Canada: Entrepreneurial Immigration To British Columbia: Challenges To Conside

Last Updated: August 27 2019
Article by Henry M. Ka

Given the abundance of natural resources, access to universal health care, commitment to human rights, and general political stability and prosperity, Canada has long been viewed by immigrants around the world as a desirable location to start a new life, for themselves and their families.

The province of British Columbia serves as a gateway between East and West in both culture and commerce, making it a natural destination for Asian immigration. It’s not surprising that between 2011 and 2016, six of the top ten countries of origin for new immigrants to BC, were from Asia (China, India, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan).

The BC PNP and Entrepreneurial Immigration

Many wealthy foreign entrepreneurs have the misconception that they can easily leverage their experience in their home country to obtain permanent residency in BC, and seek to do so by applying through the "entrepreneur immigration" application process, administered by the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

What prospective applicants may not be prepared for is how rigorous the selection process is and what they must endure in order to have the best chance of securing permanent residence in BC.

The BC PNP is responsible for reviewing skilled immigration applications from the following other sub-classes:

  1. international graduates
  2. skilled workers
  3. entry-level / semi-skilled workers
  4. international post-graduate
  5. healthcare professional
  6. express entry – international graduate
  7. express entry – skilled worker
  8. express entry – international post-graduate
  9. express entry – healthcare professional

According to BC PNP, in 2017 only one quarter of applicants seeking entrepreneur immigration were nominated to proceed to the next stage of the immigration process. In contrast, over one half of “skilled immigration” applicants managed to receive the Province's nomination. While it’s true that British Columbia receives many more applications annually through the skilled immigration stream, the discrepancy in successful applications is worth considering.

Pitfalls to avoid

Prospective entrepreneur immigrants should not only be aware of the statistics before making the decision to undertake the BC PNP process, but more importantly should be aware of the pitfalls to avoid once the decision has been made to proceed.

The procedure for entrepreneur immigration can be divided into the following stages:

  1. Registration
  2. Invitation to Apply
  3. Interview
  4. Work Permit
  5. Nomination
  6. Permanent Residency

To increase the odds of a successful application, the first three stages are the most crucial, because this is where one must get their proverbial "foot in the door". Any eligible individual may register through the BC PNP online portal, but only a select handful will be formally invited to submit a complete application which will give them the opportunity to receive a coveted nomination to apply for permanent residence.

Registration

There is a distinct difference between the registration process and the application process, and the language can be confusing. At the registration stage applicants must create a profile through the BC PNP's online portal. Here they will submit personal information regarding their family and personal background, and they will also be asked to provide a breakdown of their projected investment into their proposed business venture. Applicants will also be asked to provide a short summary of their business plan.

The registration stage is useful because it allows applicants to identify inconsistencies and potential weaknesses in their application, and to calculate their score to gauge whether or not they even have a chance at moving beyond the registration stage.

To secure an invitation to apply, applicants must first score high enough to be placed into a draw, from which applicants recieving invitations will be selected.

Application

If an applicant scores high enough in the registration stage, their profile will be put into a draw for the next round of invitations to formally apply. Once an applicant receives a formal invitation to apply, which can often take up to one year, they must then prepare a formal application package to the BC PNP which must include a more detailed business plan, and must be accompanied by an audit of the applicant's world-wide financials by one of the program's approved accounting firms.

Once the application package has been submitted, the applicant will then receive a request for an interview with a BC PNP representative. During the interview, the applicant must demonstrate extensive knowledge of their business plan, and be able to defend its economic viability.

The applicant may also be asked to outline their previous business experience and financial dealings to the satisfaction of the BC PNP. Applicants should be aware that the standard way of doing business in their home country may not, and most likely will not, be the same as in Canada, and careful thought must be given to answering the interviewer's questions truthfully and in a way that will support the application.

Assuming the prospective applicant is successful at all three stages, the BC PNP will issue a work permit and a performance agreement, whereby applicants will have a two-year period to execute their business plan.

Watch out for scams! Immigration lawyers and consultants

While immigration lawyers are regulated members of the Provincial Law Society, and must abide by certain rules governing ethical procedure, the same cannot be said of the myriad of immigration "consultants" servicing the market. Membership to the regulatory body governing immigration consultants is not mandatory, and recent events in the news have cast an unflattering light on the unscrupulous practices of some immigration consultants who remain unregulated.

Given the difficult nature of securing a successful application, applicants should be wary of being the targets of immigration scams. Following are some things to watch for.

Fees up front

An applicant should never be required to pay high fees upfront to anyone assisting them with the immigration application process. As this article has demonstrated, the application procedure is divided into clear stages, and other than payment for a retainer, any request that the applicant pay a lump sum in the high five or six figures should immediately raise red flags.

Wait until your work permit is issued

Applicants should not attempt to secure or fund a business venture until a work permit has been issued. Any financial outlays of this nature will NOT count toward your application scores.

Does your proposed business make sense?

The applicant should consider the practicality of their proposed business venture and whether it is aligned with their abilities and market demand. Does your proposed business plan match with the business experience from your home country? Have you established a demand for your product or service in Canada?

Applicants must also consider whether their English skills are adequate for a successful application. (Even though a lack of fluency in English is not officially a disqualifier, in reality this can be an issue.)

Summary

It is very important for prospective immigration applicants to Canada to consider all of the challenges and potential pitfalls of the application process before proceeding, to ensure their best chance for success.

  • Is the entrepreneurial immigration path the best one for you?
  • Are you adequately prepared to navigate the registration and application process to maximize your chances of success?
  • Is your business plan test-worthy?
  • Do you understand how to manage business culture inconsistencies that may arise during the interview process?
  • Do you know what scams to watch for?

This article highlights but a few of the many challenges surrounding the entrepreneurial immigration process in Canada. If you have questions about this process or any other immigration matter, including immigration appeals, please reach out to the Watson Goepel LLP Immigration Law Group.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions