20+ Canadian Business Immigration Pathways

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Overview

There are multiple pathways available for businesses, entrepreneurs, and foreign employees. Find all the possible Canadian business immigration pathways and their eligibility criteria in the following sections. If you’re thinking about moving to Canada via one of Canadian business immigration programs, the team at ELAAR can help you.

Canadian Business Immigration Programs

Business people, investors, and entrepreneurs can use the following immigration pathways to settle in Canada. Here’s is the list including every Canadian business immigration program available for foreign business owners, investors, and working executives.

Federal Programs

Self-Employed Persons Program and Start-up Visa Program are the two main federal business immigration programs.

Start-Up Visa Program (SUV)

Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program is for entrepreneurs who can start a long-lasting business that will offer employment for Canadians and benefit the economy. Many entrepreneurs favor this program because it doesn’t require an initial investment. In addition to this, an applicant’s permanent resident status won’t be revoked if the business fails.

Self-Employed Persons Program

The Self-Employed Visa Program is for candidates who possess self-employment experience in the athletics or arts fields. This program is attractive because it doesn’t have a minimum net worth requirement. Candidates must demonstrate that they possess the skills to be self-employed in Canada.

British Columbia

British Columbia currently offers the following BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration programs:

EI – Base Category

  • Minimum Net Worth: $600,000 CAD
  • Minimum Investment: $200,000 CAD
  • Ownership: 33.3% or greater
  • Experience: Min. 3 years in a business ownership role. Alternatively, min. 4 years of experience in a senior management role.
  • Language Proficiency: Min. CLB 4 (English or French)

EI - Regional Pilot

  • Minimum Net Worth: $300,000 CAD.
  • Minimum Investment: $100,000 CAD.
  • Ownership: 51% or greater.
  • Experience: Min. 3 years in a business ownership role. Alternatively, min. 4 years of experience in a senior management role.
  • Language Proficiency: Min. CLB 4 (English or French)

EI - Strategic Projects

  • Equity Investment: $500,000 CAD.
  • Excellent Financial Standing
  • A solid foundation to start and operate in British Columbia.
  • Job Creation: At least 3 or more.

Ontario

OINP Entrepreneur Stream is an immigration stream for business owners. It comes under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Its requirements are as follows:

OINP Entrepreneur Stream Requirements

  • Minimum Net Worth: $800,000 CAD plus 33.3% ownership if the business is in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). $200,000 CAD plus 33.3% ownership if the business is outside GTA. Alternatively, $200,000 CAD and 33.3% ownership if the business is in the ICT/Digital Communications industry.
  • Minimum Investment: $300,000 CAD if the business is in GTA, plus 33.3% ownership. $150,000 CAD for businesses outside GTA, plus 33.3% ownership. Alternatively, $1,000,000 CAD investment.
  • Experience: 24 months as a business owner or a senior manager in the last five years.

Alberta

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program offers three streams for entrepreneurs. These are:

AAIP - Rural Entrepreneur Stream

  • Minimum Net Worth: $300,000 CAD
  • Minimum Investment: $200,000 CAD
  • Ownership: 51% or greater
  • Experience: Minimum 3 years as a business owner, or 4 years in a senior management role.
  • Education: Completed high school (ECA required)

AAIP - Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

  • Ownership: 34% or greater with Canadian citizens or permanent residents as partners.
  • Experience: Min. 3 years as a business owner, or 4 years in a senior management role.
  • Education: Completed a program lasting 2 or more years at an Alberta College or University. A degree or diploma is mandatory.
  • Language Proficiency: CLB7 or Above in English or French.
  • Work Permit: PGWP Mandatory.

AAIP Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

  • Minimum Investment: $100,000 CAD (Urban Center), $50,000 CAD (outside Calgary and Edmonton)
  • Ownership: 34% or higher (Urban Center), 51% (outside Calgary and Edmonton)
  • Experience: Minimum 6 months as a business owner or manager.
  • Education: Equivalent college or university degree obtained from outside Canada.
  • Language Proficiency: CLB Level 5 or Above in English or French.

AAIP - Farm Stream

  • Minimum Net-Worth: $500,000 CAD
  • Minimum Investment: $500,000 CAD
  • Farm Management Skills: Financial documents describing current farm business, farm-related experience training, and education.
  • Business Plan: Mandatory.

Manitoba

Manitoba offers MPNP Business Investor Stream in which there are two business immigration routes:

MPNP Entrepreneur Pathway

  • Minimum Net Worth: $500,000 CAD
  • Ownership: 33.3% or greater.
  • Experience: Minimum 3 years in business ownership or senior management role.
  • Language Proficiency: CLB5 or NCLC5 or higher (English or French)
  • Education: Completed high school and possess a certificate.

MPNP Farm Investor Pathway

  • Minimum Net Worth: $500,000 CAD
  • Farm Ownership and Work Experience: 3 years
  • Proving Adaptability: Mandatory
  • Exploratory Visit: Mandatory
  • Refundable Deposit: $75,000 CAD
  • Business Plan: Mandatory

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan offers SINP Entrepreneur Immigration Programs to attract such entrepreneurs and farmers. These are:

Entrepreneur Category

  • Minimum Net Worth: $500,000 CAD
  • Minimum Investment: $300,000 CAD (in Saskatoon or Regina), $200,000 CAD for businesses in other parts.
  • Ownership: 33.3% or greater. Not required if you invest $1 million CAD or above.
  • Experience: Min. 3 years in business management or an entrepreneurial role.
  • Job Creation: 2 or more (Mandatory)

International Graduate Entrepreneur

  • Age: Graduates must be over the age of 21.
  • Ownership: 33.3% or greater.
  • Minimum Business Revenue: Variable depending on the. of employees.
  • Experience: Min. 3 years as a business owner, or 4 years in a senior management role.
  • Education: Completed a program lasting 2 or more years at a Saskatchewan College or University.
  • Language Proficiency: CLB7 or Above in English or French.
  • Work Permit: PGWP Mandatory.

Farm Owner/Operator Category

  • Age: Graduates must be over the age of 21.
  • Ownership: 33.3% or greater.
  • Minimum Business Revenue: Variable depending on the. of employees.
  • Experience: Min. 3 years as a business owner, or 4 years in a senior management role.
  • Education: Completed a program lasting 2 or more years at a Saskatchewan College or University.
  • Language Proficiency: CLB7 or Above in English or French.
  • Work Permit: PGWP Mandatory.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island currently offers PEI PNP Work Permit Stream for business people. It has the following requirements:

  • Minimum Net Worth: $600,000 CAD4
  • Minimum Investment: None
  • Experience: Management experience
  • Managerial Role: Mandatory
  • Business Plan: Mandatory
  • PR/Work permit: A work permit must be acquired after receiving a letter of support from the province. The nomination can be obtained after the Performance Agreement’s terms are met.
  • Age: 21 to 59 years old

New Brunswick

New Brunswick offers the following business immigration programs:

New Brunswick Entrepreneurial Stream

  • Age: 22-55
  • Minimum Net Worth: $600,000 CAD (out of which $300,000 CAD must be liquid)
  • Minimum Investment: $300,000 CAD (in Saskatoon or Regina), $200,000 CAD for businesses in other parts.
  • Ownership: 33.3% or greater.
  • Experience: Minimum 3 years in business management or an entrepreneurial role.
  • Education: Two-year college or university program equivalent to the Canadian standard (ECA required).
  • Language Proficiency: CLB 5 or NCLC 5 (English or French)

Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Steam

  • Age: Between 22-34
  • Ownership: 33.3% or greater.
  • Minimum Business Revenue: Variable depending on the. of employees.
  • Education: Completed a program lasting 2 or more years at New Brunswick College or University.
  • Language Proficiency: CLB 5 or NCLC 7 in English or French.
  • Job Creation: 1 or more (Mandatory)
  • Work Permit: PGWP (Mandatory)

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland & Labrador currently offers two NLPNP Entrepreneur Programs that cater to foreign entrepreneurs and business owners. These are:

NL PNP International Entrepreneur

  • Age: 21-59 years
  • Minimum Net Worth: $600,000 CAD
  • Minimum Investment: $200,000 CAD
  • Language Proficiency: CLB 5 or NCLC 5 (English or French)
  • Education: Completed high school and possess a diploma (ECA required)
  • Ownership: 33.3% or greater.
  • Experience: Min. 2 years in business management or an entrepreneurial role.

NL PNP International Graduate Entrepreneur

  • Age: Above 20 years
  • Language Proficiency: CLB 5 or NCLC 7 (English or French)
  • Education: Diploma or degree lasting 2 years or more from the College of the North Atlantic or from Memorial University.
  • Ownership: 33.3% or greater.
  • Experience: Min. 1 year in business management or an entrepreneurial role.
  • Job Creation: 1 or more (Mandatory)
  • Work Permit: PGWP (Mandatory)

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia offers two NSNP Entrepreneur Immigration Pathways to make the process smoother for individuals who want to set up businesses there.

NSNP - Entrepreneur Stream

  • Age: At least 21
  • Minimum Net Worth: $600,000 CAD
  • Minimum Investment: $150,000 CAD
  • Intent To Reside In The Province: Mandatory
  • Experience: Minimum 3 years in business management (with 33.3% ownership) or 5 years senior business management role.
  • Language Proficiency: CLB 5 (English or French)
  • Expression Of Interest: Mandatory
  • Nova Scotia Office of Immigration Invitation: Mandatory

NSNP - International Graduate Entrepreneur

  • Age: Graduates must be over the age of 21.
  • Minimum Business Revenue: Variable depending on the. of employees.
  • Experience: Minimum 1 year as a business owner (33.3% ownership required).
  • Education: Completed a program lasting 2 or more years at a Saskatchewan College or University.
  • Language Proficiency: CLB7 or Above in English or French.
  • Work Permit: PGWP Mandatory.

Northwest Territories

NWT government has introduced a special immigration category known as Northwest Territories Business Stream for foreign individuals that would like to start or purchase and operate a business in NWT.

  • Minimum Net Worth: $250,000 CAD if the business is in Yellowknife. $150,000 CAD for businesses outside Yellowknife.
  • Minimum Investment: $300,000 CAD if the business is in Yellowknife, plus 33.3% ownership. $150,000 CAD for businesses outside Yellowknife, plus 33.3% ownership. Alternatively, $1,000,000 CAD investment.
  • Experience: None
  • Managerial Role: Mandatory
  • Business Plan: Mandatory
  • PR/Work permit: Two-year work permit required. PR option becomes available if program requirements are met.

Yukon

The Yukon Business Nominee Program is one of Yukon’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) that caters to foreign entrepreneurs and business people.

  • Minimum Net Worth: $500,000 CAD. This includes $300,000 in liquid assets.
  • Minimum Investment: $300,000 CAD plus 33.3% ownership along with a partner who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
  • Experience: Three years of business management or entrepreneurial experience plus five years of relevant work experience.
  • Managerial Role: Mandatory
  • Business Plan: Mandatory
  • PR/Work permit: Two-year work permit is required. PR option becomes available after program requirements are met.

Quebec Business Immigration

Quebec offers the following business immigration programs:

Quebec Immigrant Investor Program

  • Minimum Net Worth: $200,000 CAD
  • Minimum Investment: $1,200,000 CAD
  • Ownership: 51% or greater
  • Experience: Minimum 2 years in a business management role.
  • PR/Work permit: PR after first obtaining Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)

Quebec Entrepreneur Program

  • Minimum Net Worth: $900,000 CAD
  • Minimum Investment: Holding 25% of the equity in a business the applicant creates or 51% of the equity in a business they acquire.
  • Start-up Deposit: $300,000 CAD if the business is in Montreal’s metropolitan area. $200,000 CAD if the business is outside Montreal’s metropolitan area.
  • Managerial Role: Mandatory
  • Business Plan: Mandatory
  • PR/Work permit: The PR option becomes available once a Quebec Selection of Certificate (CSQ) is acquired.

Quebec Immigrant Self-Employed Program

  • Minimum Net Worth: $100,000 CAD
  • Start-up Deposit: $300,000 CAD if the business is in Montreal’s metropolitan area. $25,000 CAD if the business is outside Montreal’s metro area.
  • Experience: 2 years of self-employed experience
  • Business Plan: Mandatory
  • PR/Work permit: The PR option becomes available once a Quebec Selection of Certificate (CSQ) is acquired.

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ELAAR's Process for Canadian Business Immigration

ELAAR can assist prospective business owners and entrepreneurs with the Canada Business Immigration process in the following ways:

  • Choosing a Business Idea
  • Pathway Selection
  • Immigration Process
  • Business Setup
  • Applying for PR
  • Canadian Citizen

1. Choosing a Business Idea

Choosing the right business idea is vital for the success of any Canada Business Immigration application. It is the most important step and is the foundation of successful business immigration. At ELAAR, we make the business idea selection process easier by using the following steps:

  • Information Gathering: We start by gathering information related to each applicant’s financial background, interests, and other relevant areas to their chosen immigration program’s requirements.
  • Process 15 to 20 Ideas: Our experts then propose 15 to 20 business ideas based on the information gathered during step 1.
  • Brainstorm Session: Next, our experts analyze different aspects of the applicant’s background as well as their chosen program. This includes:
    • Investment amounts
    • Areas of interest
    • Industries and Sectors
    • Economic Indicators
    • Business Eligibility Requirements
  • Narrow ideas down to a Top 5: Our experts conduct thorough market research and narrow the ideas above down to the top 5.
  • Determine the Top 2: We then critically evaluate each of these ideas and select the two best ones with the highest chance of success.
  • Business Idea Selection Report: Our experts compile their research and findings in a report that contains the top 2 recommendations. Clients can review the data to understand how we narrowed down the list of choices and produced our findings.
  • Make Your Decision: The last step is for clients to decide which business idea they would like to pursue. This step is vital, as the client will be responsible for setting up and operating their future business in Canada. Our suggestions consider their background and interests, but the final decision will always be up to the client.

2. Immigration Pathway Selection

Numerous Canada Business Immigration programs are open to prospective business owners and entrepreneurs. You may already have a great business idea in mind, but you may have trouble choosing the program that offers the easiest pathway for your unique background and investment amount.

At Elaar Immigration, we can assess your unique situation and recommend a suitable Canada Business Immigration pathway based on our expertise and experience.

3. Starting the Immigration Process

Starting the Canadian Business Immigration process can be daunting to do independently. At Elaar Immigration, we ensure each of our clients is up to speed with the requirements for their chosen program. We also offer assistance with gathering the necessary documentation and creating business plans.

4. Assistance With Business Setup

Our immigration experts can also help you set up your business in Canada. They can utilize their business expertise to ensure your business is up and running in compliance with local laws.

5. Assistance With Applying for PR

Once you have set up or acquired a qualifying business in Canada, our experts can help you apply for permanent residence. We can assist you with your application and ensure you comply with the requirements.

6. Apply for the Canadian citizen

After you have resided in Canada as a permanent resident for many years, our immigration consultants can assist you with becoming a Canadian citizen. We understand the ins and outs of the citizenship process and can help you check if you meet the requirements for citizenship before guiding you through the process.

FAQs: Express Entry Canada

Which business sectors are preferred by IRCC?

IRCC prefers businesses that meet the following criteria:

  • Belong to key economic industries such as agriculture, mining, energy, cybersecurity, farming, and financial services.
  • Include significant benefit activities such as developing novel products and services, increasing Canada’s exports, and value-added businesses.
  • Offer a significant investment exceeding $250,000 CAD, create jobs for at least two Canadians, and generate enough revenue to pay employee wages.

Can you get direct Canadian citizenship by investment?

Canada does not currently offer any routes for Canadian citizenship by investment. However, business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors can eventually become Canadian citizens by first investing in Canadian businesses and obtaining permanent resident status.

Which businesses are not preferred for Canada Business Immigration?

Some of the businesses that the IRCC generally dislikes include:

  • Automated car wash businesses
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Hobby farms
  • DVD rental stores
  • Coin-operated laundromats
  • Real estate development businesses
  • Scrap metal recycling

Can I buy a business in Canada and get PR?

You can obtain permanent resident status after buying a business in Canada. This requires candidates to first come to Canada on a temporary work visa and identify a business to purchase. They must then complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and submit a suitable business plan.

Once they receive an LMIA, the candidate can apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry or one of the Provincial Nominee Programs.

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