The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot has been officially made a permanent stream for permanent residency (PR) as of May 27. This significant update from the BC PNP ensures continued support for regional communities, helping expand local economies by making this regional pilot a permanent pathway for entrepreneurial immigrants.

Encouraging Regional Business Development

The BC PNP’s Entrepreneur Immigration Regional stream is specifically designed for immigrants who are eager to start a business in any of the province’s interior, coastal, or rural areas. This development comes as a relief for entrepreneurs, especially in a period when two of Canada’s federally operated business immigration programs have been capped and paused. B.C. continues to actively encourage entrepreneurs to establish businesses in its regional communities, which span across seven key regions:

  • Cariboo
  • Kootenays
  • Nechako
  • Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Thompson Okanagan
  • North Coast
  • North East

How the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Stream Works

The Entrepreneurial Immigration (EI) Regional stream offers a pathway to permanent residency for innovative individuals wishing to start a new business in a small community. Originally launched as a pilot in March 2019, the EI Regional stream is now a permanent part of the broader BC PNP regional program.

Each participating community has identified specific business types that align with their local economic goals. Communities have established their own administrative procedures, and some may charge fees for services. If a community deems your business concept a good fit for their objectives, they might invite you for an in-person exploratory visit. This visit will allow you to meet local contacts and gain firsthand knowledge of the community, helping you decide if the location is right for your business and family.

Should you find the community suitable, you can request a referral, which enables you to register and apply for the BC PNP EI Regional stream.

Eligibility Criteria for Entrepreneurs

To qualify for the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Regional stream, you must:

  • Plan to establish a new business that aligns with the referring community’s in-demand list.

Demonstrate business and/or managerial experience.

Possess a personal net worth of at least CAD$300,000.

  • Invest a minimum of CAD$100,000 in the business.
  • Create one full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Meet the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) language proficiency level 4.
  • Have legally entered Canada or be eligible to obtain legal status in Canada (if accepted).

Participating Communities and Regions

The program encompasses several communities across the following regions:


  • 100 Mile House
  • Mackenzie
  • Quesnel


  • Castlegar & Central Kootenay (Areas I & J)
  • Columbia Valley & East Kootenay
  • Kimberley
  • Nelson & Central Kootenay (Areas E & F)
  • Rossland
  • Trail


  • Bulkley-Nechako

North Coast:

  • Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (Areas B, C, and E)


  • Fort St. John


  • Clinton
  • Penticton
  • Salmon Arm
  • Vernon

Vancouver Island/Coast:

  • Campbell River
  • Comox
  • Mount Waddington
  • Powell River

Why the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot Stands Out

The BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot is unique in its focus on establishing new businesses in participating regional communities across British Columbia. Notably, the financial eligibility requirements for net worth and investment are significantly lower than those of the general BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration program, making it more accessible for a broader range of entrepreneurs.

By making this pilot a permanent fixture, B.C. is reaffirming its commitment to fostering regional economic growth and providing opportunities for entrepreneurs from around the world to contribute to and benefit from the vibrant local economies of British Columbia’s diverse regions.