Federal Business Immigration Programs
Whether you are self-employed, are looking to grow or start a business in Canada, or simply would like to leverage your personal net worth to help drive the Canadian economy, there are several Federal Business Immigration Programs designed to fit the skills and experience of successful businesspersons who want to settle in any province except Quebec.
Provincial Nominee Programs for Business
Each province and territory operate its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), many of which have a stream for candidates with entrepreneurial or management experience.
The eligibility criteria and application procedure for each PNP stream varies, but successful applicants will invariably receive a provincial nomination.
This provincial nomination then generally permits the applicant to apply for permanent residence at the federal level.
About Our Business Immigration Team
With a wealth of opportunities waiting for experienced, business individuals to help propel the growing Canadian economy, our team of experts are ready to help you take the next step in your business immigration endeavors.
Guiding you step by step through the immigration process from eligibility to permanent residency, our business immigration team provide first-class support, so you can get back to focusing on your business.
What Is Canada Start-Up Visa (SUV)?
Canada’s start-up visa program gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to immigrate to Canada to establish a new business.
Immigrant entrepreneurs must demonstrate that their business is innovative, will create new jobs for Canadians, and can compete on a global scale.
If you are an entrepreneur with an innovative business idea, you may be eligible to immigrate to Canada through the start-up visa program.
If you are a non-Canadian and want to start a new business or company in Canada, then you can use the country’s startup visa program.
Successful applicants can tie up with private companies in Canada and receive help on funding and guidance on running their business.
Canada’s Start Up Visa Program
Also commonly referred to as the SUV program of Canada, is a Canada immigration pathway for qualified entrepreneurs.
Linking innovative entrepreneurs with private sector investors in Canada, the SUV program specifically targets immigrants that have the potential of successfully establishing their business in Canada.
Initially coming to the country on a Canada work permit – supported by their designated Canadian investor – such candidates will be qualifying for acquiring Canada PR once their business in Canada is fully operational.
During the processing of their Canadian permanent residence application, the SUV candidate will be able to apply for a temporary work permit for entering Canada and begin building-up their business in the country.
This program encourages immigrant entrepreneurs to develop their startups in Canada.
Successful applicants can tie-up with private sector investor in Canada to receive help on funding and guidance on running their business.
The three types of private sector investors they can approach are:
- Venture capital fund
- Business incubator
- Angel investor
The Requirements to be Eligible for Canadian Start-Up Visa:
Have a qualifying business:
- You must hold at least 10% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the company
- Together with the designated organization, you must hold at least 50% of the voting rights attached to all shares of the company
2. Have a letter of support from a designated organization:
- You need to demonstrate that you have the support of a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator
- To do this, you must pitch your business idea and convince the organization that it is worth supporting
- The process of pitching your business idea will be different for each organization
- If your pitch is successful, you will receive a letter of support from the organization which must be included in your start-up visa application
3. Meet the language requirements:
- Must take a language test from an approved agency and show that you meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in speaking, reading, listening, and writing.
4. Proof of funds:
- You need to show that you have enough money to support yourself and any dependents once you arrive in Canada. The amount you need depends on the size of your family.
How to apply for a Start-Up Visa
Fill out the application form:
- Fill out the Generic Application Form for Canada
- Click the “Validate” button on the form, and make sure that you have completed all required fields
- Print the validated application form, making sure to include the barcode page
- Sign and date the form
2. Complete the document checklist
- Gather all documents listed in the order specified in the document checklist
- Place all necessary documents in a sealed envelope
- Print out the document checklist and sign it
- Include the document checklist as the cover page of your application
3. Pay your application fees
- Application fees include processing fees for you and anyone included on your application
- Right of permanent residence fee
- Third-party fees including fees for medical exams, police certificates, and language testing
- Biometrics fees:
4. Submit your application
- Before submitting your application, ensure that it is complete
- Make sure you have signed all forms
- Pay your processing fees and include receipts in your application
- Include all supporting documents
Put all documents in a 9” x 12” envelope, write ‘start-up visa’ on the outside of the envelope, and mail to the appropriate address
If you have a net worth of at least $10 million CAD acquired through legal business investment activities such as a commercial, for-profit business or private sector activities, you could be eligible for the Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program.
Yes. Most streams of Canadian business immigration will require a capital investment from your personal net worth.
The Federal Startup Visa and Self-Employed programs are the only streams that do not require some sort of upfront investment.
The current processing time for the start-up visa is between 12 and 16 months.
No. Your permanent residence will not be jeopardized in the event your business fails.
Entrepreneurs wishing to immigrate to Canada with a startup visa must secure a minimum investment of $200,000 from an approved organization or at least $75,000 from a designated angel investor.
If your business is accepted into a business incubator program, you are not required to secure an investment.
Yes. If you have at least two years of relevant experience as an artisan, professional athlete or farmer, you could be eligible to come to Canada with a self-employed visa.
As part of the eligibility requirements,
you will need to provide proof (Commitment Certificate and Letter of Support) that your business is in fact supported by a designated organization.
These documents will cover the relevant details of your arrangement with one or multiple designated organizations, and are paramount to your startup visa application.
Unlike federal and provincial investor programs, where applicants must invest their own capital, no investment of their own funds will be required.
Instead, those who meet the eligibility requirements must secure a minimum of $75,000 from a Canadian angel investor, or a minimum of $200,000 from a Canadian venture capital fund recognized by the government of Canada.