Canada seeks to entice people with a strong ability to contribute to the economy through its numerous business immigration programs. By recruiting investors, business owners, and independent contractors with access to venture capital, strong business acumen, and entrepreneurial talents, these programs aim to promote economic development.
By embracing immigrants who are familiar with those markets and their requirements and customs, these programs also aim to create new economic opportunities in Canada and to enhance Canada’s access to burgeoning international markets. You can choose to apply through one of the programs provided by the federal government or a specific province, such as the Quebec business immigration programs, if business immigration sounds like it would be a good fit for your experience and aspirations.
These are Categories Under Business Immigration:
Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP)
The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) is designed for anyone who has a certain net worth and sufficient funds to participate in the Quebec economy (currently, this program is closed).
Candidates for the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program are assessed based on a number of criteria, such as degree level/areas of training, managerial experience, age, fluency in French or English, intention to stay in Quebec with family, and Investment Agreement. For applicants with or without a spouse or common-law partner, the maximum number of points allowed is 94.
Candidates that achieve the minimum requirements for managerial experience and financial investment will only need five more points to reach the needed 40. Candidates could get those points by meeting just one of the following, for instance:
A technical diploma from a postsecondary institution attesting to one OR two years of full-time study (worth 6 points)
A two-year, full-time undergraduate degree from a university (worth 6 points)
Members of your family accompanying you will also need to obtain an attestation, including your
spouse aged 16 years or older, and your dependent children aged 18 years or older.
You must score at least 40 out of 89 points on the grid to meet the cut-off for factors and criteria that
have an elimination threshold.
Benefits of the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program
Risk-free investment: The Quebec government guarantees the $1,200,000 investment, which will be fully refunded after five years.
The investment that is passive: After the investment is made, no active management is needed.
Family Included: All spouses and dependent children of the candidate are listed in the application and are accorded the same status as the candidate.
Permanent resident status: Enjoy the same privileges as Canadian citizens (universal health coverage, free public education, access to prestigious universities, etc.).
Minimum Net Worth: a minimum of CAD $2,000,000 in legally acquired net worth, either on their own or with assistance from their spouse or common-law partner, if traveling with them. It is possible to incorporate assets like real estate, bank accounts, pension funds, stocks, and shares.
Business or Management Experience: over the previous five years prior to the candidate’s application, at least two years of management experience is required. The experience must have been obtained in a position that qualified as full-time and within a distinct enterprise (agricultural, commercial, or industrial). The profitability of the business is not a requirement. A minimum of two full-time employees (apart from the candidate) must work for the organization if management experience is claimed to be professional.
As long as the applicant can show they have two years of recent managerial experience within the last five years, the candidate may be retired at the time the application is submitted. The applicant must be able to provide evidence of the organization, management, and control of material, human, and financial resources that fall under his or her purview. Experience obtained as part of a training, specialization, or apprenticeship process that is attested by a diploma is not eligible.
Investment: Agreement to invest $1,200,000 CAD through a recognized financial intermediary (this investment may be funded).
For those looking to immigrate to Canada to launch a business, the federal government, the province of Quebec, as well as other provinces and territories, provide immigration pathways.
1. Federal Start-up Visa Program
Immigrant entrepreneurs are encouraged to expand their businesses in Canada under the federal government’s Start-Up Visa Program. Successful candidates relate to Canadian businesses where they can get finance, advice, and experience for starting and running their business there. Canada’s Start-Up Visa is aimed at businesspeople who have the potential to establish cutting-edge organizations that can compete globally and generate employment.
2. Quebec Entrepreneur Program
The Quebec Entrepreneur immigration category was created to give qualified business managers and owners the chance to become citizens of Canada, provided they can successfully start or buy an agricultural, industrial, or commercial business in Quebec.
3. Provincial Entrepreneur Program
Within their Provincial Nominee Programs, the provinces of Canada provide a variety of entrepreneur categories. Immigrant businesspeople can relocate to a certain province by fitting into one of these categories.
1. Federal Self-Employed Persons Program
Those participating in these programs may apply for permanent residence in Canada if they are self-employed and have extensive expertise in specific trades or professions. A candidate for business immigration to Canada under the Self-Employed Persons Program must show that they have the relevant agricultural, artistic, or athletic experience that will enable them to successfully run their own business in Canada and significantly advance their field.
2. Quebec Self-Employed Category
The Quebec Self-Employed category of Canadian immigration was created to give qualified people the chance to seek permanent residency in Canada on the condition that they can successfully establish their identity in the Province of Quebec by engaging in a trade or profession for their own account.
3. Provincial Nominee Program
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is run by several Canadian provinces and territories. Through the PNP, provinces, and territories can select immigrants who will help those economies. Certain provinces and territories provide.
Start-up Visa programs may make it possible for business owners with a lucrative business idea to immigrate. Immigrant entrepreneurs who want to start businesses in Canada can do so through the Start-Up Visa program, which also provides them with permanent residence.
Immigrant business owners are encouraged by the program to expand in Canada. Successful applicants relate to private sector organizations in Canada, where they can get finance, advice, and experience for starting and running their business in that country.
- A CLB 5 proficiency in all areas in either the English or French language, or
- Own enough money to immigrate to Canada.
- Envision settling somewhere else than Quebec.
- Passing Canadian security and medical screenings.
- Show your business complies with ownership rules and demonstrates that it is supported by a designated organization.
Several venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubation organizations have been authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to take part in the Start-Up Visa program.
Successful candidates are expected to get a minimum investment for their Canadian start-up. The investment must be at least $200,000 if coming from a recognized Canadian venture capital fund. It should be at least $75,000 if coming from an angel investor organization.
No funding from an incubator is required of applicants. There is no requirement for applicants to put any of their own money into an investment. Individuals awarded permanent residency under this program will keep their status as permanent residents even if their Canadian start-up is unsuccessful.
Evidence of Commitment
A venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator must submit a completed Commitment Certificate to IRCC to prove that the applicant has received funding from one of these entities. Details of the agreement between the applicant and the investment organization are included in this document. Its objective is to provide an overview of the key information regarding the agreement between the applicant and the investment organization.
The candidate will also get a letter of support from the investing company, which they must provide with their application for permanent residence. The investing organization’s commitment may be subject to one or more “essential persons” obtaining permanent residence if there are two or more applicants who are a part of the same business endeavor. A person who has been specifically named as being crucial to the firm by the investment organization is an essential person. All other applications contained in the Commitment Certificate will likewise be rejected if for any reason the application of an essential individual is denied.
Support from Multiple Organizations
Syndication—the help that applicants get from several approved organizations—is possible. This situation requires the identification of all parties. A single Commitment Certificate will be submitted to IRCC by all selected organizations, and the applicant(s) will receive a single Letter of Support.
Regardless of whether a designated angel group also invests in the same business, as soon as a designated venture capital firm makes an investment, the minimum total investment amount that must be made in that business is $200,000 as well.
The minimum total investment amount that must be made in that company is $75,000 if at least one approved angel group, but not any designated venture capital organizations, supports it.
Peer Review Process
The degree of due diligence exercised by the designated organization is examined through peer review, along with:
- Ensures that the business has been or will be incorporated in Canada.
- Business ownership has been confirmed and complies with program requirements,
- The designated organization has evaluated the viability of the proposed business model, evaluated the management team of the business venture, and verified the ownership of the intellectual property.
- Ensures that the business’s focus is on a high-growth potential product and/or service.
- Validates if it is a legitimate business.
To those who qualify and wish to launch or run a business, Canada gives temporary work permits.
Private business owners who want to temporarily relocate to Canada to launch or run a business may be eligible for an LMIA exemption. Candidates for one of these programs must be the sole or majority proprietors of the enterprise they intend to launch in Canada. They must also show that their venture will substantially benefit Canada. Entrepreneurs are only qualified for LMIA-exempt work permits if they can prove that their work in Canada is merely temporary in nature. Owners of seasonal businesses are especially well suited for this category. This category also includes LMIA-exempt work permits for entrepreneurs who have already sought permanent residence in Canada. Entrepreneurs can only qualify for LMIA-exempt work permits if they can show the nature of work is temporary.
– The work is transitory or seasonal, and they have intentions to leave Canada in a specific amount of time.
– the employment will create significant economic, social, or cultural benefits or possibilities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents
-Benefits to Canadian clients of the self-employed worker’s economy, society, or culture may be taken into consideration in this situation, especially if the individual is offering a distinctive service.
– Examples of transitory self-employment include seasonal companies (such as bed and breakfast owners, gold miners, and wildlife guides).
Throughout Canada, the provinces and territories can accept business immigrants thanks to the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which was first implemented in 1998, is currently the main route for skilled worker immigration to Canada. To attract qualified professionals from all around the world and boost their economy, nearly every province and territory runs the PNP.
Alberta Farm Stream
Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) manages the Farm Stream in close collaboration with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. It specifically targets individuals with farm management skills and adequate financial resources to invest in a farming business in Alberta.
Alberta Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
The Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is designed for eligible graduates who have received their education outside of Canada and wish to obtain permanent residence by starting their own businesses in Alberta.
Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is intended for international graduates who have completed their studies at post-secondary institutions in Alberta. Its goal is to support these graduates in establishing or operating businesses within the province.
Alberta Rural Entrepreneur Stream
The Rural Entrepreneur Stream is aimed at entrepreneurs who aspire to start a business or acquire an existing one in a rural community within Alberta.
British Columbia operates three business streams:
- Entrepreneur Immigration
- Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot
- Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects
B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration
- Establish a qualifying new business or acquire and enhance an existing business in British Columbia.
- Invest a minimum of $200,000 in the new or existing business.
- Create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- Have a minimum net worth of $600,000.
- Possess business and/or management experience.
- Demonstrate Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4 proficiency in English or French in listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills at the time of nomination.
- Have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada.
- Have been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently reside.
B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot
The British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot is designed to attract entrepreneurs to rural areas of the province.
- The population of fewer than 75,000.
- Located more than 30 km away from a municipality with a population of over 75,000.
- Demonstrated capacity to support foreign entrepreneurs through a network of settlement and business support agencies.
- Community representatives must complete immigration and pilot-specific training.
- Strong interest in starting a business and settling in a regional community in British Columbia.
- Complete an exploratory visit.
- Minimum of $100,000 CAD in eligible business investments.
- The minimum personal net worth of $300,000 CAD.
- CLB Level 4 proficiency in English or French in listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills at the time of nomination.
- Ownership of at least 51% of the business.
- Creation of a minimum of one new job.
B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects
The B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects stream assists foreign-controlled companies in establishing eligible businesses in British Columbia. It facilitates the timely entry of foreign key managerial, professional, or technical staff who intend to become permanent residents of Canada and settle in B.C.
- Make a minimum equity investment of $500,000 to establish or purchase and expand an eligible business in British Columbia.
- Create at least three new jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for each proposed foreign key staff member (up to a maximum of five key staff).
- Establish or purchase and expand a company in British Columbia.
The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program offers two streams: the Entrepreneurial Stream and the Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream, which target professionals and graduates from New Brunswick institutions.
Entrepreneurial Stream Requirements:
- Must have a qualifying connection to New Brunswick.
- The age must be between 22 and 55.
- Minimum of two years of post-secondary education, resulting in a degree or diploma.
- Achieve a minimum level 5 score on the Canadian Language Benchmark exam for speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English or French.
- Completion of at least two years of full-time post-secondary education.
- Legally acquired personal net worth of at least $600,000, with $300,000 available in unencumbered liquidity.
- Investment of at least $250,000 in a New Brunswick business, assuming ownership of at least 33 percent.
- Signing of a Business Performance Agreement with the New Brunswick provincial government and payment of a $100,000 deposit.
- Businesses must generate significant economic benefits for New Brunswick.
- Demonstrate business experience, either through three years of ownership or five years of senior management experience within the past five years.
- Submission of a business concept consisting of 1,000 to 1,500 words.
- Completion of an exploratory visit to New Brunswick or participation in an information session offered by the New Brunswick provincial government.
- Intention to live permanently in New Brunswick.
Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream Requirements:
- Age must be between 22 and 40.
- Attain at least level 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark exam for speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English or French.
- Completion of at least two years of full-time post-secondary education at a recognized New Brunswick university or community college.
- Reside in New Brunswick throughout the duration of the course (distance-learning courses are not eligible).
- Ownership and operation of a business for a full year with 100 percent ownership.
- Possession of a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit.
- Intention to live permanently in New Brunswick.
The Ontario Entrepreneur Stream is designed for individuals from outside Canada who are interested in starting or purchasing an existing business in Ontario. Successful applicants will be nominated for Canadian permanent residence, making them eligible to apply for permanent residency.
Applicants under the OES must meet the following requirements:
- Business Experience:
- Possess a minimum of 24 months of full-time business experience within the past 60 months.
- The experience must be as an owner or senior manager of a business.
- Net Worth:
- Maintain a minimum net worth of $800,000 if the proposed business will be located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
- For businesses outside the GTA, the minimum net worth requirement is $400,000.
- If the proposed business is involved in Information Communications Technology or Digital Communications anywhere in the province, the minimum net worth requirement is also $400,000.
- Be prepared to invest a minimum of $600,000 in an Ontario business and hold at least 33% equity ownership if the business is located in the GTA.
- For businesses outside the GTA, the investment requirement is at least $200,000 with a minimum of 33% equity ownership.
- If the business is involved in Information Communications Technology or Digital Communications anywhere in the province, the investment requirement is also at least $200,000 with a minimum of 33% equity ownership.
- Job Creation:
- Commit to creating two full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents within the proposed company if the business is located within the GTA.
- For businesses outside the GTA, the requirement is to create at least one job for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- If the business is involved in Information Communications Technology or Digital Communications anywhere in the province, the requirement is also to create at least one job for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
The Entrepreneur stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program is designed for individuals who have experience in business ownership or senior management. To be eligible for this stream, candidates must reside in Nova Scotia and have the intention to either start a new business or acquire an existing one. Additionally, they are required to actively participate in the day-to-day management of the business.
The Entrepreneur stream follows a two-step process. Initially, candidates are issued a temporary work permit, allowing them to operate the business in Nova Scotia. After successfully running the business for a year, they can then apply for permanent residence. The selection process for this stream involves the use of an Expression of Interest system, where candidates in a pool are invited to submit a formal application.
To meet the requirements of the Entrepreneur stream, candidates must fulfill the following criteria:
- Age: Candidates must be 21 years of age or older.
- Intention to Settle: Candidates must have the desire to live permanently in Nova Scotia while owning and actively managing a business in the province.
- Net Worth: A minimum personal net worth of $600,000 is required.
- Investment: Candidates must make a minimum investment of $150,000 to establish or purchase a business in Nova Scotia.
- Business Experience: Candidates must have a minimum of three years of experience actively managing and owning a business, with a minimum ownership stake of 33 percent. Alternatively, they can have more than five years of experience in a senior business management role.
- Language Proficiency: Candidates must obtain a minimum score of 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in either English or French.
By meeting these requirements, candidates demonstrate their suitability for the Entrepreneur stream and their potential to contribute to the economic growth and development of Nova Scotia.
The Prince Edward Island Impact Category offers permanent residence to entrepreneurs who have successfully established a business in the province. The program operates through the Work Permit Stream, which follows a two-stage process:
Temporary Work Permit: Candidates first come to Canada on a temporary work permit and proceed to establish their business in Prince Edward Island.
Nomination for Permanent Residence: Once the candidate’s business is established, and they have fulfilled the terms of the agreement, they become eligible for nomination for permanent residence in Prince Edward Island.
It is important to note that the province previously operated direct permanent residence business streams. However, these streams were closed in September 2018 due to concerns over immigration fraud. The Work Permit Stream now serves as the pathway for entrepreneurs to obtain permanent residence in Prince Edward Island based on the successful establishment of their businesses.
Overall, the Prince Edward Island Impact Category provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to build their businesses in the province and eventually gain permanent residency, ensuring a positive impact on the local economy and community.
The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) offers two main business categories: the Entrepreneur Stream and the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream. Here are the details for each:
- Expression of Interest (EOI): Interested individuals submit an EOI indicating their intention to apply.
- Invitation to Submit Application: Candidates with high scores in the EOI pool are invited to submit a full application.
- Nomination: Successful applicants receive a nomination from the SINP, which qualifies them to apply for permanent residency.
Minimum Entry Requirements for EOI:
- Minimum net worth of $500,000 obtained legally.
- At least three years of entrepreneurial or relevant management experience.
- Investment of at least $300,000 in Regina or Saskatoon, or $200,000 in any other Saskatchewan area.
- Business Establishment Plan: It should align with the figures mentioned in the EOI and demonstrate at least one-third ownership of a company in Saskatchewan (unless the investment is $1 million or higher).
- Commitment to actively manage the business on a day-to-day basis.
- Creation of two or more jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents if the business is located in Regina or Saskatoon.
International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream:
- Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI): Candidates interested in this stream must submit an EOI to the SINP.
- Invitation to Apply: Candidates are assessed based on their EOI scores, and top-scoring candidates are invited to apply.
- Business Establishment: Approved candidates establish and operate their business in Saskatchewan while holding a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit.
- Nomination: Once candidates fulfill the conditions of the Business Performance Agreement, they can apply for nomination by the SINP for permanent residency.
Requirements for EOI:
- Minimum age of 21.
- Completion of a full-time degree or diploma of at least two years from a recognized and eligible Saskatchewan institution.
- Possession of a valid Post-Graduate Work Permit with at least 24 months of remaining eligibility.
- Residency in Saskatchewan during the academic program.
- Minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7.
Requirements for Business Establishment:
- Reside in Saskatchewan.
- Actively own and operate an eligible business in Saskatchewan for at least one year before applying for nomination.
- Own at least one-third of the business equity.
- Demonstrate that the business generates the minimum required revenue after one year, depending on the number of employees.
- Sign a Business Performance Agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan, provided by the SINP upon application approval.
Note: If applicants close or sell their business after receiving a SINP nomination but before obtaining permanent residence, their nomination will be revoked.
The Yukon Business Nominee Program provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to own and operate their businesses in the Yukon region of Canada. The program follows a two-step process, where candidates initially arrive in Yukon on a two-year work permit and can be nominated for permanent residence if they successfully establish their business. The program has specific requirements that applicants must meet:
Minimum Net Worth: Applicants must have a legally acquired net worth of at least $500,000, which needs to be documented and verified by a Yukon accounting firm.
Minimum Liquid Assets: Applicants must have a minimum of $300,000 in liquid assets, which should be legally acquired and verified by a Yukon accounting firm.
Capital Investments: Applicants are required to invest a minimum of $300,000 in capital investments for their business within the first two years after acceptance into the Yukon Business Nominee Program. It’s important to note that capital investments made before acceptance into the program are not considered in this requirement. Capital investments typically include purchases such as property or equipment. However, expenses related to personal purchases like a house, partially business-related vehicles, and operational or maintenance costs are not included in this requirement.
By meeting these requirements and successfully establishing their business in Yukon, candidates have the opportunity to be nominated for permanent residence through the Yukon Business Nominee Program.
A foreign national who travels to Canada to engage in business-related activities but who does not plan to work there is referred to as a business visitor. A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) may be necessary for business travelers to Canada.
For Canada’s economy to continue to prosper, it is crucial to permit foreign companies to conduct business there. Similar to this, nations that have strong commercial ties and strong economic ties with Canada typically make it easy for Canadian business travelers to access their nations. Canada’s commercial outlook and economic prosperity are significantly influenced by visa reciprocity.
- Must meet Canada’s basic entry requirements, and have a valid travel document, like a passport.
- Have enough money for their stay and to return home.
- Plan to leave Canada at the end of their visit and are not a criminal.
- They intend to stay in Canada for less than six months.
- They do not intend to enter the Canadian labor market.
- Their primary place of business and source of income and profits are located outside of Canada.
- Have documents that support their application.
- Attending meetings, conferences, conventions, and other events for business.
- Purchasing goods or services in Canada on behalf of a foreign organization.
- Ordering products or services.
- Providing after-sales support, excluding practical assistance in the building trades.
- Being trained by a Canadian parent firm for employment outside of Canada; and training staff members of a foreign corporation’s Canadian subsidiary.
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