Are you an entrepreneur who wants to relocate to North America through investment pathways? If the answer is “yes”, you’ve probably already thought about the “USA or Canada?” dilemma in your search for the best country to live and invest in.
In this article, we want to compare the US “Permanent Residence by Investment” program (EB-5) and the Canadian Entrepreneur pathway (C11). Both programs potentially lead to permanent residence status/Green Card through investment and operating a business.
What is the US EB-5 Visa Program?
In the US, the EB-5 Program offers immigration options for foreign investors. This investor visa requires you to invest in a new or existing American business. Once your EB-5 application is approved you will receive a conditional temporary residency for 2 years and will become eligible for a Green Card (permanent residency).
Canadian Entrepreneur Program
Canada in general offers more flexibility in business immigration than the US. There are numerous immigration pathways available for foreign business owners.
In Canada, the C11 Entrepreneur Stream is one of the immigration programs that is tailored for foreign investors, business owners, and entrepreneurs. Through this program, you are required to start a new business or buy an existing one in Canada. Once your C11 application is approved, you will receive a Canadian work permit for 2 years and will be eligible for permanent residency.
Here are some additional programs that also offer a pathway to permanent residency in Canada:
- Startup Visa Program
- Provincial Nominee Programs
- Intra Company Transfer Program
- Buying a Franchise and Immigration
So, US or Canada for Permanent Residence by Investment?
The US EB5 Program and Canada’s Entrepreneur streams are not the same. They offer the same result – permanent residency. However, the entire process differs dramatically! Canadian Entrepreneur stream (C11) seems to offer more flexibility to foreign entrepreneurs, investors, and companies and a faster and smoother process.
|USA (EB-5)||Canada (C11)|
|Investment Amount||From $900,000 USD to $1,800,000 USD||No minimum investment, but recommended minimum amount – $250,000 CAD|
|Job Creation||at least 10 jobs||2+|
|Processing Times||Stage 1: at least 18-29 months||3 weeks – 4 months|
|Family Members (spouse and children)||Eligible to join the principal applicant||Spouse: eligible to get a work permit; Children: free schooling (not post-secondary education)|
|Time to Permanent Residency||4+ years||2+ years|
|English/French Language||Not required||May be required|
Things to Consider: Canada vs US Immigration
Although Canada’s Entrepreneur stream has many advantages over the American EB-5 program, you should also consider other important factors that may affect your decision to immigrate to Canada or the US.
In Canada, the average yearly university tuition is CAD $6,700. On the other hand, in the US it is USD $10,230 for state residents and USD $26,290 for out-of-state students. Also, private non-profit colleges on average cost USD $35,830 a year.
How Does Business Immigration Work?
Regardless of whether you are applying for an EB5 Visa or Entrepreneur Visa, the idea of business immigration is the same in both countries. You will have to invest in a business in a country that you are planning on immigrating to. You may choose to invest in an existing business, start a brand new one, or perhaps bring the business from your home country to Canada or the US. Not all business immigration paths are the same though, and it is crucial to consider all of the details.
- Canada: There are no official investment requirements set by the government for the Entrepreneur Visa. However, you should have at least CAD $250,000 to invest into Canadian business and approximately CAD $100,000 for operating expenses during the initial year.
- USA: The amount can vary between USD $1,800,000 and USD $900,000. The lower amount of investment is only applicable to Targeted Employment Areas. ription
- Canada: You can expect your Entrepreneur Visa application to be reviewed in around 90 days. This time may change slightly depending on the workload of the IRCC.
- USA: The EB-5 Visa generally takes between 30 and 60 months to review, which is another reason why some choose not to apply.cription
- Canada: The Entrepreneur Visa does not require you to create new jobs per se. Though you are required to show that your investment can create a “significant benefit” for the economy and the community. You can achieve this, amongst other ways, by creating a few job opportunities.
- USA: On the other hand, the EB5 Visa requires you to create at least 10 full-time positions for domestic residents. This requirement can add quite a lot to your already high investment amount.