Immigrate to Canada: Start A Business Through British Columbia (BC) BC Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot Program

 May 21, 2019

By Sean G McKinsley, Managing Director, CIVS Canada Immigration and Visa Services

If you are looking to immigrate to Canada and start a business, the British Columbia (BC) BC Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot Program is a possible and less demanding option for foreign entrepreneurs and business owners. If you are planning to start a new business or wish to purchase an existing business, you can register and apply under the BC nomination program for entrepreneurs.

This is a pilot program developed by the Government of British Columbia, Canada that works with regional communities to attract entrepreneurs to participating regional communities to establish new businesses that align with community economic development priorities .

The main requirements to participate in this program include


In order to participate in this program, applicants should demonstrate that they have experience in the same field as their intended business in Canada  and that work experience must be within the last 5 years as either:

  • Senior managers (4+ years)
  • Business owners (3+ years)

Net Worth

Investors must prove that they have a financial net worth of at least $300,000 Canadian dollars (CAD). This net worth threshold is significantly less, up to 50% less, than the net worth requirements in other business immigration programs, which makes the BC Regional Pilot more accessible. There are multiple ways and combinations way you can proof your net worth. This process must be by an approved BC PNP accountant. 

Sean G McKinsley, Managing Director and his team at CIVS Canada Immigration and Visa Services can advise you on how the process works.

Ownership of new business:

The foreign investor must own majority of the business (51%+)


The investment amount for the BC Regional Pilot is lower than the other program. A minimum of 100,000 CAD is required and the creation of at least one full time job for a Canadian citizen. Each community has prioritized 3 main industries in which the investment you make should align with. 

English language requirement

In order to qualify for the regional pilot program, you must have a level of at least CLB 4. Accepted tests include IELTS and CELPIP.  A CLB 4 means you can.

  • communicate basic needs and personal experience;
  • follow, with considerable effort, simple formal and informal conversations;
  • read a simple set of instructions in plain language; and
  • write short messages, postcards, notes or directions.

The English exam results will be valid for two (2) years.


 Application decisions are typically made within 4 months

 Application Fees:

Registration: $300

Application: $3,500

For more information about this and other business immigration programs for entrepreneurs, please contact Sean G McKinsley, Managing Director and his team at CIVS Canada Immigration and Visa Services.


 About the author:  Prior to establishing Canada Immigration and Visa Services (CIVS), Mr. McKinsley served as the senior legislative aide for two prominent Members of the House of Commons of Canada.  Mr. McKinsley also has a distinguished career in the public and private sectors having held positions of Chief Operating Officer of a Western Canadian Law Firm and past Executive Director of a provincial Taxpayer Association.

 DISCLAIMER: This article / guide is being offered for informational purposes only by Canada Immigration and Visa Services Inc (CIVS) While CIVS has made every effort to present accurate and reliable information, we hereby disclaim any liability for any errors, omissions or inconsistencies in this guide. Due to the continuing policy and/or program changes, information included in this guide may not be current as of your reading. Please check before using information contained in this guide. Use of this guide and its contents is voluntary. CIVS or any of the authors of this guide is in no way responsible for your use of the information contained in this guide or the results of that use. All information provided in this guide is for informational purposes only, and as such should not be construed as advice. You should consult the appropriate website, and  corresponding  legislation  in the appropriate area  before  acting  upon any  information  contained  in  this  guide.  Nothing in this  guide should be construed as possessional advice.  This guide features information from many sources and should not be confused with official reflection of policy and programming.


Date of Publication: May 21, 2019