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Starting a business in Canada

Immigrate to Canada as an Investor through a Provincial Nominee Program

If you want to establish a business in Canada and become a permanent resident this may be the category for you.

Business owners, entrepreneurs and farmers who wish to buy or create businesses in Canada may be eligible to apply for permanent residence through provincial nominee programs. Most Provinces offer various immigrant investment programs in order to bring new business to the province to create jobs. If the province approves your business idea and plan, they will issue you with a work permit until you meet their requirements to be sponsored as a permanent resident.

These programs are considered top priority by the provinces. Although of the each province’s eligibility criteria are different, they share the same basic rules.

Here are the basic criteria for the business PNP programs:

  • You must intend to buy or establish a business and settle in the province;
  • You must invest a minimum amount of money required by the province;
  • You must have a minimum net worth as required by the province (This is in addition to your required investment in the business);
  • You must have the required management or operations experience;
  • You may be required to make an exploratory visit to the province;
  • Your business must create the required amount of jobs for Canadian Citizens or permanent residents;
  • Like all new immigrants, you must meet the medical and security requirements of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

So whether you want to own a farm in Alberta or establish an IT business in British Colombia, this program can help you achieve your goal. 

Please note: Not every province offers this category or the category may be on hold / suspended. 

 
Minimum Net Worth:
$500,000
Minimum Investment:
$500,000
Education / Experience:
Must provide proof of previous farm undertaking and education and training
Government Deposit:
No
Performace Agreement:
No
Exploratory Visit:
Strongly Recomended
Business Plan:
yes
Additional Requirements:
must provide proof that a Canadian financial institute is willing to finance the project
Percentage of Ownership Required:
100%
Business Immigration Stream in British Columbia is temporarily paused on new application intakes and is NOT accepting new applicants. In July 2015 it will re-open to new applicants which are more aligned with the province’s labour market and economic development priorities. Applications are not being accepted to the business stream at this time.
Minimum Net Worth:
$350,000
Minimum Investment:
Min $150,000 with a Min 33.3% or $1,000,000 investment
Education / Experience:
Min 3 years successful business ownership or manager.
Government Deposit:
$100,000
Performace Agreement:
No
Exploratory Visit:
Mandatory
Business Plan:
Yes
Additional Requirements:
Face to face interview required. Must score 60 or higher Adaptability assessment matrix
Percentage of Ownership Required:
33% or a minimum $1,000,000 Investment
Business applicant stream has been on pause since September, 2013. The province will not be accepting any new business applicants until further notice.
Minimum Net Worth:
$500,000 , $250,000
Minimum Investment:
$300,000 in Yellowknife $150,000 outside yellowknife, part of this investment may be able to be made into your principal residence (i.e. your home)
Education / Experience:
Must have previous business experience
Government Deposit:
$75,000
Performace Agreement:
Yes
Exploratory Visit:
Yes
Business Plan:
Yes
Additional Requirements:
Must demonstrate reasonable knowledge of the NWT and its economy
Percentage of Ownership Required:
33%
Minimum Net Worth:
NA
Minimum Investment:
$3,000,000 and or make a $1,000,000 Investment
Education / Experience:
Must have previous business experience; Geared to corporations but individual investors may apply
Government Deposit:
No
Performace Agreement:
Be Heavily involved of the day to day running of company
Exploratory Visit:
No
Business Plan:
Yes
Additional Requirements:
Create 5 jobs for Canadians and be approved at the Deputy Minister level of the Ontario Government
Percentage of Ownership Required:
33% or a minimum $1,000,000 Investment
Minimum Net Worth:
$600,000
Minimum Investment:
$150,000 that is equivalent to at least 33.3% ownership or $1,000,000 minimum investment that is less than 33.3%
Education / Experience:
High school diploma or higher
Government Deposit:
$200,000
Performace Agreement:
Yes
Exploratory Visit:
Yes
Business Plan:
Yes
Additional Requirements:
21-59 Age Restriction Score 4.0 on IELTS within last 2 years
Percentage of Ownership Required:
100%
Minimum Net Worth:
$250,000 or which $150,000 must be liquid
Minimum Investment:
$150,000 or minimum 33% of company
Education / Experience:
5 years experience management / Entrepreneur
Government Deposit:
$75,000
Performace Agreement:
Yes
Exploratory Visit:
Yes
Business Plan:
Yes
Additional Requirements:
Minimum Score of 56 out of 92 points on the Nominee Assessment Grid of which 10 must be in Language (Level 6 IELTS or Level 4 TEF)
Percentage of Ownership Required:
33% or $1,000,000 Investment
Minimum Net Worth:
$500,000
Minimum Investment:
$300,00 in Regina or Saskatoon but $200,000 anywhere else in the province
Education / Experience:
3 years experience in business
Government Deposit:
$75,000
Performace Agreement:
Be Heavily involved of the day to day running of company
Exploratory Visit:
Recommended
Business Plan:
Yes
Additional Requirements:
Create at least 2 jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are not relatives
Percentage of Ownership Required:
Minimum 33% or $1,000,000 investment
Minimum Net Worth:
$500,000
Minimum Investment:
Must purchase farm
Education / Experience:
Previous farm experience or undertaking
Government Deposit:
$75,000
Performace Agreement:
Yes
Exploratory Visit:
Mandatory 5 day visit
Business Plan:
Yes
Additional Requirements:
Interview
Percentage of Ownership Required:
100%
Minimum Net Worth:
$300,000
Minimum Investment:
$150,000
Education / Experience:
3yrs experience management or ownership
Government Deposit:
$75,000
Performace Agreement:
Yes
Exploratory Visit:
Mandatory 5 day visit
Business Plan:
Yes
Additional Requirements:
Must be under age of 40 when applying
Percentage of Ownership Required:
1005
 

 

Below are the business programs province by province:

Alberta

  • Self employed farmer program

    Currently the only program Alberta has available is the self-employed farmer program. This program is for experienced farmers who wish to buy or establish a working farm in Alberta.

Learn more

 

British Columbia

  • Entrepreneur Category

    This category is for Entrepreneurs who wish to purchase or start a new business anywhere in BC.

  • Regional Entrepreneur Category

    This Category is for Entrepreneurs who wish to purchase or start a business outside the Vancouver and Abbotsford metropolitan areas; this stream requires less capital than the regular entrepreneur stream because BC is trying to encourage investment outside of the Vancouver and Abbotsford areas.

  • Strategic Project Category

    This is for business owners who wish to open a branch or subsidiary office of their already existing business anywhere in BC; this stream requires less capital than the Entrepreneur streams because BC is trying to encourage international businesses to come to the province.

Learn more

 

Manitoba

  • Manitoba Business program

    Manitoba offers a business program which is for entrepreneurs, investors or farmers who wish to open a business or farm anywhere in Manitoba.

Learn more

 

New Brunswick

  • Business Applicant Category

    This is for Entrepreneurs who wish to purchase or start a business anywhere in New Brunswick.

Learn more

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Newfoundland and Labrador business category is currently under revision and is not open to new applicants.

 

Northwest Territories

  • Entrepreneur Business Category

    This category is for people who wish to purchase or start a business anywhere in the Northwest Territories.

  • Self-Employed Business Category

    This category is for skilled professionals whose skills are in high demand in the Northwest Territories and wish to start a business on their own. The criteria are similar to the skilled worker stream.

Learn more

 

Nova Scotia

  • Family Business Category

    This category is for people who have relatives in Nova Scotia who also own a business. The applicant can immigrate to Canada and work in their relative’s business. If you do not have a relative in Nova Scotia, you cannot apply.

Learn more

 

Nunavut

Nunavut does not currently participate in the PNP.

 

Ontario

  • Opportunities Ontario: Investors category

    This category is for entrepreneurs who wish to invest in or start a business anywhere in Ontario.

Learn more

 

Prince Edward Island

  • PEI Business program

    This program is for people who wish to buy or start a business or buy at least 33.3% of an existing business in PEI.

Learn more

 

Quebec

To learn more about investing in Quebec, go to Immigration-Quebec's website.

 

Saskatchewan

  • Entrepreneur category

    This category is for entrepreneurs who wish to invest in or start a business anywhere in Saskatchewan.

  • Farm owner operator

    The Farm Owner / Operator category is for individuals with proven experience in farming and substantial capital available to invest in a farming operation and who intend to purchase and operate a farming operation in Saskatchewan.

  • Young Farmer category

    The Young Farmer stream of the Farm Owner / Operator Category is designed to allow young farming families to establish their lives and farming operations in the province’s rural areas.

Learn more

 

Yukon

  • Yukon business Nominee Program

    This category is for entrepreneurs who wish to invest in or start a business anywhere in Yukon.

Learn more

 

Federal Investor Immigrant Program

Currently, there is also a federal program: The Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) pilot program has been open since May 25, 2015 and is accepting applications until December 30, 2015. If you plan to invest and live in Canada, but not in the province of Quebec, this may be a fast-track to consider. The requirements are:

  • CAD$10 million or more personal net worth. Your net worth cannot include any funds that have been inherited, or any funds earned through the sale of a principal residence.
  • CAD$2 million or more invested in the Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Fund. This is an independent, professionally managed fund that invests in Canadian Start-up companies. You have no guaranteed return and you may lose all or part of your invested capital. It normally involves a 15 year term of investment, although details are finalized when you sign your investment contract.
  • The fund will be closed when:
    • 60 applications have been approved and permanent residence granted, OR
    • 60 applications have been processed and a further 60 applications are on a separate waiting list, OR
    • December 30, 2015 is reached.

Learn more