You may have heard of the phrase "Land of Opportunities," but have you ever considered Canada as your place to seize these opportunities? If you're an entrepreneur, Canada has so much to offer you. Business immigration to Canada is a path that many entrepreneurs globally are exploring to expand their business horizons. It's a choice that opens doors to a stable economy, a favorable business environment, and a high quality of life.

As an entrepreneur, you play a crucial role in shaping the economy. The same holds in Canada. Entrepreneurs in Canada are key drivers of economic growth, job creation, innovation, and market competition. They contribute to the diversity and dynamism of Canada's economic landscape.

Canada's government recognizes the importance of entrepreneurs and has instituted policies to attract global talent. These policies are reflected in the various business immigration programs designed to fast-track the immigration process for business people. So, if you're an entrepreneur aiming to expand your business footprint, Canada is a promising destination.

What is business immigration to Canada exactly? It's a process where entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed individuals with business experience and substantial assets can move to Canada. The objective is to contribute to Canada's economic growth by leveraging their business acumen and investing in the Canadian market. Let's delve into the world of business opportunities in Canada.

Canada Business Immigration Programs

business immigration to canada

Among the many reasons entrepreneurs choose Canada for business immigration is the variety of immigration programs tailored to different business needs. Each program has unique features and requirements catering to a specific business type. Let's examine some of these programs more closely.

Start-Up Visa Canada

If you're an innovative entrepreneur with a business idea that can compete globally, the Start-Up Visa Canada program might be your golden ticket to business immigration to Canada. This program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build innovative businesses in Canada that can create jobs for Canadians and compete globally.

To qualify for the Start-Up Visa Canada program, you need to fulfill the following criteria:

Category Requirement
Qualifying business The business must:
  • be original,
  • create new jobs for Canadians, and
  • compete globally.
Letter of support Applicants must have a letter of support from a designated organization in Canada that is willing to invest in their business.
Language requirements Applicants must meet the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 5 in all abilities.
Proof of funds Settling in Canada requires pre-existing funds, varying by family size—currently, an individual applicant needs at least 12,960 CAD.

Learn more about Canada's Start-Up visa here:

The Self-Employment Program

Are you an artist or an athlete with international recognition? Or perhaps you're an entrepreneur who can significantly contribute to Canada's cultural or athletic life. If so, the Self-Employment Program in Canada could be your pathway to immigration.

This program is designed for individuals who intend to become self-employed in Canada. The eligibility requirements are as follows:

Category Requirement
Relevant Experience At least two years of relevant experience.
Intention to Become Self-Employed Demonstrate their intention to become self-employed in Canada.
Selection Criteria At least 35 points on a selection grid to determine their ability to make an economic contribution to Canada.
Education Applicants must have a three-year diploma, trade certificate, apprenticeship, or equivalent education.
Settlement Funds Self-employed applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to settle in Canada along with their dependents and finance their work.
Medical Tests and Police Certificates Applicants and their family members over 18 must undergo medical tests and provide police certificates.

If this sounds like the pathway for you, learn more about how to apply for the Self-Employed program.

PNP Entrepreneur Streams

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Entrepreneur Streams are another option for business immigration to Canada. Each Canadian province tailors these programs to attract entrepreneurs supporting that province's economic development. Here are some of the PNP Entrepreneur Streams in Canada and who they are for:

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP):

  • Farmer Stream
    • For experienced farmers who want to buy and manage a farm in Alberta.
  • The Rural Entrepreneur Stream
    • For individuals starting or buying a business in a rural Alberta community.
  • Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
    • For recent international graduates from Alberta post-secondary institutions starting or buying a business in Alberta.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP):

  • Entrepreneur Stream
    • For entrepreneurs from outside Canada interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario.

British Columbia PNP (BC PNP):

  • BC Entrepreneur Stream
    • For experienced entrepreneurs who want to invest in and actively manage a business in British Columbia.

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP):

  • Entrepreneur Category
    • For entrepreneurs starting or buying a business in Saskatchewan.
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Category
    • For recent international graduates from Saskatchewan post-secondary institutions starting or buying a business in Saskatchewan.
  • Farm Owner and Operator Category
    • For experienced farmers who want to buy and operate a farm in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP):

  • Manitoba Business Investor Stream (BIS)
    • For individuals who want to invest in and actively manage a business in Manitoba.

Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP):

  • Entrepreneur Stream: For individuals starting or buying a business in Prince Edward Island.

Northwest Territories Provincial Nominee Program (NWTPNP):

  • Business Stream: For individuals starting or buying a business in the Northwest Territories.

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP):

  • New Brunswick Entrepreneurial Stream: For individuals starting or buying a business in New Brunswick.

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP):

  • International Entrepreneur Category:
    • For experienced business owners or senior business managers starting or buying a business in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Category:
    • For recent international graduates from Newfoundland and Labrador post-secondary institutions starting or buying a business in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Yukon Provincial Nominee Program (YPNP):

  • Business Nominee Program
    • For individuals starting or buying a business in Yukon.

Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSPNP):

  • Entrepreneur Stream
    • For individuals starting or buying a business in Nova Scotia.

The requirements, processes, and conditions vary from province to province. Generally, you must have a business plan, sufficient net worth, and active managerial experience. Some provinces may require you to live in the province for a certain period or make exploratory visits. Going through a Provincial Nominee Program may be the easiest way to start or buy a business in a specific Canadian province. Learn more about Provincial Nominee Programs.

Business Visitor Visa

business visitor visa canada

If you're not ready to immigrate but want to explore business prospects and attend meetings, conferences, or trade fairs, consider the Business Visitor Visa Canada. A Business Visitor Visa is crucial for individuals looking to travel for business purposes. It legally permits foreign nationals to enter and stay in a country for a limited period to conduct business activities such as attending meetings, conferences, training sessions, or negotiating contracts. The Business Visitor Visa does not allow the holder to work in the host country.

The process to obtain a Business Visitor Visa typically involves the following: 

Step 1: Confirm Your Eligibility

Find out if you're a business visitor or need to apply for a work permit instead. It is advisable to have a record of respecting other business visas from other countries. You must prove that you are developing a business relationship with a company in Canada or have been invited to a meeting, conference, or workshop.

Step 2: Compile the Document File and Application Forms

You can apply online or on paper. You must have a well-thought-out, effective, and realistic business plan for your Canadian business. You must also know about immigration regulations and the Canadian immigration framework. Ensure you have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents to upload and a valid credit card to pay with.

Step 3: Submit the Application

If you apply online, you must give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) after you apply. Wait for processing and respond to additional requests for information. If your application is approved, you must send your passport for stamping.

A Business Visitor Visa differs from a work visa. While both are designed for business-related travel, the former does not grant the right to work or live permanently in the host country. The main purpose of a Business Visitor Visa is to allow individuals to engage in business activities that do not involve gainful employment.

The Business Visitor Visa plays a significant role in fostering international business relations. It enables global mobility and allows businesses to expand their operations and reach, fostering cross-border collaborations, partnerships, and economic growth. However, misuse of the Business Visitor Visa can lead to severe consequences, including deportation and bans on future travel to that country. Hence, it's essential to utilize the visa for its intended purpose.

Business immigration to Canada offers a world of opportunities for entrepreneurs. With the right information and careful planning, you can unlock these opportunities and establish a successful business in Canada. Whether starting a new venture or expanding an existing one, Canada is a land of potential ready for you to explore. Don't wait. Start your journey of business immigration to Canada today.


Can You Start a Business in Canada without PR?

Can You Start a Business in Canada without PR?

You can start a business in Canada without being a Permanent Resident (PR). Non-Canadians can register a business in Canada, but the process may vary depending on the province and the type of business. However, depending on your circumstances, you may need a work permit or visa to operate the business. 

What Business Can I Start in Canada?

You can start any business in Canada as long as it's legal and meets the regulations and standards of the industry and province. The business choice depends on your skills, experience, and market demand. The possibilities are endless, from tech start-ups to restaurants, retail stores, and consulting firms.