Federal and Provincial Business Programs

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For business immigration options there are both federal and provincial programs available. Certain provinces have their own individual  business immigration categories under their provincial nomination program.  Please see below about the federal and business PNP programs. 

Federal Business Immigration Programs

Start-Up Visa Program

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, and can compete on a global scale. Advantages to having a business in Canada include a strong economy, low taxes, low business costs, excellence in research and innovation, and a high quality of life.


Eligibility

  • have a qualifying business
  • prove your business is supported by a designated organization
  • meet the language requirements
  • bring enough money to settle

In addition, 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

The Self-Employed Program

The Self-Employed Program seeks to bring people who will become self-employed in Canada. They must have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics, and

intend and be able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada. 


Eligibility

  • have relevant experience
  • intend and be able to be self-employed in Canada
  • meet the selection criteria for self-employed people and 
  • meet medical, security and other conditions.

Business Provincial Nomination Programs

Alberta 

Alberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream

Self-Employed Farmer Stream criteria (include but are not limited to):

  • Financial documentation of your existing farm business
  • Documentation of your education, training and work experience
  • Proposed business plan for the farming enterprise you are considering in Alberta
  • Proof that a Canadian financial institution is willing to finance your proposed farming business.
  • You must have sufficient financial resources to develop a sustainable farming operation.
  • You must be able to invest a minimum of CDN $500,000 of equity in a primary production farming business in Alberta.
  • You must provide documents that demonstrates you have a minimum net worth of CDN $500,000 or confirmation that you have access to a similar amount of funds from other sources.
  • The CDN $500,000 is the minimum amount. You may be required to show you have the ability to invest more than the minimum.
  • You must invest in a primary production farming business in Alberta.
  • You will have to document your investment intentions in your proposed business plan.
  • Applications representing the best opportunity for growth relevant to Alberta's agri-food targets will be given priority.

Meeting the criteria listed above does not guarantee a nomination or permanent residence.


  

British Columbia 

British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration

Personal requirements to qualify:

  • 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
  • You must also have been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently reside.

Business, job and investment requirements to qualify:

  • 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
  • create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the business


  

Manitoba

Entrepreneur Pathway

The renewed Entrepreneur Pathway replaces the previous MPNP-B stream. It allows Manitoba to recruit and nominate qualified business people from around the world who have the intent and ability to move to Manitoba and establish, purchase a business or become partners in an existing business.


Business Investor Stream – Entrepreneur Pathway

Criteria and Minimum Requirement

Business Experience

  • Minimum of three years of full time work experience in the past five years either as an active business owner or working in a senior management role of a successful business.
  • Business owners are given higher points in comparison to senior managers.
  • Business owners must have at least 33 1/3% ownership to qualify for points.

Official Languages Proficiency 

  • Minimum CLB/NCLC 5

Education 

  • Minimum Canadian high school certificate equivalent

Age 

  • No minimum or maximum age; however, ranking points are allocated to candidates 25 to 49 years of age.

Business Investment Minimum investment 

  • is $250,000 for businesses situated in the Manitoba Capital Region.
  • Minimum investment is $150,000 if a business is situated outside of the Manitoba Capital Region.
  • Business Investment must be made in an eligible business as defined by the MPNP.
  • The proposed business must create or maintain at least one job for a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident in Manitoba (excluding owners of the business and/or their close relatives).

Business Research Visit 

  • A Business Plan is required and is an integral part of the application.
  • A business research visit allows the applicant to conduct extensive research of their future business investment or proposal. The Business Research Visit must be conducted no more than one year prior to the submission of your EOI.

Net Worth 

  • Minimum of $500,000
  • Your personal net worth will be verified by a third-party supplier approved by the MPNP. A verification report, along with the application, must be submitted to the MPNP within 120 days of receiving your LAA.

Business Performance Agreement 

  • After an application is approved, a Business Performance Agreement (BPA) must be signed prior to the MPNP issuing you a letter of support for applying for a work permit.

Adaptability Points will be allocated to you if:

  • Your spouse has CLB/NCLC 5 or higher;
  • You or your spouse have CLB/NCLC 5 or higher in the Second Official Language;
  • You or your spouse or common-law partner have a close relative currently residing in Manitoba for more than one year;
  • Your child is enrolled in an accredited Manitoba educational institution and is actively pursuing academic, professional or vocational training on a full-time basis for at least six months prior to the date of submission of EOI; and/or
  • You or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner have completed a program of full-time study for at least one year at a post-secondary institution in Manitoba. You or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner must have done this after you turned 17 years old and with a valid study permit; OR
  • You or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner have completed at least six months of continuous full time employment in Manitoba. A letter of reference from the employer and a copy of the work permit must be provided.

  

Manitoba Farm Investor Pathway

The Pathway is for individuals with proven farm business experience, sufficient available capital to invest, and who intend to establish and operate a farm operation in rural Manitoba.


It is expected that successful applicants of the FIP will establish a farm business in rural Manitoba producing primary products that is consistent with the province’s current farm industry. The type of operation and investment must correlate with Provincial statistics and be relevant to Manitoba’s farm industry. Agri-business operations not producing primary products may qualify under the Entrepreneur Pathway.


Business Investor Stream – Farm Investor Pathway

Minimum Requirement:

Farm Business Experience 

  • Minimum of three years farm business management or farm ownership and operation experience supported by verifiable documents.

Official Languages Proficiency 

  • If you are invited to attend a FIP interview, you will be required to conduct the interview in either French or English.

Farm Business Investment 

  • At least $150,000. 
  • You are expected to establish a farming business in rural Manitoba.
  • A farm business plan is required and is an integral part of the application.
  • Investments into a farm business operated primarily for the purposes of deriving passive investment income or speculative purposes are not eligible.

Farm Business Research Visit 

  • You must conduct a Farm Business Research Visit to Manitoba.
  • Farm Business Activities 
  • A farm business entity should have ongoing and recurring business activities in rural Manitoba.
  • You are required to live on the farm and actively participate in the management of the farm business on an ongoing basis from within Manitoba.
  • The farm business must be in active primary agriculture production and economically viable.
  • The MPNP requires you to conduct value-added farm business activities in Manitoba. Purely speculative activities or the use of third-party farm managers are not eligible under the MPNP.

Economic Establishment Adaptability 

  • You must demonstrate adaptability, specifically relating to practical farming skills, technical knowledge and experience in technological based farming practices.

Net Worth 

  • At least $350,000
  • The FIP retains the option to have personal net worth verified by a third party supplier approved by the MPNP.
  • If optioned, the verification report along with the application must be submitted to the MPNP within 120 days of receiving Invitation to Apply.

  


New Brunswick

NBPNP – Entrepreneurial Stream

The Entrepreneurial Stream was developed for experienced business owners and senior managers who wish to become permanent residents by owning a business in New Brunswick (NB) and managing it, while residing in the Province.


Eligibility Requirements

  • have an eligible connection to New Brunswick
  • be between 22-55 years of age
  • have a score of at least 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark Test in English or French
  • have completed a minimum of two years of full-time post-secondary education after completing high school
  • have a verifiable personal net worth** of at least CAD $600,000 of which CAD $300,000 must be liquid and unencumbered funds
  • have at least three out of five years of experience in managing and owning a business (of at least 33.3%); or have five years out of five of experience in a senior business management role or more
  • want to live permanently in New Brunswick, while owning and managing a local business; 
  • be able to invest at least $250,000 CAD of your own funds to establish a business in NB.

Priority Sectors

  • Information and Communications Technologies
  • Financial Services and Insurance
  • Contact Centres/Back Office Operations
  • Health and Life Sciences
  • Professional Services
  • Food Processing
  • Value-added Wood
  • Aerospace and Defence
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Agriculture 
  • Tourism


  

Nova Scotia

Nove Scotia Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneur Stream is for experienced business owners or senior business managers who want to live in Nova Scotia. They must start a new business or buy an existing business and must actively participate in the day-to-day management of the business. After operating the business for a year, the entrepreneur may be nominated for permanent resident status. Application to the stream is by invitation only.


Eligibility:

  • be 21 years of age or older
  • want to live permanently in Nova Scotia while owning and actively managing a Nova Scotia business
  • have a net worth of at least $600,000 CAD
  • be able to invest at least $150,000 CAD of your own money to establish a business in Nova Scotia
  • have at least 3 years’ experience actively managing and owning a business (1/3 ownership minimum) OR more than 5 years’ experience in a senior business management role
  • have a score of at least 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in English or French
  • complete an online Expression of Interest
  • receive an Invitation to Apply from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.

Nova Scotia International Graduate Entrepreneur

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is for recent graduates of a Nova Scotia university or the Nova Scotia Community College. They must have already started or bought a Nova Scotia business and operated it for at least a year. If they intend to settle in Nova Scotia, the graduate may be nominated for permanent resident status. Application to the stream is by invitation only.


Eligibility:

  • want to live permanently in Nova Scotia while owning and actively managing a Nova Scotia business
  • have at least one year’s continuous experience actively managing and owning your current Nova Scotia business (100% ownership minimum)
  • have completed a degree or diploma after at least 2 academic years of full-time, in-person study at a university in Nova Scotia or the Nova Scotia Community College
  • have a valid post-graduation work permit
  • have a score of at least 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in English or French
  • complete an online Expression of Interest
  • receive an Invitation to Apply from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.


  

Northwest Territories

The NWT Immigration Nominee Program Business Stream

The Northwest Territories (NWT) Nominee Program Business Stream offers a path to Canadian Permanent Residency for those interested in establishing, purchasing, or investing in a business in the NWT.  There are a number of benefits to starting a business in the NWT and choosing the NWT Nominee Program. 

  • No wait-list for applications;
  • Faster processing times;
  • Personalized attention for your application; 
  • Program staff that are there to support you throughout the entire application process.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria for the Business Stream:

  • There is a set of minimum eligibility criteria in order to qualify for the NWT Nominee Program Business Stream. A prospective applicant must be able to commit to one of the following investments:
  • a minimum of $300,000 CDN equity to start or buy a business within the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT;
  • a minimum of $150,000 CDN equity to start or buy a business outside of the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT.

The prospective applicant must provide proof of a personal net worth of:

  • At least $500,000 CDN to start or buy a business within the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT;
  • At least $250,000 CDN to start or buy a business outside the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, NWT;
  • Provide to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment a good faith deposit of $75,000 CDN once formally accepted into the Program.

The prospective applicant must also:

  • Demonstrate that they own at least one-third (33.3%) of the business;
  • Where your personal equity investment is at least $1,000,000 you may own less than one-third (33.3%) of the business pursuant; and
  • Demonstrate that they have achieved a proficiency of level 4 in the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 4) in English or the equivalent language in the Niveaux de competence linquistique Canadiens (NCLC) in French.

In addition to financial means, an applicant also needs to demonstrate the following knowledge and abilities:

  • knowledge and understanding of the NWT and its economy and which businesses will bring significant economic benefit to the Territory.
  • the ability to make at least one (1) in-person business trip to the NWT to gain knowledge about the territory’s business environment;
  • the necessary experience and education to successfully implement the proposed business plan; and
  • A willingness to settle full-time in the NWT.


  

Ontario

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Entrepreneur Stream

You may be eligible for this program if you have a viable business activity that will bring significant economic benefit to Ontario. If approved, you and your business partner (if applicable) may apply for a temporary work permit in order to establish your business. Once your business has been successfully established, you and your business partner (if applicable) may be eligible for nomination by the OINP.  You must meet all eligibility criteria in order to apply to the Entrepreneur Stream. If you are applying with a business partner, your business partner must also meet the eligibility criteria.


Eligibility:

Experience

  • At least three years of full-time business experience in the last five years.
  • Your experience must be as a business owner OR as a senior manager.

Net Worth

  • If your proposed business will be located within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA – includes the City of Toronto, Durham, Halton, York and Peel regions), you must have a minimum net worth of $1,500,000 CDN.
  • If outside of the GTA, you must have a minimum net worth of $800,000 CDN.
  • If your proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of your proposed business location), you must have a minimum net worth of $800,000 CDN.

Personal Investment Funds

  • If your proposed business will be located within the GTA, you must make a minimum personal investment of $1,000,000 CDN and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3 per cent.
  • If outside of the GTA, you must make a minimum personal investment of $500,000 CDN and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3 per cent.
  • If your proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of where you set up the business), you must make a minimum personal investment of $500,000 CDN and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3 per cent.

Job Creation

  • You must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens/ permanent residents.

Business-Related Visit

  • If you plan to purchase an existing business, you must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario in the last year prior to the date of submitted an EOI. 

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program- Corporate Stream

The Corporate Stream application is a two-stage process. You may be eligible for this program if you have a viable business activity that will bring significant economic benefit to Ontario. If the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) approves your proposal, your key staff may apply for a temporary work permit in order to establish the business. Your corporation and your key staff must meet all eligibility criteria in order to qualify under the Corporate Stream. A decision will be made based on an assessment of all parties.


Corporation Requirements:

  • Your corporation must have been established for at least 36 months at the time of application submission.

Investment Requirements:

  • Your Corporation must make a minimum investment of $5 million to expand into Ontario or purchase an existing business in the province.
  • The source of investment funds must have been obtained from legal sources.
  • The proposed investment activity must be of significant economic benefit to Ontario.

Local Job Creation Requirements:

  • Your Corporation must create five (5) new permanent and full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents per key staff applicant. For example, if you are proposing five key staff, you must create 25 permanent and full-time jobs in the business for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Ontario.
  • Positions must be paid at or above the prevailing wage level for that position.
  • Be permanent and full-time jobs 

Key Staff and Position Requirements:

  • Your Corporation may request up to five (5) key staff (prospective nominees) who will establish the business in Ontario and who may apply for nomination for permanent residency in Ontario. All key staff must meet Stage 1 requirements at the time of application. During Stage 2, key staff will need to meet additional nomination requirements.


  

Prince Edward Island (PEI)

100% Ownership Stream of the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program

If you are interested in immigrating to Prince Edward Island and would like to own your own business, you may be eligible for a nomination for permanent residency through the 100% Ownership Stream of the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP). This stream is for foreign nationals with business-ownership or extensive management experience who would like to own and operate their own business in PEI.


Eligibility:

  • have a minimum verifiable personal net worth of $600,000 which has been accumulated through legal and legitimate sources in your own right
  • have a minimum education of secondary school equivalent
  • be within 21-59 years of age at the time of application
  • have transferable management skills and past employment or business ownership experience
  • meet minimum language requirements equivalent to a CLB/NCLC 4 
  • intend to live and work in PEI while providing day-to-day active and ongoing management of your PEI-based company
  • Attend an interview with staff from the Office of Immigration
  • Sign an escrow agreement with the Province and submit a $200,000 deposit, which will be refunded upon you meeting the terms and conditions of the escrow agreement.

Partial Ownership Stream of the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program

If you are interested in immigrating to Prince Edward Island and would like to invest in and run a business, you may be eligible for a nomination for permanent residency through the Partial Ownership Stream of the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP). This stream is for foreign nationals with extensive management or business-ownership experience who would like to invest in and participate in the management of a PEI business.


Eligibility:

  • have a minimum verifiable personal net worth of $600,000 which has been accumulated through legal and legitimate sources in your own right
  • have a minimum education of secondary school equivalent
  • be within 21-59 years of age at the time of application
  • have transferable management skills and past employment or business ownership experience
  • meet minimum language requirements equivalent to a CLB/NCLC 4 
  • intend to live and work in PEI while providing day-to-day active and ongoing management of your PEI-based company
  • Attend an interview with staff from the Office of Immigration.
  • Sign an escrow agreement with the Province and submit a $200,000 deposit, which will be refunded upon you meeting the terms and conditions of the escrow agreement.

Work Permit Stream of the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program

If you are interested in immigrating to Prince Edward Island and would like to invest in and run a business, you may be eligible for a nomination for permanent residency through the Work Permit Stream of the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP). This stream is for foreign nationals with business ownership or extensive management experience who would like to move to PEI to start their business, and eventually become a permanent resident.


Eligibility:

  • have a minimum verifiable personal net worth of $600,000 which has been accumulated through legal and legitimate sources in your own right
  • have a minimum education of secondary school equivalent
  • be within 21-59 years of age at the time of application
  • have transferable management skills and past employment or business ownership experience
  • meet minimum language requirements equivalent to a CLB/NCLC 4 
  • intend to live and work in PEI while providing day-to-day active and ongoing management of your PEI-based company
  • Attend an interview with staff from the Office of Immigration
  • Meet the terms and conditions of the Performance Agreement signed with the Office of Immigration.

Requirements Applicable to All Provincial Nominations

Approval of permanent residence applications is the final decision of IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada). A nomination from a province does not guarantee that a permanent residence application will be approved by IRCC. If an applicant is deemed to be inadmissible, due to the applicants history such as medical or criminal reasons, then the application can be refused.