Canada Investment Immigration Programs

Canada offers the most established and widely-used investment based immigration programs conferring permanent resident status. Canada Investor Immigration Program (CIIP) is a government-sponsored program that allows wealthy individuals and their families to immigrate to Canada. The Canada Investor Immigration Program is a great option for those who want to live in Canada permanently. The CIIP is also popular among those who want to invest in Canada.

The Canadian confederation system of government and the country’s social norms offer a “European alternative” to the more unabashed capitalism of the USA. Canada offers European-style social benefits with fairly high levels of taxation and unparalleled quality of life. Under the Canadian model, business immigrants can enjoy the benefits of a national health care program, affordable first-class education and a national pension system that provides measurable annual income upon retirement.

Business immigration offering permanent admission to Canada comprise of the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), Quebec Entrepreneur program, Quebec Self-Employed, several Provincial Nominee Programs for Entrepreneur , the Federal Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Program and the Federal Start-Up Visa program. While the various entrepreneur and Self-employed programs are aimed at individuals with a mid-range personal net worth who intend to establish and operate a business in Canada, the investor programs are suited for high net worth individuals who wish to make a passive investment with no obligation to establish a business.

Wealthy business immigrants may also buy or establish a new business in Canada and qualify for a temporary work visa, under federal owner-operator policies.  After a period of time, applicants may qualify for permanent residence under a suitable immigration program.

Below is a summary of what Canada offers at the federal and provincial levels.

Federal Programs

Temporary Work Visas Under Business Owner-Operator Rules

How to Buy a Business and Move to Canada?

Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Program (IIVCP)

Eligibility requirements for the IIVCP:

  • Personal net worth of $10 million.
  • Applicants must invest at least $2 million into a government-approved VC fund for a minimum period of 15 years, with no guarantee of return.
  • Applicants must demonstrate their net worth threshold was obtained from lawful, for profit-making management, businesses or investment activities.
  • Mandatory language testing
  • Proof of completed Canadian post-secondary education of at least one year, or proof of a foreign educational equivalent (applicants with a personal net worth of $50 million are exempt).

Start-Up Visa Program

Eligibility requirements:

  • Commitment certificate or letter of support from a designated entity
  • Sufficient unencumbered, available and transferable settlement funds
  • At least one year of post-secondary education
  • Mandatory language testing.

The Start-Up Visa Program was established in 2013 and grants permanent residence and work permits to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs. The program aims to recruit entrepreneurs and link them with private sector businesses in Canada. The goal is to help establish businesses that have the potential to scale internationally.


British Columbia




New Brunswick

Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia

Newfoundland & Labrador

Northwest Territories


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