Best Immigrant Investor Programs in Canada for 2022 and Beyond

Are you looking for an incredible Return on Investment (ROI), in a country with a stable economy, and an undeniably talented workforce with the added opportunity to get permanent residency status?

Then look no further.

Canada is a great place to look at investment opportunities, for various reasons. According to the Venture Capital and Private Equity Country Attractiveness Index, which is rated 125 countries based on six factors, Canada ranked as the fifth-best country to invest in globally, post-COVID.

These six key factors are:

  • economic activity;
  • depth of capital markets,
  • taxation
  • investor protection and corporate governance,
  • human and social environment,
  • finally entrepreneurial culture and deal opportunities

Overall, Canada received a score of 87.2, just 0.1 below Germany, but what makes Canada such an attractive destination for business and investments? We’ll delve into this a bit later, but for now, let's take a look at some of the top immigrant programs to invest in in Canada in 2021 and beyond.

Top 3 Canada Investor Visa Programs for Immigrants

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1. The Start-Up Visa Program

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is probably one of the most popular ways to bring your business to Canada or explore your investment opportunities. Its main aim is to help foreign business owners, inventors and budding entrepreneurs make their innovative business ambitions a reality.

Do I Qualify?

If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible to apply for business immigration to Canada through the Start-up Visa Program:

  • Have a qualifying business: you must hold 10% or more of the voting rights and jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting right with the designated organization;
  • Play an active and ongoing role in the management of the business within Canada when you receive PR status;
  • An essential part of your incorporated business must also be in Canada at the time you receive PR status.

How Do I Apply?

When starting the application process you will receive an application package, instruction guide, and document checklist, outlining everything that you’ll need to have beforehand and how to submit a successful application.

It is also important to make sure that you have the necessary fees on hand, which includes your:

  • Application Processing Fees: $1,575;
  • Right of Permanent Residency Fees: $500
  • Biometrics fees: $85; and
  • Any third-party fees, for example, medical exams, police certificates, language testing, or representative fees if you have enlisted the help of a visa or immigration professional.

You can submit your business immigration application online via the government website or let an immigration professional handle the paperwork for you, after all, time is money.

2. The British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot

British Columbia is a great place to invest in Canada, especially if you are looking to get into the tech industry. BC is known to be one of Canada’s tech hubs, so much so that it is constantly on the lookout for the best tech professionals globally in search of career opportunities in Canada.

British Columbia first launched a new business initiative (the Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot) for immigrant entrepreneurs in March 2019 (Phase 1), which was recently extended from March 2021 to March 31, 2024 (Phase 2).

The main aim of this business immigration program is to bring new ventures to the smaller communities of the province and drive economic growth and development in the province. Some of the benefits of applying for business immigration through this program are that a lower net worth and investment are required and that you can enjoy faster processing. Most applications are typically processed within four months.

Below is a list of participating communities in British Columbia:

  • Cariboo;
  • Kootenay;
  • Nechako;
  • North Coast;
  • Thompson-Okanagan; and
  • Vancouver Island/Coast
  • Any third-party fees, for example, medical exams, police certificates, language testing, or representative fees if you have enlisted the help of a visa or immigration professional.

Do I Qualify?

To qualify for business immigration through the Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • At least either 3+ years of experience as a business owner-manager OR, 4+ years of experience as a senior manager, OR, a combination of 1+ year of experience as a business owner-manager and 2+ years of experience as a senior manager within the last 5 years;
  • Net worth of at least $300,000;
  • Education: Obtained a post-secondary credential, OR, experience as an active business owner-manager for at least 3 of the last 5 years with 100% ownership in the business
  • Net worth of at least $300,000;
  • Invest a minimum of $100,000
  • At least 51% ownership
  • Create at least 1 full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • Location: must be in a participating community;
  • Engage or visit an enrolled community for support before registering
  • Minimum CLB 4 in English Or French;
  • Registration scores: Total 200 points (140 points for self-declared section; 60 points for business concept). No minimum business concept score
  • Net Worth registration verification report (if invited to apply)
  • Interview with province

How Do I Apply?

The application process through the Entrepreneur Immigration Regional Pilot is a 6 step process:

Step 1: Determine your eligibility and identify a participating community;

Step 2: Register to the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP);

Step 3: Attend an interview in Vancouver and if approved sign a performance agreement;

Step 4: Apply for a work permit and implement your business plan;

Step 5: Submit your final report to the BC PNP (you will have 12 months, from the date you received your work permit, to do this);

Step 6: Apply for permanent residence

It is also important to make sure that you have the necessary fees on hand, which includes your:

  • Registration Fees: $300;
  • Application Processing Fees: $3,500;
  • Right of Permanent Residency Fees: $500
  • Biometrics fees: $85; and
  • Any third-party fees, for example, medical exams, police certificates, language testing, or representative fees if you have enlisted the help of a visa or immigration professional.

3. The Saskatchewan Entrepreneur Stream

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) has two business immigration programs, one of which is the Entrepreneur Stream. This program allows nominated foreign entrepreneurs to buy or partner with a Saskatchewan business (this excludes businesses in the farming sector as there is a program specifically dedicated to the agricultural business sector).

Once again, PNP programs often have faster processing time, particularly if you apply directly to the province. Most applications are processed within 12 weeks and nominations within 10 weeks, however, this could be longer due to delays caused by the effect of COVID-19.

Do I Qualify?

To qualify for business immigration through the Saskatchewan Entrepreneur Stream, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have at least 3 years of relevant business management or entrepreneurial experience gained in the past 10 years;
  • Net worth of at least $500,000;
  • Invest a minimum of $300,000 in Regina and Saskatoon, or a minimum of $200,000 (CAD) in all other Saskatchewan communities;
  • At least 33 & third % ownership of the equity of the business or total investment of $1 million (CAD) or higher;
  • Commit to the daily running of the business;
  • Create at least 2 jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Saskatchewan;
  • An exploratory visit to Saskatchewan for at least five (5) working days over the previous 12-month period before your Expression of Interest;
  • Submit a Business Establishment Plan

How Do I Apply?

The application process through the Saskatchewan Entrepreneur Stream is a four-step process:

Step 1: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the SINP;

Step 2: EOI Selection and Invitation to Submit an Application - the highest-scoring entrepreneurs will be selected based on the EOI System Points Grid;

Step 3: Business Establishment - You will need to attend an arrival meeting within 18 months of the date you received your approval letter as well as submit a Business Establishment Progress Report within 12 months of your arrival date in Saskatchewan. You will also need to meet all the requirements of the Business Performance Agreement (BPA) within 2 years of the date of your temporary work permit;

Step 4: Nomination - if deemed eligible you will be able to apply for a nomination to the province and if approved you will receive a nomination letter to apply for permanent residency.

The results of the lastest Entrepreneur Selection Results, which took place on September 2, 2021, revealed that 41 invitations were issued to applicants with scores of 125 or higher. The last draw for 2021 will be held on November 4, which means you still have time to submit your application.

It is also important to make sure that you have the necessary fees on hand, which includes your:

  • SINP Application Processing Fees: $350;
  • Right of Permanent Residency Fees: $500
  • Biometrics fees: $85; and
  • Any third-party fees, for example, medical exams, police certificates, language testing, or representative fees if you have enlisted the help of a visa or immigration professional.



Top 5 Reasons to Invest in Canada

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1. Global market access

One of the main benefits of investing in Canada is its prime location and trade agreements. It has 14 trade agreements with 51 countries and over 1.5 billion consumers. Its location, numerous coastal ports, and secure trade infrastructure make Canada a central hub for trade worldwide.

2. Highly talented workforce

Canada not only has the most educated workforce globally but is constantly in search of new international talent at all skill levels. The Canadian government aims to invite 401,000 newcomers in 2021 alone, of which 232,500 will immigrate to Canada through federal economic programs such as those under the ever-popular Express Entry system.

3. Lower Costs. Lower Risks.

Canada is also renowned for its low effective tax rate (METR), which currently stands at 23.8 percent. In fact, it is the lowest among all G7 countries and falls well below the OECD average. Canada is also one of the most politically stable countries in the world, is ranked 11th globally on the Corruption Perceptions Index, and has the sixth safest banks in North America. This means that your new Canadian business venture can benefit from lower risks at a lower cost. It's a win-win!

4. Innovation and Technology

As mentioned previously, Canadian provinces like British Columbia and Ontario are known to house some of Canada’s most innovative tech powerhouses.

Google, Microsoft, Apple, Sage, SAP, Salesforce, Ericsson, Accenture, Infosys, and Intuit are all tech giants voted as the best places to work in Canada in 2021. It is because of this that these provincial governments have tech-specific immigration programs aimed at hiring the best global tech talent there is.

Canada also rewards investors and entrepreneurs who implement research and development (R&D) and facilitate growth and expansion through various incentives and tax credit programs.

5. Quality of Life

And last but certainly not least, Canada offers permanent residency to up-and-coming start-ups and experienced entrepreneurs alike. Along with this added perk, you’ll get to run your business in a country that was voted one of the best countries in the world for quality of life on factors like safety, transparency, stability, healthcare, to name a few. So why not set yourself and your family up for only the best that life has to offer, in Canada.

Investing in Canada: Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Is it easy to invest in Canada?

Yes! Not only are there various online investment opportunities but there are also various Canadian business immigration options for foreigners which allow you to buy, start or invest in a Canadian company. You may, however, need to ensure that you meet all the requirements beforehand, which may include meeting the minimum language, financial and experience criteria.

2. Which business is best in Canada?

As the pandemic has changed the way most companies operate, so has the demand in various industries. Some of the top business opportunities for immigrants in Canada are in the agricultural, construction, financial, sanitization, eCommerce, and tech sectors.

3. How much do you need to invest in Canada to get PR?

This depends on the Canadian business immigration program you intend to apply for permanent residency (PR) through. The Start-up Visa Program requires minimum investment from a designated Canadian venture capital fund of $200,000 and $75,000 if from a Canadian Angel Investor group. Provincial Nominee Programs minimum investments can range anywhere between $150,000 to $600,000 provided you meet the minimum ownership criteria.

4. Can I invest in Canada as a foreigner or non-resident?

Yes! Canada has 1 main federal economic program and 14 Provincial Nominee Program business streams for foreign investors and entrepreneurs.

5. What is the best investment in Canada right now?

Right now, stocks are the best investment for foreigners. To invest as a non-resident in Canada, you will need a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) number. You will also be able to open an investment account, the most common of which are Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA and non-registered accounts.

What’s Next?

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Ready to invest in your future? Canada awaits!

With so many lucrative business opportunities and immigration options for foreign business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs as well as the multitude of benefits, it’s never been a better time to start planning your Canadian business venture.

The opportunities for innovation, growth, and development are endless in 2022 and beyond. For help determining which of Canada’s investor visa options are best suited to your business need, fill in your details on our contact us form to set up a consultation with one of our visa professionals today.