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Canada Wants Business Immigrants!

Canada is an excellent spot for doing business, hence, it wants to link up business immigrants with expertise private sector organizations which has experience in working with start-ups. According to the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking, Canada is rated 23rd. Canada boasts a well-educated workforce and one of the world’s lowest business tax rates.

More so, Business immigrants, owners, entrepreneurs, and investors want to become Canadian citizens for these (and many other) reasons. There are no “golden visas,” “citizenship by investment,” or other passive investment programs in Canada that allow you to get Canadian citizenship in exchange for a financial investment.

However, by investing in Canadian enterprises, business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors can still obtain Canadian citizens. In general, you must complete the following qualifications to become a Canadian citizen as business immigrants:

  • Become a Canadian permanent resident;
  • Have spent 1,095 days (3 years) in Canada over the previous 5 years;
  • Have you submitted your annual tax returns?
  • Pass a simple test on your rights, obligations, and understanding of Canada, as well as demonstrate your language skills.

This means that in order to become a Canadian citizen, you must first become a permanent resident, which is the most difficult step.

Here, we look at some of the options available to business immigrants who want to invest in Canada and become Canadian citizens. Businessmen, investors, and entrepreneurs can become permanent residents of Canada through one of three general immigration methods:

  • Executive Express Entry
  • Provincial Nominee Programs
  • a Start-up Company

Business Immigration through Executive Express Entry

Many entrepreneurs and investors assume that Express Entry is their sole choice for immigrating to Canada. They frequently begin the procedure by studying their eligibility for the Express Entry Program’s “professional” stream, only to realize that they may not be eligible.

Basically, the Express Entry Program’s “professional” stream is primarily aimed at younger professionals (under 35 years old) with excellent English or French language skills (CLB7 language or higher), outstanding educational credentials (master’s degrees or higher), and, in many cases, work or study experience in Canada.

So, when evaluating their chances under the “professional” stream of the Express Entry program, many successful professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors over 35 years old frequently lose hope of immigrating to Canada; however, they frequently forget or are simply unaware of the “executive” stream of the Express Entry program.

This is largely intended to attract top managers, business owners, and entrepreneurs to Canada by providing them with an additional 200 CRS points for “organized employment.”

Business Immigration through Provincial Nominee Programs

In this category, business immigrants apply directly to a provincial nominee program (“PNP”), which differs slightly from the first. These immigrants may be able to earn permanent residency and eventually Canadian citizenship through this application process.

While the processes differ by province, the majority of them follow the same pattern:

You’ll begin by submitting an expression of interest to the province of your choice. Secondly, apply and (hopefully) pass the interview after receiving an application invitation. Thirdly, you’ll apply for a Canadian work permit after signing a performance agreement with the province.

As a foreign worker, you’ll also establish your company and run it according to the performance agreement you signed when you arrived in Canada. Finally, you’ll submit an application for nomination and, if approved, permanent residence.

This is, once again, a general procedure. You’ll want to double-check the procedure with the province you wish to visit.

Below are the PNPs for business immigrants to Canada:

Business Immigration as a Start-Up Company

The Start-up Visa Program also provides permanent residence to Business immigrant, which helps them establish themselves in Canada.

The program’s purpose is to recruit immigrant entrepreneurs and assist them in establishing long-term enterprises that will employ Canadians and contribute to the country’s economic prosperity.

The Start-up Program is appealing since there is no minimum initial investment requirement, no minimum net worth restriction, and candidates can live anywhere in Canada. Furthermore, if the firm fails, your status as a permanent resident is unaffected.

The following requirements must be met by successful candidates for the Start-up Visa program:

  • Obtain at least one letter of support from a Canadian-designated organization;
  • Comply with the CLB5 language requirement in either English or French;
  • Have enough money to settle in Canada (about $10,000 USD for a single person + $2,500 USD for each family member);
  • If you live in a province other than Quebec, you must:
  • Clear security and medical clearances in Canada.

Canadian-designated organizations are business organizations selected by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) to assist start-ups under the Start-up Visa Program.

Each organization chooses which business proposals to examine on its own, and each has its own set of criteria for evaluating them. If an organization decides to review your company proposal, it will evaluate its potential and provide a prediction about whether or not it will succeed.

If an organization decides to back your plan, you’ll receive a Letter of Support, which you can use to apply for a work permit and permanent residency in Canada.

The application process for the Start-up Visa Program varies depending on the intake and review procedures of the chosen organization, but it generally goes like this:

  • Pitch deck and business plan
  • Creating a business in Canada
  • Going to market
  • Pitching to Designated Organizations
  • Immigration Application

Business Immigration through NAFTA Work Permits

The nafta work permit also grants permanent residence to business immigrants from United States and Mexico, which aids their integration into Canadian society.

Thus, citizens of the United States and Mexico have unique options to work in Canada thanks to NAFTA. Foreign citizens who are covered by NAFTA rules may be able to work in Canada without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or, in some situations, a work permit.

In general, the NAFTA outlines five situations in which an American or Mexican citizen may be eligible for expedited work authorisation in Canada: Professionals, Intra-Company Transferees, Investors, Traders and Business Visitors.


Enter to offer pre-arranged professional services as a salaried employee of a Canadian company, either through a contract with a Canadian company or a contract between their American or Mexican company and a Canadian company.

Business Visitors

Research and design; growth, manufacture, and production; marketing; sales; distribution; after-sales service; and general service are all operations that are performed.

Intra-organizational Transferees

Employed by an American or Mexican company in a managerial or executive capacity, or in a position that requires specialist knowledge, and transferred to a Canadian company, branch, or affiliate to perform similar services.

Traders and Investors

Has engaged in significant trade in commodities or services between the United States and Canada, or has committed/is committing a significant amount of capital to Canada; must be working in a managerial or executive role, or one that requires vital skills.

NAFTA Work Permit Requirements

Fortunately, the immigration restrictions of NAFTA have not changed as a result of the latest revisions to the agreement. For a NAFTA work permit, there are three fundamental requirements:

First and foremost, the employee must be a US or Mexican citizen. Green card and H-1B visa holders are not eligible.

Second, the individual must be offered a position in one of the sixty NAFTA-related occupations. Engineers, university professors, computer systems analysts, software engineers, accountants, architects, scientific technicians, professional nurses, management consultants, psychologists, and dentists are among many that work in this field. A complete list of NAFTA vocations can be found here.

Third, the employee must meet the NAFTA agreement’s qualifications for the occupation. A bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to the occupation is usually required. A professional license is required in several occupations, such as nursing and psychology.

How to get permanent residency in Canada with startup visa

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I immigrate to Canada as a business owner?

Yes! Certainly, you have to apply for a work permit as a business immigrant if you’ve started or purchased a business in Canada. In addition, several different work permits are available depending on your background and immigration ambitions.

How much money do you need to immigrate to Canada as an entrepreneur?

Basically, Business immigration to Canada requires a net worth of at least $300,000 Canadian dollars, business expertise, and the intention to start a business in Canada. The $300,000 net worth could be in cash or in the form of real estate.

Can I get PR if I open a business in Canada?

Yes! Eligible entrepreneurs may be able to earn 200 points toward their Express Entry permanent residency applications if they get an LMIA-based work permit as a senior manager/owner-operator. Sometimes, Entrepreneurs may be able to apply for a “permanent” LMIA after purchasing an existing business.


As you can see, there are various options for business immigrants, business owners, and investors who want to become permanent residents and eventually Canadian citizens. The many options, however, does not imply that the method is simple. To increase your chances of success, you’ll need to put in a lot of effort and devise a well-thought-out approach. Finally, we recommend a you hire an immigration lawyer, who understand how to navigate the legal system.

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