Exploring Canada Investor Visa Options in 2023 to Gain Permanent Residence and Citizenship

Exploring Canada Investor Visa Options in 2023 to Gain Permanent Residence and Citizenship

Jul 23, 2023

International business investors and entrepreneurs can explore multiple opportunities to become permanent residents to get Canadian citizenship. The federal and provincial investment immigration programs allow eligible applicants to get work permits to stay and operate a business. They can leverage permanent residency and citizenship options after establishing their business in Canada. Keep reading to discover business immigration programs for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors.

About Canada’s investment immigration and investor visa programs

Canada’s immigrant-centric policies facilitate foreign entrepreneurs, business organizations, and investors to establish in Canada by supporting its economy and labor market. Canada customizes its Business Investor Visa and investment immigration pathways to suit different categories of immigrants. You will come across many investor immigration programs instead of one. We can divide these into two main categories: federal programs and provincial programs.

Federal business immigration programs

The federal government of Canada operates the following business immigration programs.

  • Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) – Multinational organizations aiming to expand their Canadian business operations can leverage the ICT program to transfer employees to their Canada office from an office in a foreign nation. 
  • Employees from foreign countries can use the ICT program to get Canadian work permits and explore temporary residence status after a year’s work experience in Canada. 
  • Start-up Visa Program (SUV) – The federal start-up visa program allows a maximum of five partners of an enterprise from abroad to get a work permit valid for up to three years. It qualifies them to become permanent residents in Canada. You will need investment commitment in the form of a Letter of Support from an IRCC-designated organization to be eligible for the SUV program. 
  • Entrepreneur Visa (C11) – Foreign investors and entrepreneurs willing to launch a new business or invest in a Canadian business should consider the Entrepreneur Visa program to operate a business in Canada by getting a work permit. It will enable you to become a Canadian permanent resident after one year of work experience. 
  • LMIA work permit Receiving an LMIA work permit is another pathway to permanent residency. LMIA pathway is suitable for employers willing to hire foreign workers. 

Provincial business immigration programs

Business investors and entrepreneurs from abroad can explore provincial business immigration programs to settle in a specific province or territory of Canada. Scroll down to learn about various provincial entrepreneur programs.


Alberta runs business immigration streams under Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP). The province has a flourishing economy attracting foreign investors and entrepreneurs to seek business opportunities. Getting a work permit and running a successful business for up to two years in the province are standard criteria to settle in Alberta as a permanent resident through these business immigration programs. These are the highlights of business immigration streams under the Alberta Advantage Program (AAIP).

Alberta Farm stream

  • A joint venture of AAIP and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • Aims to attract new immigrants having farm management skills and the ability to invest in a local farming business 
  • Boosts development of Alberta’s agricultural industry 

Alberta Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur 

  • Suitable for international graduates
  • Enables them to launch a start-up business and become permanent residents
  • Aims to attract international entrepreneur talent to boost Alberta’s economy

Alberta Rural Entrepreneur 

  • Suitable for foreign entrepreneurs desiring to launch or purchase a business in Alberta’s rural communities 
  • Improves Alberta’s rural economy 
  • Spreads economic development outside urban regions

British Columbia

British Columbia’s business immigration program is among the most sought-after among Canada’s provincial immigration programs.

Entrepreneur Immigration

Entrepreneur investors from abroad meeting the following requirements should consider the Entrepreneur Immigration stream.

  • Ability to take over an existing enterprise or launch a new business
  • Should invest at least $200,000
  • Generate at least one full-time job
  • Relevant managerial or entrepreneurial experience
  • Should prove a minimum net worth of $600,000
  • Minimum CLB level 4 IN English or French

Entrepreneur Immigration- Regional Pilot

These are the qualifying requirements for BC entrepreneur- Regional Pilot:

  • Willing to settle in the BC community by starting an enterprise
  • Plan and execute an exploratory visit
  • Has plan to invest $100,000 in business
  • Show proof of the minimum personal net worth of $300,000
  • They should own at least a 51 percent stake in the business
  • Should create at least one full-time job
  • Show proof of CLB level 4 in English or French language skills

Entrepreneur immigration- Strategic Projects

  • The minimum eligibility criteria are:
  • Should arrange minimum equity investment of $500,000
  • Should create at least three full-time jobs


Manitoba presents two streams of Investor Immigration to aspiring entrepreneurs, willing to settle in the province through provincial business immigration.

Entrepreneur pathway

  • A popular pathway under the Manitoba Business Investor stream
  • Suitable for foreign entrepreneurs and experienced business owners planning to purchase an existing Manitoba business
  • Foreign entrepreneurs wishing to launch or take over an enterprise and settle in Manitoba should consider this option
  • Show a minimum net worth of $500,000 and investment of up to $250,000 
  • A refundable deposit of $100,000 
  • Minimum three years of managerial or entrepreneurial experience 
  • Prepare a comprehensive business plan
  • Prove French or English language proficiency

Manitoba Farm Investor Pathway

The Farm Investor Pathway allows aspiring immigrants to use their farming expertise to start a farming business in Manitoba. These are a few eligibility criteria.

  • Show at least three to five years of farming experience, including ownership and management.
  • Ready to invest at least $300,000 in rural Manitoba farming enterprise and show a minimum net worth of $500,000
  • Submit a comprehensive business plan
  • Meet minimum language proficiency in English or French
  • Deposit $75,000 as a refundable deposit 

New Brunswick

New Brunswick offers two streams under its Business Investor Program.

Entrepreneurial stream

Business owners and senior managers with proven experience in managing a business abroad may consider the New Brunswick Entrepreneurial Stream.

  • The minimum personal net worth of $600,000 and investment of a minimum of $300,000
  • At least three years of business ownership or five years of senior management experience
  • Ready to invest at least $250,000 in a New Brunswick enterprise 

Post Graduate Entrepreneurial stream

Individuals with post-secondary educational qualifications willing to launch an innovative business idea in New Brunswick may consider the Post Graduate Entrepreneurial stream to operate a business and settle as permanent residents. These are the requirements to become eligible for the stream:

  • Completing a minimum of two years of post-secondary full-time study program in New Brunswick 
  • Have a valid Post-graduation Work Permit (PGWP)
  • Should have plans to settle in New Brunswick
  • Meet minimum language requirements in English and French

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia allows entrepreneurs to run a successful business enterprise on a two-year work permit.

It enables them to get permanent residence after proving their business acumen. Foreign business owners can explore the Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream to live in the province by meeting its eligibility criteria.

  • Prove a personal net worth of $600,000 and an investment of $150,000 to establish or purchase a business in Nova Scotia.
  • Submit a comprehensive business plan to prove its ability to improve the local economy and job market.
  • Appear for an interview with an immigration representative of Nova Scotia 


Ontario operates Ontario Entrepreneur Steam to attract experienced business owners from abroad and establish a business venture in the province. They may purchase an existing business in Ontario to become eligible for permanent residence.

  • Have a minimum net worth of $800,000 or $400,000, as per the business location.
  • Make a personal investment of $600,000 or $ 200,000, depending upon the business location.
  • Should create two full-time jobs for citizens or permanent residents
  • Prove a minimum of two years of business experience 
  • Submit an Expression of Interest profile to apply for the assessment

Prince Edward Island

The Work Permit stream of Prince Edward Island is suitable for business immigration to this smallest Canadian province. One should apply for a work permit and receive a provincial nomination by fulfilling the Performance Agreement. Prince Edward Island nominates successful entrepreneurs to federal immigration authorities for approval of permanent residence status. These are the basic eligibility criteria:

  • Minimum investment of $150,000
  • Minimum net worth of $600,000
  • Minimum secondary school level education
  • Minimum language eligibility of CLB Level 4
  • Submit a $10,000 application fee with supportive documents after receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA)


Saskatchewan is Canada’s prairie province. It attracts farm owners/ operators and entrepreneurs through Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program for Entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneur stream

  • Suitable for foreign entrepreneurs planning to start or purchase a business in Saskatchewan
  • Should have a minimum net worth of $500,000
  • The minimum investment should be $200,000

Farm owner/operator stream

  • Should have experience in farming 
  • The minimum net worth requirement is $500,000
  • The minimum investment is $150,000
  • Farm operations and management skills 
  • Complete program requirements by getting a temporary work permit to seek permanent residence

International Graduate Entrepreneur stream

  • Complete a minimum one-year full-time study program in Saskatchewan
  • Active involvement in day-to-day business management activities
  • Can apply for permanent residency after one year of business operations


Quebec’s business immigration pathways are suitable for immigrant investors living in Quebec. They can become permanent residents in Quebec after getting a work permit to operate a new or existing business.

Quebec Investor Program

On hold

Quebec Entrepreneur stream

  • Get a service offer from a designated support organization
  • Meet minimum language proficiency requirement in French
  • Provide a complete business plan
  • Apply for Quebec immigration

Self-employed worker stream

  • Practicing professionals having a minimum net worth of $100,000
  • Prove minimum professional experience of two years

Is Investor Immigration a suitable option for you?

Understanding individual profiles and matching the investor program’s requirements is crucial before opting for investor immigration. The following are common eligibility requirements of Canada’s investor programs.

  • Experience in operating a successful business enterprise
  • Have adequate funds to start a new business or purchase an existing one
  • Ability to invest at least $250,000 in the new business in Canada
  • Business management and development skills
  • Enough experience in starting a new business

Belong to any of the following categories to choose Canada’s investor programs for permanent residence:

  • Investor
  • Business owner
  • Startup entrepreneur
  • Entrepreneur
  • Self-employed individual
  • Senior executive or manager
  • Skilled worker

Consulting a certified immigration and business consultant in Canada will help you explore your chances of immigrating to Canada as an entrepreneur or investor.

Canada’s business visa process – a pathway to Canadian citizenship

Business immigration helps foreign investors and entrepreneurs become permanent residents and citizens in Canada. Applicants of Canadian business visas get a work permit to work for their Canadian enterprise. Operating a Canadian business for up to one year will qualify you for permanent residence. Following is the process of getting a Canadian investor visa:

  • Launching or purchasing a business in Canada – The initial step to getting a business visa involves starting or purchasing a business in Canada. It will help you launch your Canada business activities in compliance with the business visa program. 
  • Get employment under your Canada business – The business visa applicant gets employment as an executive or manager in their Canadian business enterprise. It is vital to stay in Canada on a work permit. 
  • Get a work permit through the entrepreneur immigration stream – You are eligible to apply for a work permit after receiving an employment offer from your company. You can legally operate the business by living in Canada on a work permit. 
  • Demonstrate your entrepreneurial skills – Operating your Canadian business in Canada by leveraging your business management skills is essential to become eligible for permanent residence.
  • Apply for permanent residence – You can apply for permanent residency after operating your business successfully for one year. 
  • Meet citizenship eligibility criteria – Permanent residents can apply for citizenship by meeting the eligibility criteria, like residency requirements and passing the citizenship test. 

Investment requirements to get Permanent Residence status

Most federal and provincial business immigration programs require applicants to invest between $250,000 and $350,000. The investment is a crucial requirement to qualify for permanent residence in Canada.

Business visa applicants should demonstrate their business management and entrepreneurial prowess by running a successful business with the investment. After conducting the business for one or two years you should apply for Canadian permanent residency. The following factors influence the amount of investment to qualify for business immigration programs:

  • Nature of Business – Investment depends upon the size and type of business. Higher investment is crucial to start or purchase a manufacturing unit while small businesses like salons or franchise operations may require lower investments.
  • Business location – Canada is a large country with several provinces and territories. Market conditions vary according to the location. Rural regions of Canada may require you to invest up to $180,000, while the investment can go up to $300,000 if you purchase a business in urban centers. 
  • Business viability – Business immigration programs require applicants to succeed in a business in Canada to become eligible for permanent residence. You may consider higher investments to make your business viable. You can apply for a work permit extension if you require more time to demonstrate the viability of your business.  

Main advantages of Canada’s business immigration programs

Canada is among the most immigrant-friendly countries in the world, welcoming all nationalities and cultures. Canadian citizenship is the ultimate goal of most immigrants arriving in Canada. You stand to benefit from the booming economy and multicultural environment in Canada.

These are a few advantages of Canada’s business immigration programs:

  • Canada enables newcomers to qualify for permanent residency faster than most countries
  • A supportive environment for new businesses
  • Free healthcare system
  • World-class education 

Key contributing factors for a successful business immigration

With several unique pathways to permanent residence, there are different requirements for business immigration to Canada. Tailoring your application for a Canadian business visa to match the appropriate business immigration stream is the key to success.

These guidelines may help you prepare a strong application for a business visa:

  • Commitment to the business plan– The applicant should prove their commitment to implement Canadian business plans by investing in the venture before applying for a business visa.  
  • Professional guidance– Canada’s business immigration process is complex. Each business visa application undergoes stringent scrutiny by immigration officials. You should seek professional guidance to know your chances of getting a business visa by discussing your profile and goals with an expert business immigration consultant. They will prepare a powerful case for successful business immigration by crafting a winning immigration strategy.  
  • Supportive documents– Documentation is a critical aspect of business immigration. The applicant entrepreneur investor must show proof of finances, net worth, and financial statements to prove eligibility. You will submit documents to support every piece of information in the application, including education, language proficiency, managerial and entrepreneurial experience, and funding. 

The takeaway

Canada is a goldmine for foreign business owners and investors because of its business-friendly environment and booming economy. Canada offers several business immigration programs to match the diverse business goals of eligible entrepreneurs. You must select the appropriate business investor program for successful immigration by creating a strong immigration strategy. Finding the most relevant program matching your personal and business profile is the key to a positive outcome. Experienced business immigration consultants can help you navigate the complex process of making the right decision.


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