skip to Main Content

Understanding and Maximizing Your BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category Score

The British Columbia PNP Entrepreneur Immigration (BC PNP EI)

The British Columbia PNP Entrepreneur Immigration (BC PNP EI) Base Category is an immigration option meant for experienced, proven foreign entrepreneurs and senior business managers that wish to start a new or take over and enhance an existing business in the province. Entry into this program begins with a 200-point registration process. If an applicant scores high enough, they may receive an invitation to apply. Progression in this program therefore requires a complete understanding of the minimum requirements and overall scoring mechanism, as well as how to maximize the score during the initial registration process.

Unlike other PNP entrepreneur path options, such as the OINP Entrepreneur Stream, the BC PNP EI Base Category only breaks down the scoring into two main sections:

  • Self-Declared – 120 points
  • Business Concept – 80 points

This is the maximum number of points that can be achieved in each section. Each section has multiple criteria that comprise the total possible score.

Self-Declared (120 points)

The self-declared portion of scoring awards points based on self-reported information on a number of factors. The scoring in this section is broken down as follows:

  • Experience & Ownership – 24 points Your score is determined by the total number of months of experience you have obtained as a business owner and/or a senior manager over the last 10 years. You may claim points for both business ownership and senior management as long as the periods of time do not overlap. In other words, you may not claim senior manager experience if it was in a business for which you were also an owner (> 10% share). However, if you have management experience that is entirely unrelated to your business ownership, you can claim points under both types of experience up to a maximum of 20 points.
    • Business owner-manager experience:
      • 12 to 24 months – 4 points
      • 25 to 36 months – 6 points
      • 37 to 48 months – 12 points
      • 49 to 59 months – 15 points
      • 60 months or more – 20 points
    • Senior manager work experience:
      • 25 to 48 months – 4 points
      • 49 to 59 months – 8 points
      • 60 months or more – 12 points

An additional 4 points may be earned if you were 100% owner of a business for three of the last five years.

  • Net Worth – 12 points You must have a minimum net worth of $600,000 to be eligible. However, points are awarded for both your total net worth as well as your current assets.
    • Current assets (cash and liquid funds):
      • $50,000 to $199,999 – 2 points
      • $200,000 to $399,999 – 3 points
      • $400,000 or more – 4 points
    • Total net worth:
      • $600,000 to $799,999 – 5 points
      • $800,000 to $1,999,999 – 6 points
      • $2,000,000 to $4,999,999 – 7 points
      • $5,000,000 or more – 8 points
  • Total Personal Investment – 20 points How much you invest in the business will also heavily factor into your score. You must make a minimum investment of $200,000 but larger investments will earn more points as follows:
    • $200,000 to $399,999 – 8 points
    • $400,000 to $599,999 – 10 points
    • $600,000 to $999,999 – 11 points
    • $1,000,000 to $1,999,999 – 12 points
    • $2,000,000 to $3,999,999 – 14 points
    • $4,000,000 to $7,999,999 – 16 points
    • $8,000,000 or more – 20 points
  • Jobs – 20 points One of the main priorities of the province’s immigration programs is to support a robust, thriving economy. Job creation is one of the most important ways to demonstrate this in an entrepreneur stream. Your business must create and intend to maintain at least one new full-time equivalent job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident within roughly 14 months. However, additional jobs will maximize your score.
    • 1 job – 8 points
    • 2 jobs – 9 points
    • 3 jobs – 10 points
    • 4 jobs – 11 points
    • 5 jobs – 12 points
    • 6 jobs – 13 points
    • 7-9 jobs – 14 points
    • 10-19 jobs – 16 points
    • 20+ jobs – 20 points
  • Regional District – 12 points In order to promote development in less populated areas, this scoring criteria awards points based on total population of the region. Lower population areas receive higher scores. Not only must the business be located within the claimed region but you must also plan to reside within 100 kilometers of the business. Points are awarded as follows:
    • 500,000 people or more – 0 points
    • 200,000 to 499,999 – 1 points
    • 100,000 to 199,999 – 3 points
    • 70,000 to 99,999 – 6 points
    • 60,000 to 69,999 – 8 points
    • 35,000 to 59,999 – 10 points
    • < 35,000 people – 12 points

If you are planning to start a new business in a low-population region, you may want to consider the BC PNP EI-Regional Pilot discussed later.

  • Adaptability – 32 points The largest main component of the self-declared score is adaptability. This section considers a myriad of factors that demonstrate the likelihood you will be able to assimilate to Canadian and British Columbian culture. Several of these factors also increase your chance of business success. It is made up of:
    • Language proficiency (4 points)
      • You must be proficient in one of the two official languages of English or French and demonstrate this providing your CLB (or equivalent) score. A CLB 4 will yield 2 points, while a CLB of 5+ will yield 4 points.
    • Education (8 points)
      • Level of education beyond secondary school is also a determining factor in your score.
        • Associate degree or equivalent diploma/certificate – 2 points
        • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent diploma/certificate – 5 points
        • Master’s degree, Doctorate or PhD – 8 points

Note that if you have no post-secondary education, you will not be considered unless you have been 100% owner of a business for three of the last 5 years.

    • Previous visit (4 points)
      • If you have visited the province in the last 3 years, especially if you visited the region where you plan to conduct business within the last year, this will earn you up to 4 points.
        • Visited B.C. 1 – 3 years ago – 1 point
        • Visited B.C. < 1 year ago, but did not proposed region – 2 points
        • Visited proposed region < 1 year ago – 4 points
    • Age (8 points)
      • Your age will play a factor in your score as well. You will receive the respective points for your age group. There are no points awarded if you are under 25 or 65 or older.
        • 25 – 34 years old – 4 points
        • 35 – 44 years old – 8 points
        • 45 – 54 years old – 6 points
        • 55 – 64 years old – 4 points
    • Canadian Experience (8 points)
      • Prior work, business, or academic pursuits within Canada will help you adapt. If you have spent more than 12 months in the country in one of these capacities in the last 10 years, you will earn 8 points.

Business Concept (80 points)

In contrast to the prior section, the business concept is scored by the BC PNP. The business concept is a top-line overview of your business, consistent with an Executive Summary in a business plan. You must score a minimum of 32 points in this section to be considered. A full, detailed business plan will be required if invited to apply. The business concept is scored as follows:

  • Commercial Viability – 30 points
    • Business Model (10 points)Your business overview should touch on how the company will make money and achieve or sustain profitability as well as how your management will help ensure this success. If the minimum information is covered, you will receive a fair or excellent rating.
      • Fair (5 points) – The business and products are clearly described, including an overall operational plan, and the proposed size and scope of the business aligns with industry expectations.
      • Excellent (10 points) – In addition to the requirements for a fair rating, the investment and job creation are fitting for the business, there is a clear strategy for commercial viability, the operational plan is consistent, and your duties obviously tie in with experience.
    • Market Entry & Product (4 points) You will receive 4 points if your market and product demonstrate a competitive edge or high value, or if your product is new or has a strong competitive analysis/market entry strategy. If you do not demonstrate any of these vital factors, you will receive 1 point.
    • Eligible Personal Investment (4 points) You will declare your investment amount in the self-reported section. That investment will then be evaluated by the BC PNP to ensure it meets eligibility requirements. A minimum of $200,000 must be eligible and, if purchasing an existing business, at least $50,000 of eligible investment must go towards improvements and expansion. If these requirements are met, you will receive points based on the total eligible investment.
      • $200,000 to $399,999 – 1 point
      • $400,000 to $599,999 – 2 points
      • $600,000 to $799,999 – 3 points
      • $800,000 or more – 4 points
    • Assessment of Investment (6 points) – The BC PNP will also evaluate if your investment plans and amounts align with the scope and purpose of the investment and/or the industry and will assign a substantiated or well-substantiated rating.
      • Substantiated (4 points) – The investments are reasonable and supported.
      • Well-substantiated (6 points) – Detailed investment plans which are well supported and clearly tie into the business plan. It is evident that thorough due diligence was conducted.
    • Ownership Percentage (4 points) – You must own at least 33.3% of the business unless you are investing more than $1 million. The total ownership will determine your score.
      • 33 1/3% to 50% – 2 points
      • More than 50% and less than 100% – 3 points
      • 100% ownership – 4 points
    • Risk Factors (2 points) – Certain activities will make your business endeavor riskier. If you do not intend to use external financing, are not investing more than half of your net worth, and are not proposing to partner with a co-registrant, you will receive 2 points.
  • Transferability of Skills – 20 points – Points are also awarded for how relevant your prior experience is to the industry of the proposed business. This is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code assigned to the industries of your prior experience and the new business. Direct experience is in the same industry while related experience is in an adjacent industry.

This scoring mechanism is more complicated than others as it weighs direct vs. related experience and owner-manager vs. senior manager experience differently. Points are assigned independently for each type of experience and then factored together.

  • First, take the score that applies only to your experience as an owner-manager:
    • 12+ months of experience in an unrelated industry – 2 points
    • 12 months or less of direct experience or 12 to 36 months of related experience – 5 points
    • 13 to 24 months of direct experience or 37+ months of related experience – 8 points
    • 13 to 24 months of direct experience and 37+ months of related experience – 10 points
    • 25 to 36 months of direct experience – 12 points
    • 25 to 36 months of direct experience and 37+ months of related experience – 14 points
    • 37 to 60 months of direct experience – 16 points
    • 37 to 60 months of direct experience and 37+ months of related experience – 18 points
    • More than 60 months of direct experience – 20 points
  • Then, figure out your score for your experience strictly as a senior manager:
    • 12+ months of experience in an unrelated industry – 2 points
    • 12 months or less of direct experience or 12 to 36 months of related experience – 4 points
    • 13 to 36 months of direct experience or 37+ months of related experience – 6 points
    • 13 to 36 months of direct experience and 37+ months of related experience – 8 points
    • 37 to 60 months of direct experience – 10 points
    • 37 to 60 months of direct experience and 37+ months of related experience – 12 points
    • More than 60 months of direct experience – 14 points
  • You will then need to apply the following formula to determine your score:
    • Total Owner-Manager Experience Points + Half Senior Manager Experience Points

If your individual score for senior manager is higher than your calculated score, you will receive the higher score.

If you have not already reached the 20-point maximum, you will receive 2 additional points for a language ability in English or French of CLB 5+ or 1 point for CLB 4.

  • Economic Benefits – 30 points – Last, but certainly not least, is an evaluation of the extent of the positive economic impact the business will provide to the economy.
    • Key Sector & Significant Benefit (12 points)
      • Like the other provinces, British Columbia has key sectors they wish to develop, as well as specific economic benefits they wish to promote. The key sectors are agrifoods, biomedical, destination tourism, Forestry, International Education, mining & energy/natural gas, technology and green economy, transportation, and value added manufacturing.
    • Points are awarded as follows:
      • No key sectors or any significant economic benefits – 3 points
      • 1 key sector or at least 1 significant economic benefit – 8 points
      • 1 key sector and at least 1 significant economic benefit – 12 points
    • Jobs Assessment (6 points)
      • Beyond meeting the minimum required FTE job creation number, the job(s) created must make sense for the type and size of the business. If the jobs plan meets the minimum but does not correspond to the business, you will receive 1 point. If the job plan does correspond, you will receive 6 points.
    • High Skilled Jobs (4 points)
      • Additional points are earned if any of the jobs created or maintained are high-skilled as defined by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A or B classification. If you create/maintain one of these jobs, you’ll receive 2 points, and two or more will earn you 4 points.
    • Development Region (8 points)
      • In addition to earning a score based on population size, locating your business in specific regions may earn additional points.
        • Lower Mainland / Southwest – 2 points
        • Vancouver Island and Coast, Thompson / Okanagan – 4 points
        • Cariboo – 6 points
        • Kootenay, Nechako, North Coast, or Northeast – 8 points
  • Regional District – 12 points In order to promote development in less populated areas, this scoring criteria awards points based on total population of the region. Lower population areas receive higher scores. Not only must the business be located within the claimed region but you must also plan to reside within 100 kilometers of the business. Points are awarded as follows:
    • 500,000 people or more – 0 points
    • 200,000 to 499,999 – 1 points
    • 100,000 to 199,999 – 3 points
    • 70,000 to 99,999 – 6 points
    • 60,000 to 69,999 – 8 points
    • 35,000 to 59,999 – 10 points
    • < 35,000 people – 12 points

If you are planning to start a new business in a low-population region, you may want to consider the BC PNP EI-Regional Pilot discussed later.

  • Adaptability – 32 points The largest main component of the self-declared score is adaptability. This section considers a myriad of factors that demonstrate the likelihood you will be able to assimilate to Canadian and British Columbian culture. Several of these factors also increase your chance of business success. It is made up of:
    • Language proficiency (4 points)
      • You must be proficient in one of the two official languages of English or French and demonstrate this providing your CLB (or equivalent) score. A CLB 4 will yield 2 points, while a CLB of 5+ will yield 4 points.
    • Education (8 points)
      • Level of education beyond secondary school is also a determining factor in your score.
        • Associate degree or equivalent diploma/certificate – 2 points
        • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent diploma/certificate – 5 points
        • Master’s degree, Doctorate or PhD – 8 points

Note that if you have no post-secondary education, you will not be considered unless you have been 100% owner of a business for three of the last 5 years.

    • Previous visit (4 points)
      • If you have visited the province in the last 3 years, especially if you visited the region where you plan to conduct business within the last year, this will earn you up to 4 points.
        • Visited B.C. 1 – 3 years ago – 1 point
        • Visited B.C. < 1 year ago, but did not proposed region – 2 points
        • Visited proposed region < 1 year ago – 4 points
    • Age (8 points)
      • Your age will play a factor in your score as well. You will receive the respective points for your age group. There are no points awarded if you are under 25 or 65 or older.
        • 25 – 34 years old – 4 points
        • 35 – 44 years old – 8 points
        • 45 – 54 years old – 6 points
        • 55 – 64 years old – 4 points
    • Canadian Experience (8 points)
      • Prior work, business, or academic pursuits within Canada will help you adapt. If you have spent more than 12 months in the country in one of these capacities in the last 10 years, you will earn 8 points.

Based on the scoring criteria above, there are ways to maximize your score, increasing the chance of being invited to apply. This includes:

  • Relying on business ownership experience over senior manager experience
  • Locating in a low-population area, if practical
  • Making the largest reasonable personal investment possible
  • Creating as many jobs as can be practically supported
  • Increasing your English or French to a CLB 5+
  • Conducting a visit to the proposed region prior to registration
  • Working or studying in Canada for a year prior to registration
  • Focusing on a key sector and/or significant economic benefits, if applicable
  • Developing a detailed business model description
  • Conducting thorough market research that clearly ties into the business concept
  • Creating or maintaining NOC 0, A or B jobs, if reasonable

The requirements for the Base Category may be out of reach for some applicants that might find the BC PNP EI Regional Pilot program to be a better option. The Regional Pilot seeks to encourage immigration and development of specific geographic regions within the province and, in order to prompt participation in that program, has less stringent requirements and a different scoring mechanism. You may want to explore the PNP EI-Regional Pilot guide to learn more about this program.

Regardless pf which program(s) or pathway(s) you are interested in, you should always consult with an immigration lawyer or other professional to ensure you are pursuing the most advantageous immigration scheme for your specific circumstances. Once your path is determined, Joorney can work with you – or your immigration lawyer or consultant – to create a winning business concept or full business plan to accompany your registration or official application. Our team of business experts are also available to help you validate and fully develop your business through in-depth (premium) market research or financial modeling.

Latest News: More News
Back To Top