Who Qualifies for the Canadian Business Visa Program

Who Can Apply for the Canadian Business Class Visa?

The business class visa is a program for immigration experienced business persons who can stimulate national and regional economic development in Canada with their financial capital and business knowledge. The business class represents a small class of overall immigration. The business applicants are selected primarily on their ability to create job for themselves and other Canadians.

Do I Need to Have Experience to Apply under the Canadian Business Class or Self-Employed Class?

The business class or the self-employed class is geared towards applicants who have relevant experience as well as the intention and the ability to create their own employment and make a significant contribution to the cultural, artistic and athletic life of Canada or to create their own employment by purchasing and managing a farm in Canada. An applicant in this class must demonstrate a sufficient financial net worth, although somewhat less than an entrepreneur. The finances should be sufficient to enable the applicant to be self-employed in Canada and make significant contribution to the specified economic activities.

By the definition, the business class must have generally relevant experience and the intention and the ability to be self-employed and make a significant contribution to the specified economic activities.

“Relevant experience” is not the same as “business experience”. Self-employed applicants must instead have experience that involves at least two years of cultural activities, athletics or purchase and management of a farm. Examples of this experience class may include music teachers, painters, film makers and coaches and trainers.

The other important factor for this class of applicants is to demonstrate the intention and ability to establish a business that will, at a minimum create employment for him/her and that will make significant contribution to the Canadian economy.

What Kind of Experience do I need to have to Qualify under the Canadian Business Class?

The most important qualifying factor for the business class is relevant experience in the business. The relevant experience a self-employment class applicant means at least two years experience. It must be during the period starting five years before the day the application is made and ending the day when a decision is made on the application. The experience must be:

  • For cultural activities:
  • two one-year periods of experience in self-employment in cultural activities, or
  • two one-year period experience in participation in world class level in cultural activities, or
  • a combination of on-year period of experience in participation described in the first category and one-year experience described in the second category
  • For athletic activities:
  • two one-year periods of experience in self-employment in athletics, or
  • two one-year period experience in participation in world class level in athletics, or
  • a combination of on-year period of experience in participation described in the first category and one-year experience described in the second category
  • For buying and managing a farm:
  • one-year experience in managing a farm

How Can I come to Canada as an Entrepreneur?

To strengthen the economic growth and creation of more jobs in the country Canada is in need to entrepreneurs to start-up businesses. To achieve this, to attract start-up entrepreneurs, Canada gives permanent residence visa to applicants who qualify as entrepreneurs.

The Start-Up Visa Program was started as a pilot project in April 2013. The program aims to recruit innovative entrepreneurs to Canada and link them to the Canadian private sector businesses, (angle investor groups, venture capital funds or business incubator) and facilitate the establishment of their start-up businesses in Canada.

A successful candidate receives a letter of support from a government designated entity (angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator). The government designated entity is primarily responsible to determine the viability of the applicant’s intended business and present an approved project along with a Commitment Certificate to immigration authorities. Applications are assessed under a pass fail basis.

What Qualification do I need to have to apply as an Entrepreneur?

Before applying as an entrepreneur in the start-up visa program, the applicant needs to secure from a designated angel broking group or venture capital fund to invest in a business idea. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has collaborated with Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, the National Angel Capital Organization and the Canadian Acceleration and Business Incubation Association to identify the participating private sector organizations.

A start-up business, which must be a new business intended to operate in Canada, must obtain a Commitment Certificate, by meeting the criteria of a qualifying business, from:

  • a designated angel investor group confirming that it is investing at least $75,000 in a qualifying business or two or more designated angel investor groups confirming that they are together investing a total of at least $75,000 in such a business;
  • a designated venture capital fund confirming that it is investing a total of al least $200,000 in a qualifying business or two or more designated venture capital funds confirming they are together investing a total of at least $ 200,000 in such a business; or
  • a designated business incubator confirming that it is accepting the application into its business incubator program

What is the Selection Factor to Qualify under the Canadian Business Class?

In order to qualify for the business class, an entrepreneur or a self-employed application has to first meet the qualifications discussed hereinbefore.

Thereafter follows the assessment against the five selection criteria and a point system. The five selection criteria are:

  • age
  • education
  • language proficiency in English and French
  • experience
  • adaptability

The maximum marks for the assessment is 100. An applicant must obtain a minimum 35 marks to qualify for immigration to Canada. The pass marks of 35 changes quite often and therefore an applicant must find out the pass marks at the time his application is processed for immigration to Canada as a business immigrant.

Selection is based on the documents that the applicant provides and as assessment of the applicants score under each selection criteria. As a part of the selection process for immigration, an interview may be required. During this selection as a part of the immigration process, an applicant might be called for an interview. During the interview, a visa officer would ask the applicant to explain any information that is unclear or inconsistent or any shortcomings or gaps in the documents provided with the visa application. If there is any difference between the assessment of the applicant’s qualification and the visa officer’s assessment, the officer’s assessment will prevail.

Business Class Point System:

Selection factor Maximum points
Age 10
Education 25
Language proficiency 24
Business experience

5 years-35points

4 years-30 points

3 years-25 points

2 years-20 points

Adaptability 6

Age, education and language proficiency are all measured in the same manner as for skilled workers. However, assessment of experience and adaptability vary depending on whether the applicant is applying as entrepreneur or self-employed person. The pass marks for category of applicants is 35 marks.

How we can help obtaining your Business Visa to Canada!!

The Canadian business immigration program seeks to develop new commercial opportunities and improve access to growing foreign market. Individuals with business/managerial experience and relatively high net worth may be eligible to apply for Canadian immigration. However, a business immigrant is granted visa immigrate following serious considerations to the intention and ability to run a business in Canada. The assessment of ability is based on the presentation of the credentials of an applicant through his application and the representation made by the applicant. This is where our professional experience comes in and will help you throughout the whole process providing you step by step guidance. Our immigration professionals have assisted many business professional obtaining their business visa to Canada, we can help you too. Whether you have a question, or are looking to book a consultation in person or over the phone with one of our representatives, feel free to give us a call today at 416-477-2545 or toll free at 1-877-820-7121.

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