As a business-person, you can find your way to permanent residence in Canada through a variety of immigration programs designed for foreign nationals who would like to start a new or take over an existing business in Canada. Ravneet Kaur Brar – IMB Immigration Law

Most of these immigration programs are provincial nominee programs (PNPs) offered by various Canadian provinces. Except for the immigration programs by the provincial governments, Canada’s federal government also offers an immigration pathway to business-persons through the Start-up visa program.

Eligibility Requirements

There are certain eligibility requirements that a candidate must meet to be considered for immigration to Canada as an business person.

All these programs have their distinct eligibility criteria, however, with common elements. Few of those are:

  • Certain number of years of experience of owning or managing a business OR a combination of both i.e. some experience as a manager and some as the owner
  • Individual’s net worth e.g. CAD $400,000
  • Personal investment requirement depending on the nature of the proposed business e.g. $200,000 to $600,000
  • Certain level of education e.g. a post-secondary degree
  • Certain level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in English/ French. For this the applicant must take an approved language test i.e. IELTS
  • Some programs may even require the candidates to meet the minimum/maximum age limit

In general, all programs expect such a business managed by a foreign national to create employment for Canadian citizens and permanent residents and generate income. A business intended to be setup to earn interest and dividend is not eligible .

Start-Up Visa Program

Earlier, Canada’s federal government had a few business immigration programs, all of which have been discontinued except for the Start-up visa program. The program requires an applicant to have business idea for a qualifying business. The program requires a candidate to meet the minimum language and settlement funds benchmark.

One unique requirement of this program is – you will need to secure a letter of support from a designated organisation.

This is a great program for those who have an innovative business idea.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

If the Start-up Visa program is not suitable for you, you can take the provincial nominee programs route. All Canadian provinces and territories have a provision of supporting permanent residence application of those foreign entrepreneurs who want to set up a new or buy an existing  business in the province/ territory. Every PNP stream for entrepreneurs has its unique eligibility criteria that usually varies according to the  economic needs of the province. For example – provincial governments allow investment in businesses based on the how well it can further the province’s economic interests.

This means you will need to have prior information about the businesses a particular province is targeting before you decide to start your PNP application.

An important condition in the PNP pathway is – you must live in the province concerned and operate an eligible business there.

Application Process

Apart from meeting the net worth and personal investment requirements, you must also have a business plan that can convince the authorities concerned that you will be a good pick.

For this purpose, you must submit a detailed business plan. You are allowed to undertake exploratory visits to Canada (mandatory under a few programs) to find suitable business opportunities. During this course, you can even secure a temporary work permit that can later help you become a permanent resident of Canada, conditional upon you meeting the eligibility requirements.

Contact Ravneet Kaur Brar – IMB Immigration Law at [email protected] to get more information about Business Immigration Programs To Canada and start your application process today.

IMB Immigration Law | Ravneet Kaur Brar