September 30, 2017 – In a new livestream video, immigration lawyer Colin Singer outlines how potential business immigration candidates can purchase an existing business and achieve Canada immigration.
The owner-operator route to Canada is a two-stage process, where candidates first apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment and are then granted a Canada work permit. Successful candidates can apply for permanent residence through an existing immigration program later down the line.
Singer outlines how the popularity of the owner-operator route is born out of a lack of options for a direct pathway to permanent residence for business candidates under existing programs in Canada. This necessitates a two-stage process for a growing number of business investors to Canada.
Watch the Livestream Video Here:
Provincially, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program represents the most popular business route to Canada, offering permanent residence. But the current intake quota of 1,900 applications is almost full, with no places left for Chinese candidates. Other provincial options, such as the New Brunswick Entrepreneurial Stream, again have limited spaces and are unpredictable in nature.
Singer said: “For the vast number of very qualified business immigrants, the programs which offer permanent residence give very limited options. That’s the problem.”
The Owner-Operator Route
However, by purchasing a stake in an existing business, a positive LMIA and work permit can be acquired through an informal program that has no quotas. Spouses and accompanying children are also eligible for work and study permits, as may be required.
“Realistically, if you are a serious business immigrant who would like to start a business or acquire a business, the business purchase concept is the way to go if no other programs are viable,” Singer said.
“You would be looking at something like this in two stages. The goal is to identify an existing business that is already running in Canada and has an excellent track record. Ideally you will want to see a good history in earnings. You are looking to acquire a business that has already been tried and tested.”
No Official Requirements
Although there are no official requirements, history has shown that a net worth of $1 million and investment in the region of $350,000 is enough to qualify for a work permit.
Central to a successful application is the business plan, Singer says.
“There is no quota associated with this informal program but you do need a business plan. You would be submitting a plan to immigration authorities in order to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment.
“The structure of the project is critical and there is a lot of strategy involved in putting together the proper terms and conditions so that you would be landing yourself into the ownership capacity of this business.”
Not for Small Businesses
Singer added: “Suitable businesses is the important notion here. It is not for small businesses, it’s not for mom and pop shops, not for convenience stores, not for gas stations, not for small service businesses.
“What you’re looking to acquire is a business that has revenues of over a million dollars a year and generates an income stream after expenses of at least $150,000 to $200,000 a year.
“The overall processing time to acquire the work permit is two to six months. You are working with a business broker who would help identify the business you are going to go into.
“With that in mind, the strategy is quite important. You need to have the funds you are going to purchase the business with. You are not buying everything up front. You need to put funds in escrow, you need to create all of the elements.
“It has to have a genuine feel and a genuine concept that this is a real project. When you are going to apply for an LMIA, you have to have all of these elements addressed in a business plan.”
Once in Canada and running the business, the experience gathered will be valuable in your application for permanent residence, which represents stage two of the process.
“This could be using Express Entry to access the Federal Skilled Worker Program,” Singer says. “Individuals would acquire many points for running a business. For those who do not meet the criteria, there could be other programs, perhaps in the provincial stream.”
How We Can Help
At immigration.ca and investmentimmigration.com, we have the knowledge and resources needed to achieve this pathway to permanent residence.
“We work with brokers across the country who would help you in identifying the business, then we would be your legal counsel for the immigration work,” Singer said.
“We would be able to provide you with introductions to brokers if you were interested. It can be fairly quick to get into Canada with the right business plan. It’s for individuals who are serious and motivated to come to Canada in the near term.”
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
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