BCPNP EI – Base Category

BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Base Categories at a Glance


What is BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration

BC Entrepreneur Immigration is suitable for entrepreneurs who can support innovation and economic growth in BC. Applicants must have entrepreneurial experience, meet certain investment requirements, and be able to actively operate a business in BC. They can be nominated by BC. achieve the purpose of immigrating to Canada.

Entrepreneur immigration in BC is usually divided into two categories: Base Category and Regional Pilot. This article will provide information about base classes. This category is for experienced entrepreneurs who intend to establish a new business or take over and grow an existing business in BC.

Want to know more details about the BC Entrepreneur Immigration Basic Class and Regional Pilot Program? Please refer to:

BCPNP EI – Base Category Requirements

1. General requirements:

  • Active management: At the application stage, you must demonstrate your intention to actively manage the business. In order to be approved for nomination, you must demonstrate that you have been actively managing your business in B.C. (Active management means you are accountable for the day-to-day operations of the business. Active management must occur at the place of business in B.C.)
  • Residency: At the application stage: you must demonstrate your intention to reside within 100 kilometres of the business (unless otherwise specified in your performance agreement) you intend to operate, and you must demonstrate your intention to reside in B.C. for the majority of time while on a work permit.
  • Applicant must demonstrate that you have been residing within 100 kilometres of the business you operate in B.C. when you submit your final report for nomination.
  • you must also demonstrate that you have been physically present in B.C. for at least 75 per cent of the time while on a work permit. For example, if you submit your final report 610 days (approximately 20 months) after arriving in B.C. with your valid work permit, you must demonstrate that you have been physically present in B.C. for at least 457 days (approximately 15 months) while operating your business.
  • Language requirements: English/French CLB4 level required

2. Applicant requirements:

2.1 Status

Please note that your application will not be approved if you are in Canada and do not have valid immigration status, or if you are working without authorization. The BC PNP will not nominate someone who:

BCPNP will not nominate applicants who:

  • is prohibited from entering Canada
  • has not been lawfully admitted in the country of current residence
  • is in Canada and is out of status o an individual whose status has expired, and who has not applied for restoration of status within the 90-day eligibility period, will be considered out of status
  • is working in Canada without authorization
  • has an unresolved refugee claim in Canada, or
  • is under a removal order in or outside of Canada

2.2 Personal Net Worth

The applicant’s points will be determined based on the total assets of the applicant, spouse/common law partner and/or dependent children.

You must have a minimum of $600,000 in personal net worth, which includes your spouse or common-law partner, and your dependent children, if applicable. Your personal net worth must be legally obtained and verifiable.

You must disclose all of your personal net worth, including all of your assets and those of your spouse or common-law partner, and your dependent children, and any liabilities including mortgages and personal debts:

  • cash
  • assets in bank accounts (e.g., personal chequing and savings accounts)
  • fixed (term) deposits (redeemable/cashable within one year)
  • real property (e.g., real estate, personal and commercial property ownership)
  • investments in bonds, stocks and mutual funds
  • investments in one or more businesses (current value of your percentage ownership in business(es), excluding stocks held in investment portfolios that have been included under liquid investments above)
  • pensions and other assets (i.e. jewelry, collectables, etc.)
  • liabilities such as real property mortgage(s) or other debts (e.g., personal loans, credit card debt)

Future inheritances cannot be included in your personal net worth. The share of business or property ownership must be supported by legal documents, such as deeds, shareholder agreements, etc.

The IRCC form Schedule 4A – Personal Net Worth includes details about how to calculate personal net worth.

2.3 Business Owner-Manager and/or Senior Manager Experience:

Applicants will be awarded points based on their business ownership and/or senior management work experience within the past 5 years.

You must have a minimum of:

  • more than three years of experience as an active business owner-manager: If you have performed an active role in the management and operations of a company for which you have held 10 per cent or more ownership during the past 10 years. An active role means that you are personally involved in the day-to-day operations of the company and have direct involvement in decision-making. or
  • more than four years of experience as a senior manager If you have worked during the past 10 years for a company/organization as an active senior manager (with no business ownership, or business ownership of less than 10 per cent) supervising at least three full-time employees, and your National Occupation Classification (NOC) is Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A. or
  • A combination of at least one year of experience as an active business owner-manager and at least two years of experience as a senior manager.

In general, to be considered as an active owner-manager or a senior manager, you primarily:

  • manage the organization, a department, subdivision, or component of the organization; or an essential function within the organization
  • supervise and control the work of: o other managers or supervisors o professional employees
  • have the authority to hire and fire, or recommend these and other personnel actions, such as promotion and leave authorization
  • exercise discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has the authority

An active role means that you are personally involved in the day-to-day operations of the company and have direct involvement in decision-making. For example, if you were a shareholder in a corporation and your only responsibility was to attend shareholder meetings, this would not be considered as being an active business owner-manager as you are not involved in the day-today operations of the company.

Applicants are required to list all valid business (owner-principal) experience in the past 5 years and management experience as a senior executive of the business. Work experience in overlapping time periods will not be double-scored.

If the applicant owns more than 10% of the shares/ownership in an enterprise, and holds senior management positions in the enterprise during the holding period, it is not necessary to reiterate the senior management experience separately.

The applicant must determine a 4-digit industry classification number (NAICS CODE) according to the type of enterprise and specific work content, combined with the NAICS – North American Industry Classification System classification description, and determine a 4-digit occupational classification in combination with the NOC – National Occupation Code classification description Number (NOC CODE).

2.4 Education

You must have one of the following:

  • a post-secondary credential (such as a degree, diploma or certificate from a licensed postsecondary institution). or
  • experience as an active business owner-manager with 100 per cent ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years. The 100 per cent ownership of the business may be shared between you, your spouse or common-law partner, and/or your dependent child(ren).

3. Business Requirements:

3.1 Eligible Businesses

The BC PNP will only consider registrations to establish a new business or purchase and improve/expand an existing business that contributes to the economic growth of the province.

The proposed business must be operated for the primary purpose of earning profits by providing products and/or services. Additionally, the business must have strong potential for sustained commercial success.

The BC PNP does not pre-approve or endorse business proposals.

You cannot change or modify your business concept after you submit your registration.

You must decide on the specific type of business you intend to establish or purchase in B.C. before you register. The business structure must be clearly defined. Partnerships with a local partner/business or BC PNP co-applicant(s) are permitted.

For partnerships:

  • you must identify partners and their percent ownership in your registration (total ownership must add up to 100 per cent)

For purchasing an existing business:

  • you must indicate the specific target business in your registration
  • the business must have been operated by the current owner for at least five years

3.2 Percent Ownership

You must demonstrate that you will own at least one-third (33 1/3 per cent) of the business in B.C. If your proposed ownership is less than 33 1/3 per cent, you must make an equity investment of at least $1 million.

3.3 Franchises

Franchises may be considered as eligible businesses if you can demonstrate that the proposed franchise is well-established (i.e. ability to expand, sound financial track record, and in operation for at least five years). If you are invited to apply, your application must include evidence that you have received support from the franchisor to purchase and operate a franchise location.

If you are proposing to establish a new franchise location or purchase an existing franchise, ensure that you obtain a disclosure document from the franchisor before you make a decision to invest. The BC PNP may request a copy of the disclosure document at the application stage. Section 5(4) of The Franchises Act describes the requirements that the disclosure document must fulfil:

  • a) prescribed financial statements
  • b) copies of all proposed franchise agreements, and other agreements relating to the franchise, to be signed by a prospective franchisee
  • c) prescribed statements that have the purpose of assisting a prospective franchisee to make informed investment decisions
  • d) other prescribed information
  • e) copies of other prescribed documents

Please visit Starting A Franchise Business in B.C. for more information. The BC PNP will only consider the purchase of an existing franchise location as an eligible business if it includes an expansion/improvement plan that is consistent with franchisor requirements. All other requirements must also be met.

3.4 Agricultural Businesses

If you are proposing to establish a new farm/agricultural business or purchase an existing farm/agricultural business, you must provide copies of the following documents at the time of application:

3.5 Seasonal Businesses

The BC PNP will not consider a business proposal for a seasonal business unless the proposed business operates for at least eight months per year. You must also meet all other requirements outlined in this guide.

3.6 Ineligible Businesses

Your registration will be disqualified if you propose an ineligible business. The following types of businesses are ineligible under the BC PNP:

  • an immigration-linked investment scheme pursuant to Provincial Immigration Programs Regulation section 6(e) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) section 87(5)(b) and as defined in IRPR 87(9)
  • any business where the terms of investment include a redemption option pursuant to IRPR 87(6)(d)
  • any business that may be a passive investment pursuant to IRPR 87(6)(c)
  • bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based businesses
  • payday loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses
  • pawnbrokers
  • tanning salons
  • DVD rental stores
  • coin-operated laundries
  • automated car wash operations
  • scrap metal recycling
  • businesses selling used goods (excluding businesses that provide value-added services such as repairs, refurbishing or recycling)
  • real estate brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage
  • real estate development activities
  • goods trading businesses (e.g. import/export), unless value add is demonstrated
  • businesses involved in producing, distributing or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing sexually oriented services
  • any other type of business that by association would tend to bring the BC PNP or the Government of British Columbia into disrepute

3.7 Business in Regulated Industries

Some industries face significant regulatory requirements in Canada. While many of these highly regulated industry sectors remain eligible for the BC PNP, the entrepreneur must demonstrate that they are aware of, and will be able to meet local, provincial and federal regulatory requirements.

It is unlikely that the BC PNP will approve your application if you do not properly address the regulatory requirements of doing business in the proposed industry.

Furthermore, failure to adequately research and create a plan to address the industry’s regulatory requirements may make it difficult or impossible for you to meet your performance agreement obligations.

Examples of highly regulated industries include, but are not limited to:

  • Agriculture, agri-food & aquaculture
  • Cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol production, distribution or retailing
  • Child care, schools and educational institutions
  • Financial services and trading
  • Forestry and mining
  • Healthcare and life sciences
  • Oil and gas
  • Passenger transportation
  • Pharmacology
  • Residential care facilities
  • Telecommunications

4. Minimum Investment Requirements

4.1 Eligible Personal Investment

You must make an eligible personal investment of at least $200,000 in the proposed business within 610 days (approximately 20 months) of arriving in B.C. on a BC PNP-supported work permit. The minimum eligible personal investment of $200,000 must be derived from your personal net worth.

Some investment items may not be eligible while others may be eligible with limitations:

Purchase of an existing business

The BC PNP may consider as eligible investment the purchase price of the business value up to $150,000.

You must commit to make an eligible investment of at least $50,000 to improve, upgrade and/or expand the business:

  • Eligible investments toward improving, upgrading and/or expanding a business may include new capital purchases and equipment, leasehold improvements, introduction of new technology, job creation, etc.
  • Improvement/expansion does not include regular operating expenses such as recurring inventory, wages, rent, utilities, or maintaining the same levels of marketing or advertising expenses, legal or professional fees, business licences, etc.
  • Establishing a new location or a separate business will not be considered as an eligible improvement or expansion
  • The BC PNP will not consider the purchase of any real estate as an eligible investment towards the improvement or expansion of the business

The BC PNP does not require that you sign a purchase agreement or memorandum of understanding if you are purchasing an existing business.

4.2 Ineligible investments

Ineligible investments include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • cash and working capital (including reserves and contingency funds)
  • wage payments made to yourself and your family members, or other business co-owners
  • refundable deposits
  • real estate and related fees
  • fees and costs related to your immigration application, including:
    • immigration representative fees
    • personal net worth verification report fee
    • fees related to the preparation of review engagement financial statements
    • BC PNP application fees

4.3 Timing of your Investment

The BC PNP will not consider as eligible any investment made prior to the date you are invited to apply.

4.4 External Financing

The BC PNP requires that you make the minimum eligible personal investment from your personal funds. However, you may also use external financing from a business partner or financial institutions for investments beyond the minimum requirement.

If external financing is a requirement of business operations, you must identify how you will obtain the financing and how it will be applied in your proposed investment.

5.  Job Requirements

  • You must create at least one new, permanent full-time equivalent (FTE) job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada in the proposed business, within 420 days (approximately 14 months) of arriving in B.C. on a BC PNP-supported work permit
  • Determining the Skill Level of Positions: The BC PNP will assign you points in your business concept if you propose to create or maintain high-skilled jobs that fall under National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill levels 0, A or B. You must provide a rationale for their inclusion.
  • Job Maintenance Requirements (if purchasing an existing business): In addition to the job creation requirements listed above, if you are proposing to purchase an existing business, you must commit to maintain the number of existing jobs in the business, and pay your employee(s) a wage that is commensurate to their skill level. Failure to maintain the number of existing jobs may result in your refusal at the nomination stage.
  • Requirements at Nomination Stage: In order to be approved for nomination, you must demonstrate that you have consistently employed the required number of full-time equivalent jobs, continuously, for at least 180 days (six months) before submitting your final report.

6. Partnership with a Co-Registrant (if applicable)

  • About Co-Registrants

You may choose to partner with another BC PNP co-registrant under one business proposal under the Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category.

Each co-registrant must ensure they provide complete information on their background and work experience, their business proposal, as well as provide a rationale for partnering in the proposed business.

Each BC PNP co-registrant must meet the individual eligibility requirements listed in the EI – Base Category Program Guide in order to be entered into the qualified pool.

If the co-registrants are invited to apply, each application will be assessed separately. There is no guarantee that one or both of the co-applicants will be approved.

Co-registrant(s) must submit their registration through BCPNP Online within 30 days of the first co-registrant submitting their registration.

  • Total Personal Investment Requirement at Registration Stage

Each co-registrant will receive points based on their proposed total personal investment.

The BC PNP will determine the eligibility of the proposed investment and assign a score in the business concept.

At the time of registration, co-registrants must each indicate what their proposed personal investment will be.

  • Eligible Investment: Purchase of an Existing Business

To determine the eligible personal investment for the purchase of an existing business, the BC PNP will recognize up to a maximum of $150,000 for each co-registrant’s share of the purchase price.

  • Job Creation / Maintenance

Each co-registrant must create at least one full-time equivalent position for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

At the time of registration, co-registrants must each indicate the number of full-time equivalent positions they will personally maintain and/or create.

  • Adjusting Co-registrant Registration Scores

Co-registrant registration scores will be adjusted to match the lowest scoring co-registrant. For example, two registrants may choose to partner under one business proposal and each receive scores of 154 and 112. The partnership scores will be adjusted so that each co-registrant scores 112 points.

EI – Base Category Registration Scoring Guide

Net Worth12
Total Personal Investment20
Regional District12
Self-declared SUBTOTAL score120
Business conceptPoints
Commercial Viability30
Transferability of Skills20
Economic Benefits30
Business concept SUBTOTAL score80
Maximum Score Available200


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