Federal Business and Investor Immigration to Canada

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 Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program

The IIVC program aims to bring rich and experienced business immigrants to Canada to actively invest in and advance the Canadian economy. As a pilot program during 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will offer permanent residence status to 50-60 immigrant investors and their families.

To be eligible for the program, the candidate must meet four requirements with regards to language, education, net worth and a non-guaranteed investment.

Language Skills:

  • Proven proficiency in English or French in speaking, reading, listening and writing – to be confirmed either by a language test approved by CIC
  • Original language test results, of no more than 2 years old, must be included in application


  • Completed post-secondary degree, certificate or diploma from Canada
  • Foreign educational credential to be validated by an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report from an organization designated by the CIC

Personal Net Worth:

  • Net worth of at least $10 million CAD, originating from lawful and profit-making businesses
  • If the application is deemed complete by the CIC, a due diligence report from a designated service provider will be required to prove the origins or your personal net worth.

Non-Guaranteed Investment:

  • Investment of $2 million CAD, paid to the IIVC fund for a period of 15 years, to be invested in Canadian start-ups with high growth potential

Candidates with a net worth of at least $50 million CAD, proven to be obtained legally, can submit a request to be exempted from the education requirement.  Net worth stemming from inheritance or value of primary residences will not count toward the $10 million CAD required for eligibility.

As with all Canadian immigration programs, if you are inadmissible to enter Canada, you are ineligible for the IIVC Pilot Program.

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.