Investor Visa

Canada’s Investor Visa Program

It is widely believed that Canada is one of the top 10 easiest countries to start a business in. This is due to the country being extremely rich in natural resources, having an immensely skilled labour force and a stable government. If you would like to immigrate to Canada as an Entrepreneur or Investor, you have several Entrepreneur and Investor Visa options available to you, including the general Start-up Visa Program and the provincial-specific Nominee Program. If you are successful with your application, you and your family can move to Canada together.

Canada is on the lookout for newcomers who have the entrepreneurial experience to start, manage or buy a business in the country. With new foreign investment, Canada can ensure the continued success of its economy through diversification and development.

Start-up Visa Program


start-up investor visa Canada

The Start-up Visa Program is a general Investor Visa option that allows you to immigrate to Canada by starting a business anywhere in the country. You and your business will have to meet a set of requirements in order to be successful with your application. In general, your business must be innovative, create jobs for Canadians and be able to compete internationally. While you wait for your application’s approval, you can also apply for a temporary work permit to keep you busy in Canada.

Start-up Visa Program Requirements
Business requirements

Once a designated organization commits to your business:

  • all applicants (up to 5 people can apply as owners) must each hold at least 10% of the voting rights attached to all outstanding shares of the business; and
  • together with the designated organization, they must hold more than 50% of the voting rights attached to all outstanding shares of the business.

Once you receive permanent residence, you must make sure that:

  • you play an active role in the ongoing management of your business while living in Canada;
  • the essential operations of the business must partly take place in Canada; and
  • your business is incorporated in Canada.
Letter of support

You must get a letter of support from a designated organization that proves they are willing to invest in and support your start-up. These organizations include:

  • Venture Capital Firms ($200,000 investment);
  • Angel Investor Groups ($75,000 investment); and
  • Business Incubators.
Language requirements You must score a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark level 5 in speaking, reading, listening and writing in either English or French.
Settlement money Because the Canadian government doesn’t give financial support to this investor visa, you will have to be able to prove that you have enough money to settle you and your family in Canada.
Provincial Nominee Program Entrepreneur and Investor Visa Options


map of provinces and territories in Canada

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) gives every province and territory of Canada the power to invite applicants to come and live in their borders if they have the right skills and work experience. Most of the PNPs have at least one entrepreneur or investor visa category dedicated to people who want to who would like to expand or start their business in Canada. Want to know more about each province’s requirements? Check out our table below.

Where do you want to start your business?
Alberta British Columbia Manitoba
New Brunswick Nova Scotia Northwest Territories
Newfoundland and Labrador Ontario Prince Edward Island
Saskatchewan Yukon

Alberta is a great place to start a business. Though it is home the world’s 3rd most liveable city, Calgary, Alberta’s farmlands are where your investment options truly lie. The province is Canada’s second largest agricultural producer and it’s diverse landscapes make the land perfect for crop production, livestock production and much more. Currently, there is only one Investment Visa option available in Alberta – the Self Employed Farmer Stream.

British Columbia

British Columbia has one of Canada’s most flexible, diverse and competitive economies, making it a prime destination for your new or expanded business. The province’s capital, Vancouver is conveniently located to assist with global trade routes including the U.S., Asia and Mexico. Businesses are also heavily supported by our fiscally responsible government, making it easier and cheaper to start a business in our province. Lastly, British Columbia is rich in business resources, including a well-educated workforce of over 2,4 million.

British Columbia currently has two Investor Visa options, the provincial nominee Entrepreneur Immigration Stream and the Regional Pilot Program. Both options have a unique set of criteria you will have to meet in order to start a business in Canada. Check them out below.


Not too big and not too small sums up Manitoba quite accurately. If you are looking to start your business in smaller, welcoming communities, this is the province for you. Manitoba is a land of natural beauty filled with safe, clean and friendly towns. The capital city, Winnipeg, is becoming known throughout the world for its strong economy, low cost of living and opportunities for quality careers.

The cost of living in Manitoba is so low that 76% of immigrants become homeowners within the first five years of living in the province. This is surely one of many reasons why 95% of them permanently settle in Manitoba after immigrating to Canada.

The ever-popular Business Investor Stream currently has two investor visa pathways, the Entrepreneur Pathway and the Farm Investor Pathway. Learn what you need to know to start your business in Manitoba below.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick provides a backdrop of lush forests, clear lakes, majestic mountain ranges and beautiful beaches to your new business. The world may know the province for the Bay of Fundy which has the world’s highest tides, but what many us do not know is that New Brunswick has some of the best business opportunities in all of Canada.

A skilled labour force awaits your business in New Brunswick. The province has the highest graduation rate and the fastest internet in the country making it a prime spot for productivity. New businesses flourish in the province due to having the lowest operating costs in Canada and the U.S., for this reason, and many others, New Brunswick’s capital city, Fredericton, won startup community of the year in 2016.

To start your business in New Brunswick, you will have to meet the requirements for either the Entrepreneurial Stream or the Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream.

Nova Scotia

It is important to keep sight of the important things in life like family when you plan your new business in Canada. For the ultimate balance between work, family and relaxation, look no further than Nova Scotia. As one of Canada’s Atlantic provinces, Nova Scotia is in great need of innovative newcomers to start businesses in the province.

Nova Scotia has an abundance of natural resources which has created lucrative industries in agriculture, fishing, mining, forestry and natural gas extraction. With so many resources at your disposal and a low cost of living, your business in the province will surely succeed. There are currently two Entrepreneur Visa options available in Nova Scotia.

Northwest Territories

Did you know the Northwest Territories is the world’s third largest producer of diamonds? Way up north in Canada you will find this secret-filled territory famous for its aurora borealis sightings. Not only is this territory a marvel of nature but it’s also a prime spot for business. In the last few years we have seen growth and success in the sectors of Agriculture, Fishery, and Manufacturing and with one of the lowest business tax rates and fastest growing GDP’s in Canada, we will surely see continued success.

The Northwest Territories is home to an eager and well-trained workforce, in fact, the territory has the lowest unemployment rate in all of Canada. The government here recognizes the importance of business investment and has since created several incentive programs for business and investment.

If you want to start your business in Northwest Territories, you will need to qualify for the Business Stream.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Small business enterprises run Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy, in fact, 40% of the entire population is employed by these businesses. Despite the many startups in the province, the region’s potential for business is still largely untapped.

Newfoundland and Labrador have developing tech industries and the landscape lends itself to adventure and ecotourism opportunities. Seeing as the province is in great need of a larger food supply, there is plenty of room to invest in the agricultural sector.

There are currently two new Investor and Entrepreneur visa options available to those hoping to start a business in Newfoundland and Labrador, the International Entrepreneur and International Graduate Entrepreneur streams.


Do you want to access to the world’s most skilled labour force? Look no further than Ontario. 68% of adults living in Ontario have a post-secondary education, making it the most educated population in the world. Starting a business here will ensure that your employees come backed with some serious qualifications

In Ontario your business will also enjoy lower business costs compared to other business centres in the U.S. You will pay less corporate tax and your spending will be significantly lower on healthcare and housing. For this reason, and many others, two of Ontario’s biggest cities, Toronto and Ottawa, rank among the best places to live and work in the world.

If you would like to earn Canadian permanent residency by starting, investing or purchasing a business in Ontario, you will have two options to choose from – the Ontario Corporate Stream and the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream.

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island (PEI) may be Canada’s smallest province, but its potential for business and economic growth knows no bounds. As one of the Maritime provinces, PEI is largely affected by the aging workforce that is sweeping the nation. For this reason, the province has turned to immigrants, specifically foreign entrepreneurs and investors, to help build the already growing economy.

The Government of PEI, recognizing the importance of new business development, offers many supportive initiatives, like the Ignition Fund, to entrepreneurs looking to start a new business in the province. With plenty of resources at your disposal and the relaxed atmosphere of the coastal towns, your business in PEI will surely flourish. The Prince Edward Island Work Permit is currently the only business visa option in the province.


Saskatchewan is conveniently located in the center of Canada, two days journey from the United States. Thanks to its solid road, rail and air transport infrastructure, the province is well suited to manufacture and distribution industries. With the lowest provincial tax in Canada and large reserves of resources in forestry, mining, agriculture and energy sectors, your business will enjoy lower operating costs in Saskatchewan.

You should also consider starting a business in this prairie province because it has the third largest percentage of young workers in Canada. Unlike other provinces that are suffering heavily from an aging workforce, in Saskatchewan, you will have your pick of skilled workers to help your business succeed.


Yukon is a truly unique region of Northern America. Many people refer to the territory as the last frontier due to its pristine natural landscape. Communities in Yukon are deeply connected to nature and you will most likely find them to be a group of friendly, active individuals who love to participate in outdoor activities.

Starting a business in Yukon gives you access to an abundance of resources and a terrain that is still largely untapped for business innovation. The Government of Yukon has identified the film, forestry, technology, mining, oil, gas and tourism sectors as the primary business sectors of the province. A business targeting one of these sectors will have a great chance of success, especially with Yukoners (the population with the most holders of degrees per capita in Canada) on your workforce.

Immigrant Investor Visa Program (Permanently Closed)

The Federal Immigrant Investor Program is no longer in operation. On June 19, 2014, this immigration program has ended and all applications that were left in the backlog have also been terminated.

To Be Eligible and Considered for Qualification as an Investor, an Individual Must Have:
  • A net worth of at least $1.6 million;
  • Managerial experience;
  • Must be willing to make a government-secured investment of $800,000; and
  • Financing of this investment is available through Canadian financial institutions

As an immigrant investor, you and your immediate family can obtain Canadian Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visas by investing $800,000 for a minimum of five years under the Federal Program. This is for applicants intending to reside anywhere in Canada, except for Quebec. The program is government guaranteed, which means that your $800,000 will be reimbursed in full without interest at the end of the five years.

The applicant must have experience in management in an international agency, farming, commercial, industrial or professional business.

If you want to earn permanent residence for you and your family through an entrepreneur or investment visa, our professional Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) and account managers will ensure that your visa documentation is submitted correctly and on time. Our consultants will also advise you on the visa options best suited to your individual profile. Contact us today to begin your application process.


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