Permanent Residence by Investment: USA or Canada?

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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. 

Chart that compares permanent residence options in Canada and US

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 two years and become eligible for a Green Card (permanent residence).

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 tailored for foreign investors, business owners, and entrepreneurs. Through this program, you must 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 two years and be eligible for permanent residency.

Here are some additional programs that also offer a pathway to permanent residency in Canada:

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 provide more flexibility to foreign entrepreneurs, investors, and companies and a faster and smoother process. 

USA (EB-5)Canada (C11)
Investment Amount From $800,000 USD to $1,050,000 USDNo minimum investment, but recommended minimum amount – $250,000 CAD
Job Creationat least 10 jobs 2+
Processing TimesStage 1: at least 18-29 months3 weeks – 4 months
Family Members (spouse and children)Eligible to join the principal applicantSpouse: eligible to get a work permit; Children: free schooling (not post-secondary education)
Time to Permanent Residency4+ years 2+ years
English/French LanguageNot requiredMay 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. 

Canada in general offers more flexibility in business immigration than the US. There are numerous immigration pathways available for foreign business owners. For example, you can transfer your company, buy a franchise, or start a new company in Canada – there are many business immigration options.
The cost of education is significantly cheaper in Canada compared to the US. This would make Canada’s residency by investment options more attractive than the ones in the US. This is especially important when your children are planning on attending college or a university. Additionally, Canadian provincial and federal governments provide subsidies and grants for students.

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.

Canada offers free public healthcare, which is not the case in the US. If in Canada you will generally contribute to your healthcare through yearly taxes, then in the US you can expect to pay between USD $540 to as much as USD $800 per person per month – depending on your location and health history. This is a crucial factor to consider when you are reviewing your options for citizenship by investment and the reason why some are reconsidering their US residence by investment plans.

How Does Business Immigration Work?

Regardless of whether you are applying for an EB5 Visa or an 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 to immigrate 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.

At the core of business immigration is the idea of investing in the economy of the desired country by building a business. This is one of the most important requirements to meet and one that some simply cannot afford.

  • 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
Accordion Sample DesYou must have the available funds but what if the entire process takes much longer than you expected? This can have significant effects on your business, your life, and the life of your family. Processing times are something that sets Canada miles apart from its neighbours south of the border.

  • 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
Since these business immigration programs are meant to bolster the economy the immigrant entrepreneur is required to create some job opportunities for domestic residents.

  • 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.

Bringing You, Your Tech Talent & Your Business To Canada

Get started and make your first step towards Canada. Book your 1-hour strategy meeting with a licensed Canadian immigration lawyer.

Immigration to Canada can be very complicated for businesses, business owners, and foreign employees. Hiring business immigration lawyers with the skill, experience, and patience is often crucial to successfully navigating this complex process. The experienced professionals at Sobirovs Law Firm offer tailored legal services in all business and corporate immigration matters. Contact us for more information on how we can help you meet your immigration needs.

We have worked with & represented clients from all walks of life. Always just one call – or click – away, weʼre happy to help you begin your & your familyʼs journey to Canada.

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Lucia Lu
Lucia Lu
I cannot say enough good things about Sobirovs Law Firm’s exceptional team. My work permit application was quite complex and underwent numerous tests, including a rejection from the first attempt. Feruza developed a tailored strategy that contributed to the best chance of success in the resubmission, and her entire team presented my case with unparalleled expertise and genuine care. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Maggie, a phenomenal consultant who supported me in every step of the application, took the time to understand my unique situation and answered all my questions patiently. Her in-depth knowledge of the work permit program, proficiency in preparing my application and professional communication were reassuring and truly remarkable. Thanks to your team’s extraordinary work, I can now pursue my business goals in Canada with peace of mind. I am grateful for your hard work and the compassionate support you provided throughout this journey. You have my highest recommendation without any reservations.
Nomin Dunburee
Nomin Dunburee
I had the pleasure of collaborating with the highly skilled professionals at Sobirovs to achieve my goals. Feruza's extensive expertise was invaluable, as she guided me through the most suitable pathway for my business immigration. I am profoundly grateful for choosing Sobirovs and highly recommend their exceptional services!
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Amirov Temur
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Yuri l
Yuri l
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ms. Feruza Djamalova, Ms. Judy Le and the entire team of Sobirovs Law Firm for their highly professional and excellent work in the complicated process of obtaining approval of our application for the business immigration program. I had several previous refusals over the course of 5 years. At that point, I contacted Sobirovs Law Firm. Their knowledge, competence, and perseverance turned my application into a success! My case was dealt by Feruza and Judy and I sincerely appreciate what an incredible job they have done and how much they have helped us. I believe they have a special gift and talent for assisting their clients. I want to particularly thank Judy for her patience and attention to detail in our case and also for thanks to her diligence, skill and attention to detail. I highly recommend Sobirovs Law Firm to anyone who wants to move to Canada using Business Immigration Programs and is looking for an immigration law firm capable of making a dream come true. They are highly professional and specialized in this field. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for their support.
Syed Namdaar Ali
Syed Namdaar Ali
My experience with Sobirov's was very rewarding. Starting from LMIA to Work permit it was a smooth sail. The entire team especially Yulia prepared my case painstakingly. They guided me on every little detail. Special thanks to Feroza, Farukh, Madina and the entire team for making this happen.
Bhrushank Ved
Bhrushank Ved
I had an amazing experience with the Sobirovs in applying for my C11 Work Permit. Feruza, Maggie, Judy and Yulia planned every step of the way and made the process a breeze. Benjamin was also quite knowledgeable and assisted me with the business plan for my application. I recommend Sobirovs team if you plan to expand your existing business or start a new business in Canada. Highly recommended!
Senol Ercetin
Senol Ercetin
Dear Sobirovs Team, I would like to thank you (Yulia, Faruk, Feruza, Madina) for taking care of us closely in obtaining the necessary work permits for the establishment of the Canadian branch of our company and the necessary visas for our family. You have carried out a flawless process. With sincere regards
Rakesh Shrivastava
Rakesh Shrivastava
I had a great experience working with the Sobirov Law Firm. The entire team was professional, prompt, and meticulous in their approach. We started working with them on LMIA under GTS of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The time it took from creation of an Incorporation to submission and approval of our application was around 8 weeks. Work Permit approval took another 2 weeks. They also helped us get shared office space since it was a new experience for us. They guided us in finding a payroll service provider and a realtor to help with the relocation of the foreign employee. My sincere thanks to Feruza Djamalova and Rakhmad Sobirov (Attorneys), and Yulia Kan (Team Lead).


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