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Canada provides diverse immigration opportunities tailored for entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed individuals. These pathways are administered not only by the federal government but also by provincial and territorial authorities. This multi-faceted approach ensures that there are different avenues available for individuals with varying business backgrounds and aspirations to immigrate to Canada and contribute to its economy.



The Canadian Business Pathway Plan outlines a comprehensive framework for entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed individuals seeking immigration opportunities in Canada. This plan encompasses various streams and programs designed to attract talented individuals who can contribute to the country's economic growth and innovation.

Under this plan, aspiring business owners and investors can explore different pathways offered by both the federal government and provincial or territorial authorities. These pathways may include the Start-up Visa Program, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Entrepreneur Streams, and the Self-Employed Persons Program, among others.

The plan aims to streamline the immigration process for business-minded individuals by providing clear guidelines, eligibility criteria, and support mechanisms. It also emphasizes the importance of innovation, job creation, and economic development in Canada's business immigration strategy.

Overall, the Canadian Business Pathway Plan serves as a roadmap for entrepreneurs and investors from around the world, offering them a range of opportunities to establish successful businesses and contribute to Canada's thriving economy.


The Federal Startup Visa Program in Canada is a pioneering initiative designed to attract talented entrepreneurs from around the world to start innovative businesses in Canada. Launched in 2013, this program aims to stimulate economic growth and job creation by providing a streamlined pathway for foreign entrepreneurs to obtain Canadian permanent residency.

Under the Federal Startup Visa Program, eligible entrepreneurs must secure the support of a designated Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator. These designated organizations play a crucial role in evaluating the potential of the startup business and providing the necessary endorsement for immigration purposes.

Once endorsed by a designated organization, applicants can apply for permanent residency through the Startup Visa Program. Successful applicants and their immediate family members receive Canadian permanent residency, granting them the opportunity to live, work, and build their businesses in Canada.

This program offers several advantages for foreign entrepreneurs, including access to Canada's vibrant startup ecosystem, world-class research institutions, and diverse talent pool. Moreover, permanent residency provides entrepreneurs with stability and security, enabling them to focus on growing their businesses without concerns about visa restrictions.


The Quebec Entrepreneur Program is a pathway for experienced businesspeople and entrepreneurs to immigrate to the Canadian province of Quebec. Launched by the Quebec government, this program aims to attract individuals who have the skills, experience, and financial resources to establish or acquire a business and contribute to Quebec's economic development.

Under the Quebec Entrepreneur Program, eligible candidates are required to submit a business project or proposal that demonstrates their ability to create or acquire a business in Quebec. The proposed business venture should align with Quebec's economic priorities and contribute to job creation and economic growth in the province.

Applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria, including having a minimum net worth, relevant business experience, and the intention to settle in Quebec. They are also required to make a financial investment in their business project and create employment opportunities for Quebec residents.

Once their application is approved, successful candidates and their family members receive a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), which is a prerequisite for applying for Canadian permanent residency through the federal government's immigration process.


Provincial Entrepreneur Programs are initiatives established by individual provinces in Canada to attract experienced business owners and entrepreneurs who can contribute to the economic development of their respective regions. Each province designs its own entrepreneur program, tailored to its specific economic needs, priorities, and opportunities.

These programs typically require applicants to submit a detailed business proposal outlining their plans to establish or acquire a business in the province. The proposed business venture should align with the province's economic objectives and demonstrate potential for growth, job creation, and innovation.

Eligibility criteria for provincial entrepreneur programs vary between provinces but often include factors such as minimum net worth, relevant business experience, language proficiency, and a commitment to reside in the province.


Express Entry BC allows eligible applicants to receive priority processing of both their BC PNP application and if nominated, their permanent residence application.


Skills Immigration categories that may qualify to be processed through Express Entry British Columbia:

  • Skilled Worker Category

  • Health Care Professional Category

  • International Graduate Category

  • International Post-Graduate Category


  • Must have a valid profile with the federal Express Entry system/

  • Must have a Job Seeker Validation Code from the Express Entry system.

  • Must have accepted a full-time job offer (except for the International Post-Graduate Category).

  • Must have a wage offer in line with B.C. wage rates (except for the International Post-Graduate Category).

  • Must be able to support yourself and your family (except for the International Post-Graduate Category).

  • Must meet minimum language requirements (except for the International Post-Graduate Category).

  • Must meet additional requirements specific to your category.

  • Employers must also be eligible (except for the International Post-Graduate Category).

Processing Time: Typically 2-3 months.

How to apply:

Create an Express Entry profile with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


Entrepreneur Immigration is a “temporary to permanent” immigration pathway. That means that if you are approved, you will initially come to B.C. as a temporary resident, and then apply to stay permanently once you have successfully started a business.

There are three streams to immigrate to British Columbia as an entrepreneur:


  • Personal net worth of at least CAD$600,000

  • Business and/or management experience; if no business experience, must have the equivalent of a 2-year post-secondary diploma

  • Basic English or French language skill equal to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 or higher

  • Have been lawfully admitted in the country where you currently live

  • Have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada



  • Establish an eligible new business or buy and improve an existing business

  • Make an eligible personal investment of at least CAD$200,000 in the business

  • Create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

This category is for senior managers or business owners who intend to invest funds into a proposed business in British Columbia.

How to apply:


The initial step involves crafting a compelling business proposal tailored to your individual expertise and aligned with the demands of the British Columbia economy. Conduct thorough research to identify the type of business to propose and the suitable location within B.C. Government resources, like the                                                                    , can assist you in this process.

Refer to                                                                        to explore the key industries and sectors as well as different regions and communities in B.C.


Regional Pilot program is designed for foreign nationals aiming to establish and operate a business in smaller communities throughout British Columbia. The business must be situated in a smaller community rather than a larger city. This initiative is tailored to mitigate demographic issues in these communities, such as the migration of young individuals to more densely populated urban areas in British Columbia. 

Entrepreneurs approved under the Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) — Regional Pilot will initially acquire a temporary work permit to set up and manage their business in British Columbia for a minimum of 12 months, as outlined in their established Performance Agreement. 

If the business continues to fulfill the terms of this agreement to the satisfaction of the BC PNP, the entrepreneur will be nominated provincially and can proceed to apply to the Government of Canada for permanent residency.


Community Engagement: Participating communities play an active role in selecting potential candidates. Designated representatives from the community engage with prospective entrepreneurs, assess their business proposals, and refer them to the BC PNP if selected. Additionally, communities and local partners offer settlement support services to assist entrepreneurs upon their arrival.

Referral System: Participating communities have the authority to refer immigrant entrepreneurs to the BC PNP. To qualify for a referral, the entrepreneur must conduct a preliminary visit to the community, and their proposed business must align with the community's economic development priorities.

Community Assistance: Participating communities can access a dedicated Community Concierge provided through the pilot to address their immigration-related needs.

Invitations and Prioritization: Immigrant entrepreneurs referred by the community are eligible to join a separate candidate pool for the EI Regional Pilot. The BC PNP gives priority to qualified applications, issuing invitations on a monthly basis.

  • Possess a minimum personal net worth of $300,000.

  • Hold active business ownership and senior management experience within the last 5 years, including:

  • A combination of 1 or more years as an active business owner/manager and 2 or more years as a senior manager.

  • Demonstrate language proficiency equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4.

  • Submit a business plan outlining the establishment of a new eligible business in a designated B.C. community.

  • Hold either a post-secondary credential or demonstrate at least 3 years of business ownership/management experience with 100% ownership for a minimum of 3 out of 5 years.

  • Show that they will maintain at least 51% ownership of the proposed business.

  • Be capable of investing a minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments in the proposed business (only upon invitation to apply). Investments made prior to the date of invitation will not be considered by the BC PNP.

  • 3 or more years as an active business owner-manager

  • 4 or more years as a senior manager; or

    by the BC PNP.



Through this category, foreign-controlled companies can set up an operation in British Columbia. These companies should have the potential to generate significant employment and contribute to the economy of the province. 

This stream enables foreign corporations to permanently transfer and nominate to support the PR of up to 5 key staff members, who will actively manage the B.C. operations.


  • Be current senior employees of the foreign corporation who have the qualifications and experience that are  essential to establish and operate the business in B.C.

  • Is being appointed to an executive or senior managerial position, or has specialized knowledge essential to the proposed B.C. operation

  • Will be employed in a permanent full-time capacity at the B.C. operation

  • Is offered a wage commensurate with his/her expertise and consistent with industry and corporate compensation structures

  • Must make a minimum equity investment of at least $500,000 directed toward the corporation’s operations in B.C.

  • Must establish new or purchase and expand an eligible business in B.C.

  • Create at least three new full-time equivalent jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for each foreign key staff member proposed (to a maximum of five key staff)


How to apply:


Senior officials should make a visit to B.C. to explore opportunities and understand the business environment.

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