Investor and Entrepreneur Visas


Foreign nationals with a net worth of $CDN 10 million or more which has been lawfully acquired through business or investment activities may be eligible to acquire Canadian permanent residence by investing in Canada’s Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Fund (IIVCF) operated by the Federal government’s Business Development Bank of Canada.

Applicants must be prepared to invest a minimum of $CDN 2 million of their personal funds for a 15 year Funds received under the program are invested by the IIVCF in Canadian start-up businesses with high growth potential. While the IIVCF aims to provide investors with a net return on their investment, funds invested in the IIVCF are considered to be “at risk” investment and a return of the principal amount invested is not guaranteed.

Applicants are required to undergo a due diligence examination by a designated accounting firm in order to verify their past business or investment experience, the source of the funds which they propose to invest, and their personal net worth.

Applicants are required to demonstrate that they have minimal proficiency in English or French. They must also hold a certificate, degree or diploma of at least one year or more from a Canadian or foreign post-secondary educational institution. Applicants with a legally acquired net worth of $CDN 50 million or more are exempt from the education requirement.


Foreign nationals with a track record of successful entrepreneurship who can demonstrate that they have the ability to develop a successful business in Canada which will employ Canadian citizens or permanent residents may be eligible to acquire permanent residence under the Start-Up Visa program.

Applicants must obtain a Letter of Support from a “designated organization” which has been approved by Canadian immigration. There are three types of designated organizations:

  • Approved venture capital funds which are prepared to invest $CDN 200,000 or more in the proposed business.
  • Approved angel investor groups which are prepared to invest $CDN 75,000 or more in the proposed business.
  • Approved business incubators. Incubators are not required to invest in the proposed business, however, the proposed business must be accepted into the incubator’s development program.

The Start-Up Visa program allows up to five foreign nationals to apply as owners of a single business.  Applicants are also required to demonstrate that they have minimal proficiency in English or French.


Foreign nationals who have relevant experience in the areas of cultural activities, athletics, or farm management and who wish to establish a business in Canada in which they will be self-employed may be eligible to acquire Canadian permanent residence under the Self-Employed Visa Program.

In order to qualify, applicants must also score a minimum of 35 points based on the following selection factors:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Age
  • Language ability in English or French
  • Adaptability


Each of Canada’s provincial and territorial governments (except the province of Quebec) operates their own provincial nominee programs. Many of these programs are designed to attract entrepreneurs and investors who will acquire or establish businesses which will provide employment for Canadian citizens or permanent resident in the province or territory. There are many different provincial nominee programs each with its own specific eligibility requirements.