Overview of Business Immigration Canada
Canada seeks to draw in capable entrepreneurs that will significantly contribute to the country’s economic development through its various business immigration programs. Entrepreneur immigration programs play a huge part in opening business opportunities in Canada and allowing Canada to access and connect with growing international markets.
With Canada’s goal of economic growth, these programs entice investors, self-employed individuals, and business owners alike who possess substantial business expertise, entrepreneurial skills, and accessible capital.
Immigrant entrepreneurs improve the richness of Canada’s culture, while benefitting Canada’s economy through sharing their customs and their familiarity with various industries. Immigrants form 33% of Canada’s business owners with paid workers. This shows how immigrant business entrepreneurs create jobs in various economic sectors in Canada.
There are odds and risks to building and expanding a business thus, starting a business in Canada as a foreigner may not be easy. Accordingly, Canada creates opportunities and provides social benefits to qualified immigrants.
There are multiple entrepreneurship pathways in Canada that will match any entrepreneur’s experience and objectives. This will serve as a guide for entrepreneurs aspiring to build their own businesses while seeking temporary or permanent residence in Canada. Let’s discover the various Canadian business immigration options offered by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments.
Federal Business Immigration Programs
Start-up Visa Program
The Start-up Visa Program is designed for entrepreneurs with innovative business concepts and skills to start and develop a business in Canada.
Who is Eligible for the Start-up Visa Program?
- Individuals with a qualifying business
- Those applying for the program have enough investment funds and a Letter of Support (LoS) from a Canadian designated organization
- Proficiency in the English or French language is required
- Individuals with adequate financial resources to start settling in Canada and any dependents, if applicable
Have Questions? Looking To Get Started?
Applicants of this Canada entrepreneur program are required to submit a business plan to a designated organization. A comprehensive business plan is essential for start-up visa program applicants to increase their chances for a successful application.
Self-employed Persons Program
This program allows self-employed individuals with significant experience to immigrate and permanently reside in Canada. Self-employed persons program applicants need to have relevant experience in a certain business category or profession, specifically knowledge in cultural activities or athletics. Program applicants may apply online and are required to fill up digital forms and provide their biometrics.
Qualified self-employed persons include those with relevant experience, willing and capable of self-employment in Canada, complies with the program’s eligibility requirements, and meets medical, security and other program prerequisites.
LMIA Owner Operator Program
This category has been created for foreign entrepreneurs who aim to establish or acquire a business and manage it in Canada. The program convinces business people to immigrate to Canada by simplifying the immigration and transition process. To secure a work permit, applicants are required to undergo a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An LMIA business plan ensures that the hiring of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident takes precedence over the hiring of a temporary foreign worker.
Intra-Company Transfer Program
The Intra-Company Transfer Program is a Canada entrepreneur visa pathway under the International Mobility Program. Qualified foreign business owners who aim to expand their existing operations in Canada may secure ICT work permits and may apply for permanent residence through this program. An ICT business plan is necessary to be submitted to prove a business’s significant benefits to Canada’s economy.
Provincial Business Immigration Programs
Every Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) focuses on an immigration stream that aims to attract experienced individuals to establish businesses within specific provinces, contributing to the overall economic development of each province.
As such, Canadian provinces and territories nominate individuals who willingly immigrate to and settle in a particular province. There are sets of criteria for each PNP entrepreneur immigration stream. Outlined below are the basics of each PNP Entrepreneur immigration program in Canada.
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)
The BC PNP attracts experienced foreign immigrants to manage, invest, and operate businesses through their finances and expertise in the province of British Columbia. This is a solid pathway for qualified applicants to acquire Canadian permanent residence (PR). An expression of interest (EOI) is part of the program’s application process. Highly eligible program applicants are scrutinized through a scoring system to ensure their contribution to BC’s economy. There are two types of entrepreneur immigration pathways under the BC PNP:
- BC Entrepreneur Base Category: This BC Entrepreneur program awards temporary residency once an applicant is approved and allows the application for permanent residence upon establishment of a business.
- BC Entrepreneur Regional Pilot: This BC immigration program requires active participation in a specific local community in British Columbia
Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)
This program is formerly known as the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). Prospective immigrant entrepreneurs must submit a business plan to the Alberta government depending on the type of immigration application stream. The following are the four streams for entrepreneurs under the AAIP.
- Farm Stream
- Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
- Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
- Rural Entrepreneur Stream
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
The MPNP presents a route to Canadian PR for entrepreneur applicants who wish to settle and operate a business in the province of Manitoba. The MPNP has two immigration streams namely, the Entrepreneur Pathway and Farm Investor Pathway. A MPNP business plan is an integral part of the application for the Entrepreneur Pathway as it proves an applicant’s intent and capability to establish or acquire a new business or co-own an existing business.
Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
The SINP allows program applicants to receive a nomination from the Saskatchewan Province if they aspire to establish and run a business in one of its cities. The program features three program categories, with the three sub-categories under the Entrepreneur and Farm Category. Applicants for the Entrepreneur category are required to provide an EOI, whether a business will operate in Saskatoon or Regina. Here are the three streams under the Entrepreneur and Farm Category:
- Entrepreneur Category
- International Graduate Entrepreneur Category
- Farm Owner and Operator Category
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
The OINP welcomes qualified immigrants to receive a provincial nomination from Ontario for permanent residence. The program sends an Invitation to Apply to eligible candidates before an application can be started. OINP facilitates four immigration categories, with the Business Category having one stream, the Entrepreneur stream. To establish a business under the Ontario Entrepreneur stream, an applicant must submit and implement a business plan in the province.
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
A provincial nomination certificate from New Brunswick is granted to aspiring immigrants with the relevant skills and experience under the NBPNP. The NBPNP has four immigration streams: the NB Skilled Worker stream, NB Express Entry stream, Atlantic Immigration Pilot Project, and NB Business Immigration stream. The New Brunswick Business Immigration Stream (NBBIS) is an immigration pathway for individuals that plan to own and actively manage a business in New Brunswick. A program applicant is required to effectively implement the business concept stated in their submitted business plan, within one year during their temporary residence.
Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
NSNP’s Entrepreneur Stream offers a pathway to eligible entrepreneurial candidates and their families, to obtain Canadian Permanent Residence. Approved applicants can start a business in Nova Scotia with a temporary work permit and may be nominated for PR status after 18 to 20 months of business operations. The applicant should detail its business strategies and how they intend to implement these initiatives, while benefitting the economy through a comprehensive NSNP business plan.
Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
Individuals who are financially capable and have the intention to live and work in Prince Edward Island may be nominated through the PEI PNP. The PEI PNP prioritizes eligible entrepreneurs and individuals that work in areas in the labour market with labour skill gaps. To assist with a smooth immigration application process, it is ideal to prepare a clear and detailed business plan. Qualified applicants may immigrate to PEI as an entrepreneur under the following immigration streams:
- Buy or Sell a PEI Business
- Work Permit Stream
Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)
The YNP opens Yukon to immigrate as either a worker or an entrepreneur. To qualify for the Yukon Business Nominee Program (YBNP), applicants are required to meet specific eligibility requirements and a minimum assessment score of 65. After the assessment of the initial application and business plan, a candidate will be invited from a selected pool to submit documents that will verify information that was presented.
Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
The NLPNP allows for an efficient immigration process for individuals who wish to permanently settle in Newfoundland and Labrador, such as skilled workers, international graduates, and any of their family or dependents. Specifically, the NLPNP’s International Entrepreneur Stream is intended for experienced business owners or senior business managers.
Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
Applicants for the NTNP can immigrate to the Northwest Territories (NWT) if they match either of the following immigration requirements:
- Received a job offer from an NWT employer (eligible for the Employer-Driven Stream)
- Intends to start, acquire, or invest in an NWT business (eligible for the Business Stream)
Frequently Asked Questions:
How can I immigrate to Canada as a business immigrant?
The Canadian Government picks business class immigrants based on their capability to build a stable economic presence and contribute to Canadian economic growth. Eligible business immigrants may either choose to enter with a start-up visa or enter as a self-employed person. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) details more information on immigration policies, programs, and application processes on their website.
What is the easiest Provincial Nominee Program in Canada?
Immigrating through the PNP pathways is not recommended due to the length of processing (average of two years), specific and strict requirements, and competitive application. However, application for some PNP programs may be simpler for others, depending upon the applicant’s background, expertise, and skills. PNP applications in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia are described to be less complicated and straightforward, with some programs having low point requirements or with nominations increasing Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points.
All in all, business immigration programs portray a pivotal role in attracting skilled entrepreneurs, fostering economic development, and promoting diversity within Canada. The Canadian government continues to work on its immigration initiatives by simplifying application processes and opening better opportunities for foreign individuals.
Still, seeking professional assistance for a smooth application process will save more time, help avoid errors, and increase better chances of approval. BSBCON possesses extensive expertise in crafting effective business plans for immigration to Canada. Our team of highly reliable business professionals will be with you every step of the way in developing a business plan that meets the application requirements for immigration. Take action now and connect with BSBCON today.