Business Visa

Who Qualifies for a Canada Business Visa?

Canada offers tremendous opportunities to foreigners who want to do business in Canada. Every year, thousands of ambitious businesspeople grace our shores and there is certainly no reason why you can not be among them.

The objective of the Business Immigration Program is to encourage investment and employment in Canada through the migration of people who have the ability to successfully establish or invest in a business in Canada.

4 Main Categories to Business Visas in Canada

Individuals with business/managerial experience and relatively high net-worth may apply for a Canadian permanent residence under the Canada Business Immigration Program in one of the following three sub-categories:

  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Self Employed Persons
  • PNP Business Programs

1. Immigrant Investor Program

Canada considers foreign investors to be an important contributor to the Canadian economy, and this immigration stream allows for both the investor and their family to obtain permanent residence in Canada.

Requirements for Investors

To qualify for the Immigrant Investor Program, applicants must:

  • Have successfully operated, controlled or directed a business
  • Have accumulated through his or her own endeavors a net worth of at least $1,600,000
  • Invest $800,000 for five years with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada which acts as an agent on behalf of provincial and territorial investment funds.

Note: Your $800,000 can be financed so that you could invest, say, $200,000 of your own capital

2. Entrepreneur Program

Because they create employment opportunities and contribute to the Canadian economy, entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for this immigration stream. Successful applicants are able to open a business in Canada, as well as gain permanent residence status in the country.

Note: This program is currently paused. However, entrepreneurs may benefit from the Start-Up Visa Program stream instead.

Requirements for Entrepreneurs

To qualify for the Entrepreneur Program, applicants must:

  • Establish, purchase or make a substantial investment in a business in Canada within 2 years of landing in Canada which will result in a significant contribution to the economy
  • Engage in active and ongoing participation in the management of the business
  • Employ at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident other than the entrepreneur and his dependents.
  • To ensure that these conditions are met, entrepreneurs are required to report to immigration officials their progress, on a regular basis within this two year period.

3. Self-Employed Persons Program

This business immigration stream is for two types of self-employed persons:

  1. Those who will either establish or purchase a business in Canada that will make a “significant” contribution to the economy or the cultural or artistic life of Canada, and;
  2. Those that have experience in farm management and will be able to purchase and manage a farm in Canada.

Farmers, artisans, sports personalities, actors, consultants, and operators of small business outlets that may be in demand are examples of applicants who may qualify.

Assessment in this category is based upon:

  • Business ability and experience (when applying under the economic contribution component of the Self-Employed description)
  • Artistic qualifications (when applying under the artistic/cultural component of the Self-Employed description)
  • Net worth (sufficient to establish/purchase the proposed business)

 

4. Business PNP Programs

There are several business investment avenues through PNP programs across Canada:

British Columbia PNP

  • Entrepreneur
  • Requirements: $600,000 CAD net worth, 3 years experience being a business owner/manager, invest $200,000 & create at least 1 full time job for Canadian citizens or PR.
  • Entrepreneur Regional Pilot
  • Requirements: $100,000 investment, personal net worth of $300,000, have minimum 51% ownership & create 1 full time job in the local community.
  • Criteria: The business must be located in a community in BC with a population less than 75,000
  • Entrepreneur pathway
    • Requirements: Minimum investment of $250,000, networth of $500,000 & have 3 years of work experience as business owner/manager
  • Farm Investor
    • Requirements: $300,000 investment, $500,000 net worth, 3 years experience of farm ownership or operation

New Brunswick PNP

  • Entrepreneur
    • Requirements: Net worth $600,000 & must invest $250,000, 3 years of work experience as business owner/manager

Ontario PNP

  • Entrepreneur
    • Requirements: Net worth $800,000 (outside GTA is only $400,000), minimum investment of $600,000 (outside GTA is only $200,000) & must create 2 full time positions (If outside GTA than only 1 full time position)
      • If the proposed business is ICT / Digital Communications Sector than networth can be min. $400,000 and investment min $200,000
  • Corporate
    • Requirements: International corporation must be established for at least 36 months, must be linked to parent corporation abroad and new business in Ontario, primary income source must be from active earned income from the business
      • Corporation must make an investment of 5 million dollars to expand into Ontario
      • Must create 5 new jobs for Canadian citizens or PR’s for every “key staff” being nominated at the company

 

Prince Edward Island PNP

  • Business Work Permit Stream
    • Requirements: Net worth $600,000
    • Must get endorsed by the community (Known as “community endorsement”)

 

Quebec Investor Program

  • Currently closed from November 2019 until July 2020
  • Requirements: Net assets worth 2 million dollars & must make a 1.2 million, 5-year term investment
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