How to Get Canada Citizenship by Investment

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) pride itself on having one of the most prodigiously extensive immigration program offerings among the world’s immigration departments. Its over 100 immigration visa streams and programs cater to prospective immigrants to Canada who move for work, school/education, life opportunities, health/medical, travel, and tourism.

It even has visa sponsorship programs for people who wish to move to Canada with their dependents, i.e., spouse/partner and family/children. Most recently, as a means of capitalizing on the Canadian government's intensified efforts to increase the country’s economic opportunities and competitiveness, the IRCC has created new investor/entrepreneurship programs to attract talented business people to the country.

If you’re interested in starting a new business in another country, we recommend taking a chance on Canada as your country of choice. The following investor-focused immigration programs are more readily accessible and commonly used immigration programs for business people/entrepreneurs immigrating to Canada.

Why Move to Canada Through Investment?

Why Move To Canada?

Canada has been climbing the ranks as one of the world's most economically competitive countries. Along with New York, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo, Canada'ss flagship city Toronto is one of the major financial centers of the Americas.

The vast and varied topography of the country is rich in natural resources such as shale oil, natural gas, crude oil, coal, and other valuable minerals such as gold, copper, zinc, iron, uranium, potash, and diamonds. These mineral deposits are in vast quantities that can be leveraged for economic gain for years to come.

Canada, which has one of the world’s most extensive coastlines, is also rich in marine wealth, reflected in the whaling and fishing industry and its possession of vast quantities of catch and a significantly sized merchant marine fleet.

Canada’s also been putting a lot of emphasis on building up a significant industry and increasing the economic share of small businesses. This is in recognition that small businesses are the anchors of employment and growth for sovereign economies and a buttress against economic collapse during lulls in the boom cycle of economies. Canada has instituted laws and broken red tape to make it easier and more accessible for small business owners to source and receive capital.

List of Canada’s Immigration by Investment Programs

List of immigration by investment programs

Start-up Visa Program

Startup Visa Program is a Business Immigration or "Investor" Visa option that allows you to immigrate to Canada by starting a business anywhere in Canada. You and your business will have to meet a set of qualifying criteria to be successful with your application.

In general, your business must be innovative, create jobs for Canadians, and be able to compete internationally. While you wait for your application's approval, you can also apply for a temporary work permit to keep you busy in Canada.

Start-up Visa Program Requirements
Business requirementsOnce a designated organization commits to your business:
  • All applicants (up to 5 people can apply as owners) must each hold at least 10% of the voting rights attached to all outstanding shares of the business; and
  • Together with the designated organization, they must hold more than 50% of the voting rights attached to all outstanding business shares.
Once you receive permanent residence, you must make sure that:
  • you play an active role in the ongoing management of your business while living in Canada;
  • the essential operations of the business must partly take place in Canada; and
  • your business is incorporated in Canada.
Letter of supportYou must get a letter of support from a designated organization that proves they are willing to invest in and support your startup. These organizations include:
  • Venture Capital Firms ($200,000 investment);
  • Angel Investor Groups ($75,000 investment); and
  • Business Incubators.
Language requirementsYou must score a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark level 5 in speaking, reading, listening, and writing in either English or French.
Settlement moneyBecause the Canadian government doesn't give financial support to this "investor" visa, you will have to be able to prove that you have enough money to settle yourself and your family in Canada. 

The Self-Employed Program

To qualify for business immigration to Canada under the Self-employed Program, applicants must demonstrate that they have the relevant artistic or athletic experience that has allowed them to be self-employed while living in their country of origin.

The candidate must furthermore be able to make a reasonably significant contribution to one of these fields through their relevant experience and skills in Canada to be successful in their application.

One of the wonderful things about the Self-employed Program, which sets it apart from an Entrepreneur's Visa Program, is that there is no net-worth requirement. Another perk of the Self Employment Program in Canada is that you only need two years of experience in your chosen field to practice in that area of culture or athletics.

One of the most important things to consider before applying for the self-employed program is ensuring you meet the eligibility requirements to apply. The following table presents a simplified breakdown of the eligibility criteria for the self-employed immigration visa program.

 Work Experience At least two years experience in your field (points up to five years)
 Education Relevant tertiary or skills qualification in your field
 Age Ideally, between the ages of 18 and 35
 Language Skills Proficient in Canada's official languages (primary, moderate, high)
 Adaptability How easy would it be to assimilate into Canadian society?

Invest in Canadian Tech

Canada has, over the years, emerged as quite the tech giant and is today home to some of the largest tech innovators in the world, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Sage. The Toronto-Waterloo corridor is the largest tech cluster in North America outside of Silicon Valley. Canada also has four of the top 20 tech talents markets in North America, namely:

It has already funded 99 projects with $5.1 billion in contributions, leveraging $53.8 billion in investments and creating and maintaining 87,000 new jobs! It also has an $8 billion initiative to support projects enabling Canada to reduce its domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

Mitacs provided financial support, through Canadian universities, for technology-specific internships and fellowships.

Invest in Canadian Agriculture

Canada's agriculture and agri-food industries are the most lucrative. It's the fifth-largest agricultural commodities exporter globally and has 7,800 food and beverage processing businesses. Some of its top exports include canola, cattle and calves, beef and veal, vegetables and poultry, maple syrup, and various others.

Provincial Nominee Program Entrepreneur and Investor Visa Options

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) gives every province and territory of Canada the power to invite applicants to come and live within their borders if they have the right skills and work experience. Most PNPs have at least one entrepreneur or investor visa category dedicated to people who want to expand or start their business in Canada. The following presents a brief description of each province's primary investment attraction.


Alberta is a great place to start a business. Though it is home to the world's 3rd most liveable city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) annual rankings, Calgary, Alberta's farmlands are where your investment options genuinely lie. The province is Canada's second-largest agricultural producer and its diverse landscapes make the land perfect for crop production, livestock production, and much more. Only one Investment Visa option is available in Alberta - the Farm Stream.

British Columbia

British Columbia has one of Canada's most flexible, diverse, and competitive economies, making it a prime destination for your new or expanded business. The province's capital, Vancouver, is conveniently located to assist with global trade routes, including the U.S., Asia, and Mexico. Businesses are also heavily supported by our fiscally responsible government, making starting a business in our province easier and cheaper. Lastly, British Columbia is rich in business resources, with a well-educated workforce of over 2,4 million.

British Columbia has two Investor Visa options, the Provincial Nominee Entrepreneur Immigration Stream and the Regional Pilot Program. Both options have a unique set of criteria you will have to meet to start a business in Canada.


Winnipeg's capital city is becoming known worldwide for its strong economy, low cost of living, and opportunities for quality careers.

The cost of living in Manitoba is so low that 76% of immigrants become homeowners within the first five years of living there. This is undoubtedly one of many reasons why 95% of them permanently settle in Manitoba after immigrating to Canada.

The ever-popular Business Investor Stream has two investor visa pathways, the Entrepreneur Pathway and the Farm Investor Pathway.

New Brunswick

A skilled labor force awaits your business in New Brunswick. The province has the highest graduation rate and the fastest internet in the country, making it a prime spot for productivity. 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 startup community of the year in 2016.

To start your business in New Brunswick, you must meet the requirements for either the Entrepreneurial Stream or the Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has abundant natural resources, which have created lucrative industries in agriculture, fishing, mining, forestry, and natural gas extraction. With so many resources at your disposal and a low cost of living, your business in the province will surely succeed. There are currently two Entrepreneur Visa options available in Nova Scotia. The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream is for those who graduate from a university in Nova Scotia and the Provincial Nominee Investor Program.

Northwest Territories

In the last few years, we have seen growth and success in the sectors of Agriculture, Fishery, and Manufacturing, and with one of the lowest business tax rates and fastest-growing GDPs in Canada, we will surely see continued success.

The government here recognizes the importance of business investment and has since created several incentive programs for business and investment. If you want to start your business in Northwest Territories, you will need to qualify for the Business Stream.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Small business enterprises run Newfoundland and Labrador's economy. In fact, 40% of the entire population is employed by these businesses. Newfoundland and Labrador have developing tech industries, and the landscape lends itself to adventure and ecotourism opportunities. The province is in great need of a larger food supply, so there is plenty of room to invest in the agricultural sector.

Currently, two new Entrepreneur and Investor Visa options are available to those hoping to start a business in Newfoundland and Labrador, the International Entrepreneur and International Graduate Entrepreneur streams.


Do you want access to the world's most skilled labor force? Look no further than Ontario. 68% of adults living in Ontario have a post-secondary education, making it the most educated population in the world. In Ontario, your business will also enjoy lower business costs compared to other business centers in the U.S. You will pay less corporate tax, and your spending will be significantly lower on healthcare and housing.

Suppose you want to earn Canadian permanent residency by starting, investing, or purchasing a business in Ontario. In that case, you will have two options - the Ontario Corporate Stream and the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream.

Prince Edward Island (PEI)

The Government of PEI, recognizing the importance of new business development, offers many supportive initiatives, like the Ignition Fund, to entrepreneurs looking to start a new business there. With plenty of resources and the relaxed atmosphere of the coastal towns, your business in PEI will surely flourish. The Prince Edward Island Work Permit is currently the only business visa option in the province.


With the lowest provincial tax in Canada and large reserves of resources in forestry, mining, agriculture, and energy sectors, your business will enjoy lower operating costs in Saskatchewan. You should also consider starting a business in this prairie province because it has Canada's third-largest percentage of young workers. Saskatchewan currently offers three streams of entrepreneurial immigration; the Entrepreneur category, the International Graduate Entrepreneur category, and Farm Owner and Operator category.


Starting a business in Yukon gives you access to abundant resources and terrain 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.

A business targeting one of these sectors will have a great chance of success, especially with Yukoners (the population with the most holders of degrees per capita in Canada) in your workforce.

Yukon offers the Yukon business Nominee Program.

How can We Help You Move to Canada by Investment?

How we can help you move to Canada

With this many available immigration by investment visa options, all that remains for any interested people who wish to immigrate to Canada to seize its entrepreneurial opportunities is to get in touch with CanadianVisa. Along with a licensed and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC), they will help arrange and facilitate your application through all of its stages which include:

  • Check Your Eligibility
  • Get Your Documents Together
  • Complete Your Application Form
  • Pay Your Fees
  • Submit your Application


Can you Move to Canada Without any Funds?

Canada requires that you arrive with at least C$2,500 as proof of financial self-sufficiency.

Can you Start a Business in Canada with Collateral Assets but no Money?

No, you can’t start a business in Canada solely with unliquidated assets/money.

Does Canada Have a General Corporate Tax Bill?

Canada's general corporate tax rate on a business's income is 15%.