Entrepreneur Visa for Canada
The Canadian entrepreneur immigrant scheme is one of several Canadian business visas which combined constitute the Canadian Business Immigration Program. For anyone interested in Canadian visas to set up a business, this is the ideal option.
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This business immigration route, as with the Canadian Immigrant Investor Program or (IIP) and the self-employed immigrant visa, is designed to attract applicants with desirable business skills and experience who wish to immigrate to Canada to live and work on a permanent basis, thereby helping to further develop the economy.
You may also find our advice on Canada Investor Visa useful while you view all your options.
The Canadian entrepreneur visa offers a route to a permanent residence in Canada and allows applicants to begin living and working in Canada without the need for a specific job offer, as would be the case with a Canadian work permit.
Unlike short-term Canadian visas such as the Canadian visit visa or tourist visa, a work visa like this does not place any restrictions on the type of work which applicants may seek and undertake upon arrival.
Applicants for immigration to Canada via this route will be afforded permanent resident status, and after three years in Canada, applicants may apply for Canadian citizenship.
In Canada, immigration applications under the entrepreneur programme require applicants to demonstrate two years of business experience. In addition, candidates must be able to demonstrate a minimum net worth of $300,000 CDN.
Migration working visas of this kind focus on attracting immigrants who will manage and own businesses, which will, in turn, creates jobs and contribute to the Canadian economy.
Applicants must commit to managing and own at least one-third of a business of a pre-defined size for at least a year, which will create at least one job for a permanent resident in Canada or Canadian citizen, outside of their family.
Candidates may only apply for one Canadian business immigration service. Once an application has been submitted, switching to another route is not permitted.
The entrepreneur scheme involves a points-based skills assessment. Candidates who wish to migrate to Canada via this route are rated on their educational achievements, business experience, age and language proficiency.
In Canada, visa applications of this kind are granted between 20 and 35 points for business experience gained in the five years prior to the application's submission.
Points are awarded for education based on an applicant's highest academic achievement and years spent in education as set out below:
- Master's degree/PhD and a minimum of 17 years in full-time study = Maximum Points
- Two or more bachelor's degrees and a minimum of 15 years in full-time study
- Three-year diploma, apprenticeship or trade certificate and a minimum of 15 years in full-time study
- Bachelor's degree plus a minimum of 14 years in full-time study
- Two-year diploma, apprenticeship or trade certificate and a minimum of 14 years in full-time study
- One-year bachelor's degree plus a minimum of 13 years in full-time study
- One-year diploma, apprenticeship or trade certificate and a minimum of 13 years in full-time study
- One-year diploma, apprenticeship or trade certificate plus a minimum of 12 years in full-time study
- Graduation from secondary school - Minimum Points.
The entrepreneur scheme constitutes of a route to settled status as a permanent Canadian resident. Accordingly, applying for a Canadian work visa of this kind requires proficiency in either English or French, the official languages of Canada.
Candidates with proficiency in both languages should elect one as their "first language".
Points are awarded in the four abilities to speak, listening, reading and writing with a maximum of 4 points per area for the first language, and two points in each area for the second.
First Official Language (Points are given per ability area)
- High = Maximum Points.
- Basic = Minimum Points.
- None = 0
Second Official Language (Points are given per ability area)
- High = Maximum Points.
- Basic = Minimum Points
- None = 0.
Canadian immigration visas of this class also award points for an applicant's age.
The maximum obtainable points will be awarded to candidates between the ages of 21 and 49. Beyond this range, two points are deducted per year with no points awarded to candidates aged below 17 or over 53.
Adaptability to life in Canada
Extra points can be obtained for demonstrating an ability to adapt to life and business in Canada.
Applications for Canadian visas can be bolstered by demonstrating that candidates have:
- Made an exploratory business trip to Canada in the five years preceding the application.
- Participated in an immigration programme run as a joint federal-provincial initiative.
In either of the above circumstances, documentary evidence will be required from your destination province.
In Canada, business visa applications make provision for spouse and dependent immigration, allowing your husband, wife, common-law partner or unmarried partner to join you in Canada. Unmarried dependent children under the age of 22 may also join you.
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