Canada Business Visa Requirements

Canada Business Visa Overview

Canada is considered one of the best countries in the world to launch a business. With low taxes, easy access to the American and Pacific Rim markets, cutting edge innovation and low business start up costs, Canada is gaining traction as the place to launch new ventures.

Several Canadian provinces have their own business immigration program. Sterling Immigration can advise you about each program so that you can make an informed decision about where to invest.

Key Features

Some of the key features of the Canadian Business Visa include:

  • Low minimum net worth requirement of $350,000 (£195,000),
  • Low minimum investment of $150,000 (£90,000),
  • A minimum of two years’ previous business ownership or senior management experience.
  • Secure Canadian permanent residence in as little as 12 months.

Canadian Business Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Canadian Business Visa you must make an investment in an eligible business. Lists of ineligible businesses are updated regularly. If a particular location is saturated with similar businesses then your application will not succeed.

You may establish your own business. If you do you must show that your business will create a certain number of jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents according to the proposed business location.

You may also take over or invest in an existing business.  If you are taking over a live business you must maintain existing jobs. If you are investing in an existing business as a partner, your ownership share must be at least 33% of an eligible business.

You must prove that you will actively manage your proposed business and must live within a certain radius of the business location. You must satisfy the Canadian immigration authorities that your investment is not a passive one.

Your total net worth, business plan, investment, business location, previous experience, language ability and education will all be assessed before the Canadian authorities make a decision.

Before your immigrant visa is issued, you are required to sign a statement that you intend and will be able to meet the conditions of visa at certain agreed milestones.

Owner Operators

If you are investing in a Canadian business which is not related to an existing business overseas, you may consider either an LMIA-exempt entrepreneur work permit or an LMIA-based work permit for owner operators. It is important to determine what percentage of ownership of the Canadian company the foreign national does or will own.

Majority ownership in a Canadian company (50% or more) – the person may qualify for a “significant benefit” work permit. NO LMIA is required but a certificate of exemption should be sought prior to filing a work permit application.

Minority ownership in a Canadian company (less than 50%) – the person may qualify for an LMIA-based work permit.  No advertising would be required, and the foreign national would need to demonstrate that an employer-employee relationship exists, even though they own a part of the business.

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