If you have the financial capital and business experience, there are several programs set up that would allow you to immigrate to Canada and invest in the economy. Each province and territory has their own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) with entrepreneur streams to get you started on the pathway to residency. Some PNP programs will grant you permanent residency status before you move, and others will sponsor permanent residency only after you’ve been successfully operating your new business in Canada for a specific amount of time.
All PNP programs require you to state your intent to settle permanently in whichever province sponsors your immigration into Canada. These programs vary slightly between each province, but generally all require that you become an active partner in a new or existing business located within that province. Each require that you prove your net worth, an ability to contribute a certain amount of equity into a business, and to make a sizeable deposit to that province that would be held by the government for a specific amount of time or until your business plan has been fully executed.
Most of the PNP programs that are open to business investors have caps and only accept a certain amount of applicants per year. Depending on which province you’re interested in living in, you may need to wait in order to even apply. Since the PNP programs aim to address specific economic needs, the requirements and selection criteria may change at any time. You’ll need to submit a viable business plan along with your application and would also interview with a government representative about your strategy. Priority is given to applicants that are most qualified and thought to have the greatest potential to establish themselves in that province and to make the biggest contributions to the economy. Just because you may meet the technical requirements does not guarantee your entry into the program.
The purpose of these programs is to contribute to the economy and to create jobs, so your business plan would need to address the creation of new full-time jobs for Canadians, not just for yourself or family members. You have the option to either establish a new business venture, or purchase an existing business.
In addition to whichever requirements exist for each PNP, you and any accompanying family members would need to pass a medical exam and prove that you would not be an excessive burden on the health and social services offered by the government. You’d also have to prove proficiency in English and/or French and of course, be considered admissible to Canada.
The British Columbia PNP Entrepreneur Immigration stream requires a net worth of $600k and the ability to invest $200k in your business. If your total ownership of the business is less than 33.33%, then you would need to invest at least $1M. You’ll also need to prove that you have gained the relevant experience within the last 10 years with any of the following:
- 3 years as an active owner/manager
- 4 years as a senior manager
- 1 year as an active owner/manager plus 2 years as a senior manager.
Priority is given to people most likely to adapt to life in British Columbia, including language proficiency, post-secondary education, time spent in Canada, and age. Further priority is given to businesses in the following sectors: agrifoods, forestry, international education, mining, manufacturing, technology, transportation, biomedical, tourism, and First Nations.
Under the program, you are given a 2 year work permit, allowing for enough time to establish your business. Assuming that you are able to establish your business within that time, you would then be supported by the province in your bid for permanent residency status through the Express Entry process.
If you have a net worth of at least $350k and would be able to invest $100k, then you may be eligible to move to Manitoba as a business immigrant through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program – Business (PBP-B). This program requires your personal investment of at least $150k into a new business or, that you control at least 33.33% of the equity or invest at least $1M in equity into an existing business. In addition, you’d also have to provide a deposit of $100k to the government of Manitoba for two years, which is assumed to be enough time for you to establish your business.
The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) requires a personal net worth of at least $300k, the ability to invest $175k into a business, and a deposit of $75k, and relevant management experience demonstrated in three of the last five years. This program is only open to applicants under 55 years of age.
The financial requirements for the business stream of the NWT Nominee Program differ depending on where your business would be located. If the business would be located within the city of Yellowknife, then you would need to prove a personal net worth of $500k and be able to invest a minimum of $300k into a new business or towards the purchase of an existing business. For business located outside the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, you would only a personal net worth of $250k and to invest at least $150k.
Regardless of location, your investment would need to be enough that you own at least 33.3% of the business, unless your personal equity investment is over $1M, which would waive the 33.3% requirement. You would also need to provide a deposit of $75k to the province which would be returned upon the completion of your business agreement outlined in your application.
Under the program guidelines, you are given a 2 year work permit, allowing for enough time to establish your business. Assuming that you are able to establish your business, you would then be nominated by the province for permanent residency status in Canada. At that point you would be able to apply for Express Entry.
The Entrepreneur Steam for experienced business owners that want to settle in Nova Scotia requires a personal net worth of $600k and the ability to invest $150k into a business that you would own at least 33.33% of. You’d also need to demonstrate that you actively managed a business that you owned at least 33.33% of it for at least 3 years within the previous 10 years. Or, that in the last 3 years, you have at least 5 years of experience in a senior management role in a business owned by another person. Your business would need to have the potential to contribute a significant economic benefit to Nova Scotia.
Under the guidelines of this program, you are given a temporary work permit, allowing for enough time to establish your business. After operating your business for one continuous year, you would be eligible to apply for permanent residency through Express Entry.
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) entrepreneur stream requires a personal net worth of $1.5M and a personal investment of $1M if the business would be located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), or a net worth of $800k and a personal investment of $500k if it would be located outside of the GTA. If your total ownership is less than 33.33%, then you would need to invest at least $1M in the business. You must be able to prove that you have at least 3 years of experience working as a business owner or senior manager within the last 10 years, and your business plan must include the creation of at least 2 full time jobs for Canadians or permanent residents.
Under the program, you are given a 2 year work permit, allowing for enough time to establish your business. Assuming that you are able to establish your business within that time, you would then be supported by the province in your bid for permanent residency status.
Prince Edward Island (PEI)
The PNP Business Impact Category requires a net worth of at least $600k, invest $150k into a business venture, and provide a deposit of $200k until the terms of the agreement have been met. If your investment buys you less than 33.33% of the business, then you would be required to invest at least $1M instead of $150k. Priority is given to businesses focused on exporting, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, bioscience, information technology, aerospace, renewable energy, and the diversification of rural communities. This program is only open to applicants between the ages of 21 and 9.
Quebec has two different programs that would allow you to immigrate if you meet certain financial requirements: entrepreneur and investor streams. Officially, only 1,900 investors and 50 entrepreneurs qualify for this program each year. However, if you are able to demonstrate fluency in French, then you can still be considered even if the cap has already been met.
If you have a net worth of at least $300k, have $100k to invest in a new business in the province, and can demonstrate that you have spent 2 years running a business in a full-time capacity that was acquired within the last 5 years and control at least 25% of, then you may be able to qualify for the Entrepreneur Program. As part of your application, you would need to document your ability to carry out your business plan in Quebec.
If you have at least $1.6 M, are willing to invest $800k, and can demonstrate experience in managing a business, then you may be eligible to immigrate to Quebec through the provincial Investor Program. Your $800k investment to the government of Quebec is guaranteed to be returned in full (without interest) within 5 years. In order to qualify for this program, your business experience must be determined to be both legal and have been in either:
- the farming, commercial, or industrial fields
- the professional business wherein you employed at least 2 full time staff members
The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) entrepreneur category requires a minimum net worth of $500k and the ability to invest $300k in a business located in the cities of Regina or Saskatoon, or $200k in any other area within the province. If your total ownership of the business in Saskatchewan is less than 33.33%, then you would need to invest at least $1M. You must also prove that you have at least 3 years of relevant business management or entrepreneurial experience within the last 10 years.
Upon acceptance into this program, you would be issued a Temporary Work Permit (TWP), allowing you to establish your business. Once your business is established, you would then be able to request that the province support your bid for permanent residency status through Express Entry.
The Yukon Business Nominee Program requires a personal net worth of $500k, at least $300k in liquid assets, and the ability to expend a capital investment of $300k into a business within the first two years. You would also need to prove that you have 3 years of experience as a successful entrepreneur or in managing a business and 5 years of relevant work experience. You would need to own at least 33.33% of the business and the other owners must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Finally, the business plan must be in one of the following fields: information technology, manufacturing, processing, forestry, tourism, energy, mining, agriculture, cultural industries, film and video production.
Under the program, you are given a 2 year work permit, allowing for enough time to establish your business in Yukon. Assuming that you are able to establish your business within that time, you would then be supported by Yukon in your bid for permanent residency status.