Q1: What is the Business Immigration Program?
The Business Immigration Program is a category of immigration under which individuals with business/managerial experience and relatively high net-worth may apply for Canadian permanent resident status. There are three sub-categories under the Business Immigration Program: Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Immigrants.
Q2: What documents must Business Immigration Program applicants submit?
In addition to government application forms, education-related and general documents such as passports, birth certificates, police clearance certificates, etc., business immigration applicants must submit documents demonstrating their business being as a qualified business and/or managerial experience, as well as evidences of their net worth.
Q3: How can I qualify as an Immigrant Investor?
Currently, there are two programs for investors who wish to immigrate to Canada; Federal program and Quebec program
As an Immigrant Investor planning to invest and reside in any province in Canada, except Quebec, you must:
1. have a net worth of at least $ 1,600,000 Canadian Dollars gained through your own endeavors and through lawful and legal business activities;
2. invest $ 800,000 Canadian Dollars for a period of five years with Citizenship and Immigration Canada which acts as agent on behalf of provincial and territorial investment funds; and
3. have successfully operated, controlled or directed a business or managed a minimum of 5 employees for a period of 2 years.
As an applicant destined for Quebec, you must:
1. have a net worth of at least $ 1,600,000 Canadian Dollars, accumulated through legitimate economic activities;
2. invest $ 800,000 Canadian Dollars for five years in a Quebec-approved investment fund; and
3. have at least three years of managerial experience in a profitable commercial, industrial or agricultural business; or, at least three years of managerial experience in a government, governmental organization, or international organization.
NOTE: There are financial institutions in Canada that finance your investment. In cases you do not want to invest the $ 800,000 Canadian Dollars for a period of five years, you can use the financing option in which you pay $ 180,000 Canadian Dollars instead. Note that as opposed to the $ 800,000 investment, the $ 180,000 is not refundable.
Q4: How can I qualify as an Immigrant Entrepreneur?
To qualify as an Immigrant Entrepreneur, you must:
have successfully managed a commercial enterprise (or a part of a commercial enterprise);
have sufficient assets to establish or acquire a business in Canada;
establish, invest in or acquire a business in Canada within two years of arrival; and actively participate in the management of the business (the business must employ at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident, other than yourself and your dependents).
Q5: What are the terms and conditions of the Entrepreneur Visa?
An Immigrant Entrepreneur must, within two years of landing in Canada, establish, purchase, or make a substantial investment in a business in Canada so as to make a significant contribution to the economy. Active and on-going participation in the management of the business is required, and employment opportunities must be created or continued for one or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents, other than the Immigrant Entrepreneur and the Immigrant Entrepreneur's dependents. Efforts to comply with these terms and conditions must be demonstrated to an immigration official throughout the two-year period. Entrepreneurs will be required to report their progress to immigration officials on a regular basis during this two-year period.
Q6: As an Immigrant Entrepreneur, will I be permitted to change my business plan?
After landing in Canada, you may find that the local economic climate does not lend itself to the type of business plan originally proposed. In such cases, you are well-advised to modify your business plan. However, a meeting with an immigration official should be held to ensure that the new business is acceptable.
Q7: What happens if I fail to meet the terms and conditions of my Immigrant Entrepreneur visa?
Immigrant Entrepreneurs who fail to satisfy the terms and conditions of their visa may be ordered to leave Canada.
Q8: How can I qualify as a Self-Employed Immigrant?
To qualify as a Self-Employed Immigrant, you must demonstrate an intention and ability to establish or purchase a business in Canada that will keep you employed and make a significant contribution to the economy or the cultural or artistic life of Canada. The business must generate sufficient revenues to support you and your dependents. Farmers, artisans, sports personalities, actors, consultants, and operators of small business outlets that may be in demand in outlying communities are examples of the applicants who may qualify.
Assessment in this category is based on:
business ability and experience (when applying under the economic contribution component of the Self-Employed Immigrant description);
farming, athletic (at a world level) or artistic qualifications; and
net worth (sufficient to establish/purchase the proposed business).
Q9: Must I, as a business category immigration applicant, make an exploratory visit to Canada during the immigration process?
As an Immigrant Entrepreneur you are encouraged to make an exploratory visit to Canada to properly assess the business environment of the area in which you intend to locate.
Q10: Are there any minimum net worth requirements for Self-Employed Immigrants?
The net worth requirement for Self-Employed Immigrants varies depending on the nature and location of the proposed venture.
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