Obtain Investor Visa for Canada

Foreign citizens interested in immigration to Canada as entrepreneurs have several options when it comes to dedicated programs. Obtaining a Canada investor visa depends on several factors and on the regions the applicant wants to start a business in.

If you are planning to relocate to Canada with the purpose of starting a business, you can rely on our immigration lawyers who can guide you on how to obtain an investor visa.

The main options for obtaining a Canada investor visa

Over time, Canada has created various programs allowing foreign investors to move here. However, the government here keeps up with the economic development and ends schemes that no longer represent its interests but creates new and modern ones to respond to the needs of the local market and business community.

At the moment, there are two ways of obtaining an investor visa for Canada. The first one is the Startup Visa Scheme and the second one is the Provincial Nominee Program.

Our immigration lawyer in Canada can help foreign citizens interested in moving here in order to start a company choose an appropriate program.

The Startup Visa Scheme in Canada

The Startup Visa is one of the fastest routes to a Canada investor visa for foreign citizens and it implies meeting a few requirements and respecting the application procedure. It is worth noting that the Startup Visa program is created to accommodate up to 5 shareholders in the designated company.

This program requires an applicant to:

  • set up a qualifying business (a company that is registered under the regulations imposed by the Canadian authorities);
  • speak English, French or both languages at a proficient level;
  • obtain a support letter from a designated organization (group or investment fund which meets the startup support criteria);
  • meet the self-sustenance requirements to settle in Canada (the necessary amount of money depends on the number of family members relocating here).

One of the greatest advantages of the Canada investor visa is that the applicant can immigrate here with the family. It should also be noted that when financial requirements for those moving with family members under this program changes every year, which is why it is important to ask for updated information before applying for the visa. You can ask for more information on this aspect from our immigration lawyer in Canada.

You can read about how to obtain a Canada investor visa in the infographic below:

Obtain an Investor Visa for Canada

Company qualifying conditions for the Startup Visa Scheme in Canada

As mentioned above, those planning to apply for a Canada investor visa through the creation of a startup company must make sure their business meets the requirements imposed by the local authorities.

The following conditions apply:

  1. once the endorsement from the qualified organization is obtained, each of the 5 participants can own 10% of the company shares;
  2. the main applicant and the qualified supporting organization must hold together more than 50% of the shares in the company;
  3. once the residence permit is obtained, the applicant must incorporate the company with the Canadian Trade Register;
  4. the applicant is required to actively participate in the management of the company while living in Canada;
  5. the main operations of the company must be completed in Canada, however other activities can be completed outside the country.

If you have any other questions about the program and the requirements related to obtaining an investor visa for Canada, our immigration lawyers can answer them.

The Provincial Nominee Program as a way to a Canada investor visa

Another program under which a foreign citizen can migrate to Canada and obtain an investor visa is the Provincial Nominee Program. What should be noted about this scheme is that it has different requirements depending on the province selected by the applicant.

Among the most successful investor visa programs can be found in:

  • Alberta;
  • Manitoba;
  • New Brunswick;
  • Ontario;
  • Saskatchewan;
  • British Columbia;
  • Nova Scotia.

We remind you that if you want to apply for a Canada investor visa under one of the programs developed at provincial levels, different requirements apply for each of them. Our immigration lawyers in Canada can offer detailed information based on your choice.

Moving to British Columbia through the Canadian investor visa

As mentioned above, most Canadian provinces have their own programs dedicated to investors interested in moving to this country with the purpose of starting a business and living here. One of the most appreciated provinces when it comes to Canadian investor visas is British Columbia thanks to its diverse economy which is great for those seeking to set up new companies as well as expanding existing ones. The capital city of British Columbia is Vancouver and its geographical location favors those interested in setting up trading operations thanks to the easy access to the US, Mexican and Asian markets. Also, British Columbia has one of the most skilled workforces in Canada relying on no less than 2,4 million workers.

The local government is also very supportive when it comes to entrepreneurship and helping businesspersons who want to set up companies here considering there are two investor visa options for those interested in immigration to Canada. These are the Entrepreneur Immigration Stream and the Regional Pilot Scheme.

In order to migrate to Canada and establish oneself in British Columbia under the Entrepreneur Immigration Stream, the following conditions must be met:

  • the applicant must have a net worth of at least 600,000 CAD;
  • he or she must also have business or managerial experience;
  • the candidate must have a clean criminal record and qualify for immigration to Canada.

The Canada investor visa through the British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration Stream is also subject to the following business qualification requirements:

  • the applicant must set up a new company or purchase an existing one with the purpose of improving it;
  • the minimum investment requirement in the business is 200,000 CAD;
  • the business must create at least one full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

The other option to move to Canada and obtain an investor visa is through the British Columbia Regional Pilot Program which implies:

  • setting up a business and relocate in a region with a population made of fewer than 75,000 individuals;
  • for the applicant to complete an exploratory visit to the respective community;
  • for the applicant to have a minimum net worth of 300,000 CAD and invest at least 100,000 CAD in the business;
  • for the business to create at least one full-time job;
  • for the applicant to own at least 51% of the shares in the company.

Out of all investor visa programs, the Regional Pilot Program can be a great choice for those seeking to establish themselves in quiet communities and our immigration lawyer in Canada is at their service for assistance in obtaining such a visa.

How to obtain a Canadian investor visa by moving to Manitoba

Manitoba is another Canadian province suitable for relocation under the Investor Visa Scheme. Among its advantages, it is worth noting the lower living costs compared to other regions of the country which has led to the development of a strong expat community.

The two programs under which an investor visa can be obtained in Manitoba are the Entrepreneur and the Farm Investor Pathways.

In order to apply for the Entrepreneur Pathway and obtain an investor visa for Canada, the following requirements must be met:

  • the applicant must at least 3 years of full-time work experience in the past 5 years;
  • the applicant must have reached at least the 5th level in the Canadian Language Benchmark test;
  • the experience can be a manager or business owner;
  • the applicant must own at least 1/3 of the business.

Considering this program is based on the score-point system, it should be noted that business owners will obtain more points than managers. Also, persons with the age of 25 to 49 will score more points. Our immigration lawyer in Canada can offer more information on the point-based system when moving to Canada.

With respect to the business requirements, the following conditions must be respected:

  • a minimum investment of 250,000 CAD is required if the company will be located in the Capital Region of Manitoba;
  • the amount required is lower (150,000 CAD) if the company is located outside the Capital Region;
  • the company must create at least one full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

The requirements for obtaining a Canada investor visa through the Manitoba Farm Investor Pathway implies for the applicant to have a minimum net worth of at least 500,000 CAD and invest at least 300,000 CAD in a farming business. Also, the applicant must have at least 3 years of experience in farming and must be actively involved in the farm’s activities.

How to choose the program for moving to Canada as an investor

Here are the main aspects to consider about choosing the way to apply for a Canada investor visa:

  • in the case of the Startup Visa, an endorsement of at least 75,000 CAD is required from the designated Angel Investor Groups;
  • Calgary is the 3rd most livable city in the world if you want to move to Alberta;
  • British Columbia has a workforce made of no less than 2,4 million well-educated persons;
  • the living costs in Manitoba are quite low, so 76% of immigrants can acquire their own homes within the 5 first years of living here.

If you want to move to Canada through an investor visa, please contact our lawyers for support.