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Exploring Canadian Business Immigration Programs: An Alternative to Express Entry

While the Express Entry system is the most well-known pathway for skilled workers, Canada also offers an attractive option for business-minded individuals through its Business Immigration Programs. Below, we'll delve into these programs, with a specific focus on the avenue of buying a business a route to gaining permanent residence in Canada.

Understanding Canadian Business Immigration Programs Canadian Business Immigration Programs are designed to attract entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed individuals who can contribute to the country's economic growth. These programs aim to stimulate job creation, investment, and innovation. While there are several pathways within the business immigration category, one particularly intriguing option is the Entrepreneur Work Permit category, which allows you to purchase an existing Canadian business or start a new one.

Business meeting
Business meeting

Advantages of Buying a Business in Canada

  1. Immediate Entry: Unlike Express Entry, where you wait for an Invitation to Apply (ITA), the Entrepreneur category allows you to enter Canada as soon as your application for a Work Permit is approved. This can significantly expedite your relocation plans.

  2. Business Ownership: Owning a business in Canada gives you not only a means of immigration but also a source of income and potential for growth. This provides stability and long-term prospects for you and your family.

  3. Job Creation: When you buy or start a business, you have the opportunity to create jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, contributing to the local economy.

  4. Adaptability: Business immigrants often find it easier to adapt to Canadian life, as they become actively involved in the local community through their businesses.

  5. Family Inclusion: Business immigration programs often include provisions for including your family members in your application, allowing them to join you in Canada.

Requirements for Buying a Business in Canada While the specific requirements may vary here is an overview of criteria for business immigration under the Entrepreneur Work Permit category:

  1. Investment Amount: You must make a substantial investment in a Canadian business. The federal program does not specify an amount for a business, depending on business type and location in Canada, but can range from $150,000 to $1.5 million CAD.

  2. Business Ownership: You must own and actively manage a qualifying business in Canada. Applicants must own at least 50% of the business.

  3. Job Creation: You are typically required to create and maintain a certain number of jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

  4. Language Proficiency: Prove your proficiency in either English or French, as communication skills are essential for running a business and integrating into Canadian society.

  5. Business Plan: Provide a detailed business plan outlining your business concept, strategies, and financial projections.

  6. Relevant Experience: Applicants must convince the visa officer that they have relevant experience to run their business and bring it to a point where it creates jobs for Canadians and Permanent Residents. Basically, if you are a baker in your home country, don't but a car repair business, stick to the same or relevant field.

IT is a great field to start a business in Canada
IT is a great field to start a business in Canada


At the end of the day, Express Entry will still be used by those business owners who are working in Canada on their own business; however, the business owner applicant will be able to secure a job offer from their own company as Director, granting an additional 200 CRS points, thereby giving them a huge advantage on being picked in the next draw for an Invitation to Apply! Wow!

Start your business immigration journey to Canada by scheduling a consultation with us to discuss your background and corresponding suitable pathway to permanent residence in Canada!

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