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Business Immigration


The Federal government of Canada offers visas to business persons who can attract start-up capital from Canadian investors, as well as to self-employed persons who are world caliber athletes, artists, musicians or successful farmers. All other business persons must apply through the provincial nominee programs.

Canada has ten provinces and 3 territories and only the territory of Nunavut does not have an immigrant nominee program. Of the other provinces and territories, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland do not have business immigration programs.

In all cases the business applicants must be successful business people or senior managers with net assets ranging from C$300,000 to C$5,000,000, and be willing to invest from C$150,000 to C$3,000,000, and hire one to five Canadians, that are not members of their family (click here for program comparison chart).

For more details, please visit Provincial Nominee Business Applicants.


Canada is a country in North America consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Canada is the world's second-largest country by total area and the fourth-largest country by land area.

Canada is a developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, with the tenth highest nominal per capita income globally, and the eighth highest ranking in the Human Development Index. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. Canada was consistently rated by the UN as the world's best country to live in.

As a high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high living standards. Since World War II, the impressive growth of the manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one primarily industrial and urban. Canada enjoys a substantial trade surplus with the US, which absorbs about three-fourths of Canadian merchandise exports each year.

The OECD compared the performance of school students in 65 countries in mathematics, reading and science. Students in Canadian schools performed better than students from any other English speaking country. Canada's health care is publicly (tax-payer) funded: payment is generally not required for medical treatment; although, depending on the province you live in, it's probable you'll pay for pharmaceuticals and dental care.


Since the termination of the Federal Entrepreneur and Investor programs, the British Columbia (BC) business programs have become very popular. The BC government accepts entrepreneur applications for successful business persons or senior managers who want to establish a new business or purchase an existing business anywhere outside Metropolitan Vancouver


  • Open to citizens of all countries with a minimum of 3 years of business or senior management experience in the last 5 years. Applications are taking 9-12 months to process at this time by the BC government. Once approved applicants arrive on work permits and are expected to start their business.
  • After operating the business successfully and meeting all the terms of the performance agreement, be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada, which is expedited for PNP applicants.
  • After 4 years of residency in the previous 6 years in Canada, applicants and their families may apply for citizenship.
  • Canadian citizens can travel to 173 countries without a visa and can hold other citizenships.

1. Entrepreneur Category

The applicants must:

  1. Purchase an existing business or establish a new business anywhere outside of Metropolitan Vancouver;
  2. Employ at least 1 full time employee that is not a member of the owner's family;
  3. Have three years of business or four years of senior management experience within the last 5 years;
  4. Have minimum personal net assets of C$600,000;
  5. Intend to invest a minimum of C$200,000 in (and acquire at least one-third equity ownership) of the business;
  6. Use C$50,000 of the minimum purchase or investment towards expansion or renovation.
Key Persons

This allows the applicant to propose key foreign managerial, professional or technical staff who have worked for two years full time with the applicant and intends to become a Canadian permanent resident. Applicants must provide evidence of good business practices and successful business operations, and demonstrate that the proposed key staff members are essential to the business operation in BC. For each key person the applicant must invest an additional C$200,000 and hire three additional Canadians or permanent residents

2. Farming Businesses Only

Applications proposing agricultural activities must include a feasibility assessment of the proposed business prepared by a consultant from the List of Eligible Consultants approved by the Ministry of Agriculture under its B.C. Farm Business.


Personal Requirements

Admissibility: You must have been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently reside. In addition, you must not:

  1. be prohibited from entering Canada
  2. be or have been in Canada illegally
  3. have an unresolved refugee claim in Canada
  4. be under a removal order in Canada

Regardless of where you establish your business, you (and your spouse or common-law partner) must have a minimum of C$600,000 in personal net worth. Your personal net worth must have been legally obtained and verifiable.

You must meet the minimum business experience of

  1. more than 3 years of experience as an active business owner-manager (business ownership of 10% or more), or
  2. more than 4 years of experience as a senior manager (no business ownership or ownership of less than 10%), or
  3. a combination of at least 1 year of experience as an active business owner-manager and at least 2 years of experience as a senior manager.

Investment Requirements

You will make an eligible personal investment derived from your personal net worth of at least C$200,000 in the proposed business.

  1. Typical business expenditures include purchase of existing business assets (including inventory) or equity, new equipment purchases, costs related to an improvement/expansion plan, new marketing costs or operating expenses.
  2. Eligibility of expenditure is assessed based on whether the expenditure is essential in establishing the proposed business. Some investment items may not be eligible while others may be eligible with limitations.

If you are proposing a key staff person in your application, you must make a minimum investment of C$400,000 in the proposed business.

  1. C$300,000 must be made towards the establishment of the business.
  2. C$100,000 must be made towards the improvement/expansion of the business.

Job Requirements

  • You must demonstrate that you will create at least 1 permanent, new full-time equivalent job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada in the proposed business.
  • If you're proposing a key staff person, you must create at least 3 permanent, new full-time equivalent jobs.
  • If you purchased an existing business, you must commit to maintain the number of existing jobs in the business, and pay your employee(s) a wage that is commensurate to their skill level of the position created.
  • In order to be approved for nomination, you must demonstrate that you have consistently employed the required number of full-time equivalent jobs for at least six months before submitting your Final Report (documentation that demonstrates you have met the performance expectations described in your signed Performance Agreement.).


Stage 1: Preparation & Registration

First, we will conduct research and arrange visits for you to find a suitable existing business in BC or create a new one. Once you decide which business to purchase or establish, we will then complete an online Entrepreneur Immigration Registration. Your application will be assessed based on your age, language ability, educational and professional background, and your profile will be placed into the selection pool. The online registration will be processed within 4 weeks.

Stage 2: Application

Periodically, the BC PNP will invite the highest-scoring registrants to submit an application. If invited to apply, you will have 4 months to submit a complete application. The application will be processed within 3-4 months of receipt by the BC-PNP.

Your online profile will expire if it stays in the selection pool for more than 6 months and you were not invited to apply. We will need to submit a new registration for you using a more competitive plan.

If the application is approved, you will sign a Performance Agreement (which outlines the performance expectations you must meet for nomination) with the Province of BC. You will have up to 20 months to implement your business proposal in B.C while on a 2-year work permit.

Stage 3: Nomination for Permanent Residence

If you meet the requirements of the Performance Agreement within the 20 months, the BC PNP will nominate you for permanent residence. You and your dependent family members can then apply for permanent residence under the Provincial Nominee class with Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


BC Goverment
BC-PNP Online Registration $300
BC-PNP Processing Fee for primary Applicant $3,500
BC-PNP Processing Fee for Key Staff $1,000
Audit Fee $3,000 - $5,000(est)
Federal Goverment
Work Permit $155
Study Permit $155
Permanent Residence for Each Adult $1040
Permanent Residence for Each Dependant Child $150


Settlement in a new country is a very exciting period where immigrants learn about the new environment and local culture. It can also be a difficult time dealing with changes and the stress of settlement. We will work with each client and their family to identify their settlement goals, and help them use available resources to meet their settlement needs. Our affiliates may provide support for:

  • Transportation on first day of client's arrival
  • Getting settled in your community
  • Find housing, see here for further details
  • Find a job, see here for further details
  • Provide guidance to all business people who need help with the establishment of their business, see here for further details
  • Find childcare services and register your children in school
  • Get information about government services, such as healthcare and social agencies
  • Fill out forms and applications to access government programs and services


Stevens and Associates has access to a network of high quality real estate agents and agencies, who may provide support for our clients to find housing based on their settlement needs and budgets.Read More.

In addition, we assist in the acquisition of qualified businesses. This might include researching purchase options based on the client's background and work experience, presenting options to the client, negotiating with the vendor on behalf of the client, preparing a purchase and sale agreement with the help of qualified lawyers, and executing the transaction. Read More.

For more details, please contact our office or complete an online enquiry form.


Canada has ten provinces and 3 territories and only the territory of Nunavut does not have an immigrant nominee program. Of the other provinces and territories, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland do not have business immigration programs.


In all cases the business applicants must be:

  • Successful business people or senior managers with net assets ranging from C$300,000 to C$5,000,000
  • and be willing to invest from C$150,000 to C$3,000,000
  • and hire one to five Canadians, that are not members of their family (click here for program comparison chart).