Canada is considered as one of the better places to start your own business or invest in a business because of its low taxes, strong economy, low business costs and high quality of life. There are options available for business owners and investors to get a permanent residency in Canada. They can do so by starting a business and creating jobs; or by investing in the Canadian economy; or by immigrating as a self-employed person in cultural or athletic activities, or as a farmer. There are three different categories of business immigration:
- Start-up Visa
- Self Employed
- Immigrant Investors
Start-up Visa: The start-up visa program targets eligible immigrant entrepreneurs with the required skills to start-up and maintain their own businesses in Canada. The qualified businesses must have the potential to create jobs for Canadians, be competitive in nature on a global scale.
- Support from designated organizations: If you do have an innovative business idea, you might want to get a positive nod from one of the designated organizations in Canada which includes venture capitalists, angel investor groups and business incubators recognized by the government. If you can secure their support in the form of a letter, you may be eligible to immigrate to Canada on a start-up visa.
- Ownership requirements: As owners of a single business, up to five people can apply for the start-up visa program. To meet the ownership requirements, each applicant must hold at least 10 per cent of the voting rights and the designated organization and the applicants must jointly hold more than 50 per cent of the voting rights in the business.
- Language: Applicants must take language test (English or French) from an approved agency. And must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Convert your language scores to CLB using CWC’s language convertor tool.
- Funds: The Government of Canada does not give financial support to new Start-up Visa immigrants. You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada. You cannot borrow this money from another person. You will need to give proof that you have the money when you apply.
Self-employed Program: Under this stream of immigration, the government of Canada may grant permanent residency to people who are willing to become self-employed in Canada. The applicants must have an intent to buy and manage a farm in Canada OR they must have experience in cultural activities and athletics which will enable them to make a significant contribution to the athletic or cultural life of Canada.
- Selection criteria: You will be assessed based on their age, experience, education, language, and adaptability. Currently, a minimum score of 35 is required out of 100 in order to qualify. Find out your eligibility and score here.
- Relevant experience: You must have at least two years of experience within five years before the day you apply in cultural activities, athletics or managing a farm. Your experience will be relevant if you have taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level or been self-employed in cultural activities or athletics or experience managing a farm.
- Medical, police clearance and funds: You and your family members must get your medical and police clearance certificates done. You also need a proof to show that you will have enough funds to support yourself and your family members when you arrive to Canada.
Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program: Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program is meant for international investors with the skills and abilities needed to contribute to the Canadian economy and integrate into the society.
The application period for the IIVC pilot program is currently closed. Watch this area for further updates.
- Net-worth: You must have a personal net worth of CDN $10 million or more. Your net worth must have been acquired through lawful, private sector business or investment activities. At the second stage, you are required to obtain a due diligence report from one a designated service provider.
- Investment in a venture capital fund: You must be willing to make a non-guaranteed/at-risk investment of $2 million in the IIVC fund, under a contract for approximately 15 years.
- Language: You must take language test (English or French) from an approved agency. And must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Convert your language scores to CLB using CWC’s language convertor tool.
- Education: You must have a completed Canadian post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate of at least one year or a foreign equivalent, as validated by an original Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from a CIC-designated organization.
You must not be inadmissible to Canada and be willing to reside outside Quebec.