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Entrepreneur and Investor Visas

Business immigration to Canada. Options for investment entrepreneurship.

In 2021, Canada announced lofty immigration goals with a target of 1.2 million people over three years. This means approximately 400,000 new immigrants to Canada per year. However, Canada is also hoping to stimulate the post-Covid economy with immigration and a great way to do this is through business investment which will inject money into the economy and create jobs for Canadians and Canadian permanent residents. Despite the challenges of COVID, there has perhaps never been a better time than now to invest in Canada.

There are several programs through which you may immigrate to Canada by purchasing or opening a business. There are also both federal and provincial programs to choose from and programs with varying levels of investment. In many cases, the first step is a matter of determining which program will be the best fit for your specific situation.

Below, we have included some information on just a few of the programs that may be used to immigrate through business.


There are several streams of business immigration. The most notable is the owner/operator LMIA which was previously advertising exempt and expedited the process.

This stream now requires that the position is advertised to the public and if there isn’t a qualified candidate then the position may be offered to a foreign worker, who is also the majority share owner of the business. They must own at least 50.01% of the business.

The application requires a thorough business plan which should be extremely well prepared, if not professionally prepared and most of all should make sense. It should also focus on the benefits to the Canadian labour market.

If the LMIA receives a positive result then the candidate can apply for a work permit and they are eligible to receive 200 points towards their express entry score.


Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:

  • are innovative

  • can create jobs for Canadians

  • can compete on a global scale

Do you have an innovative business idea? If you can get support for your idea from one of the designated organizations, you may be able to immigrate to Canada.

To be eligible for the Start-up Visa Program, you must:

  • have a qualifying business

  • get a letter of support from a designated organization

  • meet the language requirements of CLB 5

  • bring enough money to settle

You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you get to Canada.



Self Emloyed visa is meant exclusively for individuals who participate in cultural activities of athletics at a world-class level.

If you’re interested in this program, you must:

  • have relevant experience in cultural activities or athletics and

  • be willing and able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada

Your experience is relevant if you have:

  • taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level


  • been a self-employed person in cultural activities or athletics

Relevant experience for a self-employed person means at least two years of experience and it must have taken place during the period starting 5 years before the day you apply and ending on the day we make a decision on your application.You can also get more points if you have 3, 4, or 5 years of experience.

You are assessed on selection criteria that include your:

  • experience

  • education

  • age

  • language abilities

  • adaptability

  • Medical, security checks and other requirements

As with most programs, you must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you get to Canada.

PNPs - Provincial Nominee Programs


Each province has their own version of an entrepreneur/investor program. The investment varies depending on the province. For example, in Ontario, the investment varies depending on if the business is inside or outside the GTA.

The main priority of most provincial programs is that funds are injected into the province, that jobs created, and that there is a genuine nature and intention to run a business in the province, with the end goal of becoming a permanent resident.

If there is a province that you are interested in living in then a provincial program may be for you!

Decisions associated with opening a business in Canada...

There are many decisions you need to make in order to structure your business in such a way that you garner the full benefit of opening a business in Canada.

For example, do you need points towards your express entry profile? If so, how many? Do you need Canadian work experience? Does your family member need Canadian work experience? Which province will you open your business and must you have a Canadian Director to start the company? Should you open as a branch of your business or a subsidiary?

These are questions that you must explore when preparing to open a business in Canada and they may be questions that require professional advice from someone in Canada. Contact us for advice on business immigration to Canada. We look forward to hearing from you!


About Us

Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, in Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford and St. Catharines and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a 6th-generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the link located at the top right of the page.

How Can We Help?

We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications.

Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.

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