Business Immigration and Investment Immigration

Business Immigration and Investment Immigration

Canada offers the most established and widely used investment-based immigration programs conferring permanent resident status. The Canadian government selects business class immigrants based on their ability to become economically established and support the development of the Canadian economy. Business Immigrants are people who can invest in or start businesses in Canada and are expected to support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy.

Federal Business Immigration Programs
At the federal level, there are several business-related programs:
  • Buy A business and move to Canada: Although not a formal business, buy a business or move to Canada allows wealthy immigrants to move to Canada via Ottawa’s temporary work permit under the owner-operator policies.

Candidates can buy an established business and qualify for a work permit through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

  • Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Program:
    The immigrant investor Venture Capital Program was introduced to replace the Canada immigrant investor program but has failed to take hold. Requirements include a personal net worth of $10 Million and a $2 million investment to be held for 15 years.

  • 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. After less than one year in Canada, candidates and their families can transition to permanent residence.

Quebec Immigration Investor program

The Quebec immigration investor enables the business program to immigrate to Canada by providing the sum of $1,200,000 to Quebec government, which the Quebec government will invest for its own benefit , then refund to the investor immigrant after a period of 5 years, interest-free. Applicant must have the intention of settling in French-speaking province of Quebec.

Successful applicants are issued a selection certificate from Quebec for Canada immigration, which allows them to obtain Canadian permanent residence following health and criminality examinations by federal immigration authorities.

Primary requirements are:

  • Legally acquired personal worth of $2 million.
  • Two years of suitable management or business experience within the 5 years preceding the application.
  • Investment bof $1,200,000 for into a passive government guaranteed investment for a period of 5 years bearing no interest;
  • Settle in the province of Quebec.

Once the candidate has accepted the job, the employer will connect the candidate with a designated settlement service provider organization for a needs assessment and develop a settlement plan. Employers will also support the long-term integration of the new immigrant and his or her family, if applicable, so they can reach the goals of their settlement plan once they arrive in Canada.

Quebec Immigration Entrepreneur program

The Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program aims to recruit individuals who have the skills and experience to operate a business in the province. The conditions to apply are different depending on the chosen stream.

Stream 1

This stream consists in managing a business in Quebec that the candidate created alone or with other partners ( of which only 3 can be foreign nationals), with support from a business accelerator, a business incubator or a university entrepreneurship centre.

Stream 2

To apply under this stream, the entrepreneur must control at least 25% of shares of a new enterprise, or atleast 51% of an acquitted enterprise, which must have a value equivalent or higher than the funds needed to start the business project.

Requirements include:

  • Investment of starting funds of $200,000 for a business outside the metropolitan area of Montreal, or $300,000 for a business located in the metropolitan area of Montreal.
  • A minimum guarantee deposit between $200,000.
  • A net value of $900,000 CAD legally acquired, alone with their spouse if applicable.

Under both streams, successful candidates must obtain the threshold score in the selection grid, which features criteria such as age, education, language abilities, stays or family in Quebec, financial autonomy.
All candidates must submit their business project under the form of a business plan.
Every year, the government accepts a limited number of applications in the entrepreneur category.

Quebec self-Employed program

To qualify under the Quebec self-employed program, applicants must meet the following conditions that differentiate them from the Quebec Skilled Worker Program.

  • Have two years of applicable experience in the profession they intent to exercise in Quebec.
  • Possess a personal net worth of $100,000.
  • Have sufficient settlement funds to support themselves and their family.
  • Provide a start-up deposit of at least $50,000 if the self-employed candidate is based in the metropolitan area of Montreal, and $25,000 if the candidate is located outside of Montreal.

Like skilled workers, a self-employed applicant is assessed on several selection factors and must obtain sufficient points in order to qualify to apply.

British Columbia
British Columbia operates 3 business streams:
  • Entrepreneur Immigration
  • Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot
  • Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects

Entrepreneur Immigration
  • Establish an eligible new business or purchase and improve an existing business in B.C.
  • Investment of minimum $200,000 in the new or existing business.
  • Create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Thr Net worth minimum of $600,000.
  • Business and/or management experience.
  • Have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada.
  • Have been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently reside.
  • Pay a $300 registration fee, $3,500 application fee and $1,000 fee for each key staff application.

1) Registration

Complete an online registration including a short business concept and pay a non-refundable fee of $300. Candidates are scored on the information they provide and place in a pool for six months or 180 days, or until they receive an invitation.

2) Invitation

British Columbia carries out regular draws, on average one each month for the Entrepreneur stream. Candidates who are invited to apply have four months to submit a complete application. The score takes into account English language ability, age and Canadian work experience. Candidates can improve their score while in the pool, including by submitting a new business concept.

3) Net Worth Review

Candidates receiving an invitation to apply will have their net worth reviewed by a qualified supplier, who is a professional chartered accountant. The review includes the amount and source of funds and supporting documents. The candidate is responsible for all costs.

4) Application

Candidates have four months, or 120 days, to submit an application once an invitation is received. Candidates may be required to attend an interview. Approved applicants must sign a performance agreement with B.C. They then have 20 months, or 610 days to implement their business proposal.

5) Building the Business

Candidates get a letter of support from B.C. to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for a two-year work permit. Candidates and their dependents must arrive in B.C. with a valid work permit within 12 months, or 365 days, of receiving a letter of confirmation. The 20 months to implement the business starts when the candidate lands. At the end of the period, candidates must submit a final report to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program.

6) Nomination for Permanent Residence

Candidates who meet the terms of their performance agreement are nominated for Canadian permanent residence by B.C.

Dependents and key staff members (if applicable) will also receive nominations.

B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot

The British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot aims to attract entrepreneur to rural parts of the province.

It is initially a two-year pilot, with enrollment open in early 2019.

The Regional Pilot is only for entrepreneurs wishing to start a new business. Those wishing to purchase an existing business should consider B.S.’s main Entrepreneur Immigration stream.

Key Features
1) Community Involvement

Participation communities are actively involved in attracting the foreign entrepreneur and helping them settle after arrival.

2) BC PNP Referrals

Communities can refer foreign entrepreneurs to the BC PNP. The candidates must have visited the community and have a business proposal aligned with their economic priorities.

3) Community Concierge

Participating communities have access to the services of a dedicated BC PNP Community Concierge.

4) Invitations and Prioritization

Referred candidates register is a separate BC PNP pool. Monthly invitations are issued to the best scoring candidates. Those invited received priority processing.

Community Requirements
  • The Population of less than 75,000.
  • Located beyond 30km from a municipality of more than 75,000 population.
  • Demonstrated capacity to support foreign entrepreneurs with a network of settlement and business support agencies.
  • Immigration and pilot-specific training must be completed by community representatives.

Candidate Requirements
  • Desire to start a business and settle in a B.C. regional community.
  • Complete an exploratory visit.
  • Minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments.
  • Minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments.
  • Minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments.
  • Minimum of one new job created.

B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects

The B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration – Strategic Projects stream assists foreign-controlled companies establishing an eligible business in B.C. 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.

Company Requirements
  • Make a minimum equity investment of $500,000 to establish or purchase and expand an eligible business in B.C.
  • Create at least three new jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for each foreign key staff member proposed (to a maximum of five key staff).
  • Establish or purchase and expand a company in B.C.
Application Process
  1. Exploratory visit
  2. Discuss proposal with BC PNP officials and register the company’s interest to apply
  3. Apply

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program has two main business categories: the Entrepreneur stream and the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream.

Entrepreneur Stream
  • Expression of interest;
  • Invitation to submit the application;
  • Nomination;

Successful candidates initially come to Canada on a temporary work permit.
They become eligible to apply for nomination after a minimum of 6 months spent establishing their business.
The expression of interest must meet the following minimum entry requirements:

  • The Minimum net worth of $500,000 legally acquired.
  • Minimum of three years of entrepreneurial or relevant management experience.
  • Investment of at least $300,000 in Regina or Saskatoon, or $200,000 is any other Saskatchewan area.

Candidates enter a pool where they receive a score. The top-scoring candidates are invited to submit an application.

Applications must include:
  • Business Establishment Plan confirming figures in expression of interest, and including at least one-third ownership of a company in Saskatchewan, unless investment is $1 million or higher.
  • Commitment to be active in the day-to-day management of business.
  • Creation of two or more jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents if the business is located in Regina or Saskatoon.

International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream: Requirements
Requirements To Submit an EOI
  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Have completed a full-time Saskatchewan post-secondary degree or diploma of at least two years in length from a recognized and eligible Saskatchewan institution.
  • Have a valid Post-Graduate Work Permit with no less than 24 months of eligibility remaining.
  • Have lived in Saskatchewan during their academic program.
  • Have a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7.

Requirements For Business Establishment
  • Live in Saskatchewan.
  • Actively own and operate an eligible business in Saskatchewan for at least one year prior to applying for nomination.
  • Own at least one-third of the equity of the business.
  • Demonstrate that the business is generating the minimum required revenue amount after one year of operation, dependent on the number of employees.
  • Sign a Business Performance Agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan, which will be provided to you by the SINP after your application is approved.


If an applicant is interested in operating a business in Manitoba, they must first file an Expression of Interest (EOI) in conjunction with an Exploratory Visit (the visit cannot be more than a year before the EOI is filed), and a summary of Business Intent. This step must be completed in order to then be invited to apply for nomination.

In order to be eligible for the Business Applicant program, a candidate must:

  • Have a minimum, verifiable, personal net worth of $350,000
  • Have a minimum of 3 years of successful business ownership and management experience (or, a minimum 3 years of executive level experience as a senior manager of a business)
  • Obtain a score of at least 60 on the *Adaptability Assessment Matrix

*The Adaptability Matrix provides an applicant with a range of scores based on their age, business knowledge, business experience, net worth, English and/or French fluency (to verify language claims, an applicant must submit IELTS results from within the last 2 years), and lastly, enhanced settlement factors (these account for an applicant’s connection to the province and the skills of an applicant’s dependents.

  • Commit to making a $150,000 minimum investment.
  • Commit to making a $100,000 good-faith Deposit Agreement that is refundable if the terms of the agreement are met by the applicant.

The province will identify top candidates from the EOI pool to apply for nomination and then select the top nomination applicants for nomination. There is no guarantee that an application will lead to a nomination, nor is there a guarantee that Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will approve a nominated applicant for permanent residency.


To receive a nomination from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade (MCIIT), the first step is to submit an Investment Referral Form to MCIIT to be reviewed by a secondary Ontario ministry. MCIIT will assign referral forms based on which ministry would be impacted by the business plan. The registration applications are reviewed and ranked.

For MCIIT to nominate an applicant, investments must be of significant importance to Ontario and must create jobs for Ontarians. Both new investments and expansions to current operations are eligible. Investments need to meet the following eligibility guidelines:

  • The investment must receive an official endorsement from another Ontario ministry at the Deputy Minister level for the investment and the number of key positions requested
  • The amount of the investment is at least $3,000,000
  • The investment must create at least five net permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Ontario. If there is more than one requested nominee position, the requisite number of full-time jobs created increases.

In addition, Investment Nominee Positions being considered for approval by the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program must:

  • Necessary for the long-term success of the investment
  • Be in a skilled occupation (NOC 0, A, or B)
  • Be permanent, full-time positions
  • Meet prevailing wage levels. Information about wages for a variety of professions can be found on the Service Canada Labour Market Information website
  • Not affect the settlement of any labour dispute or affect the employment of a person involved in such a dispute, or adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Ontario.


If the ministry approves the investment plan, they will provide the applicant with instructions on how to apply. The application is once again reviewed by the assigned ministry and is also reviewed by MCIIT. If the MCIIT and the secondary ministry approve the application, the applicant will receive a nominee application package. The applicant will have 60 days to complete the application package and file it for assessment (there is a $3,500 non- refundable fee to file the application). If MCIIT nominates an applicant, the applicant has 6 months to apply to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence (the applicant can request a temporary work permit while the IRCC is processing their application).

New Brunswick

The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program operates an Entrepreneurial Stream and Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream aimed at professionals and graduates from New Brunswick institutions.

Entrepreneurial Stream Requirements
  • Have an eligible connection to New Brunswick.
  • Be aged between 22 and 55.
  • Minimum of two years post-secondary education degree or diploma.
  • Score at least level 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark exam for speaking, listening, reading and writing in English or French.
  • Have completed at least two years full time post-secondary education.
  • The Legally-acquired personal net worth of at least $600,000, of which $300,000 must be available in unencumbered liquidity.
  • Invest at least $250,000 in a New Brunswick business, taking ownership of at least 33 per cent.
  • Sign a Business Performance Agreement with the New Brunswick provincial government and pay a deposit of $100,000.
  • Business must create significant economic benefit to New Brunswick.
  • Show business experience – either three years of ownership or five years of senior management experience in the last five years.
  • Submit a business concept of 1,000 to 1,500 words.
  • Conduct an exploratory visit to New Brunswick, or participate in an information session offered by the New Brunswick provincial government.
  • Intend to live permanently in New Brunswick.
Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream Requirements
  • Be aged between 22 and 40.
  • Score at least level 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark for speaking, listening, reading and writing in English or French.
  • Have completed at least two years full-time post-secondary education at a recognized New Brunswick university or community college.
  • Have lived in New Brunswick for the duration of the course (distance-learning courses do not qualify).
  • Have 100 per cent owned and operated a business for one full year.
  • Have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit.
  • Intend to live permanently in New Brunswick.
Northwest Territories

To begin the process a candidate must take the self-evaluation to see if they are eligible to apply to the program. If they are, the application is submitted and it is reviewed by the territory.

All economic sectors are eligible for this program. However, priority will be given to those applicants whose business product or service is new to NWT or would generate significant benefits for the North. The business plan may be for the establishment of a new business or the purchase of an existing business – the key is to show the incremental benefits that will accrue to the NWT.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must have:

  • A minimum of $300,000 equity if they are starting or buying a business within the corporate boundary of Yellowknife; or, $150,000 if you are starting or buying a business outside the corporate boundary of Yellowknife
  • A personal net worth of at least $500,000 if you are starting or buying a business within the corporate boundary of Yellowknife; or at least $250,000 if they are starting or buying a business outside the corporate boundary of Yellowknife
  • An additional $75,000 to be kept in a trust account (which will be released without interest upon the completion of a performance agreement)
  • A reasonable understanding and knowledge of the territory and it's economy
  • Reasonable communication skills
  • The necessary education and experience to successfully implement the business plan

If all of these criteria are met, and the Assistant Deputy Minister approves the Business Plan, the NWT may choose to nominate the applicant, for the temporary residence so they may establish their business according to the Business Performance Agreement. If the conditions of the agreement are satisfied the NWT will, at that point, nominate the applicant so they may apply to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a permanent residency.

Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream targets candidates with business ownership or senior management experience. They must live in Nova Scotia, either start a new business or buy an existing business, and actively participate in the day-to-day management of that business. Under the Entrepreneur stream, candidates are first issued a temporary work permit before applying for permanent residence after operating the business for a year. The stream uses an Expression of Interest format, where candidates in a pool are invited to apply.

Entrepreneur Stream: Candidate Requirements
  • Be aged 21 or older.
  • Want to live permanently in Nova Scotia while owning and actively managing a Nova Scotia business.
  • The Minimum net worth of $600,000.
  • Minimum investment of $150,000 to establish or purchase a business in Nova Scotia.
  • Minimum 3 years of experience actively managing and owning a business (33 per cent ownership minimum) OR more than 5 years of experience in a senior business management role.
  • Score minimum of 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in speaking, listening, reading and writing in English or French.
Newfoundland and Labrador
International Graduate Entrepreneur Category

Basic requirements:

  • Open to immigrants wishing to start, join or manage a business in the province.
  • Be a graduate of Memorial University or the College of the North Atlantic.
  • Have completed a program at least two years in length.
  • Have benchmark level 7 in one of Canada’s official languages.
  • Have at least one year of experience in managing or owning a business in the province.
  • Candidates must establish themselves and their business on a temporary work permit, before being nominated for permanent residence after at least one year.
  • There is no up-front investment requirement.
International Entrepreneur Category

Basic requirements:

  • Open to immigrants aged 21 to 59.
  • Transfer $500,000 in net business and personal assets to the province.
  • Have two years of experience managing a business.
  • Candidates must establish themselves and their business on a temporary work permit, before being nominated for permanent residence after at least one year.

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.

Yukon Business Nominee Program: Requirements
  • The Legally-acquired net worth of at least $500,000, documented and verified by a Yukon accounting firm.
  • The 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.
    1. This does not include any capital investments made before acceptance into the Yukon Business Nominee Program.
    2. Capital investments include purchases such as property or equipment. It does not include purchases such as a house, vehicles that are only partially for the business and operational or maintenance expenses.
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