Provincial Entrepreneur Programs Overview
Individuals with a moderate net worth and relevant entrepreneurial experience may be qualified to apply for one of the several Provincial Entrepreneur programs. Each province has its own entrepreneur programs, which generally follow a multi-step process to obtain permanent residency. Applicants fill out an expression of interest form and wait for an invitation to apply. Candidates that are chosen would submit a complete application, which is reviewed by the province’s immigration authorities. If approved, candidates must sign a Performance Agreement, apply for a work permit, and enter Canada as a worker for the first time. Candidates obtain the provincial nomination if the Performance Agreement standards are completed at the conclusion of a specified time. They can apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residency based on that selection or nomination. The bulk of these provincial business immigration schemes necessitate active engagement in the operation of a business in exchange for a monetary investment and employment creation. The qualifications for the programs vary, but most need a minimum net worth of $500,000 to $600,000 CAD, as well as appropriate management experience. Some of the programs require a goodwill deposit that is refunded once the company is up and running. Applicants for provincial nominee programs must first apply to be nominated by a province, and then may be granted permanent residency after passing federal health and criminality tests.
British Columbia has three distinct business sectors:
- Immigration for Entrepreneurs
- Regional Pilot for Entrepreneur Immigration
- Strategic Projects for Entrepreneur Immigration
Entrepreneur Immigration in B.C.
- In B.C., you can either start a new business or buy and improve an existing one.
- Invest at least $200,000 in your new or existing company.
- At least one new full-time employment for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must be created.
- Have a minimum net worth of $600,000.
- Have a background in business and/or management.
- By the time of NOMINATION, the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4 in English or French in each of the four competencies: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
- Have legal immigration status in Canada, or be eligible for it.
- Have been legitimately admitted to the nation in which you now reside.
- A $300 registration fee, a $3,500 application fee, and a $1,000 fee are all required.
Regional Pilot for Entrepreneur Immigration in B.C.
The Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot in British Columbia attempts to encourage entrepreneurs to the province’s rural areas.
Requirements of the Community:
- The population is under 75,000 people.
- Located more than 30 kilometers from a municipality with a population of more than 75,000 people.
- A network of settlement and business support services has demonstrated its ability to assist international entrepreneurs.
- Community representatives must receive immigration and pilot-specific training.
Requirements for Candidates:
- Desire to start a business and live in a regional village in British Columbia.
- Completing an exploratory visit is a must.
- A minimum of $100,000 CAD in business investments is required.
- A personal net worth of $300,000 CAD is required.
- Level 4 of the CLB by the time of NOMINATION, in each of the four competencies: listening, speaking, reading, and writing, in English or French.
- A minimum of 51% ownership is required.
- At least one new job is created.
Strategic Projects for Entrepreneur Immigration in British Columbia
The Strategic Projects stream of B.C. Entrepreneur Immigration aids foreign-controlled enterprises starting an eligible business in B.C. with the timely admission of foreign important managerial, professional, or technical staff who intend to become permanent residents of Canada and stay in B.C.
- Establish or purchase and expand a qualified business in B.C. with a minimum equity investment of $500,000.
- For each foreign essential staff member recommended, create at least three new employment for Canadian citizens or permanent residents (to a maximum of five key staff).
- In B.C., you can start a business or buy an existing one and expand it.
Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream in Alberta Immigration
The Alberta Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream (FGSVS) is an economic immigration program for qualified foreign-educated graduates from outside of Canada who desire to start new firms in Alberta.
Stream for International Graduate Entrepreneurs in Alberta
The Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is designed for international graduates who desire to start or run a business in Alberta.
Candidates must first create or operate their business in Alberta while on a work permit for at least 12 months before being nominated for permanent residency by the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program once the terms of a Business Performance Agreement are completed.
Stream for Alberta’s Self-Employed Farmers
The AINP manages the Alberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream in close collaboration with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and it is designed for candidates who have farm management skills and the financial means to engage in a farming enterprise in Alberta.
The Entrepreneur Stream and the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream are the two main business categories in the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program.
Stream for Entrepreneurs
- Expressions of Interest
- Application submission invitation
The following requirements must be considered in the expression of interest:
- A legal net worth of $500,000 is required.
- Three years of relevant management or entrepreneurial experience is required.
- In Regina or Saskatoon, a minimum investment of $300,000 is required, or $200,000 in any other Saskatchewan city.
- Candidates are placed in a pool and given a score. Candidates with the highest scores are invited to apply.
The following items must be included in your application:
- Unless the investment is $1 million or more, a Business Establishment Plan confirming the items in the expression of interest and includes at least one-third ownership of a company in Saskatchewan is required.
- Commitment to being involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.
- If the firm is located in Regina or Saskatoon, it must create two or more jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Process for International Graduate Entrepreneurs
1- Fill out an Expression of Interest form (EOI)
Candidates must fill out an Expression of Interest form and submit it to the SINP.
2- Call for Applications
Candidates are assessed based on their Expressions of Interest, and those with the highest scores are invited to apply.
Applicants that pass the evaluation stage of the SINP would sign a Business Performance Agreement (BPA) based on their Business Establishment Plan (BEP).
3- Starting a business
While in Saskatchewan on a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit, approved candidates develop and actively operate their firm.
4- The Nomination Process
If a candidate meets the requirements of the Business Performance Agreement, they can request to be nominated for permanent residency by the SINP.
If an applicant closes or sells their business after receiving a SINP nomination but before gaining permanent residency, their nomination will be cancelled.
Requirements for the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream:
EOI Submission Requirements
- You must be at least 21 years old.
- Have earned a full-time Saskatchewan post-secondary degree or diploma from a recognized and accredited Saskatchewan institution for at least two years.
- Have a valid Post-Graduate Work Permit that is still valid for at least 24 months.
- During the academic program, applicant must have been living in Saskatchewan.
- Have a minimum level of 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).
Requirements for Starting a Business
- Live in Saskatchewan.
- Prior to applying for nomination, you must have owned and operated an eligible business in Saskatchewan for at least one year.
- Own at least one-third of the company’s stock.
- Demonstrate, based on the number of employees, that the business is generating the minimum required revenue after one year of operation.
- Sign a Business Performance Agreement with the Saskatchewan government, which you will receive from the SINP once your application is approved.
Stream of Business Investors
The Manitoba Business Investor Stream is for international business investors and entrepreneurs who are qualified. Candidates are first granted a temporary work permit and must intend to create or purchase a business in Manitoba within two years of their arrival. The stream eliminates a $100,000 deposit with the Manitoba government that was previously required. Entrepreneurs and farm investors can both take advantage of these opportunities.
a) Entrepreneurial Route
For people who want to start a business in Manitoba. Candidates are given a temporary work permit to begin with. After creating a business that meets the terms of a Business Performance Agreement, they are recommended for permanent residency. Candidates that are launching enterprises outside of Winnipeg are given priority.
b) Pathway for Farm Investors
Applicants that desire to start and run a farm in rural Manitoba. Candidates are given a temporary work permit to begin with. After creating a business that meets the terms of a Business Performance Agreement, they are recommended for permanent residency.
The Ontario Entrepreneur Stream is designed for those from outside of Canada who desire to start a business in Ontario or buy an existing one. Those who are accepted into the program will be nominated for permanent residency in Canada. After being nominated, a person is eligible to apply for permanent residency in Canada.
Applicants for the OES must meet the following requirements:
- In the previous 60 months, you must have had at least 24 months of full-time business experience.
- Experience as a business owner or senior manager is required.
- If your prospective firm will be in the Greater Toronto Area, you must have a minimum net worth of $800,000. (GTA).
- If your prospective business is located outside of the Greater Toronto Area, you must have a minimum net worth of $400,000.
- The minimum net worth requirement is $400,000. If your proposed firm will be involved in Information Communications Technology or Digital Communications anyplace in the province, you must have a net worth of $400,000.
- Prepare to invest at least $600,000 in an Ontario firm and own at least 33% of the company if it is located in the GTA.
- If the company is located outside of the GTA, you must be willing to spend at least $200,000 and own at least 33% of the company.
- You must be willing to invest at least $200,000 and own at least 33% of the company if it will be involved in Information Communications Technology or Digital Communications anywhere in the province.
- If the prospective company is located inside the GTA, commit to providing two full-time positions for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- If your company is located outside of the GTA, you must employ at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- You must create at least one job for Canadian citizens or permanent residents if your business will be involved in Information Communications Technology or Digital Communications anyplace in the province.
The Entrepreneurial Stream and Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream of the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program are directed at professionals and graduates from New Brunswick institutions.
Requirements for the Entrepreneurial Stream:
- Have a link to New Brunswick that qualifies you.
- Be between the ages of 22 and 55.
- A two-year post-secondary education degree or diploma is required.
- Score at least a level 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark exam in English or French for speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
- Have at least two years of full-time post-secondary study.
- At least $600,000 legally acquired personal net worth, of which $300,000 must be available in unencumbered liquidity.
- Invest at least $250,000 in a New Brunswick company and own at least a third of it.
- Sign a Business Performance Agreement with the provincial government of New Brunswick and pay a $100,000 deposit.
- Major economic benefits from business.
- In the last five years, you must have either three years of ownership or five years of senior management experience in the business.
- Submit a 1,000 to 1,500-word company concept.
- Make an exploring trip to New Brunswick or attend an information session hosted by the provincial government of New Brunswick.
- Intend to stay in New Brunswick for the rest of your life.
Requirements for the Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream:
- Being between the ages of 22 and 40.
- Score at least a level 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in English or French for speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
- Have attended a recognized New Brunswick university or community college for at least two years of full-time post-secondary education.
- For the duration of the course, you have resided in New Brunswick (distance-learning courses do not qualify).
- For one year, you must have solely owned and operated a business.
- A valid Post-Graduation Work Permit is required.
- Intend to stay in New Brunswick for the rest of your life.
Prince Edward Island
Entrepreneurs who have started a business on Prince Edward Island are eligible for permanent residency under the Impact Category.
The Work Permit Stream is divided into two stages:
On a temporary work permit, candidates come to Canada to start a business.
Once a candidate’s business is created and the provisions of an agreement are completed, they are nominated for permanent residency.
The province used to have direct permanent residency business streams, however they were shut down in September 2018 due to concerns about immigration fraud.
The North West Territories Business Stream is for entrepreneurs with business experience and capital owners who want to buy or build a business in the North West Territories.
Requirements for the Northwest Territories Business Stream
- Invest a minimum of $300,000 in a new or existing firm in Yellowknife, NWT, or
- A minimum of $150,000 in capital to start or buy a firm outside of Yellowknife, NWT’s corporate borders.
- Have a personal net worth of at least $500,000 if founding or buying a business within Yellowknife, NWT’s corporate limits, or
- At least $250,000 if starting or buying a business outside Yellowknife, NWT’s corporate boundaries.
Candidates with expertise in business ownership or senior management are targeted for the Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream. They must live in Nova Scotia, create or buy a business, and actively participate in the day-to-day administration of that business.
After a year of operation, individuals in the Entrepreneur stream are granted a temporary work permit before applying for permanent residency. Candidates in a pool are asked to apply in this stream, which uses an Expression of Interest format.
Candidate Requirements for the Entrepreneurial Stream
- You must be 21 years old or older.
- Want to reside permanently in Nova Scotia while owning and operating a business in the province.
- A net worth of $600,000 is required.
- A minimum of $150,000 is required to start or buy a business in Nova Scotia.
- 3 years of active management and ownership of a business (minimum of 33% ownership) OR more than 5 years of experience in a senior business management job.
- Score a minimum of 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in English or French in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
Entrepreneurs can own and manage a business in Yukon under the Yukon Business Nominee Program. Candidates are first granted a two-year work visa in Yukon before being recommended for permanent residency if their firm succeeds.
Requirements for the Yukon Business Nominee Program:
- A net worth of at least $500,000 that has been legally acquired and validated by a Yukon accounting firm.
- A minimum of $300,000 in liquid assets acquired legally, as documented and certified by a Yukon accounting company.
- In the first two years, invest at least $300,000 in the business’s capital.
- Any capital investments made prior to approval into the Yukon Business Nominee Program are not included.
- Purchases of property or equipment are examples of capital investments. It excludes purchases such as a home, cars used just in part for work, and operational and maintenance costs.
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