Provincial Nominee Program

PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Program

There are a few key differences between the Regional Pilot Program and the standard Entrepreneur Immigration Program. They include the following:

  1. The standard Entrepreneur Immigration Program is for entrepreneurs that are interested in starting a business that is not one of the three identified sectors of the Regional Pilot Program.
  2. The standard Entrepreneur Immigration Program provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to purchase an existing business. The Regional Pilot Program does not.
  3. The net worth and investment threshold for the standard Entrepreneur Immigration Program is higher than the Regional Pilot Program. The criteria for the eligibility for the Entrepreneur Immigration Program can be found here.

If you are interested in the finding out how you can utilize the PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Program in Vernon and not the Regional Pilot Program please email us at Please include the wording “Standard PNP” in the subject line.

PNP Express Entry

If you have the skills to fill high-demand occupations in BC, the Express Entry stream may be an option for you. For more information on this program click here.

PNP Tech Pilot

BC’s technology sector is growing! If you have the skills required, this may be an excellent pathway for you to come to British Columbia. For more information on this program click here. For more information on the technology sector in Vernon click here.

Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot Program

The Province of BC launched the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot Program on March 14, 2019. The City of Vernon is an eligible community and is participating in the program.

Applications for eligible new business start-ups for Vernon MUST be from the following three sectors.

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

  • This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in activities in which human capital is the major input. These establishments make available the knowledge and skills of their employees, often on an assignment basis. The individual industries of this subsector are defined on the basis of the particular expertise and training of the service provider.
  • The main components of this subsector are legal services; accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services; architectural, engineering and related services; specialized design services; computer systems design and related services; management, scientific and technical consulting services; scientific research and development services; and advertising, public relations, and related services.
  • The distinguishing feature of this subsector is the fact that most of the industries grouped in it have production processes that are almost wholly dependent on worker skills. In most of these industries, equipment and materials are not of major importance. Thus, the establishments classified in this subsector sell expertise. Much of the expertise requires a university or college education, though not in every case.
  • Establishments primarily engaged in providing instruction and training in a wide variety of subjects and those primarily engaged in providing health care by diagnosis and treatment are not included in this subsector.
Food Manufacturing

Food Manufacturing

This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in producing food for human or animal consumption.

General Merchandise Stores

General Merchandise Stores

  • This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in retailing a general line of merchandise that may, or may not, include a general line of grocery items.

For those that are interested in starting a business in one of these three sectors in Vernon, our process, which is subject to change, is highlighted below.

How to Apply
Step One: Ensure eligibility

We ask that potential applicants ensure they are eligible to participate in the Regional Pilot Program. The criteria is as follows:

  • Must be a new business from the three sectors identified above
  • Minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments
  • Minimum personal net worth of $300,000
  • Minimum of 51% ownership
  • Minimum of 1 new job created.
  • Exploratory community visit*

*Please note for those interested in pursuing the Regional Pilot Program that exploratory visits to Vernon are by invitation only. All costs associated with exploratory visits are to be covered by the applicant.

Step Two: Educate yourself on Vernon

We want to ensure that our community is the right fit for your business and your family. We ask that you please educate yourself on Vernon prior to submitting a site visit request application. There are several resources that can assist you in researching our community including:

  1. Moving to Vernon – This website was created to provide a variety of information to potential new residents. This includes information on housing, education, health, working, recreation, culture, shopping and more.
  2. Tourism Vernon – This website is geared towards those that are looking to visit the area. The website highlights our attractions, amenities and our active outdoor lifestyle.
  3. Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce – The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is a key partner a considered the voice of business in the North Okanagan.
  4. Downtown Vernon Association –  Established in 1967, the Downtown Vernon Association is the business organization that represents over 550 members in Downtown Vernon.
Step Three: Prepare your Business Plan

Part of the requirement to participate in the Regional Pilot Program is having a business plan. There are a variety of resources available for those that are creating a business plan. These include:

  1. Community Futures North Okanagan – Located in Vernon, Community Futures has excellent resources available for those looking to start a business in Vernon.
  2. Small Business BC – Great resource for those looking to open a small business in BC.
  3. Futurpreneur – Futurpreneur offers financing, mentoring and business support
Step Four: Submit your Application and Business Plan

If you have ensured eligibility, educated yourself on Vernon and prepared your business plan, you can now request a site visit. Since the Regional Pilot Program was announced in December 2018, Vernon has experienced significant interest from entrepreneurs across the globe. We have a team that will review applications as time permits.  Unfortunately, not everyone will be invited for a site visit. All costs associated with the site visit are at the expense of the applicant. It should be noted that a site visit does not guarantee approval into the Regional Pilot Program. 


There is a committee made up of Community Futures, Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Vernon Association and Vernon & District Immigrant Services Society, who will review the business plans and applications.  By submitting an application and business plan, you are providing consent to share your information with the committee members.