How to Immigrate to Canada as an Investor – Full Guide

Learn how to immigrate to Canada as an Investor with significant benefits over starting your own business.

Opening a business or Investing in Canada is one of the best ways of immigrating to Canada as an Investor. But starting a new business from scratch can be incredibly tough. That’s where franchises come in.

Opening a franchise instead of a brand new business can be an easier way to getting started in business in Canada, and immigrating to Canada as a business owner.

Canada offers tremendous opportunities to foreigners who want to do business in Canada. Every year, thousands of ambitious businessmen and women enter the country to set up businesses and explore the opportunities Canada is known for. Here, each province have their own uniqueness.

The objective of the Business Immigration Program is to encourage investment and employment in Canada through the migration of people who have the ability to successfully establish or invest in a business in Canada.

Investing in a franchise can provide new residents with significant benefits over starting their own business. Established franchises have finely tuned systems and processes as well as training and support that help aspiring Canadians become successful in their own business.

Not all franchises work with non-residents, and your Franchise City consultant will help you determine which franchises are available for your budget, skills and preferred location.

This article will guide you on how to invest in Canada as an immigrant. It will also cover aspects such as Immigrant investors Program, Eligibility to immigrate to Canada as an investor, minimum amount for Investor Immigration programs etc.

Immigrant Investor Program – Business Immigration To Canada

The Immigrant Investor Program is designed to attract qualified business people who are able to contribute to Canada’s growth by making a significant investment into Canada’s economy.

Investors who meet all the necessary requirements of this Canadian immigration program, along with their immediate family members, may obtain their Canadian permanent resident visas.

Requirements to qualify you for Canadian Immigration Investors Program

Investors must meet the following requirements to qualify for this Canadian immigration investor program:

  1. The investor must not intend to live in Quebec (see Quebec Investor Program if Quebec is your desired destination);

  2. The investor must be able to demonstrate that he or she has the necessary business experience. This can be done by having owned and operated a qualifying business or by managing a staff of at least 5 employees;

  3. The investor must have a minimum net worth of $1,600,000 CAD (such money must have been legally obtained); and

  4. The investor must make a $800,000 CAD investment to the Government of Canada (which will be returned to the investor 5 years later, without interest).

  5. The investor (and family members) are not found inadmissible on grounds such as health and security.

Requirements and Amount needed for Investors Immigration Program in different Province


Currently no entrepreneur/investor entry program

British Columbia

  • Investment of $200,000 for a owner/operated business. Increases to $400,000 if  a business manager is installed.
  • Minimum net worth of $600,000
  • Three years experience as a business owner or four as a senior manager
  • Create at least one job or three a manager is hired.


  • $250,000 minimum investment in Winnipeg and area.  $150,000 invest elsewhere.
    Net worth $500,000
  • Five years experience as a business owner or senior management. Business owners must have 33 1/3 % ownership to qualify.
  • Minimum Canadian High School Diploma equivalent
  • Must create at least one job.
  • English language equivalent to CLB 5

New Brunswick

  • Investment of $250,000.   Net Worth of $600,000
  •  English language equivalent to CLB 5
  • Must create jobs and economic benefit
  • At least 2 years post secondary education
  • Must have business ownership or senior management experience


  • Invest $200,000 of own money with min. 33 1/3 % ownership or $1mil in equity investment
  • Net Worth $600,000
  • English language equivalent to CLB 5
  • Minimum Canadian High School Diploma equivalent
  • 2 years business management experience (25% ownership) or 5 years senior management experience
  • Create one full time position
  • Qualifying businesses must be a “permanent establishment”.

Northwest Territories

  • Minimum Investment $300,000 in Yellowknife.  $150,000 outside of Yellowknife
  • Net worth $500,000 in Yellowknife.  $250,000 outside of Yellowknife
  • Must own 33 1/3% of business or invest $1mil.
  • Good faith deposit of $75,000
  • English language equivalent to CLB 4

Nova Scotia

  • Invest $150,000
  • Net Worth   $600,000
  • At least 21 years old
  • Minimum 3 years business ownership (33 1/3 % ownership) or 5 years senior management experience.
  • Minimum Canadian High School Diploma equivalent
  • English language equivalent to CLB 5
  • Business must be a permanent establishment.
  • Must own 33 1/3% of qualified business.


  • Invest $600,000 in GTA, $200,000 outside of GTA.  $200,000 in ICT/Digital Communications business anywhere
  • Net Worth $800,000 inside GTA, $400,000 outside of GTA
  • 24 months of business ownership or senior management experience in last 60 months
  • Business must be considered a permanent business in Ontario
  • If purchasing an an existing business it must have been in operation for at least 60 months
  • English language equivalent to CLB 4


  • Start-up Deposit $300,000 for Montreal, $200,000 outside of Montreal
  • Net Worth $900,000
  • Must be 18 yrs. or older
  • Minimum Canadian High School Diploma equivalent
  • Must own 25% of business created or 51% of business started.
  • $200,000 performance guarantee deposit
  • Awarded points based on proficient in French and/or English


  • Minimum Investment $300,000 in Regina or Saskatoon, $200,000 outside of Regina or Saskatoon
  • Networth $500,000
  • Own at least 33 1/3% of business or invest $1 mil.
  • Create 2 jobs
  • If purchasing an existing business must maintain the current staffing complement.
  • English language equivalent to CLB 4 (Note required, but minimum level to get points in assessment)


  • Minimum Investment $300,000
  • Net Worth $500,000, $300,000 liquid
  • English Language –  Level 6 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • 3 yrs. Entrepreneurial or business management experience
  • 5 yrs. Experience related to proposed business

5 Main Categories to Business Visas in Canada

Individuals with business/managerial experience and relatively high net-worth may apply for a Canadian permanent residence under the Canada Business Immigration Program in one of the following four sub-categories:

  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Self Employed Persons
  • PNP Business Programs
  • Corporate Immigration

Start-Up Visa Investor Program

When looking to immigrate to Canada as an investor, the best option available is to apply for the general Start-up Visa Program.

You will have to meet certain requirements for your application to be successful by being innovative, creating jobs for Canadians and being able to compete internationally.

Requirements for Investors

To qualify for the Start-up Visa, applicants must:

  • Have a qualifying business
  • Demonstrate intermediate knowledge in both English and French (CBL5)
  • Get a letter of support from a designated institution (Receive a minimum funding commitment of $200,000 CDN from a designated Venture Capital Organization, $75,000 from an approved Angel Investor, or Business Incubator)
  • Bring enough money to settle in Canada

Entrepreneur Program

Because they create employment opportunities and contribute to the Canadian economy, entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply for this immigration stream.

Successful applicants are able to open a business in Canada, as well as gain permanent residence status in the country.

Requirements for Entrepreneurs

To qualify for the Entrepreneur Program, applicants must:

  • Establish, purchase or make a substantial investment in a business in Canada within 2 years of landing in Canada which will result in a significant contribution to the economy
  • Engage in active and ongoing participation in the management of the business
  • Employ at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident other than the entrepreneur and his dependents.

To ensure that these conditions are met, entrepreneurs are required to report to immigration officials their progress, on a regular basis within this two year period.

Self-Employed Persons Program

This business immigration stream is for those who will either establish or purchase a business in Canada that will make a “significant” contribution to the economy or the cultural or artistic life of Canada.

Eligibility under Self-employed persons program:

  • have relevant experience (at least 2 years experience in the last 5 years)
  • be willing and able to be self-employed in Canada
  • meet the program’s selection criteria (minimum 35 points) and
  • meet medical, security and other conditions

Selection criteria is based on:

  • experience
  • education
  • age
  • language abilities
  • adaptability

Business PNP Programs

There are several business investment avenues through PNP programs across Canada:

All of the successful PNP program applicants will get a work permit and will need to invest the monetary amount above within 1-2 years. Once job creation is completed then the applicant can apply for PR.

Corporate Immigration

Corporate Immigration is the perfect option for those who have started a business and are looking to expand their business to Canada. This immigration category was specifically designed for large, medium, and small companies that need to transfer their employees seamlessly across border.

There are vital legal steps to take when transferring employees to Canada. Through a variety of services, we help to coordinate the logistics of your travelers so that every employee arrives at their destination without any complications.

Canada Residence by Investment

The country has a long tradition of immigration and an elaborate system to evaluate and admit new residents.

Citizenship is available after three years of residence (and 183 days minimum physical presence during each of the three calendar years). The Canadian passport is one of the best travel documents in the world.

You can establish residence by applying for Canadian permanent residence in one the following categories:

  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Self-employed persons
  • Skilled workers and professionals

Most popular way to become a permanent resident in Canada

Overview of the Canada Investor Immigration Program

The immigrant investor programs were created by the Canadian government to attract rich business people and their capital to Canada. Investors and their immediate family can gain permanent residence in Canada by satisfying the following five government selection criteria:

  1. You must demonstrate relevant business experience, as defined under the regulations. In essence, you must have previously managed or operated a qualified business for at least two out of five years preceding your application.
  2. You and your spouse must have legally obtained a personal net worth of a minimum of CAD 2 million.
  3. Your entire family must complete and pass Canada’s medical and security evaluations.
  4. You must invest CAD 1.2 million for a period of five years at no interest (0%) under one of the two available immigrant investor programs. The investment is government-guaranteed and will be repaid in full at the end of the investment period.
  5. You will also be assessed on age, language, education, experience, and time spent in Quebec on a points-based system.