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Federal Business Immigration Programs

Canada seeks out individuals with business experience, who are willing to make an investment in Canada or own and actively manage a business in Canada. Under the Federal business immigration programs, individuals are selected for Canadian immigration visas based on their ability to create jobs and contribute to a strong and prosperous Canadian economy.

If the applicant can demonstrate they meet the criteria associated with the specific category, their application will be assessed in relation to the following factors: age, work experience & language proficiency. The Federal business immigration categories do not require applicants to submit results of an approved language proficiency test.
 There are several ways to qualify for immigration to Canada under the business class:

Federal Self-Employed Program

The Self-Employed class of the Federal business immigration program is designed to attract individuals that have the intent and ability to come to Canada and establish themselves economically. In order to qualify as Self-Employed, the applicant must have the required artistic, cultural, or farm management experience that will allow them to be self-employed and make a meaningful contribution to Canadian society.

The required experience for a self-employed person is two years of relevant experience, which can be broken down into:

• Two 1-year periods of self-employed experience in cultural or athletic activities, within the 5 years preceding an application.

• Two 1-year periods of experience in participation at a world class level in cultural or athletic activities, within the 5 years preceding an application.

• Two 1-year periods of experience in farm management.

Applicants under this Canadian immigration program can combine one year of self-employment in a cultural activity, with one year of experience at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics, in order to qualify. For a list of eligible occupations, click here.

Applicants will be assessed based on their experience, education, age, ability to speak English or French, and their ability to adapt to Canadian culture.  It also will be necessary to have a medical assessment and a police certificate to ensure admissibility to Canada for security reasons.

Federal Investor Immigration Program [CLOSED]

NOTE: The Federal Investor Immigration Program is currently closed. If you qualify under this program, consider the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) as an alternative.

Business experience

• The business experience for the Federal investor immigration category, cannot be from a business whose purpose was to solely generate investment income (interest, dividends, or capital gains). This business experience must be lawful and any income must be derived from a lawful source. Business experience must be accumulated for 2 full years out of the five years, before submitting the application. It can then be shown in one of two ways:

• Management of five full-time employees or the equivalent of five full-time people


• By showing that the investor meets two of the following four requirements:

If the equity of the business is 100% owned and controlled by the investor: 

1. Full-time employee equivalents: 2

2. Total annual sales, or gross income: $500,000 CAD

3. Total annual net income: $50,000 CAD

4. Net assets: $125,000 CAD

If the investor owns less than 100% of the business, the aforementioned numbers are decreased in proportion to the investor's equity in the business.

Minimum net worth means that an applicant submitting a Canadian immigration application under the Investor Class must have a minimum net worth of at least $1,600,000 in order to qualify.

Net worth is determined by proving the fair market value of the investor's assets and their spouse's assets minus the total of their liabilities, which also must have their fair market value proven.

Minimum investment means that the applicant is willing to make a five year, interest-free, guaranteed deposit with the Canadian government in the amount of $800,000 CAD. Alternatively, the applicant may choose to finance the investment through a Canadian financial institution. For more information on financing, please fill out the form above.

Federal Entrepreneur Immigration Category [CLOSED]

NOTE: This program is currently closed.  If you qualify under this program, please consider the Quebec Entrepreneur Immigration Program as an alternative.

In order to be eligible for Canadian Permanent Residency as an Entrepreneur, a number of requirements must be met.

An Entrepreneur must:

• Have business experience consisting of 2 years of experience within the last 5 years

• Have a minimum net worth of $300,000 CDN, this amount must be obtained legally

Abide by the conditions set out for Entrepreneurs after arrival in Canada.


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