Top 5 Business Opportunities in Canada for immigrants

Canada is widely believed to be one of the top 10 easiest countries to start a business in. This is largely due to the country's abundant natural resources, an immensely skilled labor force, and a stable government.

If you are able to project an image of a prosperous future in the second-largest nation in the world, you'll find many entrepreneurs and visa options to get you here - from the Canada Start-up Visa to the many Provincial streams.

While there are skilled entrepreneurs in Canada, the numbers continue to dwindle as more and more Canadians reach retirement age and domestic birth rates dwindle below the population replacement rate.

Thus Canada needs you! There are ongoing campaigns to welcome newcomers who have the entrepreneurial experience, the talent, and the innovation to start, manage, or buy a business in the country.

With a constant inflow of foreign investments, Canada can ensure the continued success of its economy through diversification and development. Let's take a close look at the several Entrepreneur and Investor Visa options available to you.

Top 5 Business Opportunities in Canada for Immigrants

Top 5 Canadian business Opporutunities

After displaying its economic resilience to the shock of the recent global pandemic, Canada has continued to show its support, not only for Canadian citizens and permanent residents but small business owners too as well as encouraging business immigration to Canada.

99.8% of Canadian businesses are either small or medium-sized companies with less than 500 employees, employing more than 8.3 million people. Small businesses contribute almost 38.4% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a figure that attests to the fact that the country is not only the ideal but one of the most lucrative options for those who have been considering business immigration to Canada.

Canada loves to shower laudatory praise on entrepreneurship, allowing start-ups to flourish, particularly immigrant and women-owned businesses, which make up a third of Canada’s small to medium-sized businesses. According to Statistics Canada, immigrant-owned businesses tend to create more jobs in Canada, even more so than businesses owned by Canadian-born owners.

But which industries are doing particularly well in Canada? Let’s take a look at the top 5 business opportunities in Canada for immigrants.


Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector is one of Canada’s largest and most lucrative industries, accounting for $49 billion of Canada’s GDP. This makes it a highly viable option for business immigration to Canada. There are so many options available for those wanting to immigrate to Canada due to the high demand for workers in certain occupations, making it easier to find qualified and skilled workers in occupations such as:

  • Farmworkers
  • Truck Drivers
  • Meat processing jobs such as butchers

Popular provinces for agricultural business opportunities in Canada for immigrants include Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, and British Columbia.

Accommodation and Food Services

Canada’s accommodation and food services are booming and the industry was one of the prominent ones that quickly bounced back once the recent pandemic restrictions were lifted.

There are various occupations in demand in the tourism and hospitality industry, making it easy to find staff with the experience and skills in occupations such as food and beverage servers, that you will need to make your business a resounding success.

Provinces to look at when considering business immigration to Canada include British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia.

Wholesale & Retail

Canada’s wholesale and retail sector has skyrocketed into profitability after taking a slight hit during the pandemic. Projections show that you can expect further increases in wholesale and retail areas such as general merchandise, gasoline stations as well as motor vehicle and parts dealerships.

There has also been a huge surge in the need for medical supplies as Canada recovers from the rapidly receding effect of the recent worldwide pandemic.

Research shows that you may want to consider provinces such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia when you’re weighing up your options for business immigration to Canada as they have shown considerable growth in previous years.


Construction has been a steady investment for business investors and those considering business immigration to Canada. The increase of new development projects nationwide has availed the need for more construction companies to help carry the load and meet certain provincial and territory needs in Canada. Areas that saw substantial growth are those in the commercial rather than the residential sector.

There is a high demand in Ontario, as the province actively seeks international skilled workers to fill the labor demand in occupations such as project directors, construction managers, and general construction laborers who are interested in immigrating to Canada through its construction industry.

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

Canada’s professional, scientific, and technical sectors provide a steady source of revenue and a great option for those looking for lucrative business investments or business immigration options to Canada.

Provinces to consider setting up shop include Alberta and Ontario, which has shown considerable growth over the past couple of years.

These sectors grow at such a rate that certain provinces such as British Columbia and Ontario have dedicated immigration streams specifically for tech professionals to help fill the demand for an ever-growing market.

Business Immigration to Canada

Business immigration to canada

Taking a leap of faith and deciding to move to another country is a very bold and difficult decision. This difficulty is further compounded if you want to start a business in your new country of choice.

Not only do you have to deal with adapting to a country with its own unique and different business culture, but you also have to contend with the local business talent in the country that is much more attuned to the needs of the domestic consumer market.

Fortunately for many prospective business immigration visa applicants to Canada, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a comprehensive offering of business-related immigration visa programs and streams that aim to not only facilitate the business immigration of eligible applicants, but also ease those immigrants into the Canadian business community through lending providential assistance to their efforts to establish a business in Canada.

This is a symbiotic relationship that also allows the Canadian government's aim to attract and retain as much international business talent as possible in Canada, armed with the understanding of just how beneficial it is to the developmental growth of their nation's economy.

The most prominent business immigration visa programs includes:

  • Self-employed program
  • Start-up Visa program

Self-Employed Program

To qualify for business immigration to Canada under the Self-employed Program, an applicant 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 in order to be successful in their application. The National Occupation Classification of Canada has a complete list of all the career types that fall under these two categories which, for the most part, there is no exception to.

The following presents a list of cultural and sporting activities that fall under the self-employed visa programs eligibility criteria.

  • Painter
  • Dancer
  • Journalist
  • Writer
  • Musician
  • Designer
  • Sports coach
  • Athlete
  • Referee
  • Program leaders

Start-up Visa program

The Startup Visa Program is a general 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 requirements in order 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 requires can be outlined as follows in the table below:

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 shares of the business.
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. 

How we can Help you Move to Canada to Start Your Business

How we can help you move to Canada

Navigating the Canadian immigration system can be a bit tedious, with a copious amount of forms and documents to complete and strict submission dates, we wouldn’t blame you if you felt apathetic about getting started on your application. But that's what we’re here for.

At Canadian Visa, we take the stress and hassle out of your business immigration application to Canada. Our accredited RCICs (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants) are ready to evaluate your eligibility, review all documentation, and submit all documentation on your behalf. Using an RCIC not only gives you the best possible chance of receiving an invitation to apply (ITA) but will make the entire visa application process to migrate to Canada simple and stress-free.



What is the Best Place to be Self-Employed in Canada?

Toronto, Ontario is the commercial and cultural center of Canada, therefore it is the best place for any athlete or artist to kick start their career and sustain themselves as self-employed individuals.

What is the Best Place to Start a Business in Canada?

Toronto is the financial center of Canada, so for any determined business person looking to source investment for their entrepreneurial endeavors it is the best place to start your business.

What is the Worst Place to Start a Business in Canada?

Montreal, Quebec has developed a reputation as the worst place to start and run a business in Canada.