British Columbia Immigration Unveils New Regional Pilot

The province of British Columbia has developed a new Regional Pilot as an extension of their Entrepreneur Immigration Program which issues candidates with a Canadian Business Visa or work permit for entrepreneurs. This new pilot was opened on the 14th of March and will accept applicants for two years.

The aim is to boost economic growth and help communities of less than 75, 000 people that are further than 30km from a populous city centre with job creation. These communities have been chosen by British Columbia immigration because they have the needed resources and systems to help new immigrants settle easily and set up their businesses with the support of locals.

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a business and settle in one of Canada’s lesser-populated communities in British Columbia, the Regional Pilot is for you. Because the program runs for a limited amount of time, it’s important to get started with your application as soon as possible. There are also plenty of other Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) to consider when applying that do not rely on starting a business. Read on to see whether or not you meet the criteria presented and start exploring the communities you’re interested in.

How Does it Work?

British Columbia immigration needs skilled workers to apply.

Applying through this new Regional Pilot requires entrepreneurs to follow specific protocol in order to be considered for the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) and eventually for permanent residence. The steps are fairly complex but the immigration process happens rapidly, so applicants need to be fully prepared before applying for their Canadian Business Visa.

The Process

  1. You need to make an exploratory visit to the community you hope to start your business in. Once here, you present your business proposal to the designated representative. You then request a referral from the community in question.
  2. Register for the Regional Pilot with your referral. You will be scored according to your eligibility.
  3. A waiting period of around four months ensues where you may be asked to attend an in-person interview in Vancouver.
  4. Approved applicants sign a performance agreement through the BC PNP.
  5. Successful applicants then receive a work permit support letter from the BC PNP.
  6. Applicants can then apply for a two-year temporary work permit through the federal government.
  7. If you meet the terms of the performance agreement, you will be nominated by the BC PNP for permanent residence.

Regional Pilot Eligibility

  • A minimum of $100, 000 in business investments
  • A minimum personal net worth of $300, 000
  • Three or more years of experience as an active business owner-manager or four or more years as a senior manager within the last five years
  • A minimum of 51% ownership
  • A minimum of one job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must be created
  • Have a minimum score of 4 in English or French according to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), which measures reading, writing, listening and speaking ability in these languages

Find Your Community

When you are searching for a community in which to start your business, it’s important to research the regional statistics regarding population and local industry to see where your business would benefit the economy. Below we’ve listed the communities that are eligible for the Regional Pilot, each of which is in need of economic growth but has massive potential in terms of business resources.

Participating Communities
Cariboo
  • Mackenzie
  • Prince George
  • Quesnel
  • Williams Lake
Kootenay
  • Castlegar
  • Kimberley
  • Nelson
  • Regional District of Central Kootenay
  • Rossland
  • Trail
Mainland
  • Gibsons
  • Sechelt
  • Squamish
  • Sunshine Coastal Region District - Egmont and Pender Harbour
  • Sunshine Coastal Region District - Halfmoon Bay
  • Sunshine Coastal Region District - Roberts Creek
  • Sunshine Coastal Region District - Elphinstone
  • Sunshine Coastal Region District - West Howe Sound
Nechako
  • Burns Lake
North Coast
  • Terrace
Northeast
  • Tumbler Ridge
Thompson-Okanagan
  • Barriere
  • Merritt
  • Vernon
Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Comox
  • Comox Valley Regional District - Baynes Sound - Denman/Hornby Island
  • Comox Valley Regional District - Lazo North
  • Comox Valley Regional District - Puntledge - Black Creek
  • Courtenay
  • Port Alberni
  • Powell River

Why Start a Business in BC?

Start a business in Canada through British Columbia immigration.

British Columbia is a great place to start your business because of the many communities that have not yet tapped into their economic potential. The main factor to consider when starting a business through Canadian immigration in a smaller community is that there is far less competition and more chance of succeeding in your business venture.

Apart from the business aspects, BC is a picturesque province, falling between the Canadian Rockies and the Pacific Ocean. Rich colonial history lies in the capital of Victoria while exciting cosmopolitan highlights can be found in Vancouver. Settling in a smaller town has so many perks as they are a peaceful escape from city bustle while still being in reach of everything the bigger cities have to offer, thanks to the excellent public transport system and safe roads. Your weekends will be filled with trips to natural wonders like Glacier National Park while your working week consists of cobblestone streets, ocean views and the warmth of community support.

BC Provincial Nominee Program

British Columbia immigration runs the Provincial Nominee Program.

If you’re interested in British Columbia but you’re not certain about the Regional Pilot program, have a look at all of the categories of the Provincial Nominee Program to see which route best suits your profile (including education, skills and language proficiency) as well as interests.

BC PNP Categories
Skilled Worker Program
  • Skilled Worker Category (EE Linked)
  • Healthcare Professional Category (EE Linked)
  • International Graduate Category (EE Linked)
  • International Post-graduate Category (EE Linked)
  • Entry-level and Semi-skilled Worker Category
Entrepreneur Immigration Program
  • Entrepreneur Immigration Category
  • Entrepreneur Immigration - Regional Pilot
  • Strategic Projects Category

How Can We Help?


The Canadian immigration programs on offer can be difficult to navigate on your own with very precise deadlines and processes in place. Why not make the entire journey easier with the help of a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC)? These knowledgeable professionals are well-versed when it comes to immigration policy and can help you gather all the necessary documents to give you the best chance at receiving a successful Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Our experts have all been through the immigration process themselves and are currently residing in Canada where they can give you on-the-ground assistance. Choose to streamline the process, especially with entrepreneurship where there are several steps to consider and many deadlines to meet over the span of your application and two-year work permit.

Sign up with our service today to get started on British Columbia immigration or to find a different program that better suits your background and the needs of you and your family. Whatever your needs, our RCICs are fully-equipped to assist you with any questions or difficulties you may encounter during your Canadian immigration process.