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Business Immigration

Canada allows potential immigrants to immigrate to Canada as Business Immigrants.The Business Immigrant class includes three categories:

1) Business Immigrant Classes

Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program.
Start Up Visa; and.
Self Employed.

Selection Criteria

Making a $2 million non-guaranteed investment in the immigrant investor venture capital fund for approximately 15 years;
Having a legally obtained net worth of at least $10 million acquired through lawful, profit-making business or investment activities;
Meeting or exceeding CLB 5 in English or French for all four language abilities (speaking, listening, reading, and writing), as proven by the results of a designated language test; and
Having completed a Canadian post-secondary credential of at least one year (or the foreign equivalent as validated by an Educational Credential Assessment).

2) Start Up Visa

This program aims to attract Entrepreneurs who can create and set up innovative companies that can create jobs. Support from a designated group such as angel investors or venture capital firm is required in most cases.

The program encourages immigrant entrepreneurs to grow their companies in Canada. Successful applicants link with private sector organizations in Canada, where they can receive funding, guidance and expertise in opening and operating their enterprise in Canada.

About the process

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:

  • are innovative
  • can create jobs for Canadians
  • can compete on a global scale

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Meet minimum language requirements in English or French (CLB 5 in all abilities);
  • Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada;
  • Plan to settle in a province other than the Province of Quebec;
  • Pass Canadian security and medical clearances;
  • Prove your business is supported through a designated organization; and
  • Show your business meets ownership requirements.

No more than five foreign nationals may apply for permanent residence as part of the same business venture under the Start-Up Visa Program.

Designated Organization:

  •  The designated organization is a business group that has been approved to invest in or support possible start-ups. There is three kind of designated companies:
  • Venture Capital: they agree to invest at least $200,000 on start-ups
  • Angel Investors: they agree to invest at least $75,000 on start-ups
  •  Business Incubators: they accept to  be mentor and support the start-ups
  • You’ll need to:
  • contact the designated organization to find out how to get its support
  • convince the organization that you have a business idea that is worth supporting
  • get a letter of support from the designated organization
  • The process to pitch your idea is different for each organization. Each organization has its own requirements. For example, you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan.

 Business Ownership requirements:

A qualifying business means you created a business that meets the following conditions.

  1. At the time you get a commitment from a designated organization:
    • each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners)


    • applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time
  1. At the time you receive your permanent residence:
    • you provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada
    • an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada
    • this business is incorporated in Canada

3) Self-Employed

In order to be successful as a self-employed applicant, the person must have the intention and ability to create his/her own employment and make a significant contribution to the cultural, artistic or athletic life of Canada or, to create his/her own employment by purchasing and managing a farm in Canada.

A person must meet the minimum standard of relevant experience as a self-employed individual in cultural activities, athletics or participation at a world-class level in cultural activities, athletics or farm management.

The applicant must have both relevant experience and the intention and ability to be self-employed in Canada in one of the specified areas, and to make a significant contribution to one of these activities in Canada.

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