Business Immigration Programs for PR in Canada

Business Immigration Programs for PR in Canada

This article has been reviewed and approved by Sanchita Chugh a certified RCIC (Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant).

Starting your journey to live in Canada through Investor Visa programs opens up numerous opportunities. It’s ideal for those interested in residency and starting their own businesses. This guide discusses the “Business Immigration Programs for PR in Canada,” detailing a variety of options for entrepreneurs and investors. It includes federal investment programs and provincial programs, each offering unique ways to achieve your business goals in Canada.

The Canadian investor visa acts as a gateway for foreign entrepreneurs. These programs start with work permits and pave the way for successful entrepreneurs to establish and operate businesses within Canada. As these businesses grow, the chance of gaining permanent residency and Canadian citizenship becomes a real possibility. Scroll down to learn more about the Business Immigration Programs for PR in Canada.

Table of Contents

What is Canada Investor Immigration?

Canada welcomes people who have succeeded in running businesses to explore investment opportunities. If you have experience in business, you can start a new business or invest in an existing one in Canada. These programs aim to attract foreign investors with substantial personal wealth and significant managerial skills.

If you are an entrepreneur or a business-minded individual, Canada’s investor visa program might be the ideal pathway for you. It’s designed to provide a route to permanent residency for those with business expertise. Immigrants arriving for business purposes can enjoy perks like access to healthcare, top-notch education, and participation in the national pension system.

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Who Should Consider Investor Programs?

Each program has its own requirements and application steps, but there are some common key aspects that they typically share. They are:

  • Operating a successful business or having adequate funds to start or acquire one in Canada.
  • Having a minimum of $250,000 available for investment in your Canadian business.
  • Having the essential skills for business development and management.
  • Showing that you can use your business skills to start a business in Canada.

What are the Canada Federal Investor Programs?

Canada’s Federal Investor Programs offer a range of business immigration pathways at the national level. They provide various opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors, and business owners. The following programs highlight various avenues tailored to meet the specific needs and aspirations of individuals looking to contribute to Canada’s economy.

Intra-Company Transfer (ICT)

The Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program is made for companies based outside Canada that already have an office in Canada or are thinking of expanding into the country. It lets these companies bring employees from their international offices to work in their Canadian branches.

Employees transferred under this program get a temporary work permit, allowing them to work in Canada for a set time. Usually, after working in Canada for a year through this program, these employees might be able to apply for permanent residency. This arrangement makes it easier for skilled workers to move between the company’s different locations, helping the international company grow and benefiting the job market in Canada.

Start-Up Visa Program (SUV)

Canada’s Start-Up Visa program targets innovative and entrepreneurial talent from other countries. This program allows up to five founders of a foreign company with a unique business idea to get an open work permit. Which enables them to work in Canada for up to three years. This permit gives them the chance to set up and expand their start-up in the Canadian market.

A crucial requirement for this program is getting a Letter of Support or an Investment Commitment from a Designated Organization in Canada. These could be angel investor groups, venture capital funds, or business incubators authorized to take part in the Start-Up Visa program. This support or investment shows the credibility and potential of the start-up, allowing these individuals to pursue their business goals in Canada. Successful participation in the program might also lead to permanent residency for those who qualify.

Entrepreneur Visa (C11)

Canada’s C11 Entrepreneur Stream provides a great opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs. They can either invest in an existing Canadian business or start a new one. Initially, upon meeting program criteria, entrepreneurs receive a temporary work permit. This permit allows them to actively run and manage their business in Canada.

After successfully operating the business for a year, entrepreneurs become eligible to apply for permanent residency. This program offers a transition from temporary work status to a permanent residency opportunity. It’s designed for those who showcase commitment and contribute to the Canadian economy through their entrepreneurial efforts.

LMIA Work Permit Program

The Labour Market Impact Assessment Work Permit Program allows entrepreneurs and investors to obtain a work permit. Individuals can potentially secure permanent residency after working in Canada for two years through this program. However, the primary focus of this program is to facilitate the hiring of foreign workers by Canadian employers, rather than exclusively catering to entrepreneurs and investors seeking immigration pathways.

The LMIA process evaluates the impact of hiring foreign workers on the Canadian labour market. Although entrepreneurs and investors can benefit from this program, its main emphasis is on addressing labour market needs and supporting the employment of foreign workers.

What are the Provincial Investor Immigration Programs?

In Canada, each province has its own immigration programs. These are created to attract investment and help people settle down permanently in different parts of the country.


Alberta provides an excellent environment for launching your own business. The province is driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and has a young, educated, and diverse workforce. Starting a business in Alberta is easy because the province has the lowest corporate tax rate in Canada and no provincial sales tax.

Alberta Business Immigration Program welcomes skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs who generate employment opportunities and contribute to the region. As an entrepreneur, discover how you can establish a business and secure permanent residency in Alberta:

Rural Entrepreneur Stream

This program is for entrepreneurs looking to start or buy a business in rural Alberta. To begin, candidates can express their interest in this opportunity.

  • Minimum net worth: $300,000 in personal or partner assets.
  • Investment: At least $100,000 equity investment, higher investments gain more points.
  • Ownership: New business – minimum 51% ownership with Canadian partners. Business succession – candidate needs 100% ownership. Businesses must not be ineligible.

Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is a pathway for the AAIP to nominate international graduates from Alberta post-secondary institutions. This opportunity is for those who wish to establish or operate a business in Alberta, allowing them to apply for permanent residence.

  • Business setup: Start or buy an Alberta business with 34% ownership.
  • Investment points: it is not mandatory; $25,000 or less is awarded 5 points, $25,001 to $50,000 receives 10 points, $50,001 to $75,000 earns 15 points, and $75,001 or more is granted 20 points.

Farm Stream

Entrepreneurs with the financial means and farm management expertise can use this route to initiate a new farm venture or acquire an existing one in Alberta. Applicants need to submit their business plan for evaluation, working closely with the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program and Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation to ensure it aligns with the province’s agriculture sector.

  • Minimum net worth: Proof of CDN $500,000 net worth or ability to access similar funds is required.
  • Investment: Candidates need to invest a minimum of CDN $500,000 in an Alberta primary production farming business.

Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Tailored for eligible foreign-educated graduates from countries other than Canada, this initiative encourages them to create innovative businesses and startup ventures in Alberta.

  • Business Ownership: 34% ownership in urban centers, and 51% in regional areas outside Calgary and Edmonton, is required. Business partners must be Permanent Residents or Canadian Citizens.
  • Investment: A minimum investment before moving to Alberta – $100,000 for urban centers, and $50,000 for regional areas awarding more points for higher investments. Points apply to either urban or regional areas, not both.

British Columbia

The Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) program under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) is designed for international entrepreneurs aiming to establish businesses in BC to support innovation and economic advancement within the province.

Entrepreneur Immigration serves as a “temporary to permanent” migration route. This implies that upon approval, you will first arrive in B.C. as a temporary resident. Subsequently, you can apply for permanent residency after successfully launching a business. Explore how, as an entrepreneur, you can create a business and obtain permanent residency in British Columbia.

Base stream

This category is tailored for senior managers or business owners intending to invest funds into a proposed business in British Columbia. Candidates are required to showcase management expertise along with substantial personal net worth.

  • Minimum net worth: Demonstrating CAD $600,000 in wealth
  • Investment: Minimum CAD $200,000 in the business

Regional Pilot

British Columbia invites global entrepreneurs to explore business opportunities in all regions. Through the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) Regional Pilot, individuals can start businesses in smaller communities. Introduced in March 2019, this pilot has been extended until March 31, 2024.

  • Net worth: The minimum requirement is CAD$300,000.
  • Investment: Minimum of CAD$100,000 in the business.
  • Ownership: At least 51% ownership required.

Strategic Projects

The Strategic Projects category is tailored for foreign companies considering key investment opportunities in B.C. to build operations that strengthen their core business. It allows these companies to relocate up to five senior employees permanently to manage their B.C. operations, securing their provincial nomination for Canadian residency.

  • Investment: Minimum equity investment of at least $500,000 directed toward the corporation’s operations in B.C.


The Manitoba Business Investor Stream (BIS) is a set of immigration pathways within the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP), a Provincial Nominee Program administered by the province of Manitoba. This stream consists of two immigration pathways aimed at individuals from other countries who are interested in investing substantial capital into new business ventures within Manitoba.

Entrepreneur Pathway

The Entrepreneur Pathway (EP) enables Manitoba to attract and nominate skilled entrepreneurs from across the globe who have the desire and capability to relocate to Manitoba and initiate, acquire, or enter partnerships in businesses once they arrive in Canada on a temporary work permit. The updated EP replaces the earlier MPNP-B stream, eliminating the previous requirement for applicants to submit a $100,000 deposit to the Manitoba government.

  • Net Worth: The minimum requirement is $500,000 CAD.
  • Investment:  $250,000 CAD minimum for Winnipeg Metro and $150,000 CAD minimum outside Winnipeg Metro.
  • Ownership: To be eligible for points, business owners are required to possess a minimum ownership of 33 1/3%.

Farm Investor Pathway

The Farm Investor Pathway (FIP) seeks experienced individuals with investment capital for a rural Manitoba farm. Successful FIP applicants are anticipated to create a farm business in rural Manitoba, focusing on primary products in line with the province’s existing agricultural sector. Other agri-businesses may qualify under the Entrepreneur Pathway. The updated FIP replaces the previous Farm Strategic Recruitment Initiative.

  • Net Worth: Individuals must possess a minimum net worth of $500,000 CAD.
  • Investment: A minimum investment of $300,000 CAD is required to establish a farming business in rural Manitoba.

New Brunswick 

The New Brunswick PNP program is designed for newcomers aspiring to reside and work in the province, expediting the relocation process for eligible foreign individuals. New Brunswick’s Business Investor Stream comprises the Entrepreneurial Stream and the Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream. Those who succeed will qualify for permanent residency in Canada.

Applicants for both the Entrepreneurial Stream and the Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream must provide a comprehensive business plan and participate in an interview with New Brunswick officials.

Entrepreneurial Stream

The Entrepreneurial Stream caters to experienced business owners or senior managers aiming to own and manage a business in New Brunswick.

  • Net Worth: Applicants must possess a minimum personal net worth of $600,000, with at least $300,000 in unencumbered, personal, and verifiable assets.
  • Investment: Successful applicants under the Entrepreneurial Stream are mandated to invest a minimum of $250,000 in a New Brunswick business.
  • Ownership: Additionally, they must actively engage in the day-to-day management of the business and hold at least 33.33% ownership.

Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream

The Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream focuses on international graduates from accredited New Brunswick post-secondary institutions who have effectively managed a business for a minimum of one year.

  • Educational Requirement: Eligible applicants must have finished a minimum of 2 years of full-time studies in a post-secondary program within New Brunswick and hold a valid post-graduation work permit.
  • Exemption for Net Worth and Investment: Candidates under this stream are relieved from meeting the minimum net worth and investment requirements of the Entrepreneurial Stream.

Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program provides a variety of pathways to embrace individuals with varying skills and backgrounds, inviting them to enrich the province’s development. The NS PNP programs cater to distinct requirements and opportunities in the job market and the wider community.


The Entrepreneur Stream is for experienced business owners or senior managers looking to live in Nova Scotia. They need to start or buy a business, actively manage it, and can be nominated for permanent residency after a year of operation. 

  • Net worth: At least $600,000 CAD
  • Investment: Minimum of $150,000 CAD for setting up a business in Nova Scotia

International Graduate Entrepreneur

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is for recent graduates of a Nova Scotia institution who have already owned and operated a Nova Scotia business for a year. If they plan to settle in Nova Scotia, they may be nominated for permanent residency. 

  • Education: Successfully completed a degree or diploma following a minimum of 2 academic years of full-time, in-person study at a Nova Scotia university or the Nova Scotia Community College.
  • Ownership: Minimum of one year of continuous experience actively managing and owning your present Nova Scotia business, holding at least 33.33% ownership.


The Ontario Entrepreneur stream falls under the Business Streams of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) administered by the province of Ontario. This particular stream is tailored for experienced business owners or senior managers seeking to reside in Ontario. 

Successful candidates must either launch a new business venture or acquire an existing one, actively participating in its management.

  • Net Worth: Within the Greater Toronto Area (City of Toronto and Durham, Halton, York, and Peel regions) – Minimum personal net worth of $800,000 Canadian. Outside of the Greater Toronto Area – Minimum personal net worth of $400,000 Canadian.
  • Investment: Within the Greater Toronto Area – Minimum personal investment of $600,000 Canadian. Outside of the Greater Toronto Area – Minimum personal investment of $200,000 Canadian.

Prince Edward Island

Individuals seeking to immigrate to Canada through a business visa can leverage the Business Impact stream of the PEI PNP, either by establishing a business with 100% ownership or investing in a new or established PEI business. This option also allows for acquiring a work permit by investing in a PEI business, facilitating a quicker transition to life in Canada and PEI.

Work Permit Stream

If you want to move to Prince Edward Island, invest in and run a business, and become a permanent resident, you might qualify for a permanent residency nomination through the Work Permit Stream of the Prince Edward Island PNP. This option is for people with business or management experience who plan to begin a business in PEI.

  • Net Worth: A minimum verifiable personal net worth of $600,000, accumulated through legal and legitimate sources in your own right.


The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) is a segment of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), offering various immigration avenues for foreign nationals seeking Canadian permanent residency. This strategic PNP aims to attract immigrants in fields that support the province’s growth, including skilled workers, individuals in sectors with labour shortages, those with job offers, and aspiring entrepreneurs. The Saskatchewan business immigration stream offers three distinctive programs:

Entrepreneur Category

The Entrepreneur Category is designated for foreign nationals seeking to own or collaborate in a business within Saskatchewan, actively engaging in its management while residing in the province.

  • Net Worth: Requires a $500,000 legally acquired minimum.
  • Investment: Applicants must invest a minimum of $300,000 in a business in the province or $200,000 in regional communities outside Regina and Saskatoon.

Farm Owner and Operator Category

The Farm Owner and Operator Category within Saskatchewan’s immigration program is tailored for foreign nationals looking to relocate to the province. This category specifically targets individuals with proven experience in farming and a significant financial capacity to invest in a farming operation. The aim is for these individuals to purchase and manage a farm in Saskatchewan, thereby contributing to the province’s agricultural sector and community development.

  • Net Worth: $500,000 required.
  • Investment: Applicants must invest a minimum of $150,000 in Saskatchewan farming operations.

International Graduate Entrepreneur Category

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Category is designed for international students who have graduated from a Saskatchewan institution and aspire to be entrepreneurs. Through the SINP Entrepreneur Program, you and your family have the opportunity to initiate, acquire, or collaborate in a business in Saskatchewan, actively managing it while residing in the province.

  • Investment: Applicants must either own at least one-third of the equity in the business or invest a minimum of $200,000 when acquiring an existing business. 
  • The program is specifically aimed at international graduates who have completed at least one academic year of full-time study in Saskatchewan.


Entrepreneurs from abroad can take advantage of Quebec’s business immigration programs. As an investor-immigrant in Quebec, you have the opportunity to either launch a new business or invest in an existing one, reside in Quebec, and eventually secure permanent residency by operating your business under a work permit.

Quebec Investor Program

The Quebec Investor Program requires individuals to meet specified net worth criteria, possess managerial experience, and commit to making a government-secured investment for a period of five years. Funding for this investment can be arranged through Canadian financial institutions.

  • Net Worth: A minimum of at least $2,000,000 is required.
  • Investment: Make a 5-year term investment of $1,200,000 with IQ Immigrants Investisseurs Inc.

Quebec Entrepreneur Program

The Quebec Entrepreneur Program demands that individuals meet specific net worth requirements, present a viable business project, provide a deposit amount for both the startup and security, and be capable of launching or acquiring a business in Quebec, actively participating in a managerial capacity.

Secure a service offer from a support organization like a business accelerator, incubator, or university entrepreneurship center, showing its capability to support your business project.

Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program

The Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program mandates that individuals meet specified net worth conditions, and possess work experience in the intended profession or trade they plan to practice in Quebec. And deposit a specified amount corresponding to the region where they’ll be working.

  • Net Worth: Minimum requirement of at least $100,000.
  • Investment: Make a startup deposit with a financial institution, $25,000 outside CMM (Census Metropolitan Area), and $50,000 within CMM.

How to Apply for an Investor Visa?

Progressing through an investor visa journey in Canada involves several stages that gradually lead to a long-term stay and, potentially, Canadian citizenship. Understanding this path can simplify your route to establishing and managing a business in Canada. The steps involved include initiating a business, acquiring a work permit, securing permanent residency, and eventually aiming for citizenship. These stages shape the journey of an aspiring business immigrant in Canada.

1. Start a Business: Begin by starting or buying a company in Canada. This company is where you will run your business in Canada. Make sure it fits the requirements of the business program you are applying through.

2. Your Job at the Company: Upon the establishment or acquisition of your Canadian company, you will be engaged by it as an executive, manager, or business owner. This professional connection is a vital aspect of your application, confirming your eligibility for a work permit.

3. Apply for a Work Permit: With your company employing you, you can apply for a work permit through a business immigration program. This allows you to legally work and run your business in Canada. You need to submit a detailed business plan along with your application.

4. Run Your Business: After getting your work permit, focus on managing and growing your business in Canada for at least one year. Keep good records of what you are doing in your business.

5. Apply for Permanent Residency: Once you have run your business for a year, you can apply for permanent residency. Usually, this application is submitted through the same business immigration program you initially joined.  The immigration authorities will review your business performance and other requirements.

6. Work towards Canadian Citizenship: After getting permanent residency, you can aim for Canadian citizenship. This means meeting some rules about living in Canada, being good in English or French, passing a citizenship test, and knowing about Canada.

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Relocating with Family under the Investor Visa in Canada

When considering relocation to Canada through the investor visa program, many business owners aim to bring their families along. It’s vital to understand that the immigration process allows for the inclusion of family members. Typically, your spouse or common-law partner can receive an open work permit, granting them the ability to work in Canada. Additionally, depending on the age, your children may obtain study permits or temporary residence permits, enabling them to pursue their education or reside in the country.

As the principal applicant for the investor visa, the eligibility for permanent residency extends to family members. This means that your family – including your spouse or partner and children – can also embark on the path towards obtaining permanent residency in Canada, fostering a collective journey towards establishing a new life in the country.

Which Investment Immigration Path Suits Your Business: Federal or Provincial Programs?

Business immigrants have numerous investor visa routes available. It’s essential to align your choice with your business goals. Analyzing federal and provincial programs is vital to select the best fit for your business and family’s well-being.

OverviewFederal Investor ProgramsProvincial Investor Programs
Minimum InvestmentCAD $250,000 to $350,000 The suggested investment is $350,000.
Ranges from CAD $250,000 to $1,000,000, alongside supplementary net worth conditions in each province.
Certain industry-specific programs might not necessitate qualifying investment requirements.
Processing Time1 to 3 months6 to 8 months
Time to Permanent Residency2+ years2+ years
Family MembersYesYes for select cases
Program LimitNoYes
Restrictions and CommitmentDemonstrate that you possess ample liquid funds to implement your business strategy.Check for restricted and preferred businesses in provincial programs. Many provinces restrict franchises or certain automated businesses.

Ensure you examine the residency and business commitment prerequisites in provincial programs to comprehend your short- and long-term obligations.

Canada Investor Visa Programs – Making Dreams Reality

Concluding your exploration of Canada’s Investor Visa programs marks the beginning of a story waiting to unfold in this land of boundless opportunities.
Deciding between the federal and provincial pathways means choosing diverse avenues leading to the same destination: a future filled with potential and growth. As you reach this important moment, take the opportunity to make your dreams come true in Canada’s growing economy and encouraging atmosphere.

Make your choice, move forward towards your business dreams, and see your vision become real in Canada’s welcoming environment. Are you prepared to embark on this life-changing adventure? Our team of experienced immigration consultants is here to guide you, ensuring a smoother path and turning your dreams into a tangible reality!

FAQs on Business Immigration Programs for PR in Canada

Below are frequently posed inquiries with corresponding responses regarding Business Immigration Programs for Permanent Residency in Canada.

Q. Can I get PR with business in Canada?
A. Both the federal and provincial governments welcome business immigrants, providing valuable support to help newcomers establish and settle in Canada. These programs are designed to assist individuals interested in starting their own businesses while also pursuing PR in the country.

Q. How do I determine whether to choose a federal or provincial Investor Visa program in Canada?
A. The choice between federal and provincial Investor Visa programs in Canada depends on your business preferences, location, and specific eligibility criteria. Federal programs have a nationwide scope, while provincial ones are more localized, addressing specific regional needs and opportunities.

Q. Can family members accompany me through the Investor Visa program?
A. Yes, family members are usually included in the application for permanent residency via Investor Visa programs. Spouses and dependent children can often accompany the principal applicant, with spouses being eligible for open work permits, allowing them to work in Canada.

Q. How does the Canadian Investor Visa program benefit entrepreneurs and investors in their business pursuits?
A. The Investor Visa program offers a work permit as the initial step, enabling individuals to start, manage, and grow their businesses. Successful ventures through these programs can lead to permanent residency and eventual citizenship in Canada.

Q. What’s the investment requirement for a Canada investment visa?
A. The Canada investment visa typically needs an investment between $250,000 to $350,000. Federal immigration programs don’t specify exact amounts, as the investment varies based on your business type, location, and industry competition.

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