Though the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) was recently modified last January to add the Express Entry system, more drastic changes have now been announced for the business category.
Over the last decade the BC PNP has used a breezy and informal approach in assessing business applications, which would lead to permanent residency. However, this approach, combined with the closure of the Federal entrepreneur and investor programs, and limits placed by other provincial business programs, caused the number of applications to the BC PNP business program to leap from a low of 152 in 2009 to a system clogging 1085 in 2014.
In these applications, the BC PNP also noticed inflated business purchase prices (to fit the program's criteria), net worth misrepresentation, and fraudulent applications. This resulted in refusal rates hitting over 40 percent.
Consequently, the BC PNP introduced a new application process with well defined requirements and a demanding point system for business candidates.
Launching in July 2015, the new process has candidates register online and provide details about their experience, net worth, personal investment, adaptability and business concept. They will also include information on where they will reside and the jobs they will create. From here, international finance and accounting experts will review all sources of funds.
Applications will be given a score based on a points system; the maximum number of points a candidate can earn is 200, and BC PNP can adjust the point total as it sees fit. Only the highest scoring applicants will be picked on a comparative ranking system.
An ideal candidate, who would score the highest points, would be one who:
- Has five years of business or senior management experience.
- Has a net worth of at least $5,000,000 and liquid assets of at least $400,000.
- Has a plan to invest $1,000,000.
- Will create at least 11 jobs.
- Has intermediate English skills and at least two years of post education studies.
- Is between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Has visited British Columbia at least once in the last year.
- Has at least 12 months of Canadian work experience.
Not every successful candidate will have to achieve the above requirements, but these conditions demonstrate the high standards that the BC PNP is now placing on potential business candidates.
Of the 200 points, the business concept is based on 80, and up to 12 points will be based on the geographic location that the candidate plans on establishing their business. The regional business succession category has been removed and will become part of the new business selection process.
Once an individual has entered the entrepreneurial immigration registration (EIR), the BC PNP will provide their point score within four weeks. If the individual achieves a successful score they will have four months to provide all the required documentation. An approval will be issued within three months from the time BC PNP receives the documents.
All candidates are encouraged to have all documentation prepared before entering the EIR.