Canada Investor Visa: Learn About Investment Immigration

Canada Investor Visa: Learn About Investment Immigration

As a foreign entrepreneur or investor, you can benefit from securing a visa through investment immigration options just like Canada’s Investor Visa programs. The Government of Canada has created various immigrant investor programs that lead to permanent residency. On this page, you will learn about what business immigration programs are available to you and which one will suit you best!

What are Canada’s Investor Visa and Investment Immigration Programs?

Various immigration programs in Canada are tailored to foreign entrepreneurs, investors, and companies which make applicants eligible for permanent residency. As a result, there is no single Canada Investor program; instead, there are numerous options for investor immigration. These options can be divided into federal and provincial programs, described below.

Choosing the right immigration program, federal or provincial, will play a big role in the success of your immigration strategy. It is essential to select the program that is the most suitable for your business and your personal background. Our free instant assessment tool will certainly help you make the right decision, and if you need further guidance, you can always rely on valuable advice during our 60-minute strategy meeting with our top business immigration lawyers.

Canada’s Federal Investor Programs

The following are business immigration programs that are created on the federal level.

If you have an already established qualified business in your home country, you can transfer and expand it to Canada using the ICT program! You will generally be eligible for permanent residency after 1 year of business in Canada.
Owners of innovative foreign businesses can benefit from Canada’s Start-Up Visa, which makes up to 5 founding partners eligible for permanent residency in Canada. It is important to note that established start-ups that focus on fostering innovation are preferred for this program. This program requires outside investors like venture capital funds. It can take up to 2 years to obtain permanent residency. Learn more about Start-Up Visa.
The C11 Entrepreneur stream is perfect for individuals who want to invest in an existing Canadian business or start a new one. After one year of operating your business in Canada, you will become eligible for permanent residency. Learn more about the C11 Entrepreneur program.
Entrepreneurs and investors can receive a work permit through the LMIA pathway and eventually permanent residency after 2 years of employment in Canada. This program is tailored more towards hiring foreign workers. Other, above-mentioned programs are usually preferred over this one. Learn more about LMIA.

Provincial Investor Immigration Programs 

On the provincial level, Canadian provinces offer various immigration programs to invest and settle permanently in various parts of the country. These Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are listed below.

Alberta’s PNP program is known as the Alberta Immigration Program (AAIP). It is one of the most popular programs in the Canadian prairies due to Alberta’s ever-growing economy in the region.
In this province, you could be eligible for the BC PNP immigration pathway. This province’s PNP pathway is one of the most popular ones in Canada along with Ontario’s program. These two provinces have the biggest provincial economies in the country. Learn more about it in our video!
Manitoba offers a few PNP options, Farm Investor Pathway and Entrepreneur Pathway. In this province, you could be eligible for the BC PNP immigration pathway.
This eastern province has a well-developed New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP). Learn more about it here.
In Nova Scotia, immigrant entrepreneurs can benefit from Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP). Learn more about it with us.
This province has one of the most popular PNP programs due to Ontario’s economy. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is highly popular amongst foreign investors. Learn more about it.
The smallest Canadian province offers the PEI Provincial Nominee Program for foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and companies alike. Explore the program with us.
This prairie province offers the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, most often targeting which is ideal for entrepreneurs and farm owners/operators.
The province of Quebec does not have a PNP program but it has a similar investor program. As an investor-Quebec immigrant, you can start a business or invest in an existing one and live in Quebec. Learn more about Quebec’s investor program.


Federal Immigration Programs vs Provincial Immigration Programs

As a business immigrant, you have a wide selection of possible pathways. Depending on your business goals, some immigration schemes may suit you better than others. It is important to compare and see whether a federal or provincial program would be the best for you, your business, and your family.

 Federal Investor ProgramsProvincial Investor Programs
Minimum InvestmentCAD $250,000 to CAD $350,000 recommended$350,000 recommended
CAD $250,000* - $1,000,000

Plus additional net worth requirements in each province

*Some industry-specific programs don’t have qualifying investment requirements
Processing Times1 – 3 months6 – 8 months
Time to Permanent Residency2+ years2+ years
Family MembersYesYes for some
Program LimitNoYes
Restrictions and CommitmentYou need to show that you have sufficient liquid funds to execute your business plan.Keep an eye out for restricted and preferred businesses in each provincial program! Most provinces restrict franchise businesses or prohibit certain automated businesses.

Make sure to review the residency requirements and business commitment requirements for provincial programs to understand what your short- and long-term commitments will be.

Who Should Apply to Investor Programs?

Every one of the above programs has its own eligibility requirements and application process, but most share some common elements:

  • Operate a successful business or have enough funds to buy or start one in Canada;
  • Have at least $250,000 that you can invest in your Canadian business;
  • Possess necessary skills for business development and business management; and
  • Have the ability to use your business experience to build a business in Canada.

You can use our instant assessment tool to see if you fulfill the requirements for investor immigration, as well as receive personalized advice during our 1-hour strategy meeting with you.

If you find yourself falling within the requirements of business immigration and you are from the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, India, or any other country in the world – you are likely to receive approval for your business immigration application. In particular, if you are any of the below, you should consider Canada’s residence by investment programs:

  • Investor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Self-employed person
  • Executive or senior manager
  • Skilled worker and professional

If you are unsure what kind of business or investment you’d like to do in Canada, then you should research some investment immigration ideas to find suitable opportunities and inspiration.

From Work Permit to Permanent Residency to Citizenship

Flowchart that is showing how Canada Investor Visa works - you get a work permit then a permanent residency and eventually Canadian citizenship

Every business immigrant who comes to Canada through business immigration is eligible for permanent residency. When you first receive approval for your business immigration application, you will obtain a work permit as your Canadian company will employ you. After operating your business for at least a year, you will become eligible for permanent residency. After receiving permanent residence, you can eventually qualify for Canadian citizenship.

The entire process can be summarized as follows:

    1. Establish or buy a Canadian company;
    2. Your Canadian company employs you;
    3. Apply for a work permit through a business immigration program;
    4. Operate your business in Canada for one year;
    5. Apply for permanent residency; and
    6. Become eligible for Canadian citizenship.

Family Members

Many business owners want to immigrate to Canada with their families. You should note that your family members will be eligible to come with you through business immigration. Usually, your spouse or a common-law partner would receive an open work permit. Also, your children would obtain study permits or temporary residence permits, depending on their age. As the main applicant, the family members will also be eligible for permanent residency.

Advantages of Canada’s Citizenship by Investment Programs

There are numerous reasons you want to make Canada a new home for you, your business, and your family. For instance:

  • Canada has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world;
  • You can qualify for permanent residence much faster than in other countries;
  • Canada is multicultural and diverse;
  • Society is highly acceptive of all nationalities and cultures;
  • Canada supports new businesses, and often the government will provide subsidies and rebates for certain industry sectors;
  • Canada has a free healthcare system; and
  • Education in Canada is highly affordable and is of a very high standard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most asked questions based on our experience.

How much do you need to invest to immigrate to Canada and get a permanent residence? 

In our experience, foreign entrepreneurs, investors, and companies will generally need at least $250,000 to invest in their Canadian businesses through Canada’s investment immigration programs.

Can I immigrate to Canada by investment? 

Yes, you can! Canada has a variety of investment immigration programs for you to choose from. See the above list of federal and provincial programs.

What countries offer citizenship for investment? 

Many countries offer immigration schemes that can lead to citizenship which are often referred to as golden visas. For example, America’s EB-5 program is similar to Canada’s Entrepreneur C11 pathway. Both offer the same result, a Work Permit, then PR (green card), and eventually citizenship, but the process varies dramatically.

What are the benefits of federal investment programs? 

There are various benefits of the federal programs, such as:

  • There are no mobility restrictions, and you can build businesses in any province and expand across different provinces as well;
  • No provincial residency requirements and more freedom to explore and adjust your business without breaching a business activity commitment list;
  • They are more focused on attracting foreign investments and encouraging innovation/economic stimulus rather than mandating business success. You are not punished if your business fails, as long as you genuinely work on and try executing your plan;
  • There are no industry restrictions. Some provincial programs are specifically geared towards fostering growth in specific industries. It may limit your access to them if you don’t fit into a particular sector/category;
  • There is no minimum net worth or investment requirement for most programs – you need to show that you have sufficient liquid funds to execute your business plan.