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Provincial Nominee Programs for Investors

Provincial Nominee Programs for Investors

Provincial‌ ‌Nominee‌ ‌Programs‌

Most of the PNP’s have at least one entrepreneur or investor visa category dedicated to people who want to expand or start their business in Canada. Each province has different set of rules and eligibility requirements based on its own economy, opportunities, and market priorities.

Entrepreneur and Investor Visa Options under PNP’s

British Columbia (BC)

British Columbia has one of Canada’s most flexible, diverse, and competitive economies, making it a prime destination for starting new or expanding a business. British Columbia currently has two investor streams (Entrepreneur Immigration and the Regional Pilot).

Entrepreneur Immigration (Base Category)

The Entrepreneur Immigration stream is for high-net-worth businesspeople who can invest in and actively manage a valid business in BC. It is a points-based system. This stream provides a pathway to Canadian permanent residence for experienced businesspeople who can establish themselves in BC and invest in and operate a commercially viable business that can provide significant benefits to the provincial economy.

British Columbia has introduced a mandatory online registration system, known as Entrepreneur Immigration Registration (EIR), for all prospective applicants to the Entrepreneur Immigration stream of the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). A maximum of 200 registrations may be accepted per month, and the BC PNP will periodically invite the highest-scoring registrants to submit applications. Successful applicants will obtain a work permit and, if the business operation in British Columbia fulfills the requirements of the stream on an ongoing basis, they will be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada through the BC PNP.

The BC PNP encourages applicants to make an exploratory visit to BC to learn more about opportunities and the local business environment before they register. Registrants and applicants are not advised to make any investments or financial commitments prior to signing a Performance Agreement with the BC PNP and obtaining a valid work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Any investment made before an applicant obtains a valid work permit is solely at his or her own risk.

10 +

Years Of Experience

10000 +

Successful Applications

Program Requirements

Applications are assessed on various factors, including

  • Business and/or work experience.
  • Personal net worth and source of funds.
  • Adaptability; and
  • Business proposal, which includes proposed investment and job creation in BC
Minimum Personal Requirements
  • Active and ongoing management of the day-to-day business operations in BC
  • Demonstrated residence in BC within 100 kilometers of the business. The applicant must demonstrate BC residence for at least 75 percent of the time while on a work permit.
  • Admissibility to Canada. The applicant must not be prohibited from entering Canada; have been in Canada illegally; have an unresolved refugee claim in Canada or under a removal order in Canada
  • Personal net worth of at least $600,000 CAD (including cash, assets in bank accounts, fixed deposits, real properties, investments, etc.) under the candidate’s name and/or candidate’s spouse’s name. The net worth must be legally obtained and verifiable.
  • A minimum of 2 years of post-secondary education or experience as an active business owner-manager with 100 percent ownership of the business for at least three of the past five years. The 100 percent ownership may be shared between the applicant, the applicant’s spouse, and any dependent children.
  • Work experience
    • The candidate must have enough knowledge and experience to successfully establish business in BC.
    • The candidate must have a minimum of more than three years of experience as an active business owner-manager, or
    • The candidate must have more than 4 years of experience as a senior manage, or a combination of at least one year of experience as an active business owner/manager and at least 2 years of experience as a senior manager.
Minimum Business Requirements

The registration must include a brief business concept that will be assigned points based on proposed commercial transferability, viability of the candidate’s skills, and economic benefits. If the candidate is subsequently invited to apply, he/she will be required to submit a comprehensive business plan. The BC PNP will consider registrations to establish a new business, purchase an existing business, form a partnership with an existing business, and partner with a local or foreign entrepreneur to establish a new business.

The proposed business must be operated for the primary purpose of earning profits by providing products and/or services. Additionally, the business must have strong potential for sustained commercial success. The BC PNP does not pre-approve or endorse business proposals.

Franchises may be considered as eligible businesses by demonstrating that the proposed franchise is well-established. The BC PNP will only consider the purchase of an existing franchise location as an eligible business if it includes an expansion/improvement plan that is consistent with franchiser requirements. The BC PNP will not consider a business proposal for a seasonal business unless the proposed business operates for at least eight months per year.

Ineligible businesses

The following types of businesses are ineligible under the BC PNP

  • An immigration-linked investment scheme pursuant to Provincial Immigration Programs Regulation section 6(e) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) section 87(5)(b) and as defined in IRPR 87(9)
  • Any business where the terms of investment include a redemption option pursuant to IRPR 87(6)(d)
  • Bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based businesses
  • Payday loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Scrap metal recycling
  • Coin-operated laundries
  • Automated car wash operations
  • Businesses selling used goods (excluding businesses that provide value-added services such as repairs, refurbishing or recycling)
  • Real estate development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage
  • Businesses involved in producing, distributing, or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing sexually oriented services
  • Any other type of business that by association would tend to bring the BC PNP or the Government of British Columbia into disrepute

The BC PNP will not consider registrations for the following businesses proposed in Regional Districts with a population more than 300,000

  • Convenience stores
  • DVD rental stores
  • gasoline service stations
  • personal dry-cleaning services
  • tanning salons
Minimum Investment Requirements

To register, the candidate must demonstrate that he/she will make an eligible personal investment of at least $200,000 CAD in the proposed business within 610 days (approximately 20 months) of arriving in BC on a BC PNP supported work permit. If proposing a key staff member, the candidate must demonstrate that he or she will make an eligible personal investment of $400,000 CAD.

Minimum Job Creation Requirements

Applicant must demonstrate that the business in BC will create at least one permanent new full-time equivalent job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the proposed business as well as the likelihood of supporting long-term employment of Canadians or permanent residents in the business. Job creation requirements differ for candidates who proposed to include a key staff member on their application.

Invitation to Apply

Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee that a candidate will be invited to submit a complete application. If a candidate has entered the selection pool, his/her final registration score will be ranked along with other registrants. Periodically, the BC PNP will invite the highest-ranked registrants to apply to the Entrepreneur Program. If a candidate is invited to apply, he/she will receive an email notification and will have up to four months from the date of invitation to submit a complete application.

At this stage, the applicant must pay a $3,500 CAD processing fee to the province. His or her spouse and dependent children are included in the application fee. If requested, the applicant will be required to attend an in-person interview at the BC PNP office in Vancouver. Interviews are conducted in English or French only. If an application is approved, the BC PNP will issue a Letter of Confirmation. This serves as a work permit support letter to apply for a 2-year work permit to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This will enable the applicant, along with his/her family, to move to BC and implement the business plan. The applicant will sign a performance agreement and will have up to 20 months to implement the business proposal in BC. Applicants who are invited to apply will need to engage a qualified supplier to verify their personal net worth and accumulation of funds as part of the nomination process.

Transition to Permanent Residence

If the applicant meets the requirements of the performance agreement within the 20 months, the BC PNP will nominate him/her for permanent residence. He/she, along with his/her dependent family members can then apply for permanent residence under the BC PNP with IRCC. Once the entrepreneur completes the terms of the performance agreement, he/she can submit a final report to the BC PNP to be issued a nomination certificate. The entrepreneur must demonstrate to the BC PNP that he/she:

  • Is actively managing a business (i.e., be accountable for the day-to-day operations of the business) in BC.
  • Resides within 100 kilometers of the business.
  • Has been physically present in BC for at least 75 percent of the time that he or she was on a work permit; and
  • Has complied with any other terms of the performance agreement.

Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot

Regional Pilot is for entrepreneurs who want to start a new business in participating regional communities across BC. To reflect the lower costs of starting a business and settling in regional communities with smaller populations, the personal net worth and investment criteria is lower than the existing Entrepreneur Immigration – Base Category (EI – Base Category)

Key features of the EI - Regional Pilot

Active community role: Participating communities have a key role in the pilot. They are actively involved in attracting foreign entrepreneurs to their community and working with local partners and existing networks to provide support for entrepreneurs settling into their communities.

Referral from the community: Participating communities may refer foreign entrepreneurs to the BC PNP whose business concept aligns with the community’s economic priorities. The foreign entrepreneur must be invited by the community to conduct an exploratory visit and present their concept to the community’s designated contact person prior to receiving a referral.

Community concierge: A dedicated BC PNP concierge service supports communities with immigration program information.

Invitations & prioritization: Foreign entrepreneurs who are referred by a participating community are placed in a separate registration pool dedicated to the pilot when they register. Regional pilot registrations and applications are prioritized.

Requirements

  • Applicant must start a new business and settle in a regional community with a population of fewer than 75,000 people.
  • Applicant must complete an exploratory visit to the community.
  • Minimum investment of $100,000 CAD in a qualifying business.
  • Personal net worth of at least $300,000 CAD.
  • Must own at least 51% of the company.
  • Business must create at least one new job.

Alberta

Alberta is Canada’s second-largest agricultural producer, and its diverse landscapes make the perfect land for crop production, livestock production and much more. Currently, there is only one Investment Visa program available the Self-Employed Farmer Stream.

Self-Employed Farmer Stream

This stream applies to experienced farmers who intend to purchase or establish a farm in Alberta. To apply under this stream, below 2 steps should be followed by the candidates:

  • submit a business plan to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
  • Apply to the AINP post receival of a Ministerial Recommendation Letter which is released to candidates with a business plan approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
Factor Minimum Requirement
Farm Management Skills Applicants should provide evidence that they possess farm management skills. The following can be considered as relevant proof:

  • Financial documentation of an active farm business.
  • Credentials of education, training, and work experience.
  • A future business plan for the farming enterprise being considered in Alberta.
  • Confirmation from a Canadian financial organization to invest in the proposed farming business.
Financial Requirements
  • Minimum equity of $500,000 CAD in a primary production farming business in Alberta.
  • Net worth of at least $500,000 CAD or proof of the ability to retrieve funds of equal amount from additional sources.
  • Capability to invest more than the minimum.
Investment Requirements
  • Detailed business plan highlighting investment plans. 
  • Business plans that are believed to have the best chance to grow Alberta’ agri-food targets’ will be considered first.

Saskatchewan

The province is rich in forestry, mining, agriculture, and energy sectors resources. Saskatchewan has the lowest provincial tax and operating cost in Canada. The province currently offers three business programs (Entrepreneur Category, Farm Owners and Operators – Young Farmer Stream, International Graduate Entrepreneur Category).

Entrepreneur Category

To be considered eligible under the entrepreneur category, applicants must:

  • Have a minimum net worth of $500,000 (CAD) verified by a Ministry-approved professional third party (KPMG & MNP Ltd.).
  • Have at least three years of entrepreneurial experience within the past 10 years.
  • Have a minimum equity investment of $300,000 (CAD) in Regina or Saskatoon, or a minimum of $200,000 (CAD) in any other Saskatchewan community.
  • Have and be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of their Business Establishment Plan (BEP).
  • Own at least one-third (33.33 %) of the equity of a business in Saskatchewan unless their total investment is $1,000,000 (CAD) or higher.
  • Create or maintain a minimum of 2 jobs for Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents in Saskatchewan (non-relative workers) if establishing a new business in Saskatoon or Regina.
  • If purchasing an existing business in Saskatoon or Regina, the applicant must maintain the business’ staffing complement (the number of Canadian or permanent resident workers) in place at the time of purchase.
  • Sign a business performance agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan, which will be provided by the SINP after the application is approved.
Minimum requirements for businesses

For a business to be considered eligible under this category, all the following criteria must be met:

  • The business must have the potential for creating economic benefit to Saskatchewan.
  • The business can be a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation.
  • The business must be a for-profit entity with the primary purpose of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services.
  • The business must be considered a “permanent establishment” as defined under Canadian Income Tax Regulations.
Additional requirements for business succession

If purchasing a previously existing Saskatchewan business, the following requirements must be met:

  • The business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the past three years.
  • The applicant must complete an exploratory visit to meet the previous owner(s).
  • There must be a complete change in ownership where the applicant assumes full control of the business.
  • The applicant must commit to maintaining employment for existing Canadian citizens or permanent residents above the minimum required, as well as maintaining existing wages and employment terms.
If purchasing a previously existing Saskatchewan business from an SINP entrepreneur nominee, the following requirements must be met:
  • The business must have been in continuous operation by the previous owner for at least three years.
  • The business must demonstrate a net profit for at least two of the previous three years.
  • The previous owner must be either a Permanent Resident or a Canadian Citizen.
  • The applicant must complete an exploratory visit to meet the current owner(s).
  • There must be a complete change in ownership where the applicant assumed full control of the business.
  • The applicant must commit to maintaining employment for existing Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
The following types of businesses are considered ineligible for the SINP Entrepreneur Category:
  • Property rental, investment, and leasing activities.
  • Real estate construction/development/brokerage, insurance brokerage, or business brokerage.
  • Professional services or self-employed business operators requiring licensing or accreditation.
  • Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing, and cash machines.
  • Credit unions.
  • Home-based businesses, including bed-and-breakfasts and lodging houses.
  • Co-operatives.
  • Investments into a business operated primarily for the purposes of deriving passive investment income.
  • Business located in a multi-business retail/condo/location/project or business incubator that is not completed/operational, and/or is targeted or dependent on investment or business operations by SINP entrepreneurs for the development, completion, or ongoing operation of the project.

Farm Owners and Operators - Young Farmer Stream

The Young Farmer stream of the farm owners and operator’s category allow young farm families to establish their lives and farming operations in rural areas of Saskatchewan. To be considered eligible under the Farm Owners and Operators – Young Farmer Stream, applicants must:

  • Have a personal net worth of at least $300,000 (CAD).
  • Be under the age of 40 at the time of the application.
  • Have at least three years experience in farm ownership, farm management or practical farming experience.
  • Provide a documented proposal for a commercial Saskatchewan farming opportunity. The proposal should be based on research, consultations, or formal coursework relevant to Saskatchewan agricultural conditions. Hobby farms do not qualify. Also, the farming proposal should be a commercial project with a reasonable expectation of profit. In Saskatchewan, a qualified farming business must have a minimum of $10,000 (CAD) annual revenue.
  • Have marketable employment skills, based on education and experience that allows to supplement farming income.

International Graduate Entrepreneur Category

International graduates from Saskatchewan educational institutions who wish to establish, acquire, or partner in an eligible business in the province may apply for Canadian permanent residence through this category. The applicant must be an international graduate from Saskatchewan educational institution and have a post-secondary degree/diploma of at least two years in length. There are four steps to the application and nomination process.
Step 1. Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the SINP: Candidates can show interest in nomination for Permanent Residence as an International Graduate Entrepreneur by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI).
Step 2. Invitation to Apply: Candidates are selected from the EOI system. Selections are made based on their score on the points criteria grid. Top scores will be invited to apply.
Step 3. Business Establishment: Approved applicants on a valid post-graduate work permit (PGWP) must operate their proposed business.
Step 4. Nomination: Once an applicant fulfills the conditions of the Business Performance Agreement (BPA), they can apply to be nominated by the SINP for permanent residency.

To be considered eligible under the International Graduate Entrepreneur Category, applicants must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Have completed a full-time post-secondary degree or diploma of at least two years from an eligible Saskatchewan institution.
  • Have a valid Post-Graduate Work Permit, with at least 24 months remaining.
  • Have lived in Saskatchewan during their academic program (no distance-learning programs or accelerated academic program are eligible).
  • Have a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7.

Those chosen from the EOI pool, invited to apply, and approved by the SINP must:

  • Reside in Saskatchewan.
  • Actively own and operate a business in Saskatchewan for at least one year prior to applying.
  • Own at least one-third (33%) of the business and take part in the day-to-day management. Ownership must be the result of a verifiable Investment made directly by the applicant, either from their own equity or from an eligible source.
  • Demonstrate that the business is generating the minimum required revenue amount after one year of operation.
  • Sign a Business Performance Agreement (BPA) with the Government of Saskatchewan.

Manitoba

Manitoba is a land of natural beauty filled with safe, clean, and friendly towns. Known for its vast land and farmlands, the province contributes a lot to Canada’s economy. With most of its businesses being small businesses, their main business is focussed on its natural resources which is mainly agriculture. The province currently has two investor visa pathways, the Entrepreneur Pathway, and the Farm Investor Pathway.

The Entrepreneur Pathway

The Entrepreneur Pathway seeks applicants from around the world who have the intention and ability to relocate to Manitoba and start a business or become partners in an existing business.

Factor Minimum Requirement
Business Experience Minimum three years experience of farm ownership and operation supported by verifiable documents
Language Minimum CLB/NCLC 5
Education Minimum Canadian high school certificate equivalent
Age No minimum or maximum age; however, ranking points are allocated to candidates 25 to 49 years of age
Business Investment
  • Minimum investment is $250,000 CAD for businesses situated in the Manitoba Capital Region.
  • Minimum investment is $150,000 CAD if a business is situated outside of the Manitoba Capital Region.
  • The proposed business must create or maintain at least one job for a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident in Manitoba (excluding owners of the business and/or their close relatives) 
Business Research Visit A Business Plan is required and is an integral part of the application.
A business research visit allows the applicant to conduct extensive research of their future business investment or proposal. The Business Research Visit must be conducted no more than one year prior to the submission of your EOI.
Adaptability
  • Your spouse has CLB/NCLC 5 or higher.
  • You or your spouse or common-law partner have a close relative 
  • Currently residing in Manitoba for more than one year.
  • Your child is enrolled in an accredited Manitoba educational institution and is actively pursuing academic, professional, or vocational training on a full-time basis for at least six months.
  • You or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner have completed a program of full-time study for at least one year at a post-secondary institution in Manitoba. 
  • You or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner have completed at least six months of continuous full-time employment in Manitoba.
Net Worth Minimum of $500,000 CAD
Business Performance Agreement After an application is approved, a Business Performance Agreement (BPA) must be signed prior to the MPNP issuing you a letter of support for applying for a work permit.

Farm Investor Pathway (FIP)

This stream for individuals who intend to establish and operate a farm operation in rural Manitoba. The applicants must possess farm business experience and sufficient available capital to invest. Successful applicants of the FIP are anticipated to establish a farm business in rural Manitoba producing primary products that is consistent with the province’s current farm industry. Agri-business operations not producing primary products may qualify under the Entrepreneur Pathway.

Factors Minimum Requirement
Farm Business Experience Minimum three years experience of farm ownership and operation supported by verifiable documents.
Language If you are invited to attend a FIP interview, you will be required to conduct the interview in either French or English.
Farm Business Investment You are expected to establish a farming business in rural Manitoba with a minimum investment of $300, 000 CAD. 

Investments into a farm business operated primarily for the purposes of deriving passive investment income or speculative purposes are not eligible.

Farm Business Research Visit Applicant must conduct a Farm Business Research Visit to Manitoba.
Farm Business Activities
  • A farm business entity should have continuing and recurring business activities in rural Manitoba.
  • Applicant is required to reside on the farm and actively take part in the farm business management on continuing basis from within Manitoba.
  • The farm business must be in active primary agriculture production and economically sustainable.
  • The MPNP requires you to conduct value-added farm business activities in Manitoba. Purely speculative activities or the use of third-party farm managers are not eligible under the MPNP.
Economic Establishment Adaptability You must demonstrate adaptability, specifically relating to practical farming skills, technical knowledge and experience in technological based farming practices that will transfer directly to Manitoba’s current primary farm production industry.
Net Worth At least $500,000 CAD

Ontario

Ontario is home to Canada’s federal capital, Ottawa. Ontario’s provincial capital is Toronto, Canada’s most populous city and its financial centre. Ontario is a top destination for foreign direct investment in North America. The province offers to foreign investors or businesses seeking to expand include a sound banking sector, large and active capital markets, a simple and inexpensive process of incorporation, few import restrictions, and easy access to other North American markets. The province has one stream dedicated to entrepreneurs from outside of Canada interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario.

Ontario Business

This stream is for entrepreneurs from outside of Canada interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario. It gives an entrepreneur (and up to one foreign national business partner) the opportunity to be nominated for permanent residence once their business has been established in Ontario.

The Process

Stage 1

Registration: Register an expression of interest with OINP by email
Application Submission: If invited, submit an online application
Personal Interview: Entrepreneur and the business partner (if applicable) attend a mandatory in-person interview at the OINP office in Toronto. The purpose of the interview is to get a better understanding of the business plan and previous experience.
Performance Agreement: If stage 1 of the application (including the interview) is successful, the entrepreneur is asked to sign a performance agreement with the Government of Ontario. The performance agreement will outline the commitments that must be met to be nominated for permanent residence. The document will include, but may not be limited to a description of the business, investment amounts and timelines, number, and types of jobs to be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents, mandatory business milestones and achievements time frames for commitments etc.

Stage 2

Work Permit: After signing performance agreement, the OINP office issues a temporary work permit support letter (WPSL) so that applicant and business partner (if applicable) can apply to IRCC for a temporary work permit
Business Establishment: The entrepreneur has 20 months from the arrival date in Ontario to implement the business plan and meet all commitments under the performance agreement. OINP officers monitor the business to make sure the applicant stays on track to meeting the obligations under performance agreement. The applicant is also required to provide quarterly reports and a final report to OINP.
Provincial Nomination: Based on final report, the OINP office confirm that the new business has met the commitments outlined in the performance agreement. Post confirmation, OINP office will ask for supporting documents to ensure that applicant and business partner (if applicable) meet the nomination requirements: 
Language: The applicant must be able to listen, read, write, and speak English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4.
Residency: The applicant must be physically living in Ontario for 75 per cent of the time during which they are establishing their business.
Active Management: The applicant must be actively involved, on an ongoing basis, in the management of the business.
Permanent Residency: The applicant can submit permanent residency (PR) application with IRCC within six months of nomination. The OINP performs post-nomination monitoring for a period of 36 months following the issuance of permanent resident status.

Program Requirements

To qualify under the Entrepreneur Stream, the applicant must have a viable business that is likely to provide material economic benefit to the economy of Ontario as a whole or to the local Ontario economy where the business will be located. The applicant and one business partner (if applicable) must both meet the eligibility requirements.

Business Experience

The applicant must have at least 24 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months. The experience must be as a business owner or as a senior manager (business management). As a business owner the applicant must have had an active role in the business and owned at least one-third of the business. As a senior manager the applicant must have had senior decision-making responsibilities in the business

Net Worth

$800,000 CAD: if the proposed business will be located within the GTA
$400,000 CAD: if the proposed business will be located outside the GTA
$400,000 CAD: if the proposed business will be in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT)/Digital Communications sector (regardless of the proposed business location)

Personal Investment Funds and Minimum Equity

Within the Greater Toronto Area: The applicant must make a minimum personal investment of $600,000 CAD and control at least one-third of the equity in the business
Outside of the Greater Toronto Area: The applicant must make a minimum personal investment of $200,000 CAD and control at least one-third of the equity in the business
If the proposed business is in the information and communications technology/digital communications sector then regardless of location, the applicant must make a minimum personal investment of $200,000 CAD and control at least of one-third of the equity in the business.
Active Involvement: The entrepreneur must be actively involved, on an ongoing basis, in the management of the business.
Capital Investment Purpose: The primary purpose of investing capital in the business must be to make a profit. It must not be to derive interest, dividends, or capital gains.
Job Creation: If the business will be located inside the Greater Toronto Area, the applicant must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. If the business will be located outside the Greater Toronto Area or in the information and communications technology or digital communications sector, regardless of location, the applicant must create at least one permanent full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Jobs must be created within the first 20 months of establishing or acquiring the business, must be filled continuously for at least 10 months, and must be paid at the median wage level for the position.

Additional requirements for purchasing an existing business
  • The entrepreneur must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario within 12 months from the date of registering an Expression of Interest
  • The business being purchased must have been in continuous operation by the same owner(s) for the previous 60 months
  • Ownership of the business must be completely transferred to the applicant or any business partner
  • The applicant must use at least 10% of the personal investment towards improving or expanding the business in Ontario
  • The applicant must keep all permanent full-time employees that worked in the business prior to the transfer of ownership
General Business Requirements

In addition to meeting the minimum requirements, the proposed business must also meet the general requirements to participate in the Entrepreneur Stream:

Business purpose: The purpose of the proposed business must be to make a profit from active (earned) income not passive (unearned) income through the sale of goods and/or services.

Canadian and Ontario legal requirements: The proposed business must comply with any applicable federal, provincial, or municipal legal, regulatory, or licensing requirements that govern its operation. This includes Ontario labour laws, including but not limited to employment standards, health and safety and labour relations legislation.

Permanent business: The proposed business must be considered a permanent business in Ontario. Project-based/seasonal businesses are considered ineligible.

Business in Ontario: The proposed business must always have a place of business in Ontario.

Ineligible types of businesses: The entrepreneur needs to ensure that the proposed business is not one of the ineligible types listed below.

automated car wash business, holding companies, laundromats, pawnbrokers, pay day loan and related businesses, scrap metal recycling, tire recycling, a business involved in producing, distributing, or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing sexually oriented services, businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees

If the proposed business will be in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the following types are also ineligible.

existing franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted), gas stations, bed, and breakfasts

Expression of interest

An expression of interest (EOI) is the first step and, its not an application. There is no fee to register an EOI. The EOI is comprised of two components, for a maximum EOI score of 200 points:

Self-Declared Score (126 points)
Business Concept Score (74 points)

OINP will assess and score the Business Concept.  The business concept will need to score at least 37 of the available 74 points (50%) to be placed in the EOI selection pool. Whether the entrepreneur candidate will be issued an invitation to apply is based on the EOI rank in the selection pool. Only the top ranked candidates are invited to apply.

Expression of interest (EOI) registration

  • Contact the OINP by email ([email protected]) to express the interest in participating in the Entrepreneur stream and to request a copy of the EOI registration form
  • Once received, complete the EOI registration form
  • Submit the completed form by email to [email protected]
  • The OINP will then assess and score the business concept. If the entrepreneur candidate does not meet the minimum stream criteria, the business concept will not be reviewed.

If the business concept is accepted, the EOI will be placed in a pool and will be ranked against other entrepreneur candidates. If entrepreneur candidate is invited to apply, he/she will receive an email with instructions on how to submit an online application through the OINP e-Filing Portal. The candidate has 90 calendar days to submit the online application from the date of invitation to apply.

Newfoundland & Labrador

The province is one of the fastest growing Canadian provinces and one of the top spots in Canada where small business and entrepreneurship is booming. Newfoundland and Labrador have developing tech industries and the landscape lends itself to adventure and ecotourism opportunities. The province currently has two streams for entrepreneurs.

International Entrepreneur

The International Entrepreneur stream is for prospective entrepreneurs who have the intention to reside permanently in Newfoundland and Labrador. To qualify under International Entrepreneur stream, an individual must:

  • Be 21 to 59 years of age.
  • Provide a business plan with supporting financial documentation verified by a recognized third-party professional.
  • Have a minimum of Canadian high school diploma or equivalent foreign credential verified by an Education Credential Assessment (ECA), Taken in the last five years prior to the date of Expression of Interest submission.
  • Intend to live permanently in Newfoundland and Labrador while owning and actively managing a local business that can create significant economic benefit to Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Have at least $600,000 CAD in unencumbered net business and personal assets that can readily be transferred to Canada.
  • Be able to invest at least $200,000 CAD of their own money to establish a business in the Newfoundland and Labrador with a minimum ownership of 33.3 per cent, or $1 million in equity investment.
  • Show capability to create at least one full-time equivalent job for local population (permanent residents and Canadian citizens).
  • Demonstrate that the business is a for-profit entity with the key aim of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services.
  • Have at least two years’ experience actively managing and owning a business (25 per cent minimum ownership) in the last five years OR 5 or more years’ experience in a senior business management role in the last ten years.
  • Have a score of at least 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in all abilities in English or French (acceptable tests are Canadian English Language Proficiency Program (CELPIP) General Test, or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), General Training Test; or Test d’evaluation de francais (TEF);
  • Complete an online Expression of Interest (EOI); and
  • Receive an Invitation to Apply from the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Additional Criteria

There are two streams within the International Entrepreneur category and each stream has unique criteria in addition to the criteria noted above.

  • Starting a new business
  • Purchasing an existing business
Additional criteria when starting a new business

If starting a business, the applicant must create a minimum of one full-time equivalent employment opportunity for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Newfoundland and Labrador. This position must:

  • Be over and above any position filled by the approved applicant. For clarity, jobs created for or filled by dependents or relatives of the applicant are not eligible.
  • Be relevant and directly related to the applicant’s business; and
  • Meet the prevailing wage levels.
Additional criteria when purchasing an existing business
  • The business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the previous five (5) years.
  • All applicants purchasing or partnering in an existing business must complete an exploratory visit to meet the current owner(s) if the applicant is applying from outside of the province.
  • Applicants must provide evidence that reasonable efforts were taken to establish a fair market value for the business.
  • The business must be actively in operation and not in receivership; and
  • Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms.
Ineligible Applicants for International Entrepreneur Category
  • Individuals living illegally in their country of residence.
  • A person who has had a removal order issued against them by IRCC or Canada Border Services Agency.
  • A person who is prohibited from entering Canada.
  • Individuals who intend to invest in a Newfoundland and Labrador business with extremely limited or no involvement in the day-to-day management of the business; and
  • An individual who does not have status (ineligible to apply until their status is restored).
Ineligible Businesses for International Entrepreneur Category
  • Businesses that are conducted remotely i.e., from another Canadian jurisdiction or from another country.
  • Property rental, investment, and leasing activities.
  • Real estate construction/development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage; unless the applicant can prove their business in one of these areas is of compelling benefit to the Province.
  • Professional services or self-employed business operators requiring licensing or accreditation.
  • Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machines.
  • Pawnbrokers.
  • Taxi companies.
  • Home-based businesses: unless the applicant can prove their business will have a compelling benefit to the Province.
  • Businesses involved in the production, distribution, or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services.
  • Not-for-profit businesses.
  • Investments into a business operated mainly for the purposes of deriving passive investment income.
  • Businesses operating primarily for the purpose of deriving investment income such as interest, dividends, or capital gains.
  • Business that will compensate employees solely based on commission.
  • Any other type of business that by association could tend to bring OIM, NLPNP, or the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador into disrepute.

International Graduate Entrepreneur

This stream is for international graduates who have attended Newfoundland and Labrador post-secondary institutions and who wish to establish, co-own or run a business in the province with a pathway to Canadian permanent residence. To be eligible under this category, candidates must:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Provide a business continuity plan with supporting financial documentation verified by a recognized third-party professional service.
  • Hold a degree or diploma after at least two academic years of full-time, in-person study at Memorial University or College of the North Atlantic. The degree or diploma must have been completed within two years of submission of the Expression of Interest.
  • Have a valid post-graduate work permit.
  • Intend to live permanently in Newfoundland and Labrador while owning and actively managing a local business that has the potential to create significant economic benefit to Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Have at least one year’s continuous experience actively managing and owning the current business (33.3 per cent minimum ownership).
  • Demonstrate ability to create at least one full-time equivalent job for local population (permanent residents and Canadian citizens).
  • Showcase that the business is a for-profit entity with the key aim of earning profits through the sale of goods and/or services.
  • Have a score of at least 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in all language abilities in English or French.
  • Complete an online Expression of Interest; and
  • Receive an Invitation to Apply from the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism.

There are two streams within the International Graduate Entrepreneur category and each stream has unique criteria in addition to the above criteria:

  • Starting a new business
  • Purchasing an existing business
Additional criteria when starting a new business

If opening a new business, the applicant must create a minimum of one full-time year-round equivalent employment opportunity for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Newfoundland and Labrador. This position must:

  • Be over and above any position filled by the approved applicant. For clarity, jobs created for or filled by dependents or relatives of the applicant are not eligible.
  • Be relevant and directly- related to the applicant’s business.
  • Meet the prevailing provincial wage levels.
Additional criteria when purchasing an existing business

If the applicant is purchasing an existing Newfoundland and Labrador business, all the following apply:

  • The business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the previous five (5) years.
  • Applicants must provide evidence that reasonable efforts were made to establish a fair market value for the business.
  • The business must be actively in operation and not in receivership.
  • Applicants must offer employment on similar terms and conditions to existing staff, including maintaining existing wages and employment terms.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has an abundance of natural resources creating lucrative business opportunities in agriculture, fishing, mining, forestry, and natural gas extraction. There are currently two entrepreneur streams are available in Nova Scotia.

Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneur Stream is for experienced business owners or senior business managers who want to live in Nova Scotia and want to either start a new business or buy an existing business and actively participate in the day-to-day management of the business. The entrepreneur may be nominated for permanent resident status after operating the business for a year. To apply candidate must:

  • Be 21 years of age or older.
  • Be interested to live permanently in Nova Scotia while owning and actively managing a Nova Scotia business.
  • Have a net worth of at least $600,000 CAD.
  • Be able to invest at least $150,000 CAD of your own money to establish a business in Nova Scotia.
  • Have at least 3 years’ experience actively managing and owning a business (1/3 ownership minimum) or more than 5 years’ experience in a senior business management role.
  • Have a score of at least 5 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English or French.
  • Complete an online Expression of Interest;
  • Receive an Invitation to Apply from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.

International Graduate Entrepreneur

Recent graduates of a Nova Scotia university or the Nova Scotia Community College may apply under the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream. If the graduate intends to settle in Nova Scotia, the graduate may be nominated for permanent resident status if they have already started or purchased a Nova Scotia business and operated it for at least a year. To apply candidate must:

  • Be interested to live permanently in Nova Scotia while owning and actively managing a Nova Scotia business.
  • Have at least one year’s continuous experience actively managing and owning their current Nova Scotia business (33.33% ownership minimum.
  • Have completed a degree or diploma after at least 2 academic years of full-time, in-person study at a university in Nova Scotia or the Nova Scotia Community College.
  • Have a valid post-graduation work permit.
  • Have a score of at least 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmark in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English or French.
  • Complete an online Expression of Interest.
  • Receive an Invitation to Apply from the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.

Prince Edward Island (PEI)

PEI is largely affected by the aging workforce and therefore, the province has turned to immigrants, specifically foreign entrepreneurs, and investors, to help build the already growing economy. The Prince Edward Island Work Permit is currently the only business stream in the province.

Business Impact Category

The Business Impact Stream is relevant for individual with business ownership or management experience who wants to establish in PEI. Entrepreneurs looking to purchase an existing business in PEI must first obtain approval from the PEI Office of Immigration to ensure that the business meets program criteria. To be considered an eligible business under the Business Impact Category, the business must:

  • Be a for-profit corporation incorporated under the Companies Act of PEI or the Canada Business Corporations Act.
  • Operate for the primary purpose of earning profits from active income through the provision of products/services.
  • Be in good standing with the province on all debts and obligations.
  • Have been an established commercial operation for 12 months prior to the intended business start date with validation provided to as part of the Purchase and Sale Agreement.
  • Maintain corporate headquarters in PEI.
  • Maintain a ‘permanent establishment’ in PEI as defined under the Income Tax Act.
  • Be liable to pay income tax on taxable income.
  • Have good potential for sustained commercial viability.
  • Agree to participate in the evaluation process of the PEI PNP, which requires the business to report to the Office of Immigration on an annual basis for up to five years.
  • Have the potential to create significant economic benefits to PEI.
  • Meet all terms listed in the Business Performance Agreement.
Foreign nationals with an intent to start or invest in a business in Prince Edward Island can leverage Work Permit stream and later apply for permanent residency in Canada. To apply through the Work Permit stream applicant must:
  • Have a personal net worth of minimum $600,000 CAD.
  • Have completed at least secondary school education.
  • Be within 21-59 years.
  • Be experienced business owners or have transferable management skills and past employment.
  • Possess language proficiency equivalent to a CLB/NCLC 4.
  • Show intend to reside and work in PEI whilst providing daily active and continuing management of PEI-based company.
  • Be present for an interview with Immigration Office staff.
  • Comply with legalities of the Performance Agreement signed with the Immigration Office.

New Brunswick

New businesses flourish in the province due to having the lowest operating costs in Canada and the U.S. For this reason, and many others, New Brunswick’s capital city, Fredericton, won the start-up community of the year in 2016. The province currently has one stream for experienced business owners and senior managers who are ready to establish, operate and actively manage a business, while residing and settling in New Brunswick (NB) permanently.

NB Entrepreneurial Stream

This stream operates as an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. The first step in this process is the submission of an EOI to the New Brunswick Department of Post Secondary Education, Training and Labour. Once an application is reviewed and assessed based on the eligibility requirements, an applicant is assigned a score based on various factors. The highest-ranked candidates are invited to apply for a provincial nomination under the NBPNP

To be eligible for the New Brunswick Entrepreneurial Stream, individuals must:
  • Conduct an exploratory visit of at least five full business days in New Brunswick.
  • Have English and French language skills (minimum CLB or NCLC 5).
  • Have at least a 2-year post-secondary education (if you have a foreign education you will require an ECA).
  • Be involved and be present in the day to day running of the business.
  • Own at least a third (33.33%) of the business.
  • Have a personal net worth of at least $600,000 CAD of which $300,00 CAD must be liquid
  • Invest at least $250,000 CAD in an existing eligible business.
  • Be between the ages of 22 and 55.
  • Create or maintain at least two jobs in New Brunswick.
  • Be able to demonstrate a purchased business is profitable and has been in operation for at least two years.
  • Complete a New Worth Verification Report within 90 days after receiving an ITA.
  • Submit a business plan.
  • Demonstrate an intention to live and work in New Brunswick.
  • Score a minimum of 65 points (out of 100) in the following selection factors:
    • Age (Maximum 10 points)
    • Language (Maximum 25 points)
    • Education (Maximum 25 points)
    • Personal net worth of at least $600,000 CAD
    • Business ownership (Maximum 20 points)
    • Business concept (Maximum 15 points)
    • Adaptability (Maximum 5 points)

Yukon

Starting a business in Yukon gives an access to an abundance of resources and a terrain that is still largely untapped for business innovation. The Government of Yukon has identified the film, forestry, technology, mining, oil, gas, and tourism sectors as the primary business sectors of the province.

Yukon Business Nominee

This program is for individuals with proven business experience and want to start a new business, partner with an existing business, or purchase and operate an existing business in Yukon. Applicants should be ready to make a significant investment in their Yukon-based business. To be eligible under this program an applicant must:

  • Achieve a minimum score of 65 point on the assessment grid.
  • Have a Canadian high school diploma or the equivalent.
  • Have a minimum of three years of business management or entrepreneurial experience.
  • Have at least five years of experience relevant to the proposed business.
  • Not be a refugee or refugee status seeker in Canada.
  • Must never have been denied immigration status by the Canadian government.
  • Have no active applications for any other immigration streams or programs.
  • Have a minimum net worth of $500,000 CAD as well as a letter from an accounting firm based in Yukon stipulating that wealth came by legal means.
  • Including cash, bonds, and derivatives, have a minimum of $300,000 CAD in liquid assets.
  • Intend to settle, live, and run your business permanently in Yukon.
  • Hold a position in your business that falls under the NOC 0 or A occupations.
  • Have not yet engaged in the purchasing or opening of a new business at the time of the application
  • Through a business plan, show an intention to invest at least $300,000 CAD in proposed business within two years.

Northwest Territories (NWT)

Northwest Territories is the world’s third-largest producer of diamonds? The territory is famous for its aurora borealis sightings. The Business Stream is for people who want to start a business by purchasing an existing business or investing and operating an existing business based in NWT

Business Stream

To apply via the Business Stream, following requirements must be met by the applicant:

  • Commitment to invest: A minimum of $300,000 CAD equity into launching or purchasing a business within the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; or A minimum of $150,000 CAD equity into starting or purchasing a business outside of the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
  • Demonstrate ownership of at least 33.3% of the business, unless the personal equity investment is at least $1,000,000 CAD, in which case an applicant may own less.
  • Personal net worth of at least $500,000 CAD if launching or buying a business within the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; or at least $250,000 CAD if starting or purchasing a business outside the corporate boundaries of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
  • Demonstrate proficiency level of 4 against the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 4) in English or the equivalent language level against the Niveaux de competence linquistique Canadiens (NCLC) in French.
  • Have reasonable knowledge and understanding of the Northwest Territories and its economy.
  • Show appropriate communication skills to conduct business in the Northwest Territories and to integrate into the local community.
  • Demonstrate the necessary experience and education to successfully implement the business plan.
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to start and operate a business and support themselves and any dependents for the duration of the applicant’s Business Performance Agreement.
  • No active application with any other provincial or territorial nominee program or any other stream of the Nominee Program in the Northwest Territories.
The Process
  • The stream accepts applications from eligible candidates at any time. Prospective applicants should develop a business plan and make at least one business trip to the Northwest Territories to gain knowledge of the business environment. Following the business trip, applicants are required to participate in an interview with NTNP staff. After the interview, if the applicant demonstrated acceptable knowledge of the Northwest Territories business environment and a compelling business plan, the applicant will be invited to submit documents supporting their business concept. These supporting documents must be submitted within 60 business days.
  • If the NTNP is satisfied with the documents, the applicant will be invited to formally apply to the program. After invitation, an applicant has six months to submit a complete application. If the application is accepted, NTNP staff will begin developing a business performance agreement with the applicant. Once this agreement is signed and the applicant submits the $75,000 CAD good faith deposit, the NTNP will issue a letter of support to the applicant for a two-year temporary work permit. These work permits are LMIA exempt. To apply for such a work permit, the applicant must include a work permit support letter issued by the NTNP and submit their applications to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • After work permit, an applicant is required to invest the required investment, as described in the business performance agreement. They will need to submit an interim report every six months until they meet the conditions outlined in the performance agreement to receive a provincial nomination.
  • If the applicant meets all the conditions of the business performance agreement, the candidate may be eligible to receive a nomination for permanent residence from NTNP. After nomination, the applicant has one year to submit a federal application for Canadian permanent residence.

How Can X can help?

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  • We can help you in finding a suitable business in Canada.
  • We can help you in preparing a sound business plan.
  • We can help you in preparing your visa, PNP and PR application.

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