Business immigration

Over the years, Canada has seen the rise and prosperity of innumerable businesses on its grounds. Read more and find out the type of Business Immigration programs offered by various Provinces and learn whether you qualify for them or not.

This program is divided into three sub-categories:

Entrepreneur Category
Meant for senior managers or business owners who intend to invest funds into a proposed business in British Columbia.

Regional Entrepreneur Category
Meant for Senior managers or business owners who intend to invest funds into a proposed business in British Columbia, anywhere outside of the Vancouver and Abbotsford metropolitan areas.

Strategic Projects Category
Meant for foreign-controlled companies who want to set up an operation or branch in British Columbia. They can also nominate up to five key foreign managerial, professional or technical staff members.

Regional Business Succession Option — Meant for individuals who intend to purchase and manage an existing British Columbia business. This option can be applied to any of the three categories above where the business is located outside of the Vancouver and Abbotsford metropolitan areas. If successful, applicants will receive priority processing.

Following are the details of the eligibility criteria for all the categories:

Entrepreneur Category


Requirements:

  • The applicant should be an experienced senior manager or business owner.
  • The applicant must be able to present a practical business proposal that can cause significant economic benefits to British Columbia.
  • The applicant has the financial ability to invest in a business, namely: A personal or combined (with spouse) net worth of at least $800,000.
  • Upon the application’s approval, the applicant has to carry out the following:
    • Make a minimum investment of $400,000 to establish, purchase, or expand an existing business in BC.
    • Hold at least one-third ownership of the proposed business in BC
    • Sign a Performance Agreement with the provincial government.
    • Create a minimum of three full-time jobs, to be held by Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
    • Take active part in managing and directing the proposed business.
  • This program also allows applicants to bring one key staff member to BC, whose skills and expertise are essential to the success of the business.


Regional Entrepreneur Category


Requirements:

  • The applicant should be an experienced senior manager or business owner.
  • The applicant must be able to present a practical business proposal that can cause significant economic benefits to British Columbia.
  • The applicant has the financial ability to invest in a business, namely: A personal or combined (with spouse) net worth of at least $400,000.
  • If an application is approved, the applicant must perform the following:
    • Make a minimum investment of $200,000 to establish, purchase, or expand an existing business in BC.
    • Hold at least one-third ownership of the proposed business in BC.
    • Sign a Performance Agreement with the provincial government.
    • Create a minimum of one full-time job, to be held by Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
    • Take active part in managing and directing the proposed business.

Strategic Projects Category


This category is meant for Foreign companies looking to establish a presence in British Columbia.

The company can also apply for up to five important staff members to work and become permanent residents in Canada. These staff members must proven to be qualified senior personnel and vital to the establishment and operation of the business in British Columbia.

The company must be evidently successful and following good practices outside of Canada.

Upon the application’s approval, the following must be done by the company:
  • Sign a Performance Agreement with the provincial government
  • Make a minimum equity investment of $500,000 to establish or purchase and expand an eligible business
  • Create at least three new jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for each proposed key staff member
  • Establish or purchase and expand a company that is incorporated or federally incorporated and registered extra-provincially in BC

Regional Business Succession Option


If you are an individual meeting any of the three above mentioned categories, you can use this option to take over an existing British Columbia business from a retiring business owner and you will also be granted an ease in processing and job creation.

For this option to be valid, a complete change in ownership of the business must take place.

The business must be eligible.

The business must be located outside of the Vancouver and Abbotsford metropolitan areas.

The business must have been operated by current owner for at least five years.

The business must have at least one full-time employee other than family members of the owner.

You as an owner must not be just at the receiving end of the business but also must be taking active part in its operation.
New Brunswick facilitates a business immigration program thereby targeting qualified business people to own and actively manage a business contributing to the Province’s own economy.

Eligibility Criteria:
  • Age: Between 22 and 55 years.
  • Education: At least a high school diploma.
  • Willingness to live and operate a business in New Brunswick.
  • Experience: 3 years in the last five years in the relevant field.
  • Providing a business plan displaying the benefits of the business on New Brunswick’s economy.
  • The applicant must purchase an existing business, start a new business or enter into a partnership with a New Brunswick entrepreneur.
  • Personal net worth: at least $300,000 CAD.
  • Refundable deposit of $75,000 CAD must be submitted prior to nomination.
  • Selection grid score: 50 points.
  • Language requirements: Sufficient knowledge of English or French required to run the business in New Brunswick.
  • The applicant must make at least one business trip of at least five full business days for extensive research on business practices to New Brunswick.
  • The applicant must meet with an NBPNP official after the interview.
The business immigration of Northwestern Territories is divided into two parts:

  1. Entrepreneur Business
  2. Self-employed Business

Entrepreneur Business


Meant for entrepreneurs and/or owner/operators of businesses who wish to immigrate to the NWT and establish business operations in the territory.

Priority is given to businesses that involve the introduction of a product that is new to the NWT or generate significant profits for the territory.

A business plan is a must.

The applicant must invest a minimum of $300,000 into starting or buying a business in Yellowknife and a minimum of $150,000 into starting or buying a business outside of Yellowknife.

Personal net worth of the applicant: At least $500,000 if starting or buying a business in Yellowknife and At least $250,000 if starting of buying a business outside of Yellowknife.

Settlement Funds: $75,000

The applicant must hold sufficient knowledge and understanding of the NWT and its economy and possess the necessary education and experience to implement the business plan.

Self-Employed Business


Meant for professionals who can provide an in-demand service in the NWT, by establishing business outlets or professional practices.

The profession practiced by the applicant must have been identified as having a skills shortage.

The applicant must meet certification or accreditation requirements, if needed.

If the applicant occupation is a regulated one, he/she must meet all NWT and/or Canadian requirements.

The applicant must hold the required communication skills for the province and a knowledge and understanding of the NWT and its economy.

The applicant must have enough financial resources to start and operate the practice as well as to support themselves and their dependents for a period of six months.

The applicant must submit a detailed business plan.

This program is meant for individual/s wanting to make a business investment in Ontario that would lead to economical benefits for the Ontario Province.

Eligibility Criteria for the Investor:
  • Investment amount: At least $3,000,000
  • The Ontario ministry at the Deputy Minister level must give an official endorsement to both the investment and the number of key positions requested to be filled by nominees from abroad.
  • The investment must create at least five net permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Ontario.
  • The investment itself must abide by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
  • The investor must be actively involved in managing the business.
  • The investor must/will control at least 33.334% of the business’ equity or make a minimum personal investment of $1 million in the business.
  • The investor must not have the option of redeeming their investment until after a set period of time determined by the province.
  • The investment in the business must be for reasons other than any monetary interests.
  • The investor can nominate up to five employees whose contribution is integral to the business’ success in Canada.
  • The five nominees must meet the following criteria:
    • Occupation Level: NOC 0, A, or B level
    • Job: Permanent and full-time
    • Remuneration: Meeting the Ontario standards
    • The position must not affect the settlement of any labour dispute, or the employment of any person involved in such a dispute, or employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Ontario.
The Business Impact Category of the Province of Prince Edward comprises of three different streams, namely, 100% Ownership Stream, the Partial Ownership Stream, and the Work Permit Stream.

100% Ownership Stream


This stream is for investors who plan to make a 100% investment in a business in Prince Edward Province.

Following is the eligibility criteria for the applicants:
  • Age: between 21 and 59 years
  • Net worth: At least $600,000
  • Education: At least high-school level
  • The applicant must possess transferable management skills and past employment
  • Language requirement: A score of at least 4.0 on an IELTS English test within the last two years
  • The applicant must provide a detailed business plan for 100% ownership of the business
  • The applicant must actively participate in the management of the business from within the Prince Edward Province
  • The applicant must sign an escrow agreement containing stipulations on a deposit of $200,000
  • Investment: At least $150,000

Partial Ownership Stream


All investors who plan to make a partial investment in a business in the Prince Edward’s Province, come under this category. The eligibility criteria for the applicants, is as follows:
  • Age: Between 21 and 59 years
  • Net worth: At least $600,000
  • Education: At least high-school level
  • The applicant must possess transferable management skills and past employment
  • Language requirement: A score of at least 4.0 on an IELTS English test within the last two years
  • The applicant must provide a detailed business plan for partial ownership of the business
  • The applicant must actively participate in the management of the business from within the Prince Edward Province
  • The applicant must sign an escrow agreement containing stipulations on a deposit of $200,000
  • The applicant must make a minimum investment of $150,000 in a PEI business for a partial ownership interest of at least 33 1/3% of voting shares, or make a minimum $1 million investment in the company
  • Partial investment in start-up is not eligible for this category but partial investment in newly incorporated companies is eligible

Work Permit Stream


Before getting nominated in either of the above mentioned categories, the applicant must obtain a work to become the sole/partial owner of a business in the Province of Prince Edward.

Following are the eligibility criteria for the applicant:
  • Age: Between 21 and 59 years
  • The applicant must apply to Employment and Social Development Canada (it says CIC) for approval of a work permit for the PEI business that he/she intends to manage
  • Net worth: At least $600,000
  • Education: At least high-school level
  • The applicant must possess transferable management skills and past employment
  • Language requirement: A score of at least 4.0 on an IELTS English test within the last two years
  • The applicant must provide a detailed business plan for 100% or partial ownership of the business
  • The applicant must actively participate in the management of the business from within the Prince Edward Province
  • The applicant must sign an escrow agreement containing stipulations on a deposit of $200,000
  • The applicant must sign a Performance Agreement containing stipulations on the business investment that must be satisfied to proceed with nomination
  • Investment: At least $150,000 in a PEI business
  • Upon being coined eligible for this stream, the applicant will receive a letter of support for the PEI PNP to apply to Employment and Social Development Canada for a work permit

Additional Conditions for all three categories


Eligibility Criteria for Business

The business must be a for-profit corporation with its corporate headquarters and permanently established in Prince Edward Province.

The business must be in good standing with the province on all debts and obligations like tax on taxable income.

The business must have assets with a book value of at least $150,000 and a capacity to create a noteworthy economic benefit to the Province of Prince Edward by contributing to one or more of the following:
  • Increasing value-added manufacturing, processing or primary resource activity.
  • Increasing exports of goods or services and tourism.
  • Increasing research and development/technology commercialization.
  • Servicing an underserved local or regional market
  • Diversifying retail and restaurant investment

Priority is given to the following business activities

  • Creation or expansion of an export-oriented business
  • Business that utilizes primary sector resources from agriculture, fishery, or forestry sectors
  • Business that helps to economically diversify rural communities in PEI
  • Business that develops PEI’s emerging innovative sectors: bioscience, information technology, aerospace and renewable energy

The following businesses are ineligible

  • Bed and breakfasts, hobby farms, and home-based businesses
  • Pay day loans, cheque cashing, money changing, cash machines
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Sale of used goods
  • Real estate development/brokerage, insurance brokerage, or business brokerage
  • Professional practices
  • Financial services
  • Consulting services
  • An entity that cannot issue shares
  • Any business that tarnishes the Province’s reputation or one that has been started only to gain access to immigrant investment program
This category is further subdivided into three different categories:
  1. Quebec Investor Program
  2. Quebec Entrepreneur Program
  3. Quebec Self-employed Person Program

Quebec Investor Program


Following are the eligibility criteria for applicants under this program:
  • Investment: At least CAD$800,000
  • Experience: At least two years at management level
  • Net worth: At least CAD$ 1.6 million including assets such as property, bank accounts, pension funds, stocks and shares
  • Processing Fee: $15,000 for the applicant
  • Nomination Quota: 1200

Quebec Entrepreneur Program


Following are the eligibility criteria for applicants under this program:
  • Net worth: At least CAD$ 300,000
  • Experience: At least two years in business management
  • The applicant must actively participate in managing the business from within the province
  • The business must create at least one employment for a Quebec resident other than the applicant’s family members or relatives
  • The applicant must control at least 25% of the capital equity of the business accounting for at least CAD$ 100,000
  • Processing Fee: $1034 for the applicant and $164 per dependent
  • Nomination Quota: 150

Quebec Self-employed Person Program


Following are the eligibility criteria for applicants under this program:
  • Net worth: At least CAD$ 100,000
  • Experience: At least two years in the relevant trade or profession
  • Nomination Quota: 50
  • Processing Fee: $1034 for the applicant and $164 per dependent
This category provides successful candidates and their families the chance to establish, acquire or partner in a business in Saskatchewan and be actively involved in its management. Interested candidates are now invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) using the new online EOI system.

Following are the eligibility criteria for the candidates:
  • Net worth: At least $500,000 verifiable Canadian Dollars (CAD) accumulated legally.
  • Experience: At least three years in entrepreneurship or relevant business management.
  • Age: Between 21 and 55 years.
  • The candidate should have made at least on exploratory visit to the Province lasting at least five business days.
  • Language requirements: Canadian Language Benchmark 4 or 4+.
  • Education: At least one-year full-time post secondary training in the relevant field.
  • Experience: At least 4 years of experience in the relevant field.

If the candidates meet the above mentioned criteria they must have intentions to do the following:
  • Invest a minimum of $300,000 (CAD) in Regina and Saskatoon or a minimum of $200,000 (CAD) in all other Saskatchewan communities
  • Establish a business that aligns with the points assigned in the Entrepreneur Category Points Grid, if applicable (for investment amount and sector)
  • Own at least one third (33 1/3%) of the equity of a business in Saskatchewan unless your total investment is $1 million CAD or higher
  • Manage the business actively everyday
  • Create two employment opportunities for Canadians or permanent residents in Saskatchewan (non-relative workers) if the business is going to be newly established in Regina or Saskatoon

The following businesses are given a priority under this category:
  • Science and technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Export
  • Rural business succession
  • Rural business development
The province of Yukon facilitates this program to attract business stablishment in Yukon that obtains economical benefits for it.

Applicant Eligibility Criteria:
  • Experience: At least 1 year in senior management or entrepreneurship in a business similar to the one proposed in the Yukon.
  • Net worth: At least $250,000 with minimum liquid assets of $150,000.
  • Investment: At least $150,000 with ownership of at least one third of a business.
  • The applicant must have visited the Yukon at least once and must have,during this visit, met with a YNP program officer in the Business and Industry Development Branch and therefore must possess an understanding of the territory’s business environment.
  • Language requirements: Sufficient English or French language skills needed to properly operate a business in the Yukon.

Priority is given to the following Sectors:
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Value-added processing
  • Forestry
  • Tourism
  • Mining/mineral development
  • Agriculture
  • Cultural industries
  • Film and video production

Sectors and activities are NOT eligible for this program:
  • Passive investment
  • Retail, wholesale and distribution operations
  • Restaurants
  • Financial services
  • Business and personal services
  • Most professional practices
  • Real estate rental
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