Summary of Canada's Entrepreneur, Investor, Start-up Visa, and Self-Employed Immigration Programs

Last updated: 26 April 2022

Summary of canadian business immigration programs

This CanadaVisa page provides a summary of each of Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial business immigration programs. 

Simply review our Table of Contents to learn more about what each Canadian jurisdiction has to offer to entrepreneur, investor, start-up, and self-employed immigrants.

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Table of Contents: Canada's Business Immigration Programs


Federal Start-Up Visa Program

Program
Minimum Net Worth
N/A
Minimum Investment
CAD $200,000 if the investment comes from a designated Canadian venture capital fund or designated incubators OR CAD $75,000 if it comes from a designated Canadian angel investor group
Experience
No specific requirement
EOI System
No
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
None
Exploratory Visit
Not required
Interview
Upon request by IRCC
Refundable Deposit
Not required
PR/Work permit
PR immediately
Additional Requirements

Have the support of a designated organization that will provide the applicant with a Letter of Support.

Start-up visa applicants must give proof that they sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependants after they arrive in Canada. The amount required depends on the size of the family.

Federal Self-Employed Persons Program

Program
Minimum Net Worth
N/A
Minimum Investment
Not required
Experience
At least 2 years of relevant cultural or athletic experience in the past 5 years
EOI System
No
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
None
Exploratory Visit
Not required
Interview
Upon request by IRCC
Refundable Deposit
Not required
PR/Work permit
PR immediately
Additional Requirements

English/French ability and work experience in a designated occupation

All self-employed persons must establish that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family members for at least one year after they arrive in Canada.

Self-employed immigrants must obtain a minimum of 35 points out of 100 based on the five selection criteria and the program's unique point system.

Alberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream

Program
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $500,000
Minimum Investment
CAD $500,000 in a primary production farming business
Experience
Farm management experience in an existing farm business
EOI System
No
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required
Exploratory Visit
Recommended
Interview
Required
Refundable Deposit
Not required
PR/Work permit
PR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional Requirements
Canadian financial institution must finance the proposed Alberta farming business

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP): Entrepreneur Immigration Stream

Program
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $600,000
Minimum Investment
CAD $200,000 OR CAD $400,000 if proposing a Key Staff Member
Experience
3 + years of business ownership or management experience OR 4 + years of senior management experience OR 1+ year of business ownership & management experience and 2+ years of senior management experience within the last 10 years.
EOI System
Yes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required
Exploratory Visit
Recommended
Interview
Upon request of BC PNP
Refundable Deposit
Not required
PR/Work permit
2-year work period before Letter of Acceptance to apply for Permanent Residence (PR); PR contingent on implementation of the business proposal
Additional Requirements
Create at least one permanent, full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with the proposed business

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP): Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot

Program
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $300,000
Minimum Investment
CAD $100,000
Experience
3 + years of business ownership or management experience OR 4 + years of senior management experience OR 1+ year of business ownership & management experience and 2+ years of senior management experience within the last 10 years.
EOI System
Yes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required
Exploratory Visit
Strongly Recommended
Interview
Upon request of BC PNP
Refundable Deposit
Not required
PR/Work permit
Minimum 12-month work permit period before nomination; PR contingent on implementation of business proposal
Additional Requirements
Community referral required to register; Must create at least one permanent, full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program: Business Investor Stream (Entrepreneur Pathway)

Program
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $500,000
Minimum Investment
CAD $250,000 for businesses in the Manitoba Capital Region. OR CAD $150,000 if a business is outside of the Manitoba Capital Region AND must be made in an eligible business AND must create or maintain at least one job for a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident in Manitoba (excluding owners of the business and/or their close relatives).
Experience
Business ownership and management experience or executive-level experience in 3 of the past 5 years. AND Business owners are given higher points in comparison to senior managers. AND Business owners must have at least 33 1/3% ownership to qualify for points.
EOI System
Yes
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required
Exploratory Visit
Business research visit must be conducted no more than one year prior to the submission of an EOI.
Interview
Required
Refundable Deposit
Not Required
PR/Work permit
Temporary work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements
Score 60+ points on assessment grid
CAD $100,000 refundable deposit is not a requirement anymore.

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program: Business Investor Stream (Farm Investor Pathway)

Program
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $500,000
Minimum Investment
CAD $300,000 tangible assets to establish a farming business in rural Manitoba AND investments in a farm business operated primarily for the purposes of deriving passive investment income or speculative purposes are not eligible.
Experience
Minimum of three years of farm business management or farm ownership and operation experience supported by verifiable documents.
EOI System
Yes
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required
Exploratory Visit
Farm Business Research Visit required.
Interview
Required
Refundable Deposit
CAD $75,000
PR/Work permit
Temporary work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements
CAD $100,000 refundable deposit is no longer required.

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP): Entrepreneurial Stream

Program
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $600,000
Minimum Investment
CAD $250,000
Experience
3 out of 5 years or more in owning a business OR 5 out of 5 years or more in a senior business management role
EOI System
Yes
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required, must be of economic benefit to the province
Exploratory Visit
Required
Interview
Required
Refundable Deposit
CAD $100,000
PR/Work permit
PR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional Requirements
22-55 years old
CLB 5 in English or French in reading, writing, listening and speaking

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP): Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream

Program
Minimum Net Worth
N/A
Minimum Investment
The applicant must have 100% ownership of the equity of the eligible business
Experience
6 or more years in the last 10 years in NOC O, A or B OR 1-5 years in the last 10 years in the NOC O, A or B
EOI System
Yes
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
May be requested (business must be of economic benefit to the province)
Exploratory Visit
Not specified
Interview
Required
Refundable Deposit
Not specified
PR/Work permit
PR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional Requirements

22-40 years old
CLB 7 in English or French in reading, writing, listening and speaking
Have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP): Entrepreneur Stream

Program
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $600,000
Minimum Investment
CAD $150,000
Experience
At least 3 years of business ownership experience including 33.3% ownership in the last 10 years OR
+5 years as senior manager in the last 10 years
EOI System
Yes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required
Exploratory Visit
Required for business succession only
Interview
Required
Refundable Deposit
Not required
PR/Work permit
Must operate business for at least 1 year on work permit following nomination; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements
Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
The business must meet additional criteria
English/French minimum CLB 5

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP): International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Program
Minimum Net Worth
N/A
Minimum Investment
100% ownership of the equity of the eligible business
Experience
At least 1 continuous year of business ownership experience in Nova Scotia prior to EOI submission
Completed a degree of at least 2 years' duration at a university/college in Nova Scotia
EOI System
Yes (province may publish info on draws after future draws are made; EOI must be submitted while on valid work permit)
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
None
Exploratory Visit
Required
Interview
Required
Refundable Deposit
Not required
PR/Work permit
PR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional Requirements
The business must meet additional criteria
English/French minimum CLB 7

Northwest Territories Nominee Program: Entrepreneur Business Stream

Program
Minimum Net Worth
For businesses in Yellowknife: CAD $500,000 OR for businesses outside Yellowknife: CAD $250,000
Minimum Investment
In Yellowknife: CAD $300,000 & at least 33.3% ownership OR outside Yellowknife: CAD $150,000 & at least 33.3% ownership OR CAD $1,000,000 investment
Experience
Relevant business experience required
EOI System
No
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required
Exploratory Visit
Required
Interview
Required
Refundable Deposit
CAD $75,000
PR/Work permit
2-year work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements

CLB 4 in English or French

Business must generate significant benefits for the Northwest Territories, including jobs for local residents.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP): Entrepreneur Stream

Program
Minimum Net Worth
For businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA): CAD $800,000 OR for businesses outside the GTA: CAD $400,000 OR for businesses in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of location): CAD $400,000
Minimum Investment
In the GTA: CAD $600,000 and ownership of 33.3% of the business OR Outside the GTA: $200,000 and ownership of 33.3% of the business OR In the ICT/Digital Communications sector: $200,000 and ownership of 33.3% of the business
Experience
At least 24 months of full-time business experience in the last five years as business owner or senior manager
EOI System
Yes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required
Exploratory Visit
Required for business succession only
Interview
Required upon request of OINP
Refundable Deposit
Not required
PR/Work permit
Temporary work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements
Sign a Performance Agreement with Ontario
English/French minimum CLB 4
Create at least 2 permanent, full-time jobs for a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program: Work Permit Stream

Program
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $600,000
Minimum Investment
N/A
Experience
Management experience required
EOI System
Yes
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required
Exploratory Visit
Recommended
Interview
Required
Refundable Deposit
CAD $7,500 of $10,000 application fee is refunded if the application is declined or withdrawn.
PR/Work permit
Letter of support from the province to apply for a work permit; Obtain nomination once all of the terms and conditions of Performance Agreement are met.
Additional Requirements

CLB 4 in English or French; minimum education of secondary school equivalent

21-59 years old

Quebec Immigrant Investor Program

Program
Quebec Immigrant Investor Program - The Investor Program has been suspended until April 1, 2023 in order be reviewed.
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $2,000,000
Minimum Investment
CAD $1,200,000 risk-free through an approved financial intermediary or by financing that investment.
Experience
2 years of business management experience in the past 5 years prior to the submission of an application in a specific enterprise (agricultural, commercial, or industrial, OR management experience in a governmental or international organization) and in a position defined as full-time.
EOI System
No
Managerial Role
No active managerial role required to apply
Business Plan
None
Exploratory Visit
Recommended
Interview
May be required as part of the application review.
Refundable Deposit
Not required
PR/Work permit
PR after first obtaining Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)
Additional Requirements
Background check and medical examination

Quebec Entrepreneur Program

Program
Quebec Entrepreneur Program — A new application intake period began on November 1, 2020, and is scheduled to run until September 30, 2021 for Stream 1. The intake of permanent selection applications for Stream 2 of the program has been suspended
Minimum Net Worth*
CAD $900,000 of financial resources.
Business ownership/operation*
Holds and controls, alone or with the accompanying spouse or common-law partner at minimum 25% of the equity of the enterprise he or she creates or at least 51% of the equity of the enterprise he or she acquires.
EOI System
No
Managerial Role
Required
Business Project
Required
Exploratory Visit
Recommended
Interview
Required as a final step in the application process
Start-up deposit*
CAD $300,000 for a business in the metropolitan area of Montreal or CAD $200,000 for a business outside the metropolitan area of Montreal.
PR/Work permit
PR after first obtaining Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)
Additional Requirements

Submit a contract to prove financial self-sufficiency and demonstrate a secondary school general diploma level of education.

Provide a performance guarantee deposit of $200,000 that is refundable if certain conditions are met.*

* This requirement applies only to Stream Two of the Entrepreneur program.

Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program

Program
Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program — Application intake period from November 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021.
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $100,000
Minimum Investment
Not required
Experience
2 years of self-employed experience in the profession or trade the applicant intends to practice in Quebec
EOI System
No
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
None
Exploratory Visit
Recommended
Interview
May be required as part of the application review
Start-up deposit
Register a start-up deposit of at least CAD $50,000 at a local financial institution if based in the metropolitan area of Montreal or at least CAD $25,000 if based outside of Montreal.
PR/Work permit
PR after first obtaining Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)
Additional Requirements
Submit a contract to prove financial self-sufficiency and demonstrate a secondary school general diploma level of education.

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program: Entrepreneur Category

Program
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $500,000
Minimum Investment
CAD $300,000 in Regina or Saskatoon and at least 33.3% ownership OR $200,000 in any other Saskatchewan community and at least 33.3% ownership OR CAD $1,000,000 investment or more
Experience
At least 3 years' experience as an entrepreneur or managing a business in the past 10 years
EOI System
Yes
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required
Exploratory Visit
Required for business succession, joint ventures, and regional business opportunities
Interview
Upon request by SINP
Refundable Deposit
Not required
PR/Work permit
2-year work permit; PR contingent upon meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements
Sign a Performance Agreement
Create 2+ employment opportunities if establishing a business in Regina or Saskatoon

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) - Farm Owner/Operator Category

Program
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $500,000
Minimum Investment
N/A
Experience
Farming operation ownership experience using agricultural practices similar to those used in Saskatchewan-based farming
EOI System
No
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Farm Establishment Plan (FEP) required
Exploratory Visit
Required
Interview
Upon request
Refundable Deposit
CAD $75,000
PR/Work permit
PR after obtaining nomination certificate
Additional Requirements
Submit a Farm Establishment Plan
Sign a Performance Agreement

Yukon Business Nominee Program (YBNP)

Program
Minimum Net Worth
CAD $500,000 (including CAD $300,000 in liquid assets)
Minimum Investment
CAD $300,000 and at least 1/3 ownership with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident partner
Experience
Minimum of 3 years entrepreneurial/business management experience & minimum of 5 years relevant work experience
EOI System
Yes
Managerial Role
Required
Business Plan
Required
Exploratory Visit
Recommended, applicants are awarded points for past visits
Interview
Required
Refundable Deposit
Not required
PR/Work permit
2-year work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements
Business must be in a strategic sector, as identified by the territory
Must score 65+ points on the assessment grid



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