Business Immigrants

Immigration options for business people have become more and more limited in the past few years. We have worked to assist clients in planning their immigration to Canada in a multi-step process, usually involving investing into a business, obtaining work permits to manage that business, then applying to immigrate to Canada. We can review your background and objectives to help you choose the business immigration option that works best for you, your family, your business, and your timelines. We have helped business people immigrate to Canada since 1990 and we can guide you each step of the way.

Investment and Work Permits

Foreign business people can establish a company in Canada and make investments into Canadian businesses. Assuming the business qualifies and the foreign national has the relevant expertise to manage the business, we can assist in obtaining a work permit for the main applicant, often within several months. We can also obtain a work permit for the spouse or common law partner, and study permits for any children under 18. This is usually the quickest and most efficient way to establish your business in Canada.

We have assisted clients obtain work permits for their companies in many different industry sectors, including: Real Estate, Manufacturing, Mining, Retail, Construction, Food Processing, Tourism, and many other sectors.

Once in Canada, the businessperson may have options to apply for permanent residence as a Skilled Worker. Each case is different, and we can review your situation and options with you.

Start-Up Visa Program (former Entrepreneur Program)

The Start-Up Visa Program is for foreign entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas for Canada’s economy. Eligibility generally looks at criteria including:

  1. Letter of Support for the qualifying business idea from a CIC designated:
  • Venture Capital Fund (with minimum $200,000 investment in qualifying business);
  • Angel Investor Group (with minimum $75,000 investment in qualifying business); or
  • Business Incubator;
  1. Minimum official language proficiency: CLB 5 in listening, speaking, reading and writing for English or French;
  1. Minimum settlement funds: amount varies depending on family size.

Each qualifying business can support the application of up to five foreign entrepreneurs so long as each applicant has a minimum of 10% of the voting shares. Successful applicants and their accompanying dependents then obtain permanent resident visas.

Many entrepreneurs find it very difficult to obtain legitimate support for their investment ideas from a Venture Capital Fund, Angel Investor Group, or a Business Incubator. Self investment is not an option for this program, even if the entrepreneurs are willing to invest their own monies.

BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration

BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration allows business people to immigrate to BC by investing into and managing a business in BC. To qualify, a business person must:

  • have a personal net worth of at least CAD$600,000;
  • demonstrate business and/or management experience;
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada;
  • been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently reside;
  • establish an eligible new business or purchase and improve an existing business;
  • make an eligible personal investment of at least CAD$200,000 in the business; and
  • create at least 1 new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the business.

The Entrepreneur Immigration program is an invitation-based program.