Hadson Immigration

3 Main Categories of Canada Business Immigrants

3 Main Categories of Canada Business Immigrants


In our nine years of business immigration law practice, we have been familiar with three broad groups of business immigrants. In this post, we shall explain these categories and their Canadian immigration objectives. Additionally, we will emphasize which programs may be appropriate for each category.

Category 1: consists of Business-Only Immigrants

This category of immigrants comprises those who do not prioritize obtaining permanent residency or Canadian citizenship. They already possess solid passports and/or financial standings in their home countries. Priority is placed on strengthening the company and expanding market share and earnings.
Typically, these are businesspeople and investors from industrialized nations. This category also includes persons with a high net worth from developing nations. To be on the safe side in terms of compliance, they just wish to comply with Canadian immigration regulations when conducting business in Canada. These business immigrants seek work permits because Canadian law requires them to do so, and not as a method to relocate to Canada.

Category 2: Business Immigrants Limited to Immigration

This category of business immigrants consists of individuals who are willing to meet the conditions of a federal or provincial business immigration program in order to get medium- to long-term status in Canada. This group desires to establish a profitable business in Canada, but their primary objective is to relocate with their families.
As soon as they qualify for applicable immigration processes, they want to get work permits, permanent residency, and ultimately Canadian citizenship.
The majority of them believe that investing in Canada by creating or purchasing a business, operating it for a specified period of time, and performing as required by Canadian authorities is important to get the desired statuses for themselves and their families in Canada. This category comprises a substantial proportion of business immigrants

Third Group: Hybrid Business Immigrants

Hybrids are immigrants who wish to conduct business and achieve a secure immigration status in Canada. This group of business immigrants is more complex and flexible than Categories 1 and 2, and can migrate between the two.
They may eventually recruit individuals from both of the aforementioned categories. The immigrants who entered Canada for business purposes may fall in love with Canada and decide to reside there permanently. The immigration-only immigrants may discover lucrative business prospects in Canada and decide to prioritize their firms above acquiring permanent residency.

Available Immigration Programs for Each Class of Business Immigrants

The immigration laws and policies of Canada accommodate all three types of business immigrants.

For Category 1: Business Immigrants from Developed Countries with No Family Ties

They should determine whether their home nation has a free trade agreement with Canada. If the nations have an FTA, treaty investor and entrepreneur possibilities under an FTA are advantageous for them.
If prospective business immigrants already have a company in a foreign nation, the ICT (intra-company transfer) work visa program may also be a viable alternative. Particularly when the business owner want to relocate certain employees to Canada.

If category 1 business immigrants wish to conduct business in a certain region of Canada, soft-landing initiatives provided by Canadian provinces and regions may be advantageous. They can negotiate the best circumstances for moving their enterprises to relevant places with provincial and regional officials as the regions seek to attract foreign businesspeople and investors.

  • Those immigrants in Category 1 with a high net worth from developing nations:

If a person lacks an active firm in a foreign country but has exceptional financial resources, federal entrepreneurship visa programs should be carefully studied.
In this situation, the high-net-worth individual would need to demonstrate that his proposed business endeavor in Canada will provide substantial economic benefits and new jobs. By starting a potential firm or acquiring an existing one, the foreign investor might receive a work permit to operate his business in Canada and relocate his family to Canada for an extended length of time.
In Canada, their children and family are eligible for free healthcare and public education.

For Category 2: Immigration-Only Business Immigrants in Canada Seeking a Secure Status

Those who can invest at least $150,000 to launch a new firm in Canada or acquire an existing one should study the government entrepreneurship initiatives. The provincial entrepreneur programs require applicants to demonstrate a minimum net worth, whereas the federal entrepreneurship programs do not.
Consider moving to Canada as self-employed professionals if you have a background in sports and cultural activities.

In this scenario, you must first apply for permanent residence, which will take around two years to accomplish, and then apply for a work permit to operate your own business. Maintaining a work permit status allows you to expand your business while you await the results of your permanent residence application. Your family may accompany you.
Those with a novel, commercially viable business idea should investigate the Start-Up Visa program, which can lead to permanent residency. In this program, you must secure funding from designated investors or startup incubators. To enter Canada more quickly, you can submit two applications:

  • (a) a permanent residency application and (b) a work permit application.

For Category 3: Hybrid Business Immigrants Required to Meet Two Goals

Consider all initiatives advised for categories 1 and 2 for category 3 immigrants.

Your immigration strategy should be more comprehensive because you have two objectives:

business expansion and immigration. From this viewpoint, however:
  • If you have a substantial net worth (over $600,000), you should investigate provincial nominee programs tailored for entrepreneurs in a province where your specialty business is thriving. You should consider visiting Canada and the provinces of interest at least once for research purposes.
  • If you are from an FTA country or a country whose residents do not require a visa to enter Canada, you should visit the country prior to making a substantial investment commitment.
  • Consider becoming a majority shareholder (51 percent of shares) in an existing Canadian business if you are interested in forming a business partnership. Work with experienced business brokers that can expose you to Canadian companies that are potentially seeking partners. When you become a majority stakeholder, you can obtain a work permit to come to Canada to manage the business.
  • Consider purchasing a well-known franchise operation with at least two to three years of successful history if you are willing to invest as much capital as is required to operate two lucrative enterprises in Canada (and maybe to gain a Canadian immigration status). This alternative could provide you with money and a work visa, allowing you to oversee your firm in Canada more quickly.


The first step towards moving to Canada is to get an assessment of your specific situation. Call us today at +1 613.222.7154 for an assessment to see if you are eligible to move to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form. 

Whatsapp:  +1 613.222.7154

Discover your Canadian immigration options! Complete our free assessment today and a member of the HadsonTeam will contact you to discuss your immigration to Canada.

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