Business Immigration Program
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Canadian Business Immigration Program Lawyer

In terms of applying for permanent residence, currently the main avenues of business immigration to Canada are through the various provincial nominee programs, as the federal government has yet to release a viable business class program to replace the now-defunct Federal Investor and Federal Entrepreneur programs.

Except for Quebec, which still offers an investor program, the various provincial programs are all types of entrepreneur programs which offer permanent residence in Canada in return for the business immigrant setting up or purchasing and then personally managing a business in the province.

Some of the most popular business immigration programs are described below:

Federal Self-Employed Program

The Self-employed program is the last remaining federal business immigration category that allows for a direct application for permanent residence in Canada. This category is directed towards people working in the cultural industries, such as artists, musicians, and athletes. Farmers used to be able to apply through the self-employed category but this stream was discontinued in March 2018. The basic criteria of the program are:

  • At least 2 years of experience of self-employment in a cultural industry or athletics, or
  • Participation for at least 2 years in a cultural industry or athletics, at a world class level
  • Pass a point system test that assesses the applicant’s age, education, work experience, language abilities, and adaptability.
    Applicants under the self-employed category must demonstrate the experience, intention and ability to create an employment position for at least themselves in Canada that will make a significant contribution to cultural activities or athletics in the country.

The Law Office of Matthew Jeffery has years of experience assisting clients to immigrate to Canada through the Self-employed category. If you are interested in making a Self-employed application, please contact us for further information.

FAQ on Federal Self-Employed Program

The CIC requires that any self-employed person who would like to immigrate to Canada must have at least two years of relevant experience and must show that they intend to become self-employed in Canada. Additionally, applicants who want to immigrate to Canada as self-employed must score at least 35 points on the selection grid. This is meant to determine whether the immigrant will make an economic contribution to Canada.
To immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person, you must have at least 2 years of experience, which is what is considered “relevant experience”. The period evaluated is 5 years from the date you choose to apply until the day a decision is made on your application. Self-employed persons who have more than 3,4 or 5 years of experience can get more points. Your experience is relevant if it is for cultural activities or athletics. A business immigration lawyer can help you prepare the documents that show you fulfill this relevant experience requirement.
A significant contribution may be a contribution to athletics or the arts, even if not on a national level. There is no formal definition of “significant contribution” provided by the CIC hence the immigration officers can use their judgment when reviewing applications.
Though the CIC does not provide a regulated minimum net worth requirement for anyone who wants to immigrate as a self-employed person, you must satisfy the visa office that you have enough money to settle in Canada (with your dependants if applicable) as well as finance the work that your selection was based on.
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Quebec Investor Program

This program enables business persons to immigrate to Canada by providing the sum of $1,200,000 to the Quebec government, which the Quebec government will invest for its own benefit, then refund to the investor immigrant after a period of five years, interest free.
To be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Have, alone or with an accompanying spouse, net assets of at least $2,000,000 CAD
  • Have experience in management in a legal farming, commercial or industrial business, or in a legal professional business
  • Intend to settle in Québec and sign an agreement to invest $1,200,000 CAD
  • The investment of $1,200,000 CAD for a five-year term is guaranteed by the Gouvernement du Québec
  • Brokers and trust companies offer the possibility of financing the investment.
  • At the end of the five-year term, Quebec will, within 30 days, reimburse the applicant $800,000 CAN without interest. This amount may vary if the applicant secured financing for the investment.

The assessment of the application will also take into account other factors such as age, the nature and duration of any professional training and the applicant’s language skills.

If you are interested in immigration to Canada or Quebec through one of the business immigration programs, please contact us for further information, or complete the Business Immigration Free Assessment Form on our website.

FAQ on Quebec Investor Program

In order to apply for the Quebec Investor Program, all applicants must have net assets totaling at least $2million CAD. The net assets must be obtained legally and cannot include any amounts received by donation within 6 months of the date of application. The amount may include assets of the applicant’s spouse or common law partner.
All applicants under the Quebec Investor Program must also be able to invest at the least $1.2million CAD with a passive, government-guaranteed investment for a period of 5 years bearing no interest. This amount will be refunded after 5 years but the government of Quebec will retain the interest accrued.
To immigrate to Canada under the Quebec Investor Program, you must have two years of suitable management or business experience within the 5 years preceding the application. This management experience may include professional practices as well as candidates who hold high-level management positions in government or active enterprises.
You will be required to sign a declaration indicating your intention to settle in Quebec. Candidates shouldn’t have strong ties in other provinces, but they have a right to free mobility anywhere in Canada after becoming permanent residents. Your Canada business immigration lawyer can help you to prepare the declaration stating your intention to settle in Canada.