Program – Business Immigrants

The Strategic Projects category assists foreign-controlled companies establishing an eligible business in BC with the timely entry of foreign key managerial, professional or technical staff, up to a maximum of 5 per company, who intend to become permanent residents of Canada and settle in BC

Companies applying in this category will be required to:

1.- Make a minimum equity investment of $500,000.

2.- Create at least three jobs for Canadians or permanent residents in BC for each nominee applicant put forward by the company, except when the applicant is applying as a regional Succession Plan Buy-out which reduces this requirement by one job for each existing job to be maintained.

3.- Demonstrate a record of good business practices and successful business operations outside of Canada that are relevant to the proposed business.

4.- Establish or purchase and expand an eligible business anywhere in BC

5.- Incorporate a Canadian subsidiary or register an extra-provincial company in BC to operate the proposed business.

6.- Demonstrate that the nominee applicants are qualified senior personnel who are essential to establishing or expanding and operating the proposed business in BC.

7.- Sign a Performance Agreement with the Province of British Columbia.

The fast track option is NOT available to nominee candidates in the Strategic Projects category

Business Succession Plan Buy-out

Strategic Project sponsoring companies who commit to purchase an existing business will have their stipulated job creation requirements reduced by one job for each existing job that is to be maintained for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. These applications will receive priority processing.

In addition to meeting the requirements for the strategic projects category, the following additional requirements must be met.

The target business must:

- be located outside of the Vancouver metropolitan area (PDF – 2.34MB) and the Abbotsford metropolitan area (PDF – 775KB)
- be operated by the same owner for a minimum of 5 years
- have employees, other than family members
- be actively in operation.

The sponsoring company must:

- complete an exploratory visit to meet the retiring owners and, where feasible, the local Economic Development Office
- operate the business for a minimum of one full year prior to the Key Staff being considered for nomination, with long term intentions of continuing to operate the business
- the succession plan buy-out transaction is to result in a complete change of ownership whereby the purchaser(s) take full control of the business.

 

Business Skills Category

Applicants for nomination in the Business Skills category will be required to:

1.- Make a personal investment of at least $400,000 CAD to establish or to purchase and expand an eligible business anywhere in BC
2.- Create at least three new jobs in the business for Canadians or permanent residents, except when the applicant is applying as a regional Succession Plan Buy-out which reduces this requirement by one job for each existing job to be maintained.
3.- Own at least one third (33 1/3%) of the equity of the business.
4.- Provide active and on-going participation in the day to day management and direction of the business.
5.- Demonstrate that they have:

- the skills and experience necessary to establish and operate a commercially viable business in BC
- a personal net worth of at least $800,000 CAD obtained from legal sources
- sufficient unencumbered personal funds to make the required investment
- a viable business proposal

6.- Sign a performance agreement with the Province of British Columbia.
7.- Sign a deposit agreement with the Province of British Columbia, if they are seeking a fast track nomination.

Fast Track Option

The fast track option offers immediate nomination for permanent residence. In return, you will be required to make a conditionally refundable $125,000 CAD deposit with the Province of British Columbia. The deposit will be refunded (without interest) when you have met the terms of conditions of your performance agreement and deposit agreement.

Principal Applicants and Key Staff

Principal applicants in Business Skills category may include one foreign, key staff essential to the proposed business as a co-applicant for nomination, but must still create three jobs for Canadians or permanent residents.

Business Succession Plan Buy-out

Business Skills applicants who commit to purchase an existing business will have their stipulated job creation requirements reduced by one job for each existing job that is to be maintained for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. These applications will receive priority processing.

In addition to meeting the requirements for the business skills category, the following additional requirements must be met.

The target business must:

- be located outside of the Vancouver metropolitan area (PDF – 2.34MB) and the Abbotsford metropolitan area (PDF – 775KB).
- be operated by the same owner for a minimum of 5 years
- have employees, other than family members
- be actively in operation.

The applicant must:

- complete an exploratory visit to meet the retiring owners and, where feasible, the local Economic Development Office.

- operate the business for a minimum of one full year prior to being considered for nomination (or deposit refund, in the case of Fast Track nominees), with long term intentions of continuing to operate the business.

- the succession plan buy-out transaction is to result in a complete change of ownership whereby the purchaser(s) take full control of the business.

Eligible Businesses and Investments

Business/Investment Eligibility

- Eligible Business
- Ineligible Business
- Investment

Eligible Business

The BC PNP will only consider applications to establish or purchase and expand a business that meet the following eligibility criteria:

1.- The business must be operated for the primary purpose of earning profits from active income through the provision of products and/or services.
2.- The business must have good potential for sustained commercial viability.
3.- The business must have the potential to create significant economic benefits for British Columbia. For example, the benefits may contribute to:

- increasing value-added manufacturing, processing or primary resource activity
- increasing exports of goods or services
- increasing destination tourism
- increasing R&D/technology commercialization
- developing innovative and creative approaches to traditional businesses
- transferring technology, skills and specialized know-how to the province
- servicing an underserved local or regional market
- succession plan buy-outs where eligible businesses are purchased from retiring owners

Ineligible Business

Applications will NOT be approved where the BC PNP is not satisfied that the proposed business has the potential to be commercially viable in British Columbia. In addition, the BC PNP will NOT approve applications for the following type of businesses:

- Bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based businesses
- Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses
- Pawnbrokers
- Coin operated laundries
- Automated car wash operations
- Sale of used goods (excluding collectibles, or where the business provides value-added services such as repairs, refurbishing, or recycling)
- Real estate development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage
- Businesses involved in the production, distribution or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services, or in the provision of sexually oriented services
- Any other type of business that by association would tend to bring the program or the Government of British Columbia into disrepute

In addition, applications will NOT be considered for the following types of businesses in the Vancouver metropolitan area (PDF – 316KB) or the Abbotsford metropolitan area (PDF – 290KB):

- Convenience stores
- Video and DVD rental stores
- Gasoline service stations
- Personal dry cleaning services

Investment in the Business

If you are buying the shares of an existing operating business no more than two thirds of the applicable minimum personal investment can apply to the purchase of shares and you must acquire ownership and control of at least one third of the business. The shares you buy to purchase the business must be common full-voting shares and must not have a redemption option.

If you are buying the assets of an existing business no more than two thirds of the applicable personal investment can be applied to the purchase of these assets.

In addition, at least one-third of the required applicable minimum investment for the category must be directed towards expansion and/or improvement of the existing business that you are purchasing.

The applicable minimum personal investment can not be applied to the purchase of real estate unless you can satisfy the BC PNP that the real estate is essential to the business, in which case no more than two thirds of this investment can be applied for this purpose.

The applicable minimum personal investment can be applied to the following types of business costs, provided that the amounts are reasonable for the business involved:

- Machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures
- Leasehold improvements
- Inventory
- Patents and licenses
- Franchise purchase fees
- Allowable real estate and franchises
- Initial promotion and marketing
- Other start-up expenses, such as incorporation and permit fees, legal and other professional fees

If, because of the nature of your business, you are unable to apply the full amount of the minimum required personal equity investment to these types of expenditures, you may apply the balance to wages, building rent and other normal operating expenses (excluding any payments to yourself or family members) during the first six months of operations if you are establishing a new business, or three months if you are buying a franchise or an existing business.

 

Regional Business Category

Applicants for nomination in the Regional Business category will be required to:

1.- Make a personal investment of at least $200,000 CAD to establish or to purchase and expand an eligible business anywhere in BC outside of the Vancouver metropolitan area (PDF – 2.34MB) and the Abbotsford metropolitan area (PDF – 775KB).

2.- Create at least one new job in the business for a Canadian or permanent resident, except when the applicant is applying as a regional Succession Plan Buy-out.

3.- Own at least one third (33 1/3%) of the equity of the business.

4.- Provide active and on-going participation in the day-to-day management and direction of the business.

Demonstrate that they have:

- the skills and experience necessary to establish and operate a commercially viable business in BC
- a personal net worth of at least $400,000 CAD obtained from legal sources
- sufficient unencumbered personal funds to make the required investment a viable business proposal.

5.- Sign a Performance Agreement with the Province of British Columbia.
6.- Sign a Deposit Agreement with the Province of British Columbia if they are seeking a Fast Track nomination.

Fast Track Option

The Fast Track option offers immediate nomination for permanent residence, in return for which you will make a conditionally refundable $125,000 CAD deposit with the Province of British Columbia. The deposit will be refunded (without interest) when you have met the terms of conditions of your Performance Agreement and Deposit Agreement.

Principal Applicants and Foreign Staff

Applications in the Regional Business category are limited to principal applicants. Foreign key staff cannot be included as co-applicants for nomination.

Business Succession Plan Buy-out

Regional Business applicants who commit to purchase an existing business will not be required to create a new job where they commit to maintain existing employment for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. These applications will receive priority processing.

In addition to meeting the requirements for the regional business category, the following additional requirements must be met.

The target business must:

- be operated by the same owner for a minimum of 5 years
- have employees, other than family members
- be actively in operation.

The applicant must:

- complete an exploratory visit to meet the retiring owners and, where feasible, the local Economic Development Office

- operate the business for a minimum of one full year prior to being considered for nomination (or deposit refund, in the case of Fast Track nominees), with long term intentions of continuing to operate the business

- the succession plan buy-out transaction is to result in a complete change of ownership whereby the purchaser(s) take full control of the business .