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Canadian Business Immigration

If you are a business person or manager looking to immigrate to Canada, the Canadian federal and provincial governments offer a number of options that may allow you to fast-track the Canadian immigration process.

Business Immigration to Canada: An Introduction

Through Canada’s Business Class immigration programs, Canada aims to attract individuals that have a significant ability to contribute to the Canadian economy. These programs are offered with the goal of promoting economic development and bettering the job market by attracting investors, entrepreneurs, and self-employed individuals from outside Canada with available venture capital, significant business acumen, and entrepreneurial skills.

Business Class immigration also seeks to develop new commercial opportunities in Canada and to improve Canada’s access to growing foreign markets by welcoming foreign nationals who are familiar with those markets and their unique requirements and customs.

If this option sounds well-suited to your experience and goals, there are several immigration pathways from which to choose. Depending on where you plan to reside, you may choose to apply through one of the programs offered by a particular province, such as the Quebec business immigration programs, or by the federal government. Get started exploring your options by starting a free assessment, and we will be pleased to discuss your Business Class immigration options with you.

Which Canadian Business Class immigration program is best for you?

I have a significant net worth and I am ready to invest in a Canadian Business.

Depending on the amount of funds that you have available to invest in Canada, there may be a number of options available to you. For instance, the Quebec Immigrant Investor program allows individuals to immigrate to Canada by making a government-secured, passive investment. If you are looking for a more active investment, there are a number of Entrepreneur and Provincial Nominee programs available for immigration, which will require you to invest in and operate a business in Canada. You may also wish to explore the Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Program. Since there are so many options available to you, we encourage you to fill out a free assessment to take advantage of our extensive experience and discuss your options with a specialist.

I am looking to operate a business in Canada.

Your business management and ownership experience may make you eligible for a number of entrepreneur categories within the Provincial Nominee Programs and at the federal level, or for the business immigration programs offered by Quebec. Take advantage of our intimate knowledge of these programs by starting a free assessment.

I am looking to move to the province of Quebec.

The province of Quebec offers the most well-established Business Immigration programs. If you are considering living in the province of Quebec, we encourage you to explore Quebec’s Investor Immigration Program, as well as its Entrepreneur Immigration Program. Since these programs are based on points and your qualifications require some specialized analysis, we encourage you to fill out a free assessment so that we can walk you through the requirements for each of these programs and explore other viable immigration options available to you.

I would like to move to one of the other provinces in Canada.

Each province encourages the immigration of entrepreneurs and business managers through their Provincial Nominee Programs. These programs require that you make an active investment of either your capital or management abilities in a business located in one of Canada’s provinces. There are a number of programs available depending on which province you are considering for your new Canadian home. We welcome you to start your free assessment so that we can determine the best option for you.

I am self-employed and well-estalished in my field.

Canada welcomes self-employed individuals in a variety of fields based on their success and the reputation that they have established in their field. These fields range from farming to athletics to the arts. Start your free assessment today to find out if your self-employed experience would make you eligible for one of the Self-Employed Immigration Programs.

Available Business Immigration Programs

Investor Immigration

These immigration programs are for individuals with a certain net worth and enough capital to make an investment in the Canadian economy.

Entrepreneur Immigration

Individuals with a certain net worth and business management experience who plan to run a business in Canada may be able to submit an application.

Self-employed Immigration

These programs allow self-employed individuals with significant experience in certain trades and professions to make an application for Canadian immigration.

Entrepreneur Start-Up Visas

With funding and support from a designated Canadian investment organization, individuals with a plan for a unique business may be able to acquire this visa.

Provincial Nomination

Depending upon the Province, a number of immigration programs may be available for those looking to operate a business in that province

Quebec Immigrant Investor Program

ProgramQuebec Immigrant Investor Program - The Investor Program has been suspended from November 1, 2019, until July 1, 2020, in order to allow time for the program to be reviewed
Minimum Net WorthCAD $2,000,000
Minimum InvestmentCAD $1,200,000 risk-free through an approved financial intermediary or by financing that investment. 
Experience2 years of business management experience in the past 5 years prior to the submission of an application in a specific enterprise (agricultural, commercial, or industrial, OR management experience in a governmental or international organization) and in a position defined as full-time.
EOI SystemNo
Managerial RoleNo active managerial role required to apply
Business PlanNone
Exploratory VisitRecommended
InterviewMay be required as part of the application review. 
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permitPR after first obtaining Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)
Additional RequirementsBackground check and medical examination

Quebec Entrepreneur Program

ProgramQuebec Entrepreneur Program — A new application intake period began on November 1, 2019, and is scheduled to run until September 30, 2020.
Minimum Net Worth*CAD $900,000 of financial resources. 
Business ownership/operation*Holds and controls, alone or with the accompanying spouse or common-law partner at minimum 25% of the equity of the enterprise he or she creates or at least 51% of the equity of the enterprise he or she acquires.
EOI SystemNo
Managerial RoleRequired
Business ProjectRequired
Exploratory VisitRecommended
InterviewRequired as a final step in the application process
Start-up deposit*CAD $300,000 for a business in the metropolitan area of Montreal or CAD $200,000 for a business outside the metropolitan area of Montreal. 
PR/Work permitPR after first obtaining Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)
Additional Requirements

Submit a contract to prove financial self-sufficiency and demonstrate a secondary school general diploma level of education.

Provide a performance guarantee deposit of $200,000 that is refundable if certain conditions are met.*

* This requirement applies only to Component Two of the Entrepreneur program.

Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program

ProgramQuebec Self-Employed Worker Program — Application intake period from November 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020.
Minimum Net WorthCAD $100,000
Minimum InvestmentNot required
Experience2 years of self-employed experience in the profession or trade the applicant intends to practice in Quebec
EOI SystemNo
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanNone
Exploratory VisitRecommended
InterviewMay be required as part of the application review
Start-up depositRegister a start-up deposit of at least CAD $50,000 at a local financial institution if based in the metropolitan area of Montreal or at least CAD $25,000 if based outside of Montreal. 
PR/Work permitPR after first obtaining Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)
Additional RequirementsSubmit a contract to prove financial self-sufficiency and demonstrate a secondary school general diploma level of education.

Federal Start-Up Visa Program

ProgramStart-Up Visa Program 
Minimum Net WorthN/A
Minimum InvestmentCAD $200,000 if the investment comes from a designated Canadian venture capital fund or designated incubators OR CAD $75,000 if it comes from a designated Canadian angel investor group
ExperienceNo specific requirement
EOI SystemNo
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanNone
Exploratory VisitNot required
InterviewUpon request by IRCC
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permitPR immediately
Additional Requirements

Have the support of a designated organization that will provide the applicant with a Letter of Support.

Start-up visa applicants must give proof that they sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependants after they arrive in Canada. The amount required depends on the size of the family.

Federal Self-Employed Persons Program

ProgramSelf-Employed Person Program 
Minimum Net WorthN/A
Minimum InvestmentNot required
ExperienceAt least 2 years of relevant cultural or athletic experience in the past 5 years
EOI SystemNo
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanNone
Exploratory VisitNot required
InterviewUpon request by IRCC
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permitPR immediately
Additional Requirements

English/French ability and work experience in a designated occupation

All self-employed persons must establish that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family members for at least one year after they arrive in Canada. 

Self-employed immigrants must obtain a minimum of 35 points out of 100 based on the five selection criteria and the program's unique point system.

Alberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream

ProgramAlberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream
Minimum Net WorthCAD $500,000
Minimum InvestmentCAD $500,000 in a primary production farming business
ExperienceFarm management experience in an existing farm business
EOI SystemNo
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitRecommended
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permitPR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional RequirementsCanadian financial institution must finance the proposed Alberta farming business

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) — Entrepreneur Immigration Stream

ProgramBC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration
Minimum Net WorthCAD $600,000
Minimum InvestmentCAD $200,000 OR CAD $400,000 if proposing a Key Staff Member
Experience3 + years of business ownership or management experience OR 4 + years of senior management experience OR 1+ year of business ownership & management experience and 2+ years of senior management experience within the last 10 years.
EOI SystemYes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitRecommended
InterviewUpon request of BC PNP
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permit2-year work period before Letter of Acceptance to apply for Permanent Residence (PR); PR contingent on implementation of the business proposal
Additional RequirementsCreate at least one permanent, full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with the proposed business

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) — Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot

ProgramBC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot (launched on March 14, 2019)
Minimum Net WorthCAD $300,000
Minimum InvestmentCAD $100,000
Experience3 + years of business ownership or management experience OR 4 + years of senior management experience OR 1+ year of business ownership & management experience and 2+ years of senior management experience within the last 10 years. 
EOI SystemYes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitStrongly Recommended
InterviewUpon request of BC PNP
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permitMinimum 12-month work permit period before nomination; PR contingent on implementation of business proposal
Additional RequirementsCommunity referral required to register; Must create at least one permanent, full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program — Business Investor Stream (Entrepreneur Pathway)

ProgramManitoba Business Investor Stream — Entrepreneur Pathway
Minimum Net WorthCAD $500,000
Minimum InvestmentCAD $250,000 for businesses in the Manitoba Capital Region. OR CAD $150,000 if a business is outside of the Manitoba Capital Region AND must be made in an eligible business AND must create or maintain at least one job for a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident in Manitoba (excluding owners of the business and/or their close relatives).
ExperienceBusiness ownership and management experience or executive-level experience in 3 of the past 5 years. AND Business owners are given higher points in comparison to senior managers. AND Business owners must have at least 33 1/3% ownership to qualify for points.
EOI SystemYes
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitBusiness research visit must be conducted no more than one year prior to the submission of an EOI.
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositNot Required
PR/Work permitTemporary work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional RequirementsScore 60+ points on assessment grid
CAD $100,000 refundable deposit is not a requirement anymore.

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program — Business Investor Stream (Farm Investor Pathway)

ProgramManitoba Business Investor Stream — Farm Investor Pathway
Minimum Net WorthCAD $500,000
Minimum InvestmentCAD $300,000 tangible assets to establish a farming business in rural Manitoba AND investments in a farm business operated primarily for the purposes of deriving passive investment income or speculative purposes are not eligible.
ExperienceMinimum of three years of farm business management or farm ownership and operation experience supported by verifiable documents.
EOI SystemYes
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitFarm Business Research Visit required.
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositCAD $75,000
PR/Work permitTemporary work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional RequirementsCAD $100,000 refundable deposit is no longer required.

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) — Entrepreneurial Stream

ProgramNew Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) — Entrepreneurial Stream
Minimum Net WorthCAD $600,000
Minimum InvestmentCAD $250,000
Experience3 out of 5 years or more in owning a business OR 5 out of 5 years or more in a senior business management role
EOI SystemYes 
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired, must be of economic benefit to the province
Exploratory VisitRequired
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositCAD $100,000
PR/Work permitPR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional Requirements22-55 years old
CLB 5 in English or French in reading, writing, listening and speaking

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) — Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream

ProgramNew Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) — Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream
Minimum Net WorthN/A
Minimum InvestmentThe applicant must have 100% ownership of the equity of the eligible business
Experience6 or more years in the last 10 years in NOC O, A or B OR 1-5 years in the last 10 years in the NOC O, A or B
EOI SystemYes
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanMay be requested (business must be of economic benefit to the province)
Exploratory VisitNot specified
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositNot specified
PR/Work permitPR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional Requirements

22-40 years old
CLB 7 in English or French in reading, writing, listening and speaking
Have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) — Entrepreneur Stream

ProgramNova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) — Entrepreneur Stream
Minimum Net WorthCAD $600,000
Minimum InvestmentCAD $150,000
ExperienceAt least 3 years of business ownership experience including 33.3% ownership in the last 10 years OR
+5 years as senior manager in the last 10 years
EOI SystemYes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitRequired for business succession only
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permitMust operate business for at least 1 year on work permit following nomination; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional RequirementsSubmit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
The business must meet additional criteria
English/French minimum CLB 5

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) — International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

ProgramNova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) — International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
Minimum Net WorthN/A
Minimum Investment100% ownership of the equity of the eligible business
ExperienceAt least 1 continuous year of business ownership experience in Nova Scotia prior to EOI submission 
Completed a degree of at least 2 years' duration at a university/college in Nova Scotia
EOI SystemYes (province may publish info on draws after future draws are made; EOI must be submitted while on valid work permit)
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanNone
Exploratory VisitRequired
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permitPR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional RequirementsThe business must meet additional criteria
English/French minimum CLB 7

Northwest Territories Nominee Program — Entrepreneur Business Stream

ProgramNorthwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) — Entrepreneur Business Stream
Minimum Net WorthFor businesses in Yellowknife: CAD $500,000 OR for businesses outside Yellowknife: CAD $250,000
Minimum InvestmentIn Yellowknife: CAD $300,000 & at least 33.3% ownership OR outside Yellowknife: CAD $150,000 & at least 33.3% ownership OR CAD $1,000,000 investment
ExperienceRelevant business experience required
EOI SystemNo
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitRequired
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositCAD $75,000
PR/Work permit2-year work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements

CLB 4 in English or French

Business must generate significant benefits for the Northwest Territories, including jobs for local residents.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) — Corporate Stream

ProgramOntario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) 

 

Corporate Stream
Minimum Net WorthNone
Minimum InvestmentCAD $5,000,000 OR CAD $10,000,000 if the proposed business is a land development or a leasehold company
ExperienceThe international corporation must have been established for at least 36 months at the time of application
EOI SystemNo
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitEncouraged
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permitApplicant & key staff first obtain work permits; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional RequirementsCreate 5 new jobs for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident per key staff member seeking nomination

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) — Entrepreneur Stream

ProgramOntario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) 

 

Entrepreneur Stream
Minimum Net WorthFor businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA): CAD $1,500,000 OR for businesses outside the GTA: CAD $800,000 OR for businesses in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of location): CAD $800,000
Minimum InvestmentIn the GTA: CAD $1,000,000 and ownership of 33.3% of the business OR Outside the GTA: $500,000 and ownership of 33.3% of the business OR In the ICT/Digital Communications sector: $500,000 and ownership of 33.3% of the business
ExperienceAt least 36 months of full-time business experience in the last five years as business owner or senior manager
EOI SystemYes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitRequired for business succession only
InterviewRequired upon request of OINP
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permitTemporary work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional RequirementsSign a Performance Agreement with Ontario
English/French minimum CLB 4
Create at least 2 permanent, full-time jobs for a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI-PNP) - Work Permit Stream

ProgramPrince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI-PNP) - Work Permit Stream
Minimum Net WorthCAD $600,000
Minimum InvestmentN/A
ExperienceManagement experience required
EOI SystemYes
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitRecommended
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositCAD $7,500 of $10,000 application fee is refunded if the application is declined or withdrawn.
PR/Work permitLetter of support from the province to apply for a work permit; Obtain nomination once all of the terms and conditions of Performance Agreement are met.
Additional Requirements

CLB 4 in English or French; minimum education of secondary school equivalent

21-59 years old

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI-PNP) - Partial Ownership

ProgramPrince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI-PNP) - Partial Ownership (terminated)
Minimum Net WorthCAD $600,000
Minimum InvestmentCAD $150,000 and own a percentage of equity in an existing business of at least 1/3 ownership OR $1,000,000 investment
ExperienceManagement experience required
EOI SystemYes
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired, must fall within an eligible sector of business set out by the provincial govt
Exploratory VisitRequired
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositCAD $200,000
PR/Work permitPR after obtaining nomination certificate
Additional RequirementsSubmit an investment agreement
Minimum IELTS band score of 4.0 within the last 2 years
Score 50+ points on assessment grid

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI-PNP) — 100% Ownership

ProgramPrince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI-PNP) — 100% Ownership (terminated)
Minimum Net WorthCAD $600,000
Minimum InvestmentCAD $150,000
ExperienceManagement experience required
EOI SystemYes
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitNot specified
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositCAD $200,000
PR/Work permitPR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional RequirementsCLB 4 in English or French
21-59 years old

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) - Entrepreneur Category

ProgramSaskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) - Entrepreneur Category
Minimum Net WorthCAD $500,000
Minimum InvestmentCAD $300,000 in Regina or Saskatoon and at least 33.3% ownership OR $200,000 in any other Saskatchewan community and at least 33.3% ownership OR CAD $1,000,000 investment or more
ExperienceAt least 3 years' experience as an entrepreneur or managing a business in the past 10 years
EOI SystemYes
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitRequired for business succession, joint ventures, and regional business opportunities
InterviewUpon request by SINP
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permit2-year work permit; PR contingent upon meeting program requirements
Additional RequirementsSign a Performance Agreement
Create 2+ employment opportunities if establishing a business in Regina or Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) - Farm Owner/Operator Category

ProgramSaskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) - Farm Owner/Operator Category
Minimum Net WorthCAD $500,000
Minimum InvestmentN/A
ExperienceFarming operation ownership experience using agricultural practices similar to those used in Saskatchewan-based farming
EOI SystemNo
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanFarm Establishment Plan (FEP) required
Exploratory VisitRequired
InterviewUpon request
Refundable DepositCAD $75,000
PR/Work permitPR after obtaining nomination certificate
Additional RequirementsSubmit a Farm Establishment Plan
Sign a Performance Agreement

Yukon Business Nominee Program (YBNP)

ProgramYukon Business Nominee Program (YBNP)
Minimum Net WorthCAD $500,000 (including CAD $300,000 in liquid assets)
Minimum InvestmentCAD $300,000 and at least 1/3 ownership with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident partner
ExperienceMinimum of 3 years entrepreneurial/business management experience & minimum of 5 years relevant work experience
EOI SystemYes 
Managerial RoleRequired
Business PlanRequired
Exploratory VisitRecommended, applicants are awarded points for past visits
InterviewRequired
Refundable DepositNot required
PR/Work permit2-year work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional RequirementsBusiness must be in a strategic sector, as identified by the territory
Must score 65+ points on the assessment grid

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