START-UP VISA PROGRAM
Most of the programs for business persons are run by the provinces and each province has different requirements. There are also two federal programs for business people: Start-Up Visa Program and Self-employed program.
A prospective immigrant may be a member of the start-up business class if he or she:
- plans to live outside of Quebec;
- is involved in a qualifying incorporated business in which the applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights and at least 50% of the voting rights attached to all shares are owned by the applicant and/or other foreign national partners who are seeking to be members of the start-up business class in respect of the same business;
- has no more than 5 other foreign national partners who are seeking to be members of the start-up business class in respect of the same business
- has obtained a significant commitment for their business idea from designated angel investors or venture capital funds;
- met minimum levels of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) in all modules; and
- has at least enough transferable and available funds to support his or her family in Canada for about 6 months, as determined by reference to the Low-Income Cut-Off threshold set by Statistics Canada.
Many provinces offer nominations to some business people, but each of these programs have different requirements and investment thresholds. Generally though, they require a person to have a high net worth and to make a substantial investment in creating or growing a business in the province selected. Passive investment generally is not sufficient and the applicant must instead prove they have experience running a business and that they will manage the business upon arrival. In addition, there are highly restrictive quotas on these programs, so it is possible that some programs will be periodically closed throughout the year.