Business immigrants are people who can invest or start businesses in Canada and are expected to
support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy..
There are two classes of business immigrants:
- Those who enter with a start-up visa
- Self-employed persons
Start-up Visa Program
Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that:
- are innovative
- can create jobs for Canadians
- can compete on a global scale.
To apply for the Start-up Visa Program, your business idea or venture must get the support of one or more designated organizations listed below:
- Venture capital funds
- Angel investor groups
- Business incubators
The ability to communicate in English and a sufficient amount of money is needed in order to settle and provide for the cost of living prior to earning an income. In some instances, the designated organization may provide additional money to help cover your living expenses. Investment money for your start-up business cannot be used to cover your living expenses.
The amount of money needed will depend on how many family members will be accompanying you to Canada.
The Self-employed Persons Program allows people to immigrate to Canada permanently as a self-employed person.
If you’re interested in this program, you must:
- have relevant experience
- be willing and able to be self-employed in Canada
- meet the program’s selection criteria and meet medical, security and other conditions
Relevant experience for a self-employed person means at least two years of experience. It must be during the period starting 5 years before the day you apply and ending on the day Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada make a decision on your application.
You can get more points if you have 3, 4, or 5 years of experience.
At a minimum, your experience must be:
For cultural activities:
- a. 2 one-year periods being self-employed in cultural activities, or
- b. 2 one-year periods participating at a world-class level in cultural activities, or
- c. a combination of a one-year period described in (a), and a one-year period described in (b)
- a. 2 one-year periods being self-employed in athletics, or
- b. 2 one-year periods participating at a world class level in athletics, or
- a combination of a one-year period described in (a) above, and a one-year period described in (b) above
- Language abilities
Medical, Security checks, and other Requirements
You and your family members must have a medical exam and get police certificates.
You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you get to Canada.
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