Canadian Business Immigration Programs

Foreigners who desire to conduct business in Canada have access to a wealth of opportunities. There is no reason why you cannot join the hundreds of aspiring businesses who immigrate to Canada each year. You may have imagined running your own business in Canada, but without the right assistance, the visa and permit procedures can be challenging and expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of alternative Canadian business immigration program that can assist in turning this goal into a reality. We'll go through the fundamentals of these programs and how they operate in this article.

Canadian Business Immigration Programs

Are you considering making a move to Canada as an entrepreneur? As you may know, Canada offers prospective immigrants many business immigration programs. To help you decide which option is best for you if you're unsure, this guide compares and contrasts the numerous Canadian business immigration programs. In addition, customers can apply for one of four Canadian corporate immigration schemes if they want to immigrate to Canada.

International business owners can immigrate to Canada through programs for business immigration and launch or expand their companies there. The eligibility conditions for each of these Canadian corporate immigration programs vary. However, all applicants must demonstrate that they have the resources necessary to support themselves and the business knowledge and experience essential to contribute significantly to Canada's economy. You can choose the best program for your circumstances by using the information on this page to help you understand your options.

Canadian Business Immigration Programs

The Government of Canada is seeking investors, business managers, and entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes interested in settling and seeking new opportunities in Canada to apply to the wide range of fast-tracked Business Immigration Programs. Canada always strives to develop international business partnerships and welcomes business professionals to settle and start successful commercial operations there. Globalization of the world's economy makes building and strengthening international commercial ties essential to staying on top of global economic trends.

Starting new enterprises, creating jobs, and developing new export and import linkages on a global scale, opens up new options for Canadians. The government has acknowledged this, and as a result, the IRCC has been giving the Business Immigration Program extra focus and attention to streamlining the procedure. Canada seeks to entice those with a solid capacity to contribute to the economy through its numerous business immigration schemes.

By bringing in people with the knowledge and experience to expand local markets, the Canadian Business Immigration Program seeks to open up new opportunities in those sectors. Through the immigration of people (investors, entrepreneurs, and self-employed) with readily available venture capital, significant business acumen, and entrepreneurial skills to successfully establish or invest in a business in Canada, the Business Immigration Program seeks to promote investment and employment in Canada.

Categories of Business Immigration Programs in Canada

The Business Immigration Program exists both as a federal immigration program and a Provincial Nominee program, depending on where the interested party is planning to settle and operate. The Canadian government welcomes business immigrants and provides resources to assist them in establishing a firm and settling in Canada.

There are five main categories of Business Immigration Programs in Canada. Although, 3 Business Immigration Programs streams are currently available.

  • Self-employed Program
  • Start-up Visa
  • Business Visitor Visa
  • PNP Entrepreneur Visa Streams
  • Investor Visa

Self-Employed Persons Program

The Self-employed Persons Program enables immigrants to come to Canada permanently and work for themselves. This program is for those who can contribute to Canada's labor market through sports, cultural, or artistic endeavors. Those who meet the requirements and have relevant job experience are eligible to apply for the Self-employed Program. Self-employed individual, on the other hand, works for themselves. They don't have a boss or are employed by a corporation, and nobody manages their day-to-day activities for them.

The self-employed labor sector is a rapidly growing segment of the Canadian labor market. It has grown in popularity because it allows independent contractors to work on their schedules and contracts with various clients and employers.

The IRCC is aware of the significance of the self-employed sector for Canada's labor market. The applicant must show they have the necessary skills and the means to support themselves and their dependents from their self-employment to be accepted as a self-employed person (farmer, athlete, artisan, graphic designer, IT specialist).

Eligibility under Self-employed person program:

  • have relevant experience (at least two years experience in the last five years)
  • be willing and able to be self-employed in Canada
  • meet the program's selection criteria (minimum 35 points) and
  • complete medical, security, and other conditions

Start-Up Visa Investor Program

Start-up businesses have been an essential part of the Canadian economy for over a decade. Whether they develop into a multinational corporations or continue to operate as local mid-sized businesses, they are crucial to overall Canadian economic growth, helping to turn innovative ideas and new technologies into profitable enterprises and creating employment opportunities for new talent.

The general Start-up Visa Program is ideal for those seeking investor immigration to Canada. Candidates for a start-up visa may apply if they have an acceptable innovative firm that would advance the Canadian economy and generate jobs there. Those who use it successfully will be given a place to live permanently for themselves and their families.

Requirements for Start-up Visa Investors Program

To qualify for the Start-up Visa, applicants must:

  • Have a qualifying business
  • Demonstrate intermediate knowledge in both English and French (CBL5)
  • Get a letter of support from a designated institution (Receive a minimum funding commitment of $200,000 CDN from a designated Venture Capital Organization, $75,000 from an approved Angel Investor or Business Incubator)
  • Bring enough money to settle in Canada

Business Visitor Visa

A Canadian Business Visitor is an individual coming temporarily to Canada to engage in international business activities without directly entering the Canadian labor market. For example, a business visitor would be someone who comes to Canada to meet Canadian clients doing business with their company based outside of Canada.

A foreign national with a Canadian Business Visitor Visa can travel anywhere in Canada while visiting family and friends and enjoying the best attractions. However, as a business visitor, who wants to apply for a Canadian Business Visitor Visa, you must show that:

  • You plan to stay for less than six months;
  • You do not intend to enter the Canadian labor market;
  • Your principal place of business, and source of income and profits, is outside of Canada;
  • You have documents that support your application;
  • You meet Canada's basic entry requirements with a valid travel document, such as a passport:
  • You have enough money for your stay and to return home;
  • You plan to leave Canada at the end of your visit; and
  • You are not a criminal, security, or health risk to Canadians

PNP Entrepreneur Visa Streams

Since July 2012, the Entrepreneur Visa program has been discontinued, and there are no current plans to bring it back. Instead, provincial programs have taken their place for foreign business owners who seek to launch, buy, or invest in a company in Canada.

This program is for workers who:

  • have the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory
  • want to live in that province, and
  • want to become permanent residents of Canada

Each province and territory has its own "streams" (immigration programs that target specific groups) and requirements. For example, in a program stream, provinces and territories may target students, business people, skilled workers, and semi-skilled workers.

Requirements for the PNP Entrepreneur Visa Streams

Requirements for this program vary depending on the province; standard requirements include:

Having at least three years of experience in running a business acquired during the five years preceding the date you submitted your application. This is defined as the actual and full-time assuming of the responsibilities and duties related to the planning, management, and control of material, financial and human resources, or specialization process attested to by a diploma.

The province and its available streams are as follows: 

  1. Alberta
    • International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream
    • Self-Employed Farmer Stream
  2. British Columbia - Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (Regional Pilot)
  3. Manitoba
    • Entrepreneur Pathway
    • Farm Investor Pathway
  4. New Brunswick - Business Immigration Stream
  5. Newfoundland and Labrador
    • International Entrepreneur Stream
    • International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
  6. Northwest Territories - Business Stream
  7. Nova Scotia
    • International Entrepreneur Stream
    • International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
  8. Ontario - Entrepreneur Stream
  9. Prince Edward Island - Entrepreneur Work Permit
    • Entrepreneur Category
    • International Graduate Entrepreneur Category
    • Farm Owner and Operator Category
  10.  Yukon - Business Nominee Program

Investor Visa (Terminated)

The Immigrant Investor Program aims to attract experienced business investors to settle in Canada and create long-term opportunities in job creation and developing businesses. Candidates for Investor Visas may have the possibility to obtain permanent residence for themselves and their families by making investments in Canada's economy, depending on the visa they apply for.

To qualify for the program, the potential candidates must prove that they:

  • Have the required business experience
  • Show a net worth of CAD 1,600,000 gained legally
  • Invest $800,000 CAD

The total investment amount will be returned to you without interest within the 5-year term. The funds will be used for five years by the IRCC to develop the local economy and create jobs both on the provincial and federal levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Furthermore, here are some of the most commonly asked questions related to the Canadian Business Immigration Program Streams.

How much do I need to immigrate to Canada as an entrepreneur?

When applying through programs such as the Start-up Visa program, you will need a $75,000 - $200,000 investment from a designated organization.

Who is eligible for the self-employed person program?

You will need to prove that you have the experience, cultural, artistic, or athletic, that allows you to be self-employed while living in your country of origin. The more experience you have, the better your chances are of receiving the visa, as you'll get more points.

What qualifies a self-employed person in Canada?

A self-employed person is an individual that a company hires to perform specific duties. Other factors that make someone a self-employed person is:

  • You have the right to work for other companies;
  • You generally use your equipment and space; and
  • Your employment is not subject to the same employment legislation as those employees of the company you're hired by.

Bottom Line

That's all we have on Canadian Business Immigration streams. For more information on Canadian business immigration programs, don't hesitate to contact a Canadian immigration law team member. In conclusion, ensure you have done your research before coming up with an idea. There is nothing worse than spending months developing a new company only to discover that it is not legally viable! You can proceed with the link below for more information on this topic.

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