Canadian Immigration News

Canadian Immigration Options for International Entrepreneurs and Investors

6 minute read
"International entrepreneurs and investors interested in immigrating to Canada have several options to choose from. Almost every province in Canada offers specific immigration streams for international entrepreneurs interested in establishing or acquiring a business in the province. Canada is the leading country in providing the most widely established and widely used entrepreneurial investment immigration programs. The federal government and the provincial governments provide their tailored immigration streams for international businesspeople. "
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Apr 23, 2021
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International entrepreneurs and investors interested in immigrating to Canada have several options to choose from. Almost every province in Canada offers specific immigration streams for international entrepreneurs interested in establishing or acquiring a business in the province. 

Canada is the leading country in providing the most widely established and widely used entrepreneurial investment immigration programs. The federal government and the provincial governments provide their tailored immigration streams for international businesspeople. 

International entrepreneurs may also be eligible for a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) under some immigration streams.

What are the Options Available at Federal Level for International Entrepreneurs and Investors?

At the federal level, applicants can apply for the Start-Up Visa program. The Start-up Visa program was created by the Canadian government to attract international entrepreneurs to set up a new business. 

The Start-up Visa program is for foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish a new business in Canada. No minimum personal investment is required. You must also attain a letter of support or commitment certificate from a designated Canadian organization.

What are the Options Available at Provincial Level for Foreign Entrepreneurs and Investors?

Canadian provinces and territories offer specific immigration streams for foreign entrepreneurs and investors under each of their own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

These immigration streams differ on several factors such as investment requirements, connection to the province, education level, etc. Based on your eligibility, you can choose the best-suited immigration stream and apply accordingly. They are also known as Provincial Business Programs.

Usually, these immigration streams require the applicants to have recent business ownership or management experience, invest a certain amount of their funds and have the required language skills. 

Here is an overview of the available options under different provincial programs:

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP): 

The OINP operates the Business Category (OINP) for foreign business owners and investors who want to own, acquire, and manage a business in Ontario. It has 2 streams:

  • Entrepreneur Stream (OINP)
  • Corporate Stream (OINP)

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP): 

The BC PNP offers the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration is for foreign business owners, investors and institutions who have experience in owning and operating a business. It has 3 streams:

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP): 

The SINP offers the Entrepreneur and Farm Category (SINP) which are 3 immigration pathways for international entrepreneurs, graduates, investors, and farm operators who want to establish a business in Saskatchewan. These applicants need to have experience owning and operating a business and want to establish a new business venture in the province.

The 3 pathways are:

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP): 

The MPNP offers the Business Investor Stream (MPNP) offers immigration streams for international entrepreneurs and farm owners with 2 subcategories:

The MPNP also offers the International Student Entrepreneur Pilot for international graduates who wish to establish a business and can meet the conditions of their Business Performance Agreement.

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP): 

The NBPNP offers 2 categories of business immigration streams for international graduates and entrepreneurs:

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP): 

The NSNP offers Entrepreneur Stream (NSNP) is for international entrepreneurs a personal net worth of a minimum of $600,000 and must possess relevant business experience. In order to establish the business, they will be required to invest a minimum of $150,000.

The NSNP also offers the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream (NSNP) for international entrepreneurs. To qualify for permanent residence, the business needs to be in operation for a minimum of a year.

Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP): 

The NLPNP offers the International Entrepreneur Category (NLPNP) for eligible international entrepreneurs who want to own and operate a business in the province.

The NLPNP also offers the International Graduate Entrepreneur Category (NLPNP) for international graduates from Memorial University or College of North Atlantic.  

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP): 

The PEI PNP offers the Business Impact Category (PEI PNP) for international entrepreneurs and investors. 

Applicants require a minimum net worth of $600,000 and the capacity to make an investment of at least $150,000 in an existing and operational business. 

This category has 1 stream: the Work Permit Stream which allows international entrepreneurs to work in Canada on a temporary work permit to establish their business. If they meet the requirements of their business performance agreement, then they will receive the provincial nomination for permanent residence.

Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP): 

The NTNP offers the Business Stream (NTNP) for foreign nationals who wish to own, acquire and manage a pre-existing business in the territory to create jobs and contribute to the economic development of the province. 

Yukon Nominee Program (YNP): 

The YNP offers the Business Nominee (YNP) stream for international entrepreneurs and investors who want to acquire and manage a business in the Yukon. International entrepreneurs with sufficient experience in business ownership and management and legally acquired net worth of $500,000. 

What are the Options Available Under Quebec Immigration for International Entrepreneurs and Investors?

The province of Quebec retains its autonomy to nominate eligible applicants for permanent residence through its immigration system.

If you wish to reside in Quebec, then you must first obtain a Certificate of Selection (CSQ) from the Quebec government to be eligible for permanent residency. Quebec Immigration offers the following immigration programs for international entrepreneurs and investors: 

Quebec Immigrant Investor Program: 

The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program allows you to immigrate to the province of Quebec as an investor. You do not need French proficiency to be eligible for this program. 

You must demonstrate minimum net assets worth $2 million and invest $1.2 million as a guaranteed investment for 5 years with the provincial government. You are allowed to receive financial assistance. 

Quebec Entrepreneur Program: 

Under the Quebec Entrepreneur Program, you can immigrate to Quebec if you intend to establish or acquire a business. You can apply under 2 streams based on your circumstances. 

Stream 1 is for those who intend to establish a business in the province. They can do that alone or with Canadian citizens or foreign nationals as partners. They must create a business with the support of a business accelerator, incubator, or university entrepreneurship center in Quebec. 

Stream 2 is for those who wish to buy an existing business. However, they will be required to own and control 51% of the acquired business. They must have net assets worth $900,000. They will also be required to submit a minimum guarantee deposit of $200,000, which will be surrendered if they fail to meet the requirements of their permanent residency. 

Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program: 

You can apply for the Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program if you intend to create your job while you are residing in Quebec as a self-employed person. 

You must have minimum net assets of $100,000 to be eligible. You also need to score a minimum of points on the self-employed assessment grid. A minimum of experience of 2 years in your occupation will also be required. 

If you are applying for self-employment based in Montreal, then a startup deposit of $50,000 will be required. If you are applying outside Montreal, then a startup deposit of $25,000 will suffice.

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