Immigration for Businesses

A Bank of Montreal (BMO) study recently reported that two-thirds of Canada’s millionaires are self-made.

Strikingly, almost half of Canada’s high-net worth individuals are either immigrants or first-generation Canadians, compared to just one-third of millionaires in the United States. Nearly seven in ten of them generated their own riches.

Business immigration is critical to Canada’s economic success and is primarily driven by the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) seeking to attract business applicants with specific skills and experience in order to contribute to building the economy in the province.

Each PNP business program has its own criteria which may include a minimum net worth, a minimum investment in the business, the requirement to create Canadian jobs, and active participation in the management of the business.

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Provincial Nominee Program

Similar to the program administered by the Federal government, the provincial programs select qualified skilled workers and business people on the basis of selection criteria and procedures based on factors that reflect the immigrant’s genuine intent to live in the province, and ability to integrate and successfully settle in the province.

Selection is based on a combination of factors including age, education, guaranteed employment, official language ability, occupational demand, work experience, family in Canada, and adaptability, which includes time spent working, studying or visiting the province.

Start-Up Visa Program

The Start-Up Visa program aims to attract immigrant entrepreneurs to Canada who are looking to establish their new business in Canada. The Start Up visa stream allows applicants to apply for Canadian permanent residence, and may also support a work permit application while the permanent residence application is in process. Successful applicants receive support from the Venture Capital organization, angel investor group or business incubator. The purpose of this program is to recruit immigrants who will drive economic growth and innovation in Canada.

In order to be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must meet the following requirements:

  • Have received a letter of support from a government-designated organization
  • Meet minimum language requirements in English or French (CLB 5 in all abilities)
  • Have completed at least one year of post-secondary education, during which the applicant was in good standing at their educational institution
  • Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada
  • Plan to settle in a province other than the Province of Quebec, and Pass Canadian security and medical clearances

A maximum of five (5) foreign national candidates may be submit permanent residence applications as part of the same business venture under the Start-Up Visa process.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has designated specific business incubator organizations, venture capitalists, and angel investor groups to participate in the Start-Up Visa program.

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