Canada is one of the most business-friendly economies in the world. The country welcomes entrepreneurs from diverse industries such as Information Technology, Clean energy, Aerospace, Automotive, Food processing, Mining, Biomedical etc. Businesses can gain entry into Canada with their owners or senior officials coming on a Work Permit to execute their business plan in Canada or by applying for Permanent Residency upon successful execution of their business set-up.
There are business immigration programs available for entrepreneurial applicants who intend to own and actively manage a business in Canada. Some of the available options for business immigrants to come to Canada to eventually gain Permanent Residency are through:
· Express Entry as Federal Skilled Worker
· Provincial Nominee Programs for Entrepreneurs (PNPs)
· Start-up visa
Express Entry as Federal Skilled Worker:
An entrepreneur may consider establishing a new business in Canada or buy an existing one or even look at franchising. They are required to obtain a work permit as a business immigrant, based on their background and immigration goals. There are different work permits for entrepreneurs and self-employed candidates, including LMIA-based work permits, Intra-company transferees, etc. Upon obtaining a suitable Work Permit, they need to operate a business for a specific period before they can apply for permanent residence through one of the Express entry programs.
Under the Provincial Nominee Programs for Entrepreneurs, an entrepreneur’s application is submitted to a province. Each province has varied process but most provinces follow these general procedure:
a. Register an expression of interest with the preferred province
b. Upon receiving an application invitation, apply and successfully pass the interview
c. Sign a performance agreement with the province and apply for a Canadian work permit
d. Arrive in Canada as a foreign immigrant, establish the business and operate according to the performance agreement signed
e. Lastly, apply for nomination and, subsequently, for permanent residence and citizenship.
This Program aims at attracting entrepreneurs with unique business ideas, from outside Canada and support them in creating a business which will generate employment for locals and boost economic growth. There is neither a minimum investment criterion nor any net worth requirement to apply for permanent residence through this program. Entrepreneur can choose to live anywhere in Canada (except the province of Quebec). For some reasons, if the business does not pick-up and gets shut, the permanent resident status will not get affected. In order to apply through this program, one must fulfill the following conditions:
a. Get Letter of Support from at least one Canadian-designated organization.
b. Obtain CLB 5 in either English or French
c. Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada
d. Get through Canadian security and medical clearances and
e. Plan to establish in a province other than Quebec
There are over fifteen immigration pathways for entrepreneurs/business owners and each of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. Depending upon one’s experience, business goals, investment capacity and net worth, we help businesses and entrepreneurs in assessing not just their eligibility but also their chances of success under the different programs. Unless this primary step is done accurately, it will only end up in wastage of precious time, energy and money. It is crucial to foresee all the challenges that one might face ahead and only proceed with an entrepreneurial application upon finding an appropriate solution.