Who Qualifies for a Canada Business Visa?

Canada offers tremendous opportunities to foreigners who want to do business in Canada. Every year, thousands of ambitious businesspeople grace our shores and there is certainly no reason why you can not be among them.

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.

3 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 three sub-categories:

  1. Investors
  2. Entrepreneurs
  3. Self Employed Persons

1. Immigrant Investor Program

Canada considers foreign investors to be an important contributor to the Canadian economy, and this immigration stream allows for both the investor and their family to obtain permanent residence in Canada.

Requirements for Investors

To qualify for the Immigrant Investor Program, applicants must:

  • Have successfully operated, controlled or directed a business
  • Have accumulated through his or her own endeavors a net worth of at least $1,600,000
  • Invest $800,000 for five years with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada which acts as an agent on behalf of provincial and territorial investment funds.

(Note: Your $800,000 can be financed so that you could invest, say, $200,000 of your own capital)

2. 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.

NOTE: This program is currently paused.  However, entrepreneurs may benefit from the Start-Up Visa Program stream instead.

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.

3. Self-Employed Persons Program

This business immigration stream is for two types of self-employed persons:

  1. 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, and;
  2. Those that have experience in farm management and will be able to purchase and manage a farm in Canada.

Farmers, artisans, sports personalities, actors, consultants, and operators of small business outlets that may be in demand are examples of applicants who may qualify.

Assessment in this category is based upon:

  • Business ability and experience (when applying under the economic contribution component of the Self-Employed description)
  • Artistic qualifications (when applying under the artistic/cultural component of the Self-Employed description)
  • Net worth (sufficient to establish/purchase the proposed business)

Why Seeking Professional Immigration Help is Essential

Obtaining Canadian immigration under the ‘Business Class’ has its advantages. If you apply, you will not necessarily require a working level of English or French nor have to meet stringent educational requirements.

Also in some cases, as a business immigrant, your permanent residence status in Canada will be unconditional, meaning that you do not have to meet harsh terms and conditions requiring you to actively manage a business in order to maintain your status.

However, to take advantage of these opportunities, you must know how to properly represent yourself when applying.  This is best achieved with the help of a legal expert who has experience with each businessperson’s unique situation.

Why Hire Us to Help with Your Business Visa Application?

Canada is rich with opportunity for budding businesses, and it can be a great place for you to realize your potential. The Canadian market is thriving thanks, in large part, to foreign businesses, and you too can count yourself among them, but only through the proper immigration channels.

We have helped thousands of business owners and investors successfully immigrate to Canada. Our experienced immigration lawyers will be able to assess your case and recommend a course of action to best serve your needs.

The first step towards your Canadian business visa is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our free immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.

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"VisaPlace uses great law firms and great lawyers. All I can say is "thank you" for getting my visa quickly. Their legal team helped me when other lawyers couldn't. The fees were reasonable and everything went smoothly. Thank you for everything! I would highly recommend VisaPlace and their immigration attorneys to anyone wishing to move to Canada or to the US."
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