Business Immigration to Canada – Who is Eligible?

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Business Immigration to Canada – Who is Eligible?

Business Immigration to Canada – Who is Eligible?

Canada’s immigration policies are highly regarded and are considered some of the best in the world. This is because Canada recognizes the economic and social advantages of bringing foreign nationals with professional experience, skills, and knowledge, who can contribute their abilities for the improvement and development of Canada.

When it comes to business immigration to Canada, the country encourages skilled entrepreneurs and business owners to develop their activities in Canada through an easier immigration system – compared to many other countries around the world. As a result, a growing number of entrepreneurs and business owners come to live, work and travel in Canada, providing more job opportunities for Canadian citizens and new immigrants, supporting the economy and succeeding on an international level.

Business immigration to Canada – Why There?

We could probably count a dozen different reasons why you should open your business in Canada, but we will focus on the main facts:

  1. Low corporate tax.
    As of 2019, Canada lowered its corporate tax to just 15% – one of the lowest internationally. In comparison, the United States charges between 21% – 31%.

  2. Canada’s economy is stable.
    Canada kept its economy stable even during the financial crisis of 2008 and its banks came out of the crisis as some of the strongest in the world. Generally, the OECD also predicts steady growth for Canada in the coming years.

  3. Access to the North American market.
    This is probably the most important fact on this list – Canada has easy trade with the United States and Mexico, thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Business immigration to Canada – Available Visas

Over the years, there were several business visa options for entrepreneurs and business owners, but the visas that have stood the test of time due to their efficiency and range of possibilities are Canada Start-Up Visa and the Self-Employed Persons Program.

Starting with the Start-Up Visa, this one is aimed at business owners or part-owners with at least 3 years of experience of running a successful business. The best part about applying for this visa is that you do not need to meet minimum investment and net worth requirements. In comparison, to open your business in Australia, you will need personal and business assets of AUD800,000 (or, over half a million USD) – not to mention the minimum investment requirement.

If you qualify for Canada Start-Up Visa, you will be able to live, work and travel anywhere in Canada (please note that the province of Quebec has a separate business immigration program with separate requirements), become a Canada permanent resident, sponsor your family to come live with you, and more.

The Eligibility Requirements for Canada Start-Up Visa

To become eligible for Canada’s Start-Up Visa, you need to meet the following criteria:

  1. Have an existing business or be at the ideation stage of your business

  2. Your business plan must be financially and ideologically supported by specific Canadian organizations

  3. You will need to convince these organizations that your business is worth supporting because of how it will contribute to Canada’s economic growth

  4. Have one of these organizations invest at least $200,000 in your business

  5. You must meet language proficiency requirements in English or French, with a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 5 or higher

  6. Pay application fees, such as Canadian Business Immigration fee, Biometrics fee, permanent resident fee, medical/police clearance fees, and more.

Once you have completed and submitted your visa application for the Start-Up Visa, it should take 14 to 16 months to receive a reply from Canada’s immigration authorities (please note that Covid-19 restrictions may have affected processing times for this visa).

Bonus fact: Canada recognizes the fact that not all businesses succeed, so even if your Start-Up business fails, this will not affect your permanent resident status in Canada, and you will still be able to apply for Canadian citizenship as well (if eligible).

As for the Self-Employed Persons Program, this visa is aimed at people who want to immigrate to Canada as self-employed business owners. You must have 2 years of experience in a relevant field, prove genuine intention to become self-employed in Canada, and meet the main criteria as well as visa-specific requirements.

If you qualify for Canada’s Self-Employed Persons Program, you will be able to enjoy the same benefits as the Start-Up Visa: receive permanent residency status, live, work and travel anywhere in Canada, sponsor your family, and more (please note that the province of Quebec has a separate business immigration program with separate requirements).

The Eligibility Requirements for Canada’s Self-Employed Persons Program

Generally speaking, to become eligible to apply for Canada’s Self-Employed Persons Program, you must have previous experience in one of the following streams: Cultural Activities or Athletics, and you must be able to make a “significant contribution” to these streams in Canada. This contribution does not have to be at a national standard, it can be at a local level instead.

More specifically, these are the eligibility requirements for this visa:

  1. No minimum net worth or funding requirements. However, you must have sustainable funds for your and your family’s settlement in Canada.

  2. Have genuine intention to become self-employed in Canada

  3. You need to score at least 35 out of 100 points under the following selection factors: work experience, academic achievements, language proficiency, age, and adaptability (if you have 5 years of experience in your business, you will automatically receive 35 points).

  4. Pay application fees, such as Canadian Business Immigration fee, Biometrics fee, permanent resident fee, medical/police clearance fees, and more.

Once you have completed and submitted your visa application for the Self-Employed Persons Program, it should take around 22 months to receive a reply from Canada’s immigration authorities (please note that Covid-19 restrictions may have affected processing times for this visa).

Recommended Businesses to Open in Canada

Before choosing the visa you would like to apply for and starting your business immigration to Canada, ask yourself if your business is in-demand at all in Canada? Here are some of the recommended businesses to open in Canada, whether because they’re in-demand or due to their potential to succeed:

  • eCommerce

  • Loan Administration, Cheque Cashing & Other Services

  • Supermarkets & Grocery Stores

  • Renewable Energy

  • Soybean Farming

  • Digital Media

  • Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers

  • Real Estate

  • Cannabis Production

  • Pharmacies and Drug Stores

Can’t find your business type on this list? No worries! This does not mean that your business is not in-demand or will not potentially succeed in Canada. This is just a list of examples – all you need to do is some more research.

Think You Have What It Takes to Apply? Get Started

Business immigration to Canada for the Start-Up visa and the Self-Employed Persons Program is slightly different and takes longer than applying for a regular work permit. Therefore, before making your first steps, we recommend having a visa eligibility assessment to determine your possibilities of taking your business to Canada;

This assessment will cover your professional background and business activities, to determine the complexity of your immigration case and potential to apply for and succeed in obtaining the Start-Up Visa or the Self-Employed Persons Program.

Next, you should consult with an immigration professional about taking your next steps, collecting the required documentation, additional fees, requirements, accessing relevant courses and tools, and finally – submitting your visa application to the pool.

Great North Visa‘s immigration team and RCIC’s are at your service 24/6. Our teams are well experienced with handling any type of immigration case and every type of Canadian visa. We assisted many of our clients from around the world to start their business immigration to Canada and achieve a Canadian business visa.

Click below to be assigned a personal immigration agent today and start your exciting journey towards a life of success in Canada.

Jessica Thompson

Jessica Thompson is a professional content writer for Great North Visa. Jessica immigrated to Canada in 2012 from the UK with her husband Jack Thompson, and their two children. As someone who experienced first-hand what the Canadian immigration process is like, combined with extensive research, Jessica can share her knowledge about Canada immigration with her readers around the world. We hope that you find Jessica’s blog valuable to your journey to the Great White Noth.

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Jessica Thompson

Jessica Thompson is a professional content writer for Great North Visa. Jessica immigrated to Canada in 2012 from the UK with her husband Jack Thompson, and their two children. As someone who experienced first-hand what the Canadian immigration process is like, combined with extensive research, Jessica can share her knowledge about Canada immigration with her readers around the world. We hope that you find Jessica’s blog valuable to your journey to the Great White Noth.