The Entrepreneur Immigration-Regional Pilot of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) focuses on attracting foreign entrepreneurs to set up businesses in the regional communities of British Columbia. The regional communities participating in the Pilot program have an active role to play in attracting foreign entrepreneurs as they need to work with local partners and networks to support the entrepreneurs in settling in the province.
The foreign entrepreneur planning to start a business in British Columbia under the BC PNP Entrepreneur immigration-Regional Pilot must first visit the community and present their business concept to the concerned authorities. If the business concept aligns with the economic priorities of that particular province, the entrepreneur would be referred to the BC PNP. The entrepreneurs who are referred by these communities enter a separate registration pool and they enjoy priority in registrations and applications.
In the start of October 2019, British Columbia added eight communities to the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) Regional Pilot program. Since the program was launched in March 2019, communities with less than 75000 people located more than 30 km away from the urban centre have been participating. With the addition of eight new communities, the total number of participating communities has touched 66.
The newly added communities are:
- Akisqnuk First Nation
- Canal Flats
- Radium Hot Springs
- Regional District of East Kootenay (Area F, Area G)
- Shuswap Indian Band
The personal net worth and investment criteria is lower in Entrepreneur Immigration-Regional Pilot, compared to the Entrepreneur Immigration-Base Category of BC PNP. The reason is that the cost of setting up a business is comparatively lower in regional communities with smaller populations.
The applicants must meet the language proficiency requirement of minimum level equaling Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4. However, this Regional Pilot program is not applicable to those who want to purchase an existing business. They can register and apply under the EI-Base Category.
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