July 28, 2012:
Effective July 1st, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will place a temporary pause on new applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and federal Immigrant Investor Program (IIP).
Application intake is expected to resume in January 2013, when the proposed FSWPregulatory changes – which will be published in the Canada Gazette in the coming months – are expected to come into force.
Quebec Investor Program:
Following a decision by the government published in the Gazette officielle du Québec on June 29, 2012, the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles has suspended the intake of applications for a selection certificate that can be submitted by candidates in the businesspeople class.
To determine if these new rules apply to you and to find out the suspension dates for the intake of these applications, consult the pageIntake of applications.
Investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed people
For people who want to start a business in Canada
Note: On February 11, 2014, Economic Action Plan 2014 announced the government’s intent to terminate both the federal Immigrant Investor and Federal Entrepreneur Programs, eliminate a large and longstanding backlog of applications, and pave the way for new pilot programs that will actually meet Canada’s labour market and economic needs. For more information, see the news release.
On July 1, 2011, CIC placed a cap of 700 on new federal investor applications.
Although last year, the Department made changes that raised the minimum net worth and investment requirements, it continued to receive applications in excess of what is required to meet current processing commitments. An annual cap on new applications allows for progress on backlog reduction while ensuring that the Department has a sufficient volume of new files to meet its commitments.
The cap was reached on July 15, 2011, when the Centralized Intake Office in Sydney, Nova Scotia, received 700 complete applications. The cap will reset on July 1, 2012, unless otherwise indicated in a future ministerial instruction, and does not apply to the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program.
This change was introduced through ministerial instructions, which are meant to be a flexible tool that allows the government to align the intake of immigration applications with priorities for immigration.
Business Class frequently asked questions
Provincial and territorial partners
Many provinces and territories provide valuable information and services to assist business immigrants in setting up and successfully operating businesses in Canada.
Applying as a business immigrant — Investor, entrepreneur or self-employed person
There are two different processes for business immigrants who want to become permanent residents: the regular process and the simplified application process. As of September 1, 2006, all applicants must use the simplified application process unless they:
If you do not qualify for the simplified application process, follow the steps listed here.
Quebec has its own business immigration program. If you want to settle in the province of Quebec, contact the nearest Quebec immigration office, or visit the website of the Quebec ministry that handles immigration. (Quebec Investor application forms can be found here).
Each application can be made for only one class and the class cannot be changed once the application is submitted. The criteria you must meet to qualify are different for each class.
The Immigrant Investor Program seeks experienced business people to invest C$800,000 into Canada’s economy and become permanent residents. Investors must:
Your investment is managed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and is guaranteed by the Canadian provinces that use it to create jobs and help their economies grow.
CIC will return your C$800,000 investment, without interest, about five years and two months after payment.Who can apply
To be eligible under the Immigrant Investor Program, you must:
To be eligible for the Immigrant Investor Program, you must have:
You can find a definition of a “qualifying business” and other terms that apply to the Immigrant Investor Program on this page.Full-time job equivalent means 1,950 hours of paid employment.
Qualifying business means a business—other than a business operated primarily for the purpose of deriving investment income such as interest, dividends or capital gains—for which, during the year under consideration, there is documentary evidence of any two of the following:
Quebec Immigrant Investor Program
Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, the province of Quebec operates its own immigrant investor program. All investors in the program must be selected by Quebec and must plan to settle in Quebec. Visit the website of the Quebec ministry that handles immigration for more information about investing and living in Quebec.
How to apply
As of December 1, 2010, people applying as immigrant investors must use the regular application process.
Quebec has its own business immigration programs for individuals intending to reside in the province of Quebec. For more information, visit the Quebec immigration website.
Download and print the application package. It includes the application guide and all the forms you need to fill out.
Note: Changes have been made to Schedule 6 as of December 1, 2010. The most recent version is on this website—you must submit this version with your application.
Note: CIC has temporarily stopped accepting applications for the federal entrepreneur program. Only applications received before July 1, 2011, will be processed. This suspension will continue until further notice.
The Entrepreneur Program seeks to attract experienced business persons who will own and actively manage businesses in Canada that contribute to the economy and create jobs. Entrepreneurs must:
Entrepreneur means a foreign national who
Business experience in respect of an entrepreneur, means a minimum of two years of experience consisting of two one-year periods of experience in the management of a qualifying business and the control of a percentage of equity of the qualifying business during the period beginning five years before the date of application for a permanent resident visa and ending on the day a decision is made on the application.
Qualifying business - the same as for the Investor class mentioned above.
Qualifying Canadian business means a business operated in Canada by an entrepreneur—other than a business operated primarily for the purpose of deriving investment income, such as interest, dividends or capital gains—for which there is in any year within the period of three years after the day the entrepreneur becomes a permanent resident documentary evidence of any two of the following:
You will be assessed based on selection criteria that include your experience, education, age, language abilities and adaptability. Find out more about the selection criteria.
You will then be assessed against five selection criteria and a point system. You must obtain a minimum of 35 points if you want to immigrate to Canada.
See the table below in the section for the Self-Employed Persons.
Medical, security and other requirements
You and your family members must pass a medical examination and security and criminal checks.
Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, the province of Quebec operates its own business immigration program. If you want to settle in the province of Quebec, contact the nearest Quebec immigration office, or visit the website of the Quebec ministry that handles immigration.
How to Apply
There are two application processes for entrepreneurs who want to apply to become permanent residents:
Most applicants must use the simplified process. However, you must use the regular process if:
If none of the situations described above applies to you, you must use the simplified application process.
Choose the application process that applies to you:
Most entrepreneurs can apply to immigrate to Canada using the simplified application process. Under this process, you submit only a basic application form and the fees.
There is a waiting list to come to Canada as a business immigrant. This means it may be several years before your application is processed.
Obtain and print the application kit.
The package includes the application guide and all the forms you need to fill out. Download and print the application package.
You must submit your application to the correct visa office. You must submit your application to the visa office that serves your country of nationality or the country where you have been legally admitted for at least one year.
To find the instructions you need, see Visa office instructions. Print the instructions required for the visa office where you submit your application. Calculate Your Total Application Fees. Cost recovery fees and after applying.
The Self-Employed Persons Program seeks to attract applicants who have the intention and ability to become self-employed in Canada. Self-employed persons are required to have either:
Who can apply?
To be eligible as a self-employed person, you must meet the following criteria:
Relevant experience is defined as:
In order to qualify, you must first meet the definition of a self-employed person. The following terms are defined in the regulations:
Self-employed person means a foreign national who has relevant experience and has the intention and ability to be self-employed in Canada and to make a significant contribution to specified economic activities in Canada.
In order to qualify, you must first meet the definition of a self-employed person. You can find the definition in the Related Links on the bottom of this page.
You will then be assessed against five selection criteria and a point system. You must obtain a minimum of 35 points if you want to immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person.
Learn more about each factor by clicking on it.
The maximum possible score is 100. The pass mark is currently 35 points. However, the pass mark may change, so make sure you visit this site regularly if you are considering immigrating to Canada as a self-employed person.
Selection is based on the documents that you provide and an assessment of your score under each of the selection criteria. You must also meet the definition of a self-employed person.
An interview may be required. During the interview, a visa officer will ask you to explain any information that is unclear or inconsistent, or any shortcomings or gaps in the documents that you provide. If there is a difference between your assessment of your qualifications, and the visa officer’s assessment, the officer’s assessment will prevail.You must show that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependants after you arrive in Canada. You can find more information under Proof of funds page.
How to apply?
There are two application processes for self-employed persons who want to apply to become permanent residents:
Cost recovery fees and after applying.
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