November 2, 2011
The B.C provincial government’s proposed immigration changes are further encouraging business immigrants to invest in communities in regional B.C. through the BC Provincial Nominee Program.
In order to attract entrepreneurs from other nations, British Columbia has instituted a plan called ‘Canada Starts Here’. The goal is to fast-track the process of acquiring permanent resident status by supporting the creation of jobs regionally for entrepreneurs and qualified workers, based on labour market and development priorities. Over the next decade, British Columbia’s Skills for Growth Strategy projects 1.1 million job openings due to economic growth and retirements.
The BC Provincial Nominee Program has declared other changes, most notably a new online investment matching service that will connect potential business immigrants to the small business sector. A notable concern among small rural communities is finding entrepreneurs and investors to purchase or run companies when their owners are ready to retire. The B.C government aims to fill one third of all job openings with new immigrants who locate in rural communities and invest in existing business or meet their employment obligation by maintaining current jobs.
“Succession planning is a critical issue for businesses around the province at the moment, and this new program is an important start to promoting the continued livelihood of our communities. A significant investment opportunity exists in communities across B.C.” – John Winter, president & CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce
The service is scheduled to launch in November.
By targeting business immigrants internationally, with emphasis on Latin American, Eastern Europe, Russia and India, the B.C government will attempt to promote investment and meet job market demand within the province.
The federal government gave B.C a maximum of 3,500 Provincial Nominations for 2011. The Ministry of jobs, Tourism and Innovation is, in turn, negotiating with the federal government to increase those nominations for the coming year. One in every six economic immigrants to British Columbia arrived through the Provincial Nominee program. Since the beginning of the program in 2001, more than 14,000 entrepreneurs, and skilled and semi-skilled workers have immigrated to the province through the BC PNP.