The BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot (EI – Regional Pilot) is focused on attracting entrepreneurs from around the world to establish businesses in regional communities. This will help meet the communities’ economic development needs and encourage investments outside urban areas.

Why an Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot?

As each community has the best knowledge of their local business environment, they are perfectly situated to identify economic development priorities and support services that give foreign entrepreneurs a good start in their journey to building successful businesses and growing the local economy.

Key features of the EI – Regional Pilot

Key features of the EI Regional Pilot:

  • Active community role – participating communities will have a key role in the pilot. They will be actively involved in attracting foreign entrepreneurs to their community and working with local partners and existing networks to provide support for entrepreneurs settling into their communities.
  • Referral from the community – participating communities will refer foreign entrepreneurs to the BC PNP whose business concept align with the community’s economic priorities. The foreign entrepreneur must have visited the community and present their concept to the community’s designated contact person prior to receiving a referral.
  • Community concierge – regional communities can contact the BC PNP to access a dedicated concierge service that supports communities with their immigration needs.
  • Invitations & prioritization – foreign entrepreneurs referred by a participating community are placed in a separate registration pool dedicated to the pilot. Registrations and applications are prioritized.

Community eligibility

For a list of participating communities, visit the EI – Regional Pilot – Community Profiles page. Additional profiles may be added as communities confirm their participation.

To be eligible for the EI – Regional Pilot, communities must have a population of fewer than 75,000 and be located beyond 30 km of a municipality of more than 75,000. Communities must also demonstrate their capacity to support foreign entrepreneurs through established networks of business support and settlement agencies.

Pilot-specific training is offered to community representatives and must be completed before a community confirms their enrolment in the pilot. Communities will then be able to host exploratory visits and issue referrals for foreign entrepreneurs.

Community representative interested in participating in the EI – Regional Pilot can contact PNPConcierge@gov.bc.ca for more details.

Applicant criteria

To reflect the lower costs of starting a business and settling in regional communities with smaller populations, the personal net worth and investment criteria is lower than the existing Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category (EI – Base Category). There is also a language proficiency requirement where the foreign entrepreneur must have a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 equivalent.

For more information on applicant criteria, visit the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot Program Guide.

The EI – Regional Pilot is for foreign entrepreneurs who are planning to start a new business. Entrepreneurs wishing to purchase an existing business can register and apply under the
EI – Base Category of the BC PNP.

Pilot timeline

The pilot will be delivered for a two-year period and will be evaluated to ensure that the community and entrepreneur are benefitting the program, and to ensure continued program integrity for the BC PNP.

More information

For more information about the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot contact:

Entrepreneurs: En.Imm@gov.bc.ca
Communities: PNPConcierge@gov.bc.ca

Refer to our BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot Program Guide for detailed information about the pilot.

Refer to our BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Program Guide for complete, up-to-date program information and requirements for the EI – Base Category.

Refer to our BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Pocket Guide for high-level information about our Entrepreneur Immigration stream.

Refer to our FAQs document for frequent questions about the EI – Regional Pilot.

For a list of participating communities, visit the EI – Regional Pilot – community profiles page.

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