If you are a business person or manager looking to immigrate to Canada, the Business/Investor Immigration Program may be an important fast-track Canadian immigration option for you.

Business Immigration seeks to attract individuals with business and/or managerial experience who will contribute to the development of the Canadian economy. If you’re looking to make an investment in Canada or to start/acquire a business in Canada, there are several avenues for you to choose from. You can either apply under the federal program or, if you know which province/territory in which you plan to reside, you can make your business immigration investment through one of the provincial business immigration programs.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides that foreign nationals may be selected as members of the economic class, commonly referred to as business immigrants, based on their ability to become economically established in Canada. Members of the business immigrant class include three categories – Investor Program investors , Investor Program, entrepreneurs and self-employed. Each of the three categories of business immigrants must meet separate criteria, though much of the criteria overlap. Included on this website is a summary of the criteria that an applicant must meet in relation to each of the three categories.All business applications require extensive documentation and can be greatly assisted with expert legal preparation.



Investors must demonstrate business experience, as set out below, have a minimum net worth of $600,000 to $1,600,000 based on the province the applicant is applying for. Any business is acceptable other than a business operated primarily for the purpose of deriving investment income such as interest, dividends or capital gains. An investor must be able to show that he/she meets specific business experience criteria in order to qualify. The two ways for investors to demonstrate the necessary business experience to qualify under the Regulations are:

Management Experience

An investor applicant need not actually have owned a business in order to demonstrate the necessary management experience. Rather, an investor applicant can meet the business experience requirement by showing that in any two of the five years prior to the application, he/she has managed at least five full-time employees in each of those two years (i.e. one full-time employee equals 1,950 hours per year). Part-time employees meeting the same number of hours required for five full-time employees can also meet the five full-time employee requirements.

Ownership Requirement

If the applicant has not managed five full-time employees, over the course of two years, the applicant must have had an ownership interest in the form of equity in a business for at least two years of the previous five-year period, as well as managed the business. The management must be active management. Silent partners will not be successful. To meet the ownership requirement, within any two of the five years preceding the application, the applicant’s business must achieve specified criteria in relation to any combination of two of the following four variables: employment; sales; net income and equity.

Net Worth Requirement

The minimum requirement is that an investor applicant must have a net worth in the sum of $600,000 to $1,600,000 based on the province he/she is applying for. However, the net worth need not be created by the investor’s own efforts. The only requirement with respect to the source of the net worth is that it is legally obtained. In addition, the assets of the investor’s spouse are to be included when assessing net worth.

Investment Requirement

The investment must be a minimum of $150,000 to $400,000 in a government-approved fund for the investor program based on the province the applicant is applying for. The investment is held by the approved fund for a period of five years. The investment is made upon gaining permanent residence in Canada and is a condition of maintaining permanent residence. Once the five-year period elapses, the terms and conditions of the applicant’s permanent residence are cancelled.