Posted on - Jul 28, 2015

By Catherine Sas, QC

Catherine Sas Q.C.

On July 2, 2015 the BC PNP program re-opened their business immigration category for entrepreneurial applicants. The new system requires prospective applicants to pre-register with an online profile that will allow the provincial government to quickly assess registrants based upon a number of criteria. A scoring component is used to select  those applicants with the highest scores will be given an Invitation to Apply (ITA), which is required to submit a business application to the BC PNP office.  Let’s review the scoring criteria to see how to get that pivotal ITA!

The first step in this new process is for a potential applicant to register a profile on line. In order to register you must be able to demonstrate a legally obtained and verifiable personal net worth of at least $600,000 CDN and meet the business experience requirements. There is a non-refundable $300 registration fee and only 200 registrations will be accepted each month.  A registration is only valid for six months – if you don’t receive an ITA within six months you will need to re-apply.  You cannot make changes to your online profile once you register and your application may be refused if the information in your registration differs from what is provided in your application.

Once your profile is registered you will be scored on 6 different criteria as follows:

Scoring Sections Maximum Points Minimum Points
1. Experience 24 8
2. Net Worth 12 1
3. Personal Investment 30 6
4. Job Creation 36 2
5. Adaptability 18 No Minimum
6. Business Concept 80 32
Total Points 200 49

Experience

Only business experience in the last 10 years will be considered.   More points are given for experience as a business owner/manager than as a Senior Manager.  If you have more than 3 years of experience as an owner ( the minimum necessary to apply) you will score 12 points whereas if you have over 4 years experience as a Senior Manager you will score 8 points.  The maximum points as a business owner is 20 whereas for Senior Managers it is 12.  You will need to have experience as both in order to score the maximum of 24 points.

Personal Net Worth

Points are scored for both your total cash assets and for your total personal net worth each receiving a potential point score of 6 with the maximum potential total of 12. The score given for the minimum net worth  pre-requisite of $600,000 is one point, while  more than $400,000 in cash assets and more than $5,000,000 in total personal net worth is required to score the maximum points.

Personal Investment

You will score points for the dollar value of what you propose to invest in BC.  The minimum investment amount is $200,000; however, an investment of up to $399,999 will only score 6 points out of a maximum of 30.  A $400,000 investment scores 20 points and an investment of 1 million dollars or more scores the maximum 30 points.

Jobs

You will be given points for the proposed jobs that you will create or the jobs that you maintain if you are buying an existing business.  You must create or maintain a minimum of one full time position, which  2 points.  You will need to create or maintain 11 jobs or more in order to score the maximum potential score of 36 points.  Job creation is the second highest scoring  of the six factors.

Adaptability

The score is based upon a combination of  your english language proficiency, education level, age, business visits to BC and Canadian work experience.  You can only achieve the maximum points  of 18 if you score the maximum of each  criteria.  The ideal applicant has intermediate to advanced english language proficiency ( supported by a test score), two years or more of post secondary education, is 40-60 years of age, has visited BC within the past year and have worked or studied in BC for more than one year.

Business Concept

This is where you describe what business you propose to establish or purchase and maintain in BC.  Your business concept will be scored on three factors : commercial viability, transferability of skills and economic benefits. In considering the economic benefits factor, points are given for the geographic region of your proposed business with 0 points being given for cities with more than 500,000 people and 12 points being given for a  city or town of less than 35,000 people.  The minimum points for the business concept factor is 32 and the maximum score is 80.  The business concept factor has the highest potential score of all the other factors.  However, you will be automatically disqualified if you propose an ineligible business.   Ineligible businesses include bed and breakfasts, hobby farms, pawnbrokers, coin-operated laundries, real estate development and several others listed in the guide.  Furthermore, depending upon the economic region of your proposed business you may not be eligible for registration if your community is already saturated with similar businesses such as convenience stores, DVD rentals, gas stations or tanning salons.  The business concept category is the wild card of the new BC PNP Entrepreneurial stream scoring system!   Next time we will review what happens if you score high enough to be given an Invitation to Apply (ITA).


Catherine Sas, Q.C. is a Vancouver immigration lawyer at Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre in Vancouver, BC Canada. Catherine has been practicing law for over 25 years, and has been voted Vancouver’s Best Immigration Lawyer by the Georgia Straight newspaper for 5 consecutive years.

To learn more about immigrating to Canada, becoming a permanent Canadian resident or bringing your family to Canada, email Catherine Sas or call her at 1-604-689-5444.

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