Business Immigration FAQ

What is the Business Immigration Program?

The Business Immigration Program is a category of Canadian Immigration under which individuals with business/managerial experience and relatively high net-worth may qualify for a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa. There are three sub-categories within the Business Immigration Program: Immigrant Investors,Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Persons.

What documents must I provide in support of my application under the Business Immigration Program?

In addition to Citizenship and Immigration Canada application forms, education-related and status documents (passports, birth/marriage certificates, etc.), you must submit documents proving your business and/or managerial experience, as well as documents evidencing your net worth.

Under the Business Immigration Program, am I required to live in a particular province?

After becoming a Canadian Permanent Resident, you may live, work and engage in business activities in any Canadian province or territory, regardless of where you initially indicated you intended to reside on your application form. However, as an Entrepreneur intending to reside in the Province of Quebec you will be required to manage a commercial enterprise, which you must establish or acquire a portion of, in that province.

How can I qualify under the Immigrant Investor Program?

As an Immigrant Investor planning to reside anywhere in Canada, except in the Province of Quebec, you must have:

  • a net worth of at least CAD$1.6 million, lawfully obtained;
  • the funds to invest CAD$800,000 (financing available) for five years with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which acts as agent on behalf of provincial and territorial investment funds; and
  • managed and owned an equity interest in a qualifying business, as defined under Citizenship and Immigration Canada Regulations; or, managed/supervised at least five employees for a period of two years within the last five years.

As an Immigrant Investor planning to reside in the Province of Quebec, you must have:

  • a net worth of at least CAD$1.6 million, lawfully obtained;
  • the funds to invest CAD$800,000 for five years in a government of Quebec guaranteed investment fund; and
  • managerial experience in a commercial, industrial or agricultural enterprise; or managerial experience in a government, governmental organization, or international organization for a period of two years within the last five years.

How can I prove that my net worth has been lawfully obtained?

You must demonstrate the origin and accumulation of your wealth through reliable, third-party documentary evidence: tax returns, pay stubs, deeds of purchase/sale, statements from stockbrokers, business/real estate valuations, etc. You must be able to demonstrate that your assets were gained through means, which are considered legal, including gifts or inheritances.

As an Immigrant Investor, will I be obliged to work and/or engage in business activities in Canada?

While you are entitled to engage in work and business activities upon arrival in Canada, there is absolutely no obligation to do so.

What are the main differences between the Federal and Quebec Immigrant Investor programs?

Applicants with business managerial experience can qualify under either the Federal or Quebec Immigrant Investor Program. However, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program also takes into consideration managerial experience in a government, governmental organization or international organization and therefore may appeal to individuals with a broader spectrum of backgrounds.

How can I qualify under the Entrepreneur Program?

As an Entrepreneur applicant, planning to reside anywhere in Canada, except in the Province of Quebec, you must have:

  • a net worth of at least CAD$300,000, lawfully obtained;
  • at least two years of managerial experience in a profitable commercial, industrial or agricultural business during the last five years
  • the intention and ability to manage and own at least one-third of a qualifying Canadian business as defined under Canadian Immigration Regulations, for at least one year within three years of arriving in Canada.

As an Entrepreneur applicant planning to reside in the Province of Quebec, you must have:

  • a net worth of at least CAD$300,000, lawfully obtained;
  • at least two year’s of managerial experience during the last five years and control at least 25% of the capital equity in a profitable commercial, industrial or agricultural business.
  • submit a business project with the purpose of creating or acquiring a business in Quebec that you will manage and own at least 25% of capital equity with a value of at least CAD$100,000, or have acquired a business in Quebec that meets the same requirements.

Are there conditions attached to a Canada Immigration Visa issued under the Entrepreneur Program?

Yes, the Entrepreneur must, within three years of arriving in Canada:

  • control a percentage of equity of a qualifying Canadian business equal to or greater than one-third;
  • be active in the management of the qualifying Canadian business, and
  • establish at least one full time job for a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident other than the Entrepreneur and family members.

If the Entrepreneur does not fulfill these conditions, there is a possibility of losing Canadian Permanent Resident status.

How can I qualify under the Self-Employed Persons Program?

To qualify as a Self-Employed person, you must be able to demonstrate experience, intention and ability to establish or purchase a business in Canada that will keep you employed and make a significant contribution to cultural activities, athletics or farming in Canada. Your intended business must generate sufficient revenues to support you and your dependents.

If your destination is in the Province of Quebec, you must have:

  • a net worth of at least CAD$100,000, lawfully obtained; and
  • at least two years of experience as a self-employed worker in the occupation you plan to pursue in the Province of Quebec.

Under the Quebec Selection Criteria, your field of activity is not limited to culture, athletics or farming.

Are there any minimum net worth requirements for Self-Employed Persons?

The net worth requirement for Self-Employed persons varies depending on the nature and location of the proposed venture. Self-Employed persons destined to the Province of Quebec must have a net worth of at least CAD$100,000, lawfully obtained.


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