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Business Class - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Definition of Business Immigrant?

Business immigrants are people who can invest in, or start businesses in Canada and are expected to support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy. The Business Immigration Programs seek to attract people experienced in business to Canada. Business immigrants are selected based on their ability to become economically established in Canada.
There are three classes of business immigrants:

  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Self-employed persons

For details see Business Immigration.

Generally What documents must I provide in support of my application under the Business Immigration Programs?

In addition to the application forms, statutory documents such as passports, birth and marriage certificates, etc. and education-related, you must submit documents proving your business and/or managerial experience, as well as documents evidencing your net worth.

What are the application fees?

All government processing fees must be submitted concurrently with the submission of the application for permanent residence. Under federal process of your application, there are two application fees you will have to pay when you apply to immigrate to Canada: Processing Fees and Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF).

The processing fees and must be paid for the principal applicant and any accompanying spouse, common-law partner, and dependent children.

Upon acceptance, applicants must pay the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF). The RPRF is payable by principal applicants and accompanying spouse or common-law partners and each accompanying dependants aged 22 or over. It must be paid before the immigrant visa is issued overseas or before the applicant becomes a permanent resident in Canada.

Fo a list of current application fees, click here.

How Can I prove that I earned my minimum net worth legally?

You must demonstrate the origin and accumulation of your wealth through reliable, third-party documentary evidence: tax returns, pay stubs, contracts of purchase/sale, business/real estate valuations, statements from stockbrokers, etc. You must be able to demonstrate that your assets were gained through means, which are considered legal, including gifts or inheritances.

How can I qualify as an Immigrant Investor?

As an Immigrant Investor planning to reside anywhere in Canada, except Quebec, you must:

  • have a net worth of at least CAD$1,600,000 that was legally obtained;
  • have the funds to invest CAD$800,000 for five years with Citizenship and Immigration Canada; and
  • have experience in management of a qualifying business for a period of two years within the last five years

As an applicant destined for Quebec, you must:

  • have a net worth of at least CAD$1,600,000, lawfully obtained;
  • have the funds to invest CAD$800,000 for five years in a government of Quebec guaranteed investment fund; and
  • have experience in management in a legal agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprise or in a legal professional enterprise for a period of two years within the last five years.

As an Immigrant Investor, will I be obliged to work and/or engage in business activities in Canada?

While an Immigrant Investor is entitled to engage in work and business activities upon arrival in Canada, there is absolutely no obligation to do so.

When do I, as an Immigrant Investor, commit my investment amount?

You must commit your CAD$800,000 investment amount before final approval from Federal or Quebec Immigration officials, as the case maybe.

What happens to my investment amount if my Immigrant Investor application is refused?

If your intended destination in Canada is outside Quebec, your investment will be promptly refunded.

If you intend to reside in Quebec and you have deposited your investment in a government approved immigrant investment program you must make sure that your investment is not locked-in until you land in Canada. Your investment cannot be refunded for five years once it has been locked in.

What are the main differences between the Federal and Quebec Immigrant Investor programs?

Applicants with business managerial experience can qualify under either the Federal or Quebec Immigrant Investor Program. However, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program also takes into consideration managerial experience in a government, governmental organization or international organization. Thus, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program may appeal to immigrants with a broader spectrum of backgrounds.

How can I qualify as an Immigrant Entrepreneur?

To qualify as an Immigrant Entrepreneur, you must:

  • have successfully managed a commercial enterprise (or a part of a commercial enterprise);
  • have sufficient assets to establish or acquire a business in Canada;
  • establish, invest in or acquire a business in Canada within two years of arrival; and
  • actively participate in the management of the business (the business must employ at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident, other than yourself and your dependents).

Are there any minimum net worth requirements for Immigrant Entrepreneurs?

The minimum requirement is CAD$300,000. In all cases, the nature and location of your proposed business will determine the net worth required to qualify.

What are the terms and conditions of the Entrepreneur Visa?

An Immigrant Entrepreneur must, within three years of landing in Canada, establish, purchase, or make a substantial investment in a business in Canada so as to make a significant contribution to the economy. Active and on-going participation in the management of the business is required, and employment opportunities must be created or continued for one or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents, other than the Immigrant Entrepreneur and the Immigrant Entrepreneur's dependents. Efforts to comply with these terms and conditions must be demonstrated to an immigration official throughout the three-year period. Entrepreneurs will be required to report their progress to immigration officials on a regular basis during this two-year period.

Must I, as an Immigrant Entrepreneur applicant, make an exploratory visit to Canada during the immigration process?

As an Immigrant Entrepreneur you are encouraged to make an exploratory visit to Canada to properly assess the business environment of the area in which you intend to locate.

Must I, as an Immigrant Entrepreneur applicant, submit a detailed business plan?

A detailed business plan is not required. In most cases, a shorter informal business proposal will suffice – an outline of the type of business and the general plans for its operation.

As an Immigrant Entrepreneur, will I be permitted to change my business plan?

After landing in Canada, you may find that the local economic climate does not lend itself to the type of business plan originally proposed. In such cases, you are well-advised to modify your business plan. However, a meeting with an immigration official should be held to ensure that the new business is acceptable.

What happens if I fail to meet the terms and conditions of my Immigrant Entrepreneur visa?

Immigrant Entrepreneurs who fail to satisfy the terms and conditions of their visa may be ordered to leave Canada.

How can I qualify as a Self-Employed Immigrant?

To qualify as a Self-Employed Immigrant, you must demonstrate an intention and ability to establish or purchase a business in Canada that will keep you employed and make a significant contribution to the economy or the cultural or artistic life of Canada. The business must generate sufficient revenues to support you and your dependents. Farmers, artisans, sports personalities, actors, consultants, and operators of small business outlets that may be in demand in outlying communities are examples of the applicants who may qualify.
Assessment in this category is based on:

  • business ability and experience (when applying under the economic contribution component of the Self-Employed Immigrant description);
  • farming, athletic (at a world level) or artistic qualifications; and
  • net worth (sufficient to establish/purchase the proposed business).
Self-employed persons under the Quebec program are required to have relevant experience in a trade or profession that he/she intends to practice in the province of Quebec and they are not limited to the above categories.

Must I, as a Self-Employed Immigrant, make an exploratory visit to Canada during the immigration process?

As a Self-Employed Immigrant you are encouraged to make an exploratory visit to Canada to properly assess the business/cultural/artistic environment of the area in which you intend to locate.

Are there any minimum net worth requirements for Self-Employed Immigrants?

The net worth requirement for Self-Employed Immigrants varies depending on the nature and location of the proposed venture. Self-Employed persons destined to the Province of Quebec must have a net worth of at least CAD$100,000, lawfully obtained.