Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


Canadian Business Immigration Streams

Updated: December 20th, 2022

Self-employed Program

The Self-Employed Program is aimed at applicants who have required self-employed experience. The applicant must also have the intention and the ability to create their own employment and contribute significantly to the cultural, artistic or athletic life of Canada or create their own employment by purchasing and managing a farm in Canada.


Start-up Visa

The Start-up Visa Program is one of Canada's primary Business Immigration pathways. To qualify for this particular visa, applicants must have a qualifying business in Canada, a letter of support from a designated organization, meet certain language requirements and have enough money to settle in Canada.


PNP Entrepreneur Visa Streams

The Provincial Entrepreneur Visas grant holders permanent resident status and the authority to live and run a business in Canada. Qualification requirements vary by province, but typically the foreign investor must have at least three years of business experience within the last five years, and a minimum personal net worth of $500,000 CAD. Demonstrate a commitment to the management and ownership of at least one-third of Canadian business.


Business Visitor Visa

Canada has incredible opportunities for business visitors. The Business Visitor Visa allows for foreign nationals to explore business opportunities, meet their Canadian counterparts, enhance business relationships, attend business fairs, and experience Canadian culture and hospitality for a short period of time.


With the Canadian economy continuing to expand, business immigration to Canada is a fantastic option. Canada's high average standard of living, high level of education and highly diverse population mean there are abundant opportunities for business growth. On top of this, new businesses massively stimulate the Canadian economy. The Canadian government understands this and, as a result, has created several programs for business immigration to Canada.

These Canadian business immigration programs aim to create new opportunities in local markets by welcoming those with the skill and experience to help grow it.

These immigration programs and visas are designed to attract entrepreneurs, the self-employed and businesspersons who are not yet Canadian citizens. Each program is designed for a specific type of business immigrant with a particular purpose in Canada. Different programs cover different processes, from purely coming to Canada on a business trip to business immigrants trying to become permanent residents of Canada. The primary business immigration programs are as follows:

Self-Employed Program

Self-employed Program

This program is explicitly designed for people capable of creating their own employment by contributing athletically, culturally or artistically to Canada's employment market. This program facilitates professional athletes or performers get permanent residency in Canada, provided they continue their cultural or athletic endeavours within Canada.

To be eligible for this program, you must have relevant experience in the cultural or athletic activity to which you will be making a significant contribution in Canada. Relevant experience means applicants must have at least two years of work experience either participating in their chosen athletic or cultural activity at an international or world-class level or being self-employed in that activity. Applicants are primarily selected based on their work experience, education level, age, language skills and adaptability to life in Canada.

You can apply online for this program via the Canadian government's Permanent Residence Online Application portal. You will have to fill out several digital forms and will receive a documentation checklist for every document required to prove the details you outline in the digital forms. Once you've completed your forms, uploaded your documents and biometrics, paid your fees and submitted your application, you can receive permanent resident status in Canada once your application has been processed.

Find out more about how to immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person.

Start-up Visa

Start up Visa

The Canada Start-up visa program is explicitly designed for immigrant entrepreneurs seeking permanent residence in Canada to either start a new business or bring an existing enterprise from another country into Canada. This program was designed to stimulate Canada's economy by bringing in new enterprises to create jobs within Canada.

Immigrant entrepreneurs may apply if they have an innovative qualifying business that will create jobs in Canada and is capable of competing on a global scale. One of the best ways to prove this is via getting support from a designated organization in Canada.

This program has strict eligibility criteria. To be eligible for this program, you must have a qualifying business meaning that applicants must own at least 10% of the enterprise they're bringing to Canada. Applicants must also meet Canada's language requirements and have sufficient settlement funds to immigrate through a Canada Start-up Visa program.

Applicants must apply online via the Canadian government's permanent residence application portal. When they apply, they receive an instruction guide breaking down everything they need to do to apply. They must fill out all application forms, submit documentation, pay the necessary fees, submit their biometric information and submit their online application to apply.

Applicants can use an immigration representative like a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) to help them get through the Canada Start-up visa program application process effectively. Here at CanadianVisa, we have a team of certified RCICs with years of experience helping hundreds of people get their life to the next level in Canada.

Business Visitor Visa

Business Visitor Visa

This visa is for business individuals who intend to stay temporarily in Canada to engage in international business markets by growing their business, investing in into Canada or creating business connections.

The Business Visitor Visa is for potential candidates who:

  • Do not intend to enter the Canadian labour market.
  • Will not stay in Canada for over six months.
  • Have a primary income source outside Canada.
  • Meet Canada's basic entry requirements.
  • Possess sufficient documentation to validate the above requirements are true.

If you hold a business visitor visa, you're allowed to:

  • Buy or take orders for Canadian goods or services for a foreign enterprise.
  • Go to business meetings, conferences, conventions or trade fairs.
  • Provide after-sales service.
  • Receive Training from a Canadian company to work outside Canada.
  • Train employees at a Canadian company.

Applicants need a visitor visa to apply and bring a set list of official documents to their Canadian port of entry for the border officials to validate.

PNP Entrepreneur Visa

PNP Entrepreneur Visas

If you have a clear idea of which part of Canada you want to take your business idea to, one of the best ways to get your permanent residency and put your business plan into action in Canada is via a PNP entrepreneur visa in Canada.

Some of Canada's provinces have a greater need for an influx of new enterprises than others. As a result, many of the Canadian Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) have a specific entrepreneur stream explicitly designed to fast-track entrepreneurs looking to start, invest in or acquire a business in their province.

Each stream has its own specific set of eligibility criteria for the needs and industries of the specific province. The PNP Entrepreneur visa Canada streams are as follows:

PNP Entrepreneur Visa Streams
Alberta International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream
Rural Entrepreneur Stream
British Columbia Entrepreneur Immigration Stream
Manitoba Business Investor Stream
New Brunswick New Brunswick Entrepreneurial Stream
Newfoundland and Labrador International Entrepreneur Stream
International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
Northwest Territories Business Stream
Nova Scotia International Entrepreneur Stream
International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
Ontario Entrepreneur Stream
Prince Edward Island Entrepreneur Category
Yukon Business Nominee Program

Each of these streams also has its own application processes. While there is no single way to get an entrepreneur visa in Canada, there is a certain protocol for applying for any Canadian PNP that you must follow to begin your application process. There are two ways to apply for a Canadian PNP. Find out how you can apply for one of Canada's PNP Streams here.


How Much Money Do You Need To Immigrate To Canada As An Entrepreneur?

When applying through the Start-up Visa program, you will need a minimum investment of 75,000 CAD from a Canadian angel investor or 200,000 CAD investment from a Canadian venture capital fund. Your investor must be recognized by the Canadian government.

What If You're Coming To Canada To Work, Not Start A Business?

If you're looking to work in Canada, you'll need a work permit. A Canadian work permit allows you to work for a valid Canadian employer but doesn't necessarily allow you to start your own company or conduct extensive business dealing in Canada.

Here's a full breakdown of how to get a Canadian work permit.

Who Is Considered A Self-Employed Person In Canada?

A self-employed person is an individual that a company hires to perform specific duties. Other factors that make someone a self-employed person is:

  • You have the right to work for other companies;
  • You generally use your equipment and space; and
  • Your employment is not subject to the same employment legislation as those employees of the company you're hired by.

Bring Your Business To Canada

Canada's stable and rapidly growing economy is loaded with opportunities and possibilities you may not find in your home country. With many immigration streams and business pathways to Canada, moving your business to Canada is faster, easier and more accessible than ever. However, with so many options for business immigration to Canada, knowing which pathway is right for you can be daunting for the uninitiated.

If you want to ensure you find the perfect pathway to get you and your business into Canada, you should speak to a certified immigration expert. Our RCICs have years of experience and have helped hundreds of applicants find a new home and life in Canada.

Our RCICs can evaluate you to determine which immigration or visa program is best for you, create your online profiles, fill out your application forms, help you gather your documentation, curate your CV to Canadian standards, help you determine whether or not an organization is designated, represent you with certain Canadian government authorities, and provide you with all of the advice and guidance you need through every step of your application process.

Want to learn more about Canada? Subscribe to our newsletter and get an e-book on Canadian immigration filled with mesmerizing sights of Canada!

Please enter a valid phone number. is a private recognized immigration agent and is not affiliated with the Canadian Government.
Privacy policy