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How to Use the Provincial Nominee Program to Start a Business in Canada
Show of hands – who would love to live in British Columbia?
Well, after our latest guest post from Luke who has settled comfortably in British Columbia, I wouldn’t be surprised if most hands just flew up. Those of you with your hands up who are not entrepreneurs should peruse our British Columbia PNP page. Those of you with your hand up who are also entrepreneurs should keep reading this page. We have great news for you, and it’s not just that you can put your hands down!
This guy knows what it’s about…
Entrepreneurs Interested in Canada Immigration
Canada has several special immigration programs dedicated to entrepreneurs and self employed individuals. With such a strong economy, it’s no wonder so many people are jumping at the chance to take advantage of Canada’s open immigration policies for new businesses. You can learn more about the business-oriented programs on our immigration programs pages, so we won’t get into much depth about them here.
These programs are carrying on as they have. If you were interested in them – don’t hesitate to apply as they will not be changing soon. However, if you are looking to start a new business in British Columbia specifically, this news should make you very happy.
Today we’re discussing a new pilot program that’s opening this January in the province of British Columbia, and set to run for 2 years. Of course, much like with any other program, should this one prove successful – it will continue to run for years longer. The program’s target audience is young people of ages 18 to 45 interested in immigration to Canada for the purpose of starting a business there. Sounds pretty straight forward, but there’s more you should know. Unlike other programs meant for entrepreneurs, this one is technically a provincial nominee program, whereas the other programs aimed at entrepreneurs are nation-encompassing, which means they are not run by any one provincial nominee program.
We can see your office from here!
Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program Pilot Origins
When you see a new immigration program, you can be sure it’s backed by a need. Canada’s government – or the provincial leadership – identifies the needs of a certain province or territory, and creates a new program to match the specific need. This case is no different. British Columbia’s smaller communities are aging and the work force is dwindling. This can slow down and even stop economic growth, and in the long run – become a downturn. Canada knows that the time to treat this problem is now – ahead of time.
This is the need which gave birth to this new pilot, known as the Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot. The pilot – as stated earlier – will be a collaboration between the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program and the smaller communities in B.C, aiming at drawing new businesses to these small communities. A specialized program also means extra requirements designed to bring in the most suitable candidates.
Requirements for the New B.C Provincial Nominee Program Pilot for Entrepreneurs
You can find the standard requirements for Entrepreneurs in the page we sent you to earlier. But what else do you need to do for the new program? One of Canada’s most ambitious goals with all its immigration programs this year is to shore up numbers in small communities, as the larger cities are more popular in spite of all the research showing higher levels of happiness in smaller towns. This goal has all the Provincial Nominee Programs increasing numbers and coming up with new programs aimed at enhancing the population in smaller communities.
In the case of this specific program, the province has designated 75,000 people as the border So for one thing – you’d have to start your business in a small community. Don’t worry, you don’t have to start researching maps and sizes of communities within a 30 kilometer radius. Communities in need of new businesses enroll in the program and approved by the Provincial Nominee Program to be eligible for participation.
So. You get your entrepreneurs’ visa under the Provincial Nominee Program, with the condition of moving to this new small town. You pack your things and your family, move to this beautiful town with charming architecture and a gorgeous mountain view, and you open that crocodile store you’ve always dreamed of, right? Almost.
The business you intend to open in Canada needs to be one which addresses a specific need in the community you aim to settle in. In return, by accepting your business, the community obliges itself to support your business as you settle. Which is another way of saying the community will have to ensure your earnings are sufficient to keep your business up and running.
OK, so how will you know what the communities need? This Provincial Nominee Program has you covered there too!
Once you’ve chosen your community, you will need to complete an exploration of the place and present your business plan to the pilot’s delegates. They will determine if your plan suits the needs of the community and provide a referral which they will submit for you after you register with this program.
What’s great about the New B.C Provincial Nominee Program Pilot for Entrepreneurs
This might all sound very restrictive, especially for someone dreaming of starting a specific business. However, it has some great benefits.
For one thing, the business you dream of starting is likely to charm at least one small community. Even crocodile stores have clients…
For another thing, the community is obligated – as a part of the program – to support your business if you are selected. This means you’d have your clients enthrall.
Another positive not yet mentioned is that your minimum net worth to be eligible for this program will be reduced by comparison to other programs for Entrepreneurs, as the costs of starting and maintaining a business in a small community is significantly lower than in a large city such as Vancouver.
If you are selected for this program you will receive a temporary work permit. The provincial Nominee Program in B.C will issue a nomination (as it does in all its other programs) when it determines that this new business has met all the criteria in its Performance Agreement. This Provincial nomination grants a Permanent Residence candidate 600 extra points, guaranteeing the candidate’s permanent residence, should the candidate wish to apply for it.
Tell all your entrepreneur friends about this ?
To sum up the requirements for the New B.C Provincial Nominee Program Pilot for Entrepreneurs
The extra program requirements are:
- Settle in one of the communities signed up with the program
- Start a business which addresses a need in the community
- Complete an exploratory visit in the community
- Obtain a community referral
- Hold $100,000 at least in eligible business investments
- A minimal personal net worth of $300,000
- Verify 3+ years’ experience as an active business owner-manager or 4+ years as a senior manager within the last 5 years
- Keep at least a 51% ownership in the business
- Provide a minimum of one new job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
Why You Can’t Wait for January to Sign Up
So this new program is right up your alley, and you’re waiting for January to start your process. Don’t do it! You need to start now. Why? Before you can sign up for the Provincial Nominee pilot Program, you need to get all your documents in order, have all your bank statements and other financial documents gathered and notarized – January is a short month away. Waiting means other candidates will sign up ahead of you, putting them ahead in line. If you dream of starting your business in Canada, now is the time for action.
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