Federal Business Immigration Programs

People who have the financial ability to invest and start businesses in Canada have the opportunity to obtain permanent residence status in Canada through various business immigrant programs. These programs aim to develop and strengthen the Canadian economy by using foreign expertise. Individuals who have the expertise and financial power may be eligible for Canadian immigration under the following programs:

  1. Entrepreneur Start-up Visa Program: Entrepreneurs who have a unique business plan along with a secure investment from a Canadian organization may be eligible for the entrepreneurs’ startup visa program.
  2. Self Employed Persons Program: Individuals that are self-employed and can contribute to the cultural, athletic or agricultural sectors of the Canadian economy and are able to support himself/herself along with dependents are eligible for this type of visa.
  3. Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program: Immigrant Investor program is currently closed and the Canadian government is not accepting any new applications.

Entrepreneur Start-up Visa Program

Eligibility for Entrepreneur Start-up Visa Program:

  • Applicants must have at least 2 years of business experience.
  • Individuals applying for this program must have sufficient investment funds from a Canadian venture capital fund or a business incubator.
  • Individuals must be able to communicate in English or French.
  • Individuals must have ample funds to start living in Canada and be able to support (if) any dependents.

Features of the Entrepreneur Start-up Visa Program:

              o It is required for the entrepreneur to have successfully managed a Canadian business for a period of 3 years minimum. Also, the business must ensure employment for others.

              o All family members of the primary applicant will be subjected to the same conditions until the entrepreneur satisfies the conditions.

              o The investors must also have business experience showing proof of either/or :

              o An established business for a period of 2 years minimum.

              o 5 full-time jobs per year equivalent to 2 years.

              o Proof of funds as settlement funds, depending upon family size, is required.

Self-employed Persons Program

Eligibility for Self Employed Persons Program:

The government of Canada is not accepting new applications in the farm management stream under self-employed person since March 10, 2018, until further notice. 

              o Applicants must have relevant experience that can contribute to the cultural or athletic life of Canada.

              o Applicants must have expertise in farm management and have the financial power to buy and manage a farm in Canada.

              o Applicants must be able to communicate in English or French

Features of the Self Employed Person Program:

All foreign nationals who have at least two years of relevant experience and intend to be self-employed in Canada contributing to its economy are eligible for this program. Relevant experience may be:

             a) Participation in cultural activities/athletics on a world-class level.

             b) Self-Employment in cultural activities/athletics.

             Cultural Activities:

Applicants applying under this category must have experience of:

            (a) 2 years of being self-employed in cultural activities.

            (b) 2 years of participation in cultural activities on a world-class level.

            (c) A combination of 2 years of the category (a) and (b).


Applicants applying under this category must have experience of:

            (a) 2 years of being self-employed in athletics.

            (b) 2 years of participation in athletics on a world-class level.

            (c) A combination of 2 years of the category (a) and (b).

Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program

Eligibility for the Immigrant Investor Program:

              o Applicant must be able to invest a CDN $2 million at his/her own risk as a non-guaranteed investment for 15 years;

              o Applicant must have a legal net worth of CDN $10 million or more, gained through legal businesses or investment-related activities;

              o Applicants must able to demonstrate proficiency in either or both official languages of Canada. Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in English or Niveau de Compétence Linguistique Canadien 5 in French for all four language segments i.e. read, write, speak & listen; and

              o Applicants must have equivalent to a Canadian post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate of at least one year of education.

Business Immigration Points Table

To qualify for the Entrepreneur Startup visa program, investors and self-employed program, one needs to score at least 35 points. Score allocation will be according to the following grid:

1. Business experience (Maximum points 35)

Years of Experience Points

2                20

3                25

4                30

5                35

2. Age (Maximum Points 10)

Age              Points

21-49                                      10

Under 21           8

Above 49           8

3. Education (Maximum Points 25)

Qualification     Points

Doctorate/Master’s degree          25

Bachelor’s degree                 20

Diploma (3 years of training) 20

Diploma (2 years of training)  15

Diploma (1 year of training)          10

High School                      5

4. Language Proficiency (Maximum Points 24) 
1st language

Proficiency      Points

High                  16

Moderate                  8

Basic                  2

2nd language

High                 8

Moderate                 8

Basic                 2

5. Adaptability (Maximum Points 6)

Condition     Points

Business trip to Canada       6

Within 5 years of application.

Participation in designated Joint     6

Federal-Provincial Business

 Immigration Initiatives

Security and Medical Requisites:

All business immigration applicants will need to provide medical certificates and police certificates in order to be eligible for the process.

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