Three Categories of Business Immigrants to Canada: What Category Are You?
In our practice of business immigration law for the last 9 years, we have come to know 3 major categories of business immigrants. In this article, we will discuss those categories and their immigration goals related to Canada. We will also highlight which programs might be suitable for each category.
Category 1: Business-Only Business Immigrants
This category of immigrants includes those who do not put getting permanent residency or citizenship in Canada as a priority. They already have strong passports and/or financial positions in their home countries. Their priority is to strengthen the business and increase market share and profits.
Usually, these are entrepreneurs and investors from developed countries. This category also includes those who are high net worth individuals from developing countries. They just want to follow Canadian immigration laws when doing business in Canada to be on the safe side in terms of compliance. These business immigrants want to obtain work permits as it is required by the Canadian laws, not as a means that enables them to relocate to Canada.
Category 2: Immigration-Only Business Immigrants
This category of business immigrants includes those who are willing to satisfy the requirements of a federal or provincial business immigration program primarily to obtain medium to long-term statuses in Canada. This category also wants to run a successful business in Canada, but the main motivation is to relocate to Canada with their families.
They want to get work permits, permanent residence, and ultimately Canadian citizenship as soon as they are qualified for relevant immigration programs.
Most of them view investing in Canada by establishing or buying a business, running it for a certain time and performing as expected by the Canadian authorities as necessary to obtain the desired statuses in Canada for themselves and their family members. This category represents a significant portion of business immigrants.
Category 3: Hybrid Business Immigrants
Those immigrants who want to do business as well as obtain a solid immigration status in Canada are hybrids. This category of business immigrants is more complex and fluid and can move along the spectrum between Categories 1 and 2.
They may eventually capture new recruits from both categories described above. The business-only immigrants may fall in love with Canada and decide to settle down in Canada permanently. The immigration-only immigrants may find good business opportunities in Canada and decide to focus more on their businesses, rather than obtaining status in Canada.
We believe that, in the end, Canada benefits from all categories of business immigrants note above because they bring in the capital, pay taxes and create new jobs for Canadians.
Immigration Programs Available for Each Category of Business Immigrants
Canadian immigration laws and programs capture all 3 categories of business immigrants.
For Category 1: Business-Only Business Immigrants From Developed Countries
- They should find out if their country of citizenship has a free trade agreement with Canada. If there’s an FTA between the countries, then treaty investor and entrepreneur options under an FTA are good options for them.
- If potential business immigrants have an existing company in a foreign country, then the ICT (intra-company transfer) work permit program might be a good option, too. Especially when the business owner wants to transfer certain staff members to Canada.
- If category 1 business immigrants want to do business in a certain location in Canada, then soft-landing programs offered by the Canadian provinces and regions could be beneficial for them. They can talk to the provincial and regional authorities and negotiate the best conditions for bringing their businesses to relevant regions as the regions try to attract foreign business people and investors.
Those Category 1 immigrants who are high net worth individuals from developing countries:
- If a person does not have a currently running business in a foreign country but has excellent financial capabilities, federal entrepreneurship visa programs should be considered seriously.
- In this scenario, the high-net-worth individual would need to prove that his business venture in Canada would bring significant economic benefit and create new jobs. By establishing a promising business or buying an existing business, the foreign investor could obtain a work permit to run his business in Canada and relocate his/her family to Canada so that they could live in Canada for an extended period. Their children and family can benefit from free medical services and public education in Canada.
For Category 2: Immigration-Only Business Immigrants Who Want a Solid Status in Canada
- Those who can invest at least $150,000 to establish a new business or purchase an existing business in Canada should investigate the entrepreneurship programs on a federal level. The provincial entrepreneur programs require to demonstrate a minimum net worth while the federal entrepreneurship programs do not have such a requirement.
- Those with backgrounds in sports and cultural activities should consider immigrating to Canada as self-employed professionals. In this scenario, first, apply for permanent residence which will take about 2 years to process and after that apply for a work permit to come to run your own business on a work permit. While you wait for your permanent residence application results you can grow your business by maintaining a work permit status. Your family can follow you.
- Those who have a unique marketable start-up concept should research the Start-Up Visa program, which can result in permanent residence. In this program, you need to get investment from designator investors or support of start-up incubators. Similarly, you can make 2 applications: (a) a permanent residence application and then (b) a work permit application to come to Canada faster.
For Category 3: Hybrid Business Immigrants Who Must Meet Two Objectives
All programs suggested for categories 1 and 2 are good to consider for category 3 immigrants.
The focus of your immigration strategy should be more thorough because you have two targets: business growth and immigration. From that perspective, however:
- If you have a solid net worth (more than $600,000) then look at the provincial nominee programs designed for entrepreneurs in a province in which your industry of specialization thrives. You should consider visiting Canada and the provinces that interest you at least one time to conduct thorough research.
- If you are from an FTA country or a country the citizens of which do not require to obtain a visa to come to Canada, then it’s best for you to visit Canada before making a significant commitment to invest.
- If you have an appetite to partner with someone to run your business, then think of becoming a majority partner (51% of shares) in an existing Canadian business. For this purpose, work with professional business brokers who can introduce you to Canadian businesses that may be looking for partners. When you become a majority shareholder, you can come to Canada on a work permit to run your business.
- If you’re ready to invest as much capital as necessary to run both profitable businesses in Canada (and perhaps make your way to obtain an immigration status in Canada), then consider buying a well-known franchise operation with at least 2-3 years of successful history. This option could bring you income and a work permit enabling you to come to Canada faster to oversee your business.
How the Experienced Team at Sobirovs Law Firm Can Help You With Your Immigration Goals
Our team has been working with all categories of business immigrants for the last 9 years.
We’ve overcome many challenges together with our clients and thanks to our deep understanding of clients’ goals we could deliver good results. Even in 2020, one of the most challenging years for our clients and us, we have helped hundreds of businesspeople with a 92.8% rate of positive results.
The main secret of our successful performance is that we take time to understand our clients without rushing them to hire us quickly. Our goal to offer them Canadian immigration solutions must align with the clients’ ultimate immigration goals. We have never offered a solution because the client is merely eligible for an immigration program. We always try to make sure that a client has a good chance of success in an immigration program that we offer.
The Sobirovs team strives to offer hassle-free immigration for business immigrants by:
- Creating a special tool for you on our website to get an Instant Assessment to see if you qualify for a business immigration program in Canada
- Learning more about you and your current circumstances. To tell us more about your background, existing business, and future goals, please complete this confidential Business Immigration Assessment Form.
- Sending you only the relevant information based on the information we get from your complete Assessment Form.
- Sharing transparent legal fee estimates so that our potential clients can make an informed decision as to how much it may cost them, and
- Spending generous time (1-hour) in a Strategy Meeting with those potential clients that have decided to attend a paid consultation with our senior business immigration lawyer.
Contact us today by using one of the means above and we’ll be happy to discuss your immigration goals!