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FAQs: Business Immigration

Note, as of July 1, 2012, CIC has temporarily stopped accepting applications for the federal Investor Program to focus on processing the applications already in process while the program is under review. This pause on new applications will continue until further notice. It does not apply to the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program.

Investors must invest C$800,000 in Canada but are not required to manage their investment on a daily basis once they arrive.

Entrepreneurs must invest in and help manage a business in Canada. The business must create at least one job for someone other than a member of their immediate family. After they arrive in Canada, they must be able to show that they comply with these conditions, should it be required of them to demonstrate this to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Self-employed persons are selected based on their intention and ability to create a job for themselves. They must:

  • work in a cultural field,
  • work in an athletic occupation or
  • buy and manage a farm in Canada.

The start-up visa, a new program offered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, enables immigrant entrepreneurs to launch innovative companies that will create jobs in Canada and, eventually, compete globally. The Start-Up Visa Program links immigrant entrepreneurs with private sector groups in Canada that have experience working with start-ups and can provide essential resources.

What additional documents must I send with my application?

Along with the usual documents you need to immigrate to Canada, you must provide documents that show your business experience. These could include:

  • financial statements,
  • corporate and personal income tax returns,
  • tax assessments,
  • bank statements,
  • business licenses,
  • letters of reference or promotional material

What does business experience mean?

Business experience means at least two years of experience, including two one-year periods managing a qualifying business and controlling a percentage of its equity.

You must have gained your business experience in the period that:

  • begins five years before you send your application and
  • ends on the day Citizenship and Immigration Canada makes a decision on your application.

How do I prove that I earned my net worth legally?

You will be asked to explain any large differences between your net income over the years and your present net worth. The immigration officer assessing your application may ask you for documents to prove both your income sources and your net worth. You may be required to provide bank statements and other such financial documentation.

Where do I apply as a business immigrant?

If you are applying to the Federal Self-Employed Program, you must send your application to the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia. If you are applying for a start-up visa, you must send your application to the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

CIC is currently not accepting applications to the Federal Entrepreneur Program or the Immigrant Investor Program until further notice.

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For further information with respect to your Canadian immigration, we invite you to contact our experienced immigration representatives.

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