Business immigrants are individuals who have proven ownership or senior management experience, and who are willing to invest time, money and work into running a business in Canada. Immigrating through business ownership is a pathway to Permanent Residency that supports the development of the Canadian economy so that it remains strong. Canada’s immigration system promotes business development through a variety of immigration pathways, including: Free Trade Agreements, intra-company transfers, individual purchases, and business start-ups.
At Tudor House Immigration, we can facilitate every aspect of your move to Canada including:
- Registering a new corporation in Canada
- Transferring employees into Canada
- Managing the purchase of an existing business
- Creating a detailed business plan
- Securing work or study permits for you and your family
- Representing your interests while you are outside of Canada
- Securing a pathway to Permanent Residency and Citizenship for you and your family
- Referring to corporate accountants, bookkeepers and lawyers
An Overview of Business Immigration Programs in Canada
Individuals who have experience running a business, or acting as a senior manager in a business, are eligible for business immigration to Canada. It is important to note, that your experience as a business owner or senior manager is not specific to the industry you are affiliated with. In other words, your experience qualifies you to operate any business in Canada, not just the business sectors you have experience in. The Canada Business Immigration Program is divided into four sub-categories:
- Start-up Visa Program
- Province Nominee Program (PNP) Business Programs
Treaty Investor programs are governed by Free Trade Agreements and are designed for individuals with business experience, high net worth and the intention of starting or taking over an existing business. Typically, the minimum investment would be $200,000 CAD. As an investor, you obtain your right to work in Canada by demonstrating you have put significant funds at risk, within the Canadian economy, and that you are willing to execute a strategic plan to grow and manage the business. As an Investor, you must own at least 51% of the Canadian company you either establish, or take over. The advantage of this program, is that it is relatively quick to establish and apply for. However you do need to be from a country that holds a treaty investor agreement with the government of Canada. To learn more about this option, book a Discovery Call with us to speak to an RCIC.
Start-Up Visa Program
The Start-up Visa program is designed for entrepreneurs and Canadian businesses that have innovative ideas, or are sponsored by a designated funding institution. To qualify as an applicant, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have an innovative business idea.
- Be at an intermediate level in both English and French.
- Receive a letter of support from a nominated institution and a commitment proposal for a minimum of $200,000 CAD from a venture capital organization or $75,000 CAD from a qualifying Angel Investor/Business Incubator.
- Have enough money upon arrival for permanent residence in Canada.
The Start-Up Visa program is great for tech-related businesses that bring revolutionary and innovative processes or products into the Canadian economy, however the program is not nearly as fast processing, and can take several years to reach permanent residency. If you think you meet the criteria of a Start-Up Visa candidate, please book a consultation with us and we would be happy to provide you with an assessment.
Entrepreneurs is a general term in Immigration referring to all business persons willing to start a new company. However one pathway that is popular with Entrepreneurs is commonly known as the Owner / Operator LMIA, or Labour Market Impact Assessment. In this model, entrepreneurs can buy an existing business or start their own venture, and submit an application to hire themselves as the executive or manager of the business. In this pathway, the business needs to be operational in Canada before you submit your application for a work permit. You must also meet the following conditions:
- Have employees in Canada
- Have a detailed business plan
- Have proof that your business in Canada is profitable or will be profitable
- Demonstrate that you have experience running a business
The advantage of the Owner / Operator LMIA is that there is no minimum investment needed, and the program will produce a work permit relatively quickly.
Provincial Nominee Programs
Provinces in Canada offer special immigration programs to support Permanent Residency for certain business owners and entrepreneurs. There are a multitude of different programs available depending on the province you are choosing to settle in. The requirements for these programs are also subject to change often. To learn more about the specific requirements for a particular PNP, we invite you to book a free call with us below.
Making the Next Step
We are here to make the business immigration process easier for you. Contact Chris Brown, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, for a no obligation, exploratory call.