Immigrating to Canada as an entrepreneur is easier than you think

Looking to start a new business or buy an existing business? Canada not only offers a number of entrepreneur-friendly immigration programs but it also fosters an innovative and evolutionary landscape where your business can truly flourish. Here’s how.

As with any immigration program in Canada, you must meet the language requirements and, you must have enough money to settle and live in Canada before you make money from your business.

BRITISH COLUMBIA – START-UP VISA PROGRAM

Summary Of Requirements

  1. Have a Qualifying Business

Your business must meet all of the following criteria:

  • at the time you get a commitment from a Designated Organization:
    • each applicant must hold 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners) AND
    • applicants and the Designated Organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time
  • at the time you receive permanent residence:
    • you provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada
    • an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada
    • this business is incorporated in Canada
  1. Prove Your Business is Supported by a Designated Organization

Before you can apply for the Start-up Visa Program, you must have the support of a Designated Organization – business groups that have been approved to invest in or support possible start-ups. The three kinds of Designated Organizations are (i) Venture Capital Funds, (ii) Angel Investor Groups, or (iii) Business Incubators. You just need support from one of these groups. They will provide you a letter of support, which you must include with your application.  The Designated Organizations choose which business proposals to review. Each organization has its own intake process for proposals and criteria used to assess them (i.e. you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan). If a Designated Organization reviews your business idea, it will assess the potential of your proposal and whether or not it will succeed and will provide the letter of support if they decide to invest in your start-up.

ONTARIO – OINP ENTREPRENEUR STREAM

Summary of Requirements

This stream is for entrepreneurs from outside of Canada interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario. It gives an entrepreneur (and up to one business partner) the opportunity to be nominated for permanent residence once their business has been established in Ontario.

  1. Have Business Experience

You must have at least 36 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months. Your experience must be as a business owner or as a senior manager (business management). As a business owner, you must have had an active role in the business and owned at least one-third of the business. As a senior manager, you must have had senior decision-making responsibilities in the business.

  1. Net Worth

If your proposed business will be located:

  • within the Greater Toronto area (City of Toronto and Durham, Halton, York, and Peel regions) you must have a minimum net worth of $1,500,000 CDN.
  • outside of the Greater Toronto area, you must have a minimum net worth of $800,000 CDN.

If your proposed business is in the information and communications technology/digital communications sector then regardless of location, you must have a minimum net worth of $800,000 CDN.

  1. Personal funds and Minimum Equity

If your proposed business will be located:

  • within the Greater Toronto area, you must make a minimum personal investment of $1,000,000 CDN and control at least one-third of the equity in the business
  • outside of the Greater Toronto area, you must make a minimum personal investment of $500,000 CDN and control at least one-third of the equity in the business

If your proposed business is in the information and communications technology/digital communications sector then regardless of location, you must make a minimum personal investment of $500,000 CDN and control at least of one-third of the equity in the business.

  1. Active Involvement

You must be actively involved, on an on-going basis, in the management of the business.

  1. Capital Investment Purpose

The primary purpose of investing capital in the business must be to make a profit. It must not be to derive interest, dividends or capital gains

  1. Job Creation

You must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents within the first 20 months of establishing or acquiring the business and they must be paid at the median wage level for the position.

Want to know more about how you can put your entrepreneurial skills to work in Canada? Call us today and speak with our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant 1-866-972-7366 or email [email protected].

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