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Business Migration


Program Quebec Immigrant Investor Program – The Investor Program has been suspended from November 1, 2019, until July 1, 2020, in order to allow time for the program to be reviewed. 
Minimum Net Worth CAD $2,000,000
Minimum Investment CAD $1,200,000 risk-free through an approved financial intermediary or by financing that investment.
Experience 2 years of business management experience in the past 5 years prior to the submission of an application in a specific enterprise (agricultural, commercial, or industrial, OR management experience in a governmental or international organization) and in a position defined as full-time.
EOI System No
Managerial Role No active managerial role required to apply
Business Plan None
Exploratory Visit Recommended
Interview May be required as part of the application review.
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit PR after first obtaining Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)
Additional Requirements Background check and medical examination


Program Quebec Entrepreneur Program — A new application intake period began on November 1, 2019, and is scheduled to run until September 30, 2020.
Minimum Net Worth* CAD $900,000 of financial resources.
Business ownership/operation* Holds and controls, alone or with the accompanying spouse or common-law partner at minimum 25% of the equity of the enterprise he or she creates or at least 51% of the equity of the enterprise he or she acquires.
EOI System No.
Managerial Role Required
Business Project Required
Exploratory Visit Recommended
Interview Required as a final step in the application process
Start-up deposit* CAD $300,000 for a business in the metropolitan area of Montreal or CAD $200,000 for a business outside the metropolitan area of Montreal.
PR/Work permit PR after first obtaining Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)
Additional Requirements Submit a contract to prove financial self-sufficiency and demonstrate a secondary school general diploma level of education.
Provide a performance guarantee deposit of $200,000 that is refundable if certain conditions.

* This requirement applies only to Component Two of the Entrepreneur program.


Program Quebec Self-Employed Worker Program — Application intake period from November 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020.
Minimum Net Worth CAD $100,000
Minimum Investment Not required
Experience Experience 2 years of self-employed experience in the profession or trade the applicant intends to practice in Quebec
EOI System No
Managerial Role Managerial Role Required
Business Plan None
Exploratory Visit Recommended
Interview May be required as part of the application review
Start-up deposit Start-up deposit Register a start-up deposit of at least CAD $50,000 at a local financial institution if based in the metropolitan area of Montreal or at least CAD $25,000 if based outside of Montreal.
PR/Work permit PR/Work permit PR after first obtaining Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)
Additional Requirements Submit a contract to prove financial self-sufficiency and demonstrate a secondary school general diploma level of education.


Program Start-Up Visa Program  
Minimum Net Worth N/A
Minimum Investment CCAD $200,000 if the investment comes from a designated Canadian venture capital fund or designated incubators OR CAD $75,000 if it comes from a designated Canadian angel investor group
Experience CAD $200,000 if the investment comes from a designated Canadian venture capital fund or designated incubators OR CAD $75,000 if it comes from a designated Canadian angel investor group
EOI System No
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan None
Exploratory Visit Not required
Interview Upon request by IRCC
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit PR immediately
Additional Requirements Have the support of a designated organization that will provide the applicant with a Letter of Support.
Start-up visa applicants must give proof that they sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependants after they arrive in Canada. The amount required depends on the size of the family.


Program Program Self-Employed Person Program.
Minimum Net Worth N/A
Minimum Investment Not required
Experience At least 2 years of relevant cultural or athletic experience in the past 5 years
EOI System No
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan None
Exploratory Visit Not required
Interview Upon request by IRCC
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit PR immediately
Additional Requirements English/French ability and work experience in a designated occupation
All self-employed persons must establish that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their family members for at least one year after they arrive in Canada.
Self-employed immigrants must obtain a minimum of 35 points out of 100 based on the five selection criteria and the program’s unique point system.


Program Alberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream
Minimum Net Worth CAD $500,000
Minimum Investment CAD $500,000 in a primary production farming business
Experience Farm management experience in an existing farm business
EOI System No
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Recommended
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit PR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional Requirements Canadian financial institution must finance the proposed Alberta farming business


Program BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration
Minimum Net Worth CAD $600,000
Minimum Investment CAD $200,000 OR CAD $400,000 if proposing a Key Staff Member
Experience 3 + years of business ownership or management experience OR 4 + years of senior management experience OR 1+ year of business ownership & management experience and 2+ years of senior management experience within the last 10 years.
EOI System Yes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Recommended
Interview Upon request of BC PNP
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit 2-year work period before Letter of Acceptance to apply for Permanent Residence (PR); PR contingent on implementation of the business proposal
Additional Requirements Create at least one permanent, full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with the proposed business


Program BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration — Regional Pilot (launched on March 14, 2019) 
Minimum Net Worth CAD $300,000
Minimum Investment CAD $100,000
Experience 3 + years of business ownership or management experience OR 4 + years of senior management experience OR 1+ year of business ownership & management experience and 2+ years of senior management experience within the last 10 years.
EOI System Yes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Strongly Recommended
Interview Upon request of BC PNP
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit Minimum 12-month work permit period before nomination; PR contingent on implementation of business proposal
Additional Requirements Community referral required to register; Must create at least one permanent, full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident


Program Manitoba Business Investor Stream — Entrepreneur Pathway
Minimum Net Worth CAD $500,000
Minimum Investment CAD $250,000 for businesses in the Manitoba Capital Region. OR CAD $150,000 if a business is outside of the Manitoba Capital Region AND must be made in an eligible business AND 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).
Experience Business ownership and management experience or executive-level experience in 3 of the past 5 years. AND Business owners are given higher points in comparison to senior managers. AND Business owners must have at least 33 1/3% ownership to qualify for points.
EOI System Yes
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Business research visit must be conducted no more than one year prior to the submission of an EOI.
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit Not Required
PR/Work permit Temporary work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements Score 60+ points on assessment grid
CAD $100,000 refundable deposit is not a requirement anymore.


Program Manitoba Business Investor Stream — Farm Investor Pathway
Minimum Net Worth CAD $500,000
Minimum Investment CAD $300,000 tangible assets to establish a farming business in rural Manitoba AND investments in a farm business operated primarily for the purposes of deriving passive investment income or speculative purposes are not eligible.
Experience Minimum of three years of farm business management or farm ownership and operation experience supported by verifiable documents.
EOI System Yes
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Farm Business Research Visit required.
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit CAD $75,000
PR/Work permit Temporary work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements CAD $100,000 refundable deposit is no longer required.


Program New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) — Entrepreneurial Stream
Minimum Net Worth CAD $600,000
Minimum Investment CAD $250,000
Experience 3 out of 5 years or more in owning a business OR 5 out of 5 years or more in a senior business management role
EOI System Yes
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required, must be of economic benefit to the province
Exploratory Visit Required
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit CAD $100,000
PR/Work permit PR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional Requirements 22-55 years old
CLB 5 in English or French in reading, writing, listening and speaking


Program New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) — Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial Stream.
Minimum Net Worth N/A
Minimum Investment The applicant must have 100% ownership of the equity of the eligible business.
Experience 6 or more years in the last 10 years in NOC O, A or B OR 1-5 years in the last 10 years in the NOC O, A or B
EOI System Yes
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan May be requested (business must be of economic benefit to the province)
Exploratory Visit Not specified
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit Not specified
PR/Work permit PR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional Requirements 22-40 years old
CLB 7 in English or French in reading, writing, listening and speaking
Have a valid Post-Graduation Work Permit


Program Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) — Entrepreneur Stream
Minimum Net Worth CAD $600,000
Minimum Investment CAD $150,000
Experience At least 3 years of business ownership experience including 33.3% ownership in the last 10 years OR
+5 years as senior manager in the last 10 years.
EOI System Yes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Required for business succession only
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit Must operate business for at least 1 year on work permit following nomination; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
The business must meet additional criteria
English/French minimum CLB 5


Program Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) — International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream
Minimum Net Worth N/A
Minimum Investment 100% ownership of the equity of the eligible business
Experience At least 1 continuous year of business ownership experience in Nova Scotia prior to EOI submission
Completed a degree of at least 2 years’ duration at a university/college in Nova Scotia
EOI System Yes (province may publish info on draws after future draws are made; EOI must be submitted while on valid work permit)
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan None
Exploratory Visit Required
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit PR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional Requirements The business must meet additional criteria
English/French minimum CLB 7


Program Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) — Entrepreneur Business Stream
Minimum Net Worth For businesses in Yellowknife: CAD $500,000 OR for businesses outside Yellowknife: CAD $250,000
Minimum Investment In Yellowknife: CAD $300,000 & at least 33.3% ownership OR outside Yellowknife: CAD $150,000 & at least 33.3% ownership OR CAD $1,000,000 investment
Experience Relevant business experience required
EOI System No
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Required
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit CAD $75,000
PR/Work permit 2-year work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements CLB 4 in English or French
Business must generate significant benefits for the Northwest Territories, including jobs for local residents.


Program Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) — Corporate Stream
Minimum Net Worth None
Minimum Investment CAD $5,000,000 OR CAD $10,000,000 if the proposed business is a land development or a leasehold company
Experience The international corporation must have been established for at least 36 months at the time of application
EOI System No
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Encouraged
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit Applicant & key staff first obtain work permits; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements Create 5 new jobs for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident per key staff member seeking nomination


Program Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) — Entrepreneur Stream
Minimum Net Worth For businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA): CAD $1,500,000 OR for businesses outside the GTA: CAD $800,000 OR for businesses in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of location): CAD $800,000
Minimum Investment Minimum Investment In the GTA: CAD $1,000,000 and ownership of 33.3% of the business OR Outside the GTA: $500,000 and ownership of 33.3% of the business OR In the ICT/Digital Communications sector: $500,000 and ownership of 33.3% of the business
Experience At least 36 months of full-time business experience in the last five years as business owner or senior manager
EOI System Yes (province publishes info on previous draws)
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Required for business succession only
Interview Required upon request of OINP
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit Temporary work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements Sign a Performance Agreement with Ontario
English/French minimum CLB 4
Create at least 2 permanent, full-time jobs for a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident


Program Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI-PNP) – Work Permit Stream
Minimum Net Worth CAD $600,000
Minimum Investment N/A
Experience Management experience required
EOI System Yes
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Recommended
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit CAD $7,500 of $10,000 application fee is refunded if the application is declined or withdrawn.
PR/Work permit Letter of support from the province to apply for a work permit; Obtain nomination once all of the terms and conditions of Performance Agreement are met.
Additional Requirements CLB 4 in English or French; minimum education of secondary school equivalent
21-59 years old


Program Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI-PNP) – Partial Ownership (terminated)
Minimum Net Worth CAD $600,000
Minimum Investment CAD $150,000 and own a percentage of equity in an existing business of at least 1/3 ownership OR $1,000,000 investment
Experience Management experience required
EOI System Yes
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required, must fall within an eligible sector of business set out by the provincial govt
Exploratory Visit Required
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit CAD $200,000
PR/Work permit PR after obtaining nomination certificate
Additional Requirements Submit an investment agreement
Minimum IELTS band score of 4.0 within the last 2 years
Score 50+ points on assessment grid


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Program Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI-PNP) — 100% Ownership (terminated)
Minimum Net Worth CAD $600,000
Minimum Investment CAD $150,000
Experience Management experience required
EOI System Yes
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Not specified
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit CAD $200,000
PR/Work permit PR after obtaining provincial nomination certificate
Additional Requirements CLB 4 in English or French
21-59 years old


Program Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) – Entrepreneur Category 
Minimum Net Worth CAD $500,000
Minimum Investment CAD $300,000 in Regina or Saskatoon and at least 33.3% ownership OR $200,000 in any other Saskatchewan community and at least 33.3% ownership OR CAD $1,000,000 investment or more
Experience At least 3 years’ experience as an entrepreneur or managing a business in the past 10 years
EOI System Yes
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Required for business succession, joint ventures, and regional business opportunities
Interview Upon request by SINP
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit 2-year work permit; PR contingent upon meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements Sign a Performance Agreement
Create 2+ employment opportunities if establishing a business in Regina or Saskatoon


Program Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) – Farm Owner/Operator Category
Minimum Net Worth CAD $500,000
Minimum Investment N/A
Experience Farming operation ownership experience using agricultural practices similar to those used in Saskatchewan-based farming
EOI System No
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Farm Establishment Plan (FEP) required
Exploratory Visit Required
Interview Upon request
Refundable Deposit CAD $75,000
PR/Work permit PR after obtaining nomination certificate
Additional Requirements Submit a Farm Establishment Plan
Sign a Performance Agreement


Program Yukon Business Nominee Program (YBNP)
Minimum Net Worth CAD $500,000 (including CAD $300,000 in liquid assets)
Minimum Investment CAD $300,000 and at least 1/3 ownership with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident partner
Experience Minimum of 3 years entrepreneurial/business management experience & minimum of 5 years relevant work experience
EOI System Yes
Managerial Role Required
Business Plan Required
Exploratory Visit Recommended, applicants are awarded points for past visits
Interview Required
Refundable Deposit Not required
PR/Work permit 2-year work permit; PR contingent on meeting program requirements
Additional Requirements Business must be in a strategic sector, as identified by the territory
Must score 65+ points on the assessment grid

Owner Operator LMIA

The Owner Operator LMIA is one of the most useful tools for Business Immigrants who can meet the Express Entry requirements as it helps in improving Comprehensive Score Rating CRS by 200 points. This program is the only hope for those qualified and experienced applicants who are eligible to create Express Entry profile, but their CRS score is too low to beat the current threshold cut-off.

Work permits may be issued to foreign nationals( the applicant) whose proposed Canadian employer( The applicant himself) has obtained an opinion from Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”), which ensures that the job offer( to the applicant only) is genuine; and would likely have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian labour market.

There are a few things to note:

  • Start-up issues: It may be difficult for a start-up business to qualify, as it would not be “actively engaged in the business”. It is possible to get Owner Operator LMIA for a start-up, but the clients should have made some investments in leasehold improvements or equipment and shows some operations before the application for LMIA is made.
  • Business Purchases: It would thus be easier to purchase a business rather than start up a new Enterprise, as applicant could show that the business is running, and he is “actively engaged” in the business.
  • Role of the Owner Operator prior to LMIA approval: There must be absolute clarity with respect to the Owner Operator’s role in the business. While one must be able to show that the employer company, which the Owner Operator wishes to purchase is “actively engaged in the business”, and after buying the business, it is necessary to show that the proposed Owner Operator is already involved in the business?
  • Owner Operator’s future role: Applicants would need to show that they are needed in the business. If the business already has a manager, and the Officer may question the need for the owner operator to be in Canada unless we prove that the things the Canadian manager could do are limited and that the business needed to have an Owner Operator to really take overall responsibility.
  • Ability to afford Owner Operator:Ensure that the company has sufficient financial resources to be able to hire and pay, the Owner Operator, especially if there is a salary commitment to owner operator.
  • Compliance with Employment laws: Ensure that the business being purchased has been compliant insofar as per the recruiting and employment laws and it has not been “blacklist” by ESDC
  • LMIA Exempt Work Permits for Start-ups: If the client really wished to start a particular business from scratch, it may be better to have him/her obtain a Work Permit as a Free Trade Investor or one of the LMIA Exempt categories ( under C10 or C11) first, and then apply for the Owner Operator LMIA after the business has been established and operating.

TFWP Owner Operator Guidelines

For the purposes of the TFWP, “Owner/Operators” are defined as foreign nationals who hold a share in a business located in Canada and are classified under NOC 0, or 00 occupation. Owner/Operators are not the same as self-employed individuals and are not required to be hands-on with the day to day operations of the company.

“LMIA exemptions are determined by CIC under C-10 or C11 where CIC may issue a work permit without an LMIA, if it is determined that the foreign national would create or maintain significant social, cultural or economic benefits and job opportunities for Canadians. ESDC Canada is required to assess all LMIA applications. Although an employer-employee relationship is generally required in order to provide an LMIA, there are certain situations, such as the owner/operators, where the principal owner would also serve as the worker.

An officer is to consider the following in deciding as to whether an offer of employment to a foreign national would have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian Labour Market. Whether the employment of the foreign national will or is likely to result in direct job creation or job retention for Canadian citizens or permanent resident. ESDC officers must examine all the evidence put before them, then decide as to whether or not issuing the owner operator LMIA would have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian labour market.

The holder of the largest share of the business is the “Principal Owner”. Where there are few equal shareholders, one of them can be designated as the “Principal Owner. Also no Advertising is required as this is noted in the “Variations to Minimum Advertising Requirements” on the ESDC website.

TFWP Owner Operator Guidelines

  • Direct ownership vs Holding Companies: Based on recent guidance from ESDC, the Owner/Operator must own his or her share in the operating business directly. Business Immigrants who own shares in the operating company for voting rights only would not likely qualify.
  • Licences and Registrations: Any licences or registrations that may be required to operate the business should be obtained or at least be in process at the time of the application.
  • Location: The business location should be identified or at least secured at the time of the application (e.g. a lease for a property). This is particularly important for start-up businesses that may not be in operation at the time of the application. If there are multiple business locations that the applicant will work at, clearly indicate as such in the application.
  • Forms: Although ESDC’s LMIA application forms were not designed for the Owner Operator LMIA, it is important to complete all fields of the forms. For fields that may not be applicable because of the claim for an Owner Operator LMIA, clearly state that the field is not applicable and, if necessary, explain why the field is not applicable.
  • Supporting Business Documentation: Include evidence that the business can operate and is ready to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents. This can include past financial statements, information from websites demonstrating the business’ past activities, the inclusion of public information about employees (e.g. employee pages from business websites), pictures of the business, etc.
  • Job description for the Owner Operator: While the Bulletin states that Owner/Operators need not be involved in the hands-on operation of their business, it is always helpful to prepare the Business Immigrant with explaining what their role in the business will be crucial and very important.
  • Know the Business: Ensure that the Business Immigrant is knowledgeable about the business being purchased prior to his or her interview with ESDC.
  • Median Wages: Prepare the Business Immigrant for a possible request by ESDC to pay median wages. Some ESDC officers have insisted on seeing median wages paid, even though the Bulletin states this is not necessary for the Principal owner.
  • Language: It is worthwhile to note that the Business Immigrants’ language ability is not crucial to the success of the LMIA. If the Business Immigrant cannot speak English fluently, ESDC has permitted the use of a translator. Having said that, the Business Immigrant should be prepared to work to improve their English in order comply with the terms of any transition plan or representation that permanent residence will be pursued.
  • Conditional Purchase of a Business: For Owner Operator LMIAs ESDC has all right to question the eligibility of business purchases which is conditional and is subject to a work permit approval for the Business Immigrant. It remains to be seen if ESDC will develop a consistent policy regarding Owner Operator LMIA applications where a Business Immigrant’s business purchase is subject to work permit approval for the Business Immigrant. As a matter of speculation, one might consider whether proof of a significant and non-refundable deposit of funds for such a business purchase could be a beneficial factor to an Owner Operator LMIA applicant.
  • Business Plan: There must be a clear and genuine business plan to be submitted with the application which can assist the ESDC officer in understanding the basic concept and operations of the business. The business plan should also clearly demonstrate the genuineness of the business as well as the employment of the Owner Operator and that, it is likely to have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market.
  • It remains to be seen if ESDC will develop a consistent policy regarding Owner Operator LMIA applications where a Business Immigrant’s business purchase is subject to work permit approval for the Business Immigrant. As a matter of speculation, one might consider whether proof of a significant and non-refundable deposit of funds for such a business purchase could be a beneficial factor to an Owner Operator LMIA applicant.

    Remember that the ultimate goal in the application is to assist the ESDC officer in understanding the basic concept and operation of the business as possible to demonstrate the genuineness of the business and that the employment of the Owner Operator is likely to have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market.

    Popular job sites are listed below:

    • Workopolis
    • Eluta
    • Neuvoo
    • Monster
    • Glassdoor
    • CareerBuilder
    • Indeed
    • Jobboom
    • Simply Hired

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