The modified Richard Nixon quotation of 1962 may be the best way to describe the radical changes made by the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) to its program.

The skilled worker category had already been modified in January 2015 by introducing the BC PNP Express Entry system, coordinating selection of skilled worker candidates with the Federal Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Express Entry system.

But the most radical changes have been reserved for the business category.

The changes were inevitable.

Over the last decade, the BC PNP had used a relaxed and informal approach in assessing business applications, which led ultimately to permanent residence.

The softer approach, combined with the closure of the Federal entrepreneur and investor programs and limits placed by other provincial business programs, caused the number of applications to the BC PNP business program skyrocket from a low of 152 in 2009 to a high of 1085 in 2014. The system became clogged.

The BC PNP also noticed business purchase prices being inflated to fit the criteria, fraudulent applications and net worth being misrepresented. The refusal rates climbed to over 40 %.

The result – as of July 2, 2015, the BC PNP has brought in a stringent point system for business candidates and well-defined requirements.

Candidates will be asked to register online giving details about their experience, net worth, personal investment, personal adaptability and a business concept focused on where the person will reside and the jobs to be created. All sources of funds will be reviewed by firms with expertise in international finance and accounting practices.

The maximum points will be 200 and the BC PNP will adjust the point total as it sees fit to adjust application intake. Only the highest scoring candidates will be picked on a comparative ranking system, reminiscent of the Federal Express Entry system. 

For example, the ideal candidate who would obtain the maximum 200 points score would be one who:

  • has Five years of business or senior management experience.
  • has a net worth of at least $5 million and liquid cash assets of at least $400,000.
  • has a plan to invest $1 million.
  • will create 11 jobs.
  • has intermediate English skills and at least two years of post-education studies.
  • is between the ages of 40 and 60.
  • has visited British Columbia at least once in the last year.
  • has at least 12 months of Canadian work experience.

Not every successful candidate will have to achieve the above qualifications, but it does reflect the stringent and high standards that the BC PNP is now placing on potential business candidates.

The business concept itself will be granted 80 points, of the 200. Up to 12 points will be based on the geographical location of where the individual will decide to establish or purchase a business. The province has been broken into regional districts with the following point totals:

More than 500,000 people

0 points

200,00 to 500,000 people

1 point

100,000 to 200,000 people

3 points

70,000 to 100,000 people

6 points

60,000 to 70,000 people

8 points

35,000 to 60,000 people

10 points

Less than 35,000 people

12 points


The regional business succession category has been removed and will become part of the new business selection process.

Once an individual has entered the entrepreneurial immigration registration (EIR), the BC PNP will provide the point score to the candidate within 4 weeks.

If the individual meets the successful point score, the person will have four months within which to provide all documentation.  Once the BC PNP has received the documents, approval will be issued within three months.

To ensure the fastest approval process, the candidate should have all documentation ready, prepared and vetted before entering the entrepreneur immigration registration. 

An Associate of

Crease Harman LLP