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Canada Business and Investment Immigration Overview
Canada offers the most established and widely-used investment-based immigration programs conferring permanent resident status.
Canada Business and Investment Immigration Overview
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The Canadian confederation system of government and the country's social norms offer a "European alternative" to the more unabashed capitalism of the USA. Canada offers European-style social benefits with fairly high levels of taxation and an unparalleled quality of life. Under the Canadian model, business immigrants can enjoy the benefits of a national health care program, affordable first-class education and a national pension system that provides measurable annual income upon retirement.
Business immigration offering permanent admission to Canada comprise of the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), Quebec Entrepreneur program, Quebec Self-Employed, several Provincial Nominee Entrepreneur programs, the Federal Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program and the Federal Start-Up Visa program. While the various entrepreneur and self-employed programs are aimed at individuals with a mid-range personal net worth who intend to establish and operate a business in Canada, the investor programs are suited for high net worth individuals who wish to make a passive investment with no obligation to establish a business.
As well, wealthy business immigrants may buy or establish a new business in Canada and qualify for a temporary work visa, under federal 'owner-operator' policies. After a period of time, applicants may qualify for permanent residence under a suitable immigration program.
Mid-range net worth individuals with suitable entrepreneurial experience may be eligible to apply under one of many Provincial Entrepreneur programs.
Each province manages its own entrepreneur programs and generally follow a multi-step process to permanent residence. Applicants submit an expression of interest and wait for an invitation to submit an application. Selected candidates submit a complete application which is assessed by the province's immigration authorities. If approved, candidates are generally required to sign a Performance Agreement and apply for a work permit and enter Canada as a worker at first. If the Performance Agreement requirements are met at the end of a designated period, candidates receive the provincial nomination. Based on that selection or nomination, they may apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence.
The majority of these provincial business immigration programs require active participation in the management of a business based on a specified investment and job creation. The programs vary in the requirements to qualify but generally refer to a minimum net worth in the range of $500,000 CAD to $600,000 CAD, with relevant management experience. Some of the programs require a goodwill deposit which is refundable once the business has been established. Under provincial nominee programs, applicants first apply to be nominated by a province, and on the basis of that nomination may obtain permanent residence following federal health and criminality checks.
The Self-Employed Class is geared towards applicants who have relevant self-employment experience as well as the intention and the ability to create their own employment and make a significant contribution to the cultural, artistic or athletic life of Canada, or to create their own employment by purchasing and managing a farm in Canada.
A successful applicant is one who has at least two years of experience in the five years before the date of the application in self-employment in cultural activities or in athletics; participation at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics; or farm management experience.
To qualify, the applicant must demonstrate a sufficient financial net worth which, although somewhat less than an entrepreneur and not specified in the regulations, should enable the applicant to be self-employed in Canada and make a significant contribution to specified economic activities in Canada and to meet the initial settlement requirements for the applicant and accompanying dependants.
As of March 10, 2018, the federal government is no longer accepting new applications under the farm management stream.
The Quebec Self-Employed Program
In the province of Quebec, self-employed applicants are primarily differentiated from skilled worker applicants in that they come to Canada to create their own job by practicing a profession or commercial activities.
They must have two years of applicable experience, possess a personal net worth of $100,000 CAD, have sufficient settlement funding and will come to Quebec to create employment for the applicant by practicing a profession defined in the National Occupational Classification.
Like skilled workers, the self-employed applicant is assessed under a selection grid comprised of several factors.
Self Employed Programs
Start-Up Visa Program
Start-Up Visa ProgramThe Start-Up Visa program grants Canadian permanent residence to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs. The program aims to recruit innovative entrepreneurs to Canada and link them with the Canadian private sector businesses, (angel investor groups, venture capital funds or business incubators) and facilitate the establishment of their start-up business in Canada.