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Canada Business Visa for Entrepreneurs

There are a number of ways that the Canadian government has instituted to ease the immigration process into Canada for foreign nationals, one of such available means is through the business and investment route. By obtaining the Canadian business visa one is able to make the desired immigration transition from ones country of origin or residence into Canada.

Through various Canada business immigration pathway, it has now become possible to gain entry to Canada by simply meeting some easy to obtain criteria of the business and investment programs which guarantees a rendering of business visa. You must however, understand that there is a difference between a business visitor visa and a business visa, and that their statuses and requirements are not the same.

Who is a business visitor in Canada?

A business visitor is any person who wishes to take part in any international business activity without becoming part of the Canadian labour market. holds a temporary visitor status in other to seek out ways to grow his business, invest, or advance business relationships. business visitors are allowed to stay in Canada from a few days to few weeks and maximum 6 months.

For a business visitor all you need to enter Canada is either a visitors visa or and electronic travel authorization (ETA), you may also need to provide additional information, fingerprints and photo for biometrics if applying for a visitor visa.

What is a business visa?

A business visa belongs to the Canadian business category of visas which are created to attract and bring into Canada influential and experience business and entrepreneurial individuals who can create businesses and employments through their investments for the Canadian labour market.

Canada business category of visas includes the following:

  • Start – up visa: The start up visa is focused towards individuals who are already business owners or co-owners and who possess the necessary expertise to start – up, own and manage business in Canada and thereby able to create employment opportunities and provide additional revenues to the Canadian economy. To obtain this visa however, your business must have the backings and listings by a body or organization on the Canada’s start – up visa designated organizations list.
  • Self – employed immigrant visa: This visa type is designated towards sports men and women and those involved in cultural arts, agricultural activities, handcraft skilled professionals who have the technical know-how and expertise to become self – employed in Canada.
  • Immigrant investor venture capital visa: This is a special kind of visa created for high worth individuals with net worth of not less than 10 million Canadian dollars and are ready to make at least 2 million Canadian dollars investment into Canada immigrant investor venture capital fund. This visa type however, has been placed on hold for the time being.
  • The provincial nominee program: This is a different kind of program managed under the provinces and territory in Canada giving them the autonomy to invite foreign nationals who meet their skill set and requirements to come into their provinces. some of these PNP’s also offer entrepreneur or investor visa program for immigrants who would like to start a business in Canada

This category of visas brought in close to 9,000 immigrants into Canada before the close of 2013, and has been on since then, providing a pathway for high net worth and skilled business owners and self employed individuals with desired necessary assets to access entry into Canada’s thriving and fast growing economy.

Canada business visa processing time

The processing time for a business visa varies between 1 to 6 weeks, this is often dependent on the work load of the Canadian embassy handling the processing.

Is IELTS required for a business visa?

A proof of language is required to obtain a business visa to Canada, to show you will be able to communicate appropriately, this might either be in English or French. The IELTS general test is the official, recognized and preferred test for immigration to Canada.

Canada business visa application fees

the cost of applying for a Canadian business visa is $100, with an additional $85 biometric information fee, making a for a total of $185

The two main types of visas available under the business visa category are: start – up visa and self – employed visa

How do you qualify to immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person?

To qualify as a candidate under the self employment program, you must be able to demonstrate that you have excellent cultural artistic and sporting/athletic abilities which have enabled you to be self reliant and employed in your country of residence or origin, also with this you must be able to show relevant and reasonable experience in your chosen field as a determinant of your possible contribution to such areas of endeavor in Canada, before your application can be successful.

The self-employed category or field on endeavor is divided into two broad areas as: Cultural and Athletic / Sporting. Cultural includes such skills as:

  • dancing,
  • writing,
  • journalism,
  • painting,
  • designing,
  • music,
  • fashion,
  • sculpting e.t.c

Athletic / sporting includes such skills as:

  • athlete,
  • coaching,
  • referee,
  • programs leader,
  • organizers e.t.c

Basic requirements for a successful application includes but not limited to these that:

  • You must have and be able to provide evidence that you possess atleast two years of relevant experience and prove that you are willing and able to become self – employed in Canada.
  • You must score atleast 35 points on the selection grid that is meant to determine whether you will be able to make any significant contributions to Canada’s economy.

The selection grid is a series of five selection criteria and point systems with a maximum score of 100 and a pass mark of 35 candidates are selected based on;

  • The documents they provide
  • Their scores under each of the five selection criteria
  • Ability to meet the definition of a self – employed person
  • Further processes may require an interview with a visa officer

The selection criteria will include assessment in such areas as:

  • Education – 25 points
  • Experience – 35 points
  • Age – 10 points
  • Ability to speak English and/or French – 24 points
  • Adaptability – 6 points

For a total of 100 points.

For more information on the breakdown of the point system, detailed Canada Business Visa requirements on CIC portal.

How much is the required networth for a self-employed selection?

There is no benchmark networth requirement for selection for self-employed program, you however, must be able to show that you have enough funds to settle in Canada for you and your dependents and also to finance the business for which you have been selected.

Canada Start-up Visa Program

The Canada Start-up Visa program is geared towards encouraging and to lure entrepreneurs entry into Canada. in other to apply for a start- up visa, your business idea or venture must have the backing of one or more designated start – up support organizations such as; venture capital funds and angel investor groups. these business incubator groups are organizations that are approved to invest or support start – up ventures and ideas.

Eligibility for a start-up visa program

  • Have a qualifying business or idea
  • Have a letter of support from a business incubator organization
  • Meet the language requirements
  • Have sufficient money to settle and live in Canada

Note: to be selected to come to Canada you must also meet the admissibility requirements and will not be allowed entry even if you meet the start – up program requirements.

What is the minimum investment you need to apply through a start -up program?

  • For investments from a Canadian venture capital fund, you must secure a minimum of $200,000
  • From a Canadian angel investor group, you must secure a minimum of $75,000
  • To secure investment from a business incubator, you must be admitted into a Canadian business investor program.

List of designated investor organizations for a start-up visa

To qualify for a start – up visa your business must must get the support of one or more the following designated investor organizations:

  • Venture capital funds
  • Angel investor groups
  • Business incubator

These are groups approved to invest and support would-be start – ups through the start – up program. For more information on the list of designated investor organizations visit the link provided above.

How much do you need as a startup immigrant?

As a start – up business owner the amount of money that is required you have to be admissible to Canada depends on the number of family members that will be coming with you, there is no benchmark on this, also your investor company may offer you some money to cover your living expenses. however, your investment funds can not be used to supplement or cover your living expenses.

How to become a permanent resident from business visa

If you have the financial capacity you can very well become a business owner by buying a business in Canada. under the federal owner operator rules wealthy foreign immigrants with temporary work permits can start on a pathway to becoming a permanent resident of Canada. following a purchase of the business from citizen or any one of legal status who owns the business, or a transfer of majority shares to the foreign national, he can receive a work permit. on admission to a work permit, the immigrant can on a later date apply for  a permanent residence under a number of immigration programs; some of which includes; The Federal Skilled Worker, Under The Express Entry Program, or under  a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) business immigration pool.