The Ultimate Guide for Business Immigration from India to Canada
Indian entrepreneurs, business owners and self-employed individuals have a number of options to come to Canada under Canada’s various business immigration programs. In this article, we will describe the most popular pathways that entrepreneurs from India use to come to Canada to establish and run their businesses. We will share with you our suggestions and tips on how to improve your chances of success in your immigration application from India.
Business Immigration Options from India
Here are some business immigration options that business owners and entrepreneurs from India use to arrive and settle in Canada:
- Intra Company Transfer (ICT) – established businesses from India that are looking to expand to Canada can use this option to move their companies and teams to Canada. Indian nationals arriving in Canada on the ICT work permits have several pathways to permanent residency in Canada after 1 year of employment in Canada.
- Entrepreneur Work Permits – available for entrepreneurs, high net-worth individuals and experienced managers in India who want to invest in a business in Canada or start their own business in Canada. Individual entrepreneurs holding this type of work permit can transition to permanent residence after 1 year of running their businesses in Canada.
- Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) – Canadian provinces also offer good pathways for Indian entrepreneurs to invest, work and settle permanently in the specific province in Canada. The most popular PNP programs among Indian entrepreneurs remain Entrepreneur streams of Ontario PNP and British Columbia PNP.
- Owner-Operator LMIA Program – although this program was historically very popular among entrepreneurs and investors from India, it was cancelled by the government of Canada in April of 2021. Now, investors and entrepreneurs from India can use the regular LMIA pathway or even better, achieve the same results by using the Entrepreneur Work Permit option (above).
Pro Tips for Application Preparation
Here are some tips that we have for entrepreneurs from India submitting business immigration applications through the Canadian Visa Offices in New Delhi & Bangalore:
Include Extensive Financial Documentation
The officers in the New Delhi/Bangalore Visa Office are particularly attentive when it comes to the assessment of the financial capacity of entrepreneurs and business owners. Therefore, make sure to include evidence of sufficient liquid funds available to you to support your business enterprise in Canada. Financial capacity can be established by personal and corporate bank statements, stocks/shares that you hold, saving account statements, tax returns etc. Very often, the Visa Officers would like to see that business owners have set aside the full amount of business investment funds, plus some additional funds to cover operations costs or unexpected expenses. For example, if you are buying a business for $150,000, it is always recommended to show $250,000 in liquid funds to satisfy the officer of your financial capacity. We also recommend entrepreneurs to include evidence of personal and non-liquid assets with their business immigration applications.
Include Evidence About Relevant Experience
Another important aspect that Visa Officers scrutinize with any business immigration application from India is whether entrepreneurs are able to perform the work they intend to do in Canada. Thus, it is very important for investors and business owners from India to include ample of evidence documenting their relevant education, managerial and industry experience and transferrable skills. We suggest including reference letters, evidence of business ownership, certificates for additional training or courses that you took and any other relevant documentation to demonstrate that you possess the necessary skills and experience to undertake this new role in Canada.
Include Evidence of Commitment
Many entrepreneurs and investors are usually reluctant to take risks without solid assurances that their immigration application will go through. It is understandable. Who wants to invest into a business and later learn that he/she cannot come to Canada to manage it? However, to be successful in business immigration applications, entrepreneurs should demonstrate commitment towards the execution of the business plan. Unfortunately, registering a company and submitting a business plan might not satisfy the officer about your genuine intentions to establish and operate a business in Canada. There must be evidence of putting your money at risk and taking steps to execute your business vision. For example, actions like buying a business, funding your business in Canada, entering into a commercial lease agreement, hiring a first employee, buying equipment etc. can satisfy the Visa Officer that you are committed to your business vision and have started executing your business plan.
Top Sectors that Use Business Immigration Programs from India to Canada
India has very strong IT, Professional Services, and Trade sectors. As their businesses grow, it is not a surprise that driven, forward-thinking, and ambitious professionals from these sectors choose Canada as their next business destination.
Software development companies and IT consulting companies benefit from Canada’s welcoming and business-friendly environment. For that reason, India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has an ongoing strategic partnership with the Government of Canada. Nasscom views Canada as one of the best countries for Indian IT business expansion.
The Canadian Professional Services sector is known worldwide for its HR consulting and finance sectors. HR consulting companies are experiencing an enormous increase in business opportunities due shift of the workforce to non-traditional work environments. The ever-thriving Canadian finance sector is attracting many Indian entrepreneurs and professionals.
Many Indo-Canadian businesses benefit from India’s strong importation relationship with Canada. This partnership is signified by ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement. Trading activity between two countries is truly astounding. Indian imports in Canada reached 3.72 billion in 2020, here is a quick snapshot:
- Medical supplies – $408 million
- Jewelry and precious metals – $248 million
- Apparel – $117 million
Our Experience & Statistics for SMEs & Investors Entering Canada from India
We have been advising many companies, entrepreneurs, start-ups and investors from India on Canadian business immigration options. Below is a quick summary of facts that we have witnessed throughout the years:
- Average Investment Budget: Between $150K – $300K
- Average Approval Rate: 94%
- Most Common Destinations: British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta
- Average Processing Times: 2-3 months
Types of business:
- Franchised businesses (retail, marketing, food industry and professional services)
- Trade (jewelry, textile, medical supplies, ethnic food, etc.)
- Food & hospitality (restaurant business)
- Professional services (recruitment and HR consulting, financial services etc.)
- IT services & consulting
Top reasons for rejection:
- Availability of funds (insufficiency of available funds)
- Viability of business
Success Stories from India to Canada
Facts About Indo-Canadian Immigration
India and Canada have a long-lasting immigration relationship that dates back centuries. It is estimated that Indians are in the top 10 of Canada’s population, standing at 4%! Astonishingly, 51% of the entire Indo-Canadian population lives in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Many arrive on business visas to Canada’s Ontario and British Columbia provinces, which are at the top of the list of the most popular destination for Indian immigrants.
Canadian immigration has a well-developed range of options that suit established Indian businesses, new start-ups, and owner-operator ventures. The Mayor of Brampton in GTA once said,
“Our goal is to have over 50 start-ups from India located in Brampton in next year”
However, Indo-Canadian entrepreneurs already made their mark on the Canadian economy. Aditya Jha, who is worth over $100 million is a tech, confectionary, and procurement entrepreneur who made Canada his and his businesses’ home. Maninder Dhaliwal who came to Canada in 1999 is another prime example of a successful Indian professional in Canada. Maninder is the CEO of Lions Gate International, a venture capital and advisory company in British Columbia. She once said,
“Embracing Canada as a whole not only connects you in your local community, it allows you access to all types business resources and networks that you need to succeed.”
Evidently, Canada is not a new destination for Indian companies and entrepreneurs. If you are an entrepreneur that is just starting their business journey or an established company – we are certain that Canada can provide you with suitable business immigration opportunities.