The Entrepreneur Program seeks to attract people with business experience who have the intention and ability to actively manage a business in Canada that will positively impact the Canadian economy and create employment opportunities for Canadian residents. As a qualified Entrepreneur, you and your immediate family can obtain Canadian Permanent Resident Visas under the Federal Program (applicants intending to reside anywhere in Canada, except Quebec) or the Quebec Program (applicants intending to reside in the province of Quebec). Both programs require you to establish or acquire a percentage of equity (at least 33.33%) in a qualifying Canadian business that you must actively manage. Your business must create at least one new job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Who is an Entrepreneur Immigrant?

The following aspects of the regulatory definition should be factored into assessment of an Entrepreneur Immigrant:

  • Intends and has the ability to invest in a business, and has legally obtained net worth of at least CND$300,000;
  • Is ready to establish, purchase or make a substantial investment in a business or commercial venture in Canada;
  • Will make a significant contribution to the economy;
  • Will be able to employ at least one other Canadian citizen or permanent resident; and
  • Intends and has the ability to provide active and on-going participation in the management


Entrepreneurs are assessed on seven factors:

  • Education;
  • Business Experience;
  • Age;
  • Knowledge of English and French;
  • Adaptability

To operate a business in Canada you would require an employment authorization. We would not recommend going ahead with the purchase of a business until such time as you have been approved for your immigrant visas. We have been involved in cases where people have purchased businesses and then been refused – it can be a real problem.

Generally business applicants are subjected to more review and greater scrutiny so the processing time is often longer and you receive a conditional immigrant visa subject to fairly stringent terms and conditions which if not fulfilled can result in your removal from Canada.