BUSINESS IMMIGRATION TO CANADA: FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL/TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENTS’
BUSINESS IMMIGRATION PROGRAMS
Author: Asif Anwar
There are various Federal and Provincial/Territorial Governments’ Business Immigration Programs. To establish and operate businesses in Canada, the applicants are nominated based on their business acumen and ability to contribute to the economy.
The Federal Start-up program is aimed to target “innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and spur economic growth”. Under the process, the entrepreneurs endorsing their research and innovation, pitch in their business idea to a designated organization. Once entrepreneur gets support from the designated organisation, and fulfil the program requirements, can invest in or start-up a company.
Likewise, the provincial/territorial governments’ Business Immigration Programs are intended to stimulate the regional economic development with financial capital and bringing in diverse business knowledge. The applicants must ensure that they intend to reside in the nominated province. After being issued a nomination certificate, the applicants are eligible to submit their application for Permanent Resident Status to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
FEDERAL START-UP PROGRAM
The target of Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is to attract immigrant entrepreneurs who have skills and potential to build up their businesses which are:
capable to create jobs for Canadians; and
able to compete on a global scale.
To immigrate, the entrepreneurs must get support for their ideas from one of the designated organizations.
To be eligible for a Start-up Visa Program, one must:
Have a qualifying business: At the time entrepreneur gets commitment from the designated organization, each entrepreneur must hold 10% or more of the voting rights attached to the shares of the corporation and entrepreneur(s) and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to the shares of the corporation.
There are further requirements before receiving permanent residence like:
-the business is incorporated in Canada.
-providing proof of active and ongoing business from within Canada.
-essentially part of the operations of the business has taken place in Canada.
Get a letter of support/Commitment Letter: The Government of Canada created a Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP) to encourage private companies to make an investment in the early-stage small and medium-sized companies. Angel investor group (AIG) on the other hand helps early-stage companies with investment, experience, and knowledge. For entrepreneurs to move and establish in Canada, AIG provides mentorship, facilitation, management expertise and networking opportunities in investment-ready companies. In the like manner, Business incubator or Acceleration programs is intended for immigrant entrepreneurs, who at an early stage will have access to mentors, investors and other related logistical support and technical resources to establish, becoming stable and self-sufficient in their businesses.
The entrepreneur must get a letter of support/commitment letter from the designated organization which could be a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or a business incubator. To get a letter of support/commitment letter all depends on each organization own criteria and own requirements. The designated organization support is based on the business concept in person or by submission of a detailed business plan.
Once the designated organization approves and supports entrepreneur business idea to invest in or support possible start-ups, entrepreneur submits its application to the program officers. The program officer before making a final decision on the entrepreneur’s application may ask for further information in support of submitted business concept or business plan.
For a minimum investment or support, the entrepreneur must:
- make a minimum investment of $200,000 into Venture capital fund; or
- make a minimum investment of $75,000 into Angel investor group; or
- be accepted as an immigrant entrepreneur into one of Business incubator or Acceleration programs.
Meet the language requirement: In order to communicate and work in English, French or both languages, the entrepreneur must meet the minimum language requirement i.e., Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all of four areas: speaking, reading, listening and writing.
Bring enough funds to settle: The Government of Canada does not provide any financial support to new start-up visa immigrants. Therefore, depending on the size of the family, the entrepreneur must provide proof of funds to support himself/herself and all dependents.
Province/Territory of residence: The entrepreneur must intend to reside in a province or territory (other than Quebec).
The entrepreneur can get a temporary work permit to start building up the proposed business in Canada and on successful compliance with program requirements is eligible to apply for permanent resident status.
ONTARIO IMMIGRANT NOMINEE PROGRAM (OINP): BUSINESS
OINP is accepting applications under the following Streams:
QUEBEC IMMIGRATION PROGRAMS
There are three immigration programs for businesspeople:
BRITISH COLUMBIA PROVINCIAL NOMINEE PROGRAM (BC PNP)
MANITOBA BUSINESS INVESTOR STREAM (BIS)
BIS allows Manitoba to recruit and nominate qualified business investors and entrepreneurs from around the world who have the intent and ability to start or purchase businesses in Manitoba via two pathways.
SASKATCHEWAN IMMIGRANT NOMINEE PROGRAM (SINP)
ALBERTA IMMIGRANT NOMINEE PROGRAM (AINP)
NOVA SCOTIA ENTREPRENEUR STREAM
NEW BRUNSWICK PROVINCIAL NOMINEE PROGRAM (NBPNP)
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR PROVINCIAL NOMINATION PROGRAM
PROVINCE OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND (PEI) PROVINCIAL NOMINATION PROGRAM
YUKON BUSINESS NOMINEE PROGRAM
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES (NWT) NOMINEE PROGRAM
The contents of this paper are intended to provide general guide to subject matter.
Depending on immigration program and individual circumstances, for all queries and legal advice please contact Asif Anwar
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