As the business world expands, many entrepreneurs and business owners choose to relocate or expand operations to serve a multitude of markets. On this page, you will learn all about moving to Canada from Australia for entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals, large corporations, and start-ups. You will learn how to move to Canada from Australia along with some industry tips! We will use our decade-long experience to help you better understand how you can bring your company to Canada, buy a new one in Canada, and what investment options can help your immigration to Canada from Australia.
Immigration Options for Moving to Canada from Australia
If you are an Australian moving to Canada, you need immigration programs that suit your needs and business needs. Luckily, several effective programs run by the Government of Canada do just that. There are four major pathways most Australians use to apply, all of which allow applicants and their families eligibility for Permanent Residence.
- Intra Company Transfer (ICT) – The Intra-Company Transfer program is ideal for established businesses hoping to expand into Canada while maintaining existing operations. This program is well-suited to experienced owners and senior managers of mature companies. Applicants in Canada can use this permit to become eligible for Permanent Residency after one year of employment.
- Entrepreneur Work Permits – Entrepreneurs are building the way of the future. Canada has dedicated itself to attracting foreign talent and innovation to the nation, and entrepreneurs are a large part of that. If you have applicable skills, appropriate net worth, and a solid business concept, you might be eligible to run or establish a business in Canada under this pathway. After one year of business operations, most individuals will have the option of transitioning to Permanent Residency.
- Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) – Many provinces and territories in Canada provide location-specific immigration pathways. The most popular provincial pathways for Australians are the British Columbia and Ontario PNPs. These Programs are very useful if you have a location-specific goal or would like to take advantage of a Rural Recovery incentive program. On the other hand, the wait times for these programs are significantly longer, and the mandatory investment can be more intensive than some federal programs. Most Canadian provinces and territories offer specific programs for business immigrants to invest and work in a particular region. Provincial programs are an excellent fit for entrepreneurs with a location-specific strategy or requiring specific logistics. The most popular pathways for Australian newcomers have remained in Ontario and British Columbia. Learn more about PNP Canada.
- Owner-Operator LMIA Program – The Owner/Operator program (O/O) is an extremely popular pathway many Australian businesses have chosen for their future. However, significant changes made to the program in April of 2021 have inspired newcomer Australians to apply via a standard LMIA pathway or the streamlined and specific Entrepreneur Work Programs.
Pro Tips for Canada Visa Application in Australia
Immigration is a complex process, and business immigration is even more so. We are happy to leverage our years of experience and acumen to provide you with the best information for a successful file. To help maximize your application, review some of our pro tips below:
Include Extensive Financial Documentation
When determining the financial capabilities of entrepreneurs and company owners, the visa officers at the Sydney office will pay close attention to your financial evidence. Therefore, you must prove that you have enough liquid funds to support your business activity in Canada. Personal and business bank statements, stocks and shares you own, savings account statements, and tax returns can all be used to support your financial capability. The visa officers are known to look for evidence that you have set aside the whole amount of the business investment capital in addition to some extra money to meet operating costs or unforeseen expenses. For instance, it is generally advised to demonstrate $250,000 in liquid funds to satisfy the officer of your financial capacity. We also recommend that entrepreneurs include evidence of personal and non-liquid assets in their business immigration applications.
Include Evidence About Relevant Experience
Whether an Australian entrepreneur can perform their planned business activities in Canada is a crucial factor that visa officers examine when reviewing any business immigration application. For this reason, investors and company owners from Australia must provide a wide range of documentation demonstrating relevant academic background, management experience, industry expertise, and transferrable skills. We advise you to include letters of recommendation, proof of company ownership, certificates for any extra training or courses you have completed, and other relevant material to show that you have the qualifications to make your Canadian venture a success.
Include Evidence of Commitment
Without solid guarantees that their immigration application will be approved, many business owners and investors are often hesitant to pursue business immigration. We completely understand this. Who wants to invest in a company but not be able to immigrate to Canada? Entrepreneurs must, however, show a dedication to carrying out the business plan to succeed with their applications for business immigration. It is essential to note that forming a corporation and presenting a business plan might not be enough to convince the officer that you do want to start and operate a business in Canada. There must be material proof that you risked your money and made steps to execute your business plan. For instance, purchasing a business, obtaining financing for your enterprise in Canada, signing a commercial leasing arrangement, hiring the first employee, and buying equipment can satisfy the visa officer that you are committed to your business vision and have started executing your business plan are examples of such steps.
Best Business in Canada for Australians Moving to Canada
Australians are known globally as innovative, creative people. Canadians have a long history of collaboration and trade with Australians, which has long benefited the nation and its people. Australians have been making their mark for decades, with a significant focus on exports and professional services. Australians consistently provide top-notch products and services in the personal care, food and agricultural products, e-commerce, raw metal, and professional services sectors. Boasting high quality of life and an ever-increasing customer base, more and more Australians are choosing Canada as their entry point to the North American market.
Food and Agricultural Products
Australia is known for its high-quality produce and crafted products. Known globally as a leader in wine, red meats, and fruit products, Australians have long found business success in Canada either through import-export or by applying some of this expertise in a similar sector. Australia is a globally leading exporter of beef, veal, lamb, mutton, and goat. Exports of meat and edible meat offal to Canada from Australia were valued at USD $182.2 million in 2021. With a recent resolution to the ongoing wine import issue, Australia is enjoying an even bigger piece of the Canadian wine market. Canada is Australia’s fourth-largest export market for wine, valued at approximately USD $151 million.
E-commerce and Trades
Australia and Canada have enjoyed thriving trade relations for many years. As more businesses diversify their offerings or shop format, e-commerce is enjoying a meteoric rise worldwide. At Sobirovs, we are proud to have helped an Australian e-commerce company move operations to Canada. The company, first established in Australia in 2020, opened its Canadian branch in 2022, and we are delighted to welcome its Director to Canada. The company generated nearly CAD $3.5 million in gross revenue last year, with CAD $2.3 million in revenue coming from its Canadian market. Australian companies around the world are powering success.
Australia is one of the major world hubs for digital nomads, and with Australians pursuing post-secondary education in record numbers, professional services are thriving for Aussies. In 2010, Australia’s services exports to Canada totalled approximately $527 million. More and more Australian students are pursuing post-secondary education in Canada (and vice versa!), and a generation of working professionals, especially in the health, law, finances, engineering, and tech sectors, are developing businesses with an eye to a continued international partnership. Many Australian financiers, traders, and advisors find the proximity to prominent North American exchanges and diverse time zone access useful for scaling up their business.
Our Experience & Statistics for SMEs & Investors Entering Canada from Australia
Australians have big ideas. Our firm is lucky to have assisted a number of Australian clients with realizing their big ideas. Throughout our years of experience working with Australian businesses and individuals, we have learned a number of valuable tips and tricks to help speed up the process. Here are some of our highlights:
- Average Investment Budget: Between $150K – $300K
- Average Approval Rate: 94%
- Most Common Destinations: Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta
- Average Processing Times: 2- 3 months
Types of business
- Food and agricultural products (beef, meats, wine, etc.)
- Chemicals and metals (aluminum oxide, etc.)
- Professional services (finances, etc.)
Top reasons for rejection
- Availability of funds (insufficiency of available funds)
- Viability of business
Facts About Immigration to Canada from Australia
Australia is the 8th largest destination for Canadian investment abroad, and Canada is the 8th largest for Australian foreign investment. The nations enjoy a historically rich trade relationship driven by two-way investment and innovation. Close to 45,000 people every year living in Canada claim Australia as their location of ethnic origin. British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta have historically proven to be the most popular destinations for Australian immigrants.
Many Australians cite the Canadian environment, lifestyle, and sports opportunities as powerful draws to the nation. One recent interviewee from Down Under noted, “Canada is very welcoming, and the visa is easy to obtain. So why not try something new.” Another peer mentioned, “The lifestyle is awesome, including the sports like snowboarding, hiking etc. Plus, I really enjoy having four real seasons rather than wet summer and dry summer.”
Australians and Canadians have enjoyed a long, fruitful history of trade relationships. Canada and Australia even share some services when the other nation does not have the appropriate facilities. There are more than 180 formal agreements between Canadian and Australian universities for academic and cultural exchange. Entrepreneurship in both countries is at a high level, and the possibility for even greater technological and professional exchange is invigorating!
Resources for Australians Moving to Canada
Australians have been coming to Canada in droves for years, and that flow of people doesn’t look like it will slow anytime soon. Australians first landing in Canada on a business visa can rest easy, however, knowing they can seek support from any of the following resources:
Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce – Established in 2005, this organization draws on the long history of trade relations between Canada and Australia and “aims to build quality business connections and promote trade & investment between Canada and Australia.”
CANZBA – The Canada, Australia and New Zealand Business Association is a Vancouver-based non-profit that aims to foster trade between the three nations. It was established in 2001 to serve the needs of business individuals and organizations of these nations.
Aussies in Canada – This Facebook group is run by and for members of the Australian community in Canada. They provide information about events, resources, and more. Find offshoot groups Aussies in Toronto and Australians in Vancouver for more specific information.
Australian Consulate-General in Toronto – This Consulate-General provides information and services to Australian nationals in Canada. They can also provide resources and support.
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business – Although this organization caters mainly to Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island, it is a space for all Indigenous people to gather and share information and resources about their businesses. The Council provides educational opportunities, networking, and tools and is tied to a number of major business awards networks.