Entrepreneur Immigration — Strategic Projects Category

Entrepreneur Foreign companies that are planning to open a branch or subsidiary in Canada can relocate their key employees to this country through the Strategic Projects category of the B. C. provincial program.

Foreign corporations can start a business in British Columbia and transfer up to 5 key employees who can obtain a permanent residence permit in Canada.

Applicants are encouraged to visit British Columbia before applying for a visa to better understand the local business environment and opportunities.

Corporation Requirements

The foreign corporation should meet the following requirements:

  • Invest a minimum of C$500,000 in purchasing a new business or expanding the corporation’s operations in British Columbia
  • Create at least 3 full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for each foreign key staff member (to a maximum of 5 key staff)
  • Provide proof that the business is successful outside of Canada: it must consistently generate profits and have the potential for international expansion
  • Demonstrate that key employees are qualified senior staff and essential to start and operate a business in British Columbia

The following types of businesses are not eligible under the Entrepreneur Immigration — Strategic Projects category:

  • immigration-linked investment schemes and passive investment pursuant to Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)
  • Bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based businesses
  • Payday loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Tanning salons
  • DVD rental stores
  • Coin-operated laundries
  • Automated car wash operations
  • Scrap metal recycling
  • Businesses selling used goods (excluding repairs, refurbishing or recycling)
  • Real estate development or brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage
  • Businesses involved in producing, distributing or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing sexually oriented services
  • Any other type of business that would bring the BC PNP or the Government of British Columbia into disrepute

Key Staff Requirements

To be eligible as key staff, the individual must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a current senior employee of the foreign corporation, have the qualifications and experience that are essential to operate the business
  • Be appointed to an executive or senior managerial position, or have specialized knowledge essential to the business in British Columbia
  • Planning to be permanently employed full-time in the British Columbia subsidiary
  • Have been offered a wage which is in line with his expertise and consistent with industry and corporate compensation rates

Individuals who are prohibited from entering Canada, who have lived illegally in Canada or another country, who worked in Canada with no work permit or claimed for refugee status in Canada cannot participate in this program.


If the business meets the requirements, British Columbia will send the corporation a package of documents and the invitation to apply via email. The corporation must pay a processing fee of C$3,500 plus C$1,000 for key staff application.

The province will then review the application. If it passes the initial assessment, key staff will have to attend an in-person interview in Vancouver, in the office of the provincial program of British Columbia.

If the application is approved, a performance agreement will be signed with the province. And each employee will be issued a work permit in British Columbia.

Find out about other BCINP streams in the article “Immigration to British Columbia”.