Entrepreneur Immigration to Canada

There are several Canadian entrepreneur immigration programs for foreign business owners: the Entrepreneur Work Permit program, Start-Up Visa Program, and various Provincial Nominee Programs. Each pathway is designed to facilitate the integration of innovative and economically beneficial enterprises by immigrant entrepreneurs into the Canadian economy.

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What Immigration Options Are Available for Foreign Entrepreneurs in Canada?

If you want to start and operate your business in Canada, several options may be available for a foreign entrepreneur. Here, we’ll discuss the top 3 most popular immigration programs for foreign entrepreneurs wishing to launch their businesses in Canada. After all, there are many reasons for foreign entrepreneurs to bring their businesses to Canada.

Option 1: Entrepreneur Work Permit Program

The Entrepreneur Work Permit program is designed for self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs who want to come to Canada to start and operate their businesses. To apply for this program, entrepreneurs must own at least 50% of their business in Canada and present a business concept (or business plan) that explains how their businesses will contribute to the Canadian economy and generate employment opportunities for Canadian citizens and residents.

Specifically, the applicants should focus on the following questions in their business plan:

  • Why is the business plan viable, and what benefits will it create for Canadians?
  • How many employment opportunities will the business create for Canadians?
  • Will the business improve/increase the export of Canadian products/services?
  • Will there be any technological or other advancements in the Canadian industry through the introduction of innovation, differentiation or improved skills?
  • Will the business contribute to the development of a regional or remote community?
  • Will the business provide a unique service or sell unique products?

An initial work permit to operate a business in Canada will be issued for two years and may be renewed if the company continues to be actively engaged in doing business. Entrepreneurs will have a chance to apply for permanent residence after operating their business for at least one year in Canada, provided that they meet all the conditions for permanent residence application.

Read more about this subject below.


Option 2: Start-Up Visa Program 

The Start-Up Visa Program is a federal program designed to attract entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build innovative businesses in Canada that compete on a global scale. This program offers permanent residence to the founding partners of a start-up.

To apply for the Start-Up Visa Program, your business idea or venture must first get the support of one or more of the Designated Organizations in Canada. There are three types of designated entities:

Each designated organization has its intake process for proposals and assessment criteria. Entrepreneurs working with a venture capital firm must secure a commitment of $200,000. Those working with designated angel investors in Canada must show proof of a $75,000 (or greater) financial commitment. Applicants do not need to get financial investment from a start-up incubator, but they need to be accepted into an accredited start-up incubator program in Canada.

Please keep in mind that designated organizations receive thousands of applications for support, and it is not easy to obtain investment or support from a designated organization.

Designated organizations tend to prefer investing in start-ups focusing on IT, clean technology, biotech, software, and high-growth scalable products or services rather than brick-and-mortar-type businesses. In short, there must be some novelty about your business.

In addition, keep in mind that designated entities typically require more than an idea, and you would need to prove that you have a client base or customers. If you have nothing more than an idea, you may still try your chances with an incubator program. It may work assuming that your idea has been validated, sufficiently developed, and consistent with your qualifications and experience. 

Read more on this subject and watch a specific video about the Start-Up Program.


Option 3: Entrepreneur Programs of the Provinces 

If you are an experienced, high-net-worth entrepreneur who wishes to invest in and actively manage your businesses in Canada, PNP Entrepreneur Immigration streams can offer a path toward permanent residency in Canada.

Each province in Canada has different sets of criteria for investing and assessment criteria, so you will need to verify your eligibility with the specific province. To apply, you need to develop a detailed business plan which explains the type of business you intend to purchase or establish and includes financial projections demonstrating how your purchase or creation of this business will benefit the local economy and the overall labour market.

The application process, in general, is divided into six stages:

  1. Expression of Interest – register your interest with the province of your choice and describe your business concept and the intended investment;
  2. Invitation to Apply – if your score is sufficient, the province will invite you to submit your application, which includes your net worth verifications and the required documents;
  3. Interview – once you meet the eligibility criteria, you will have an interview with the local immigration authorities to discuss your business plan and your commitment;
  4. Performance Agreement & Execution – you will be required to sign a Performance Agreement with the provincial authorities that specifies the details of your required investment amount, your hiring plan, and the active management of your business. At that time, you will also receive a work permit to start executing your business plan, including investing the pledged amount into your business and creating employment opportunities for Canadians;
  5. Nomination – Once you comply with the terms of your performance agreement, you may apply for Nomination for Permanent Residence to the provincial authorities and
  6. PR application – Upon receiving your Nomination Letter from the province, you can submit your application for permanent residence to the Federal immigration authorities.

Read more on this subject and watch videos about the Provincial Nominee Programs for Entrepreneurs.

Sobirovs Law Firm Can Help

We hope that we’ve given you an understanding of your options as a foreign entrepreneur. You can now decide whenever you are ready to take your business to the next level.

Many foreign entrepreneurs took a step of courage to expand their companies to Canada and have seen boosting their profits. Similar to doing business anywhere, doing business in Canada has its challenges. Nonetheless, the advantages of expanding your business to Canada are way higher than the challenges themselves. We are here to help you overcome them!

For more information on moving your company to Canada, speak to our senior business immigration lawyer. The business immigration experts at the Sobirovs Law Firm will not just help you move your existing company to Canada but will also help you choose the right type of business entity when moving your business to Canada.

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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Our Clients Say…

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!
Bimal Banik
Bimal Banik
I really appreciate Sovirovs professional services ,I am truly happy and satisfied with their team work .I wish them all the best
Amirov Temur
Amirov Temur
I am happy with the help I got from Sobirov Law Firm. They were always there for me : answering my questions and giving me support through the visa application process and with general immigration related questions. They made everything easier and were quick to respond whenever I needed them. I would recommend Sobirov Law Firm to anyone needing visa assistance for Canada. I trusted them, and did not regret! Thanks for all your help! I hope for further cooperation with you.
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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