Last Updated on August 20, 2019
Aug 09, 2019 – Several immigration programs are available to business, investment and entrepreneur candidates to apply for admission to Canada.
The Federal government and the provinces each offer Canada business immigration programs providing applicants with a pathway to permanent residence. Applicants can also purchase a suitable business and apply for a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
What Are Canada’s Federal Business Programs?
Buy A Business And Move To Canada
Although not a formal business program, Buy a Business and Move to Canada allows wealthy immigrants to move to Canada via Ottawa’s temporary work visa, ‘owner-operator’ policies.
Candidates can buy an established business or start a new business and qualify for a work permit via the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
After less than one year in Canada, candidates and their families can transition to permanent residence.
Read more on how to Buy a Business and Move to Canada.
Start-Up Visa Program
The Start-Up Visa Program was established in 2013 and grants permanent residence and work permits to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs.
The program aims to recruit entrepreneurs and link them with private sector businesses in Canada
Read more on the Start-Up Visa Program.
Intra-company transferees can come to Canada temporarily through the International Mobility Program.
Intra-company transferees may apply for work permits without a Labour Market Impact Assessment, if they:
- are currently employed by a parent company that has a subsidiary, a branch, or an affiliate in Canada;
- have been employed continuously by the parent company in a similar full-time position (not accumulated part-time) for at least one year in the previous three-year period;
- are being transferred to a position in one of three categories: executive, senior manager, or worker with specialized knowledge;
- are coming to Canada for a temporary period only;
- comply with all immigration provisions for temporary work in Canada.
Read more on Intra-Company Transferees.
Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program
The Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program (IIVCP) was introduced to replace the Canada Immigrant Investor Program, but has failed to take hold.
Requirements include a personal bet worth of $10 million and a $2 million investment to be held for 15 years.
Read more on the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program.
What Are Canada’s Provincial Business Programs?
Quebec Immigrant Investor Program
The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program is passive in nature, meaning candidates are not required to establish or actively manage a business.
Requirements include a $1.2 million investment and a net worth of $2 million.
Read more on the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program.
Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program
The Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program targets candidates with the skills and experience to operate a business in the province.
It has two streams:
- Create a business in Quebec with support from a business accelerator, a business incubator or a university entrepreneurship center.
- Create or buy an existing business, of which the entrepreneur must control at least 25 per cent if it is a new enterprise, or at least 51 per cent of an acquired enterprise.
Read more on the Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program.
Quebec Self-Employed Program
The Quebec Self-Employed Program targets candidates with two years of applicable experience and a net worth of at least $100,000.
Read more on the Quebec Self-Employed Program.
British Columbia’s Provincial Nominee Program has three streams aimed at entrepreneurs with distinct requirements.
1) Entrepreneur Immigration
The Entrepreneur immigration stream targets senior managers or business owners who wish to invest in British Columbia businesses.
The stream has a net worth requirement of $600,000 and a minimum investment requirement of $200,000.
2) Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot
The Entrepreneur Regional Pilot aims to attract motivated and experienced entrepreneurs to open business in smaller communities of British Columbia and contribute to their specific labour needs.
The stream has a net worth requirement of $300,000 and a minimum investment requirement of $100,000.
3) Strategic Projects
The B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects stream assists foreign-controlled companies establishing an eligible business in BC with the timely entry of foreign key managerial, professional or technical staff who intend to become permanent residents of Canada and settle in B.C.
Companies must make a minimum investment of $500,000.
Read more on the British Columbia Entrepreneur Streams.
The Saskatchewan Entrepreneur stream is a three-stage process, including, Expression of interest, invitation to submit application, then nomination.
Candidates must invest a minimum $200,000, or $300,000 in Regina or Saskatoon, and have a net worth of $500,000.
Read more on the Saskatchewan Entrepreneur Stream.
The Manitoba Business Investor Stream is aimed at qualified international business investors and entrepreneurs.
Candidates are initially issued with a temporary work permit, and must have the intent and ability to start or purchase a business in Manitoba within two years of arrival.
There are pathways for entrepreneurs and for farm investors.
Under the Entrepreneur Pathway, the minimum investment is $250,000 for businesses situated in the Manitoba Capital Region and $150,000 if a business is situated outside of the Manitoba Capital Region.
The net worth requirement is $500,000.
The Farm Investor Pathway is aimed at candidates wishing to open and operate a farm in rural Manitoba. The minimum investment is $250,000 and the net worth requirement is $500,000.
Read more on the Manitoba Business Investor Stream.
Ontario operates the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream.
The Ontario Entrepreneur Stream is aimed at individuals from outside Canada who want to start a business or buy an already existing business in Ontario.
1) Net Worth
- Minimum net worth of $800,000 if your proposed business will be in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Outside the GTA, minimum net worth is $400,000.
- Proposed business in either ICT or digital communications, minimum net worth is $400,000 anywhere in province.
2) Investment and Ownership
- Invest at least $600,000 in an Ontario business and own at least 33 per cent if business is in GTA.
- Outside GTA, invest at least $200,000 and own at least 33 per cent.
- Proposed business in either ICT or digital communications, invest at least $200,000 and own at least 33 per cent anywhere in province.
Read more on the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream.
The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program Entrepreneurial Stream is aimed at professionals ready to invest in a business in the province and move there with their families.
Requirements include a net worth of $600,000 and investment of $250,000.
Read more on the New Brunswick Entrepreneurial Stream.
Individuals applying under the P.E.I. Work Permit Stream must obtain a Canadian work permit and work for a P.E.I. business for a certain amount of time as designated in a Performance Agreement.
After the Performance Agreement is fulfilled, the applicant must make a minimum $150,000 investment in the business and commit to managing the business on a daily basis from within P.E.I.
Previously, Prince Edward Island operated direct permanent residence business streams, but these were closed in September 2018 over immigration fraud concerns.
Read more on the Prince Edward Island Business Impact Category.
The Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream targets candidates with business ownership or senior management experience.
Candidates require a net worth of $600,000 and an investment of $150,000 into a new or existing business.
Read more on the Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream.
Newfoundland & Labrador operates International Entrepreneur and International Graduate Entrepreneur categories.
International Entrepreneur candidates must have a net worth of $600,000 and invest $200,000.
There is no investment requirement for International Graduate Entrepreneurs, but they must have at least one year’s continuous experience actively managing and owning the current business.
Read more about the Newfoundland business programs.
The Northwest Territories Business Stream is aimed at entrepreneurs with business expertise and investment capital, who wish to purchase or start a business in the region.
- A minimum of $300,000 equity into starting or buying a business within the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT, or
- A minimum of $150,000 equity into starting or buying a business outside of the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT.
- Have a personal net worth of:
- At least $500,000 if starting or buying a business within the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT, or
- At least $250,000 if starting or buying a business outside the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT.
Read more about the Northwest Territories’ Entrepreneur Program.
The Yukon Business Nominee Program allows entrepreneurs to own and operate their business in Yukon.
Candidates initially come to Yukon on a two-year work permit, before being nominated for permanent residence if they successfully establish their business.
Applicants must have:
- Legally-acquired net worth of at least $500,000, documented and verified by a Yukon accounting firm.
- Legally-acquired minimum of $300,000 in liquid assets, documented and verified by a Yukon accounting firm.
- Invest at least $300,000 in capital investments for the business in the first 2 years.
Read more about the Yukon Business Nominee program.
If you wish to know more about the Canada business immigration requirements, immigration.ca can help.
Complete our Free Assessment to determine whether you qualify for immigration to Canada as a business candidate.