Provincial Investor Programs

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Ontario, British Colombia and Alberta

Although are currently no Federal Investor programs available in Canada,many provinces encourage business immigration as part of their economic development plans. These allow people who plan to buy or open a business in Canada to acquire Canadian work experience, and eventually become permanent residents through the Provincial Nominee Program.

This page will focus on the Investor programs in 3 provinces:

  1. Ontario
  1. British Colombia
  1. Alberta
Shabnam Akrami Managing Partner

Ontario Provincial Nominee Program

Entrepreneur Stream

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) currently has one business-oriented path: the Entrepreneur Stream.

The Entrepreneur Stream is designed to attract foreign nationals who are either going to:

  • open a new business in Ontario, or
  • buy an existing one.

How does the process work?

STEP 1: The applicant must first make an Expression of Interest (EOI).

This is a self-assessment where you assess how many points you can claim in the following categories: Human Capital, Investment, and Business Concept.

You must also describeyour business model, including ability to generate profits, preparations/research you will undertake, how the business will significantly benefit the economy of Ontario, among others. A poor business concept can likely result in a refusal, despite scoring high in the two other categories (Human Capital and Investment).

If the score is high-enough, you will be given an Invitation to Apply when a draw is made (much like the Express Entry program).

The minimum requirements include:

  • At least two years (24 months) business experience, specifically as an owner or senior manager
  • Minimum net worth (depends whether you are investing inside or outside the Greater Toronto Area)
  • Job creation for Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents

In-Person Interview and Performance Agreement

After an application is assessed by Ontario Immigration, there is a mandatory in-person interview at their office, to fully understand both your experience and the business plan.

If successful, the applicant signs a performance agreement, similar to a contract, giving a timeline to establish the business.

Once you have arrived in Ontario, the province will keep track of your progress for 20 months to ensure you comply with all conditions stated in the performance agreement.

STEP 2: Apply for Permanent Residence

After 20 months,you will submit a final report, which Ontario Immigration will evaluate and decide whether to nominate you for the Provincial Nominee Program: Entrepreneurial Stream.

Once you have received the official nomination, you may apply for permanent residency via paper or through the Express Entry system.

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program

Entrepreneur Business Immigration

In British Columbia, there are 2 Investor Business Immigration programs:

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Regional Pilot

Oriented towards individuals who wish to operate a business in small communities within British Colombia

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Base Category

Orientated for individuals intending to runtheir business anywhere in the province

How to Apply

STEP 1: Create an Online Profile

An applicant must first create an online profile on BC’s Provincial Nominee Program website.

Profiles above the minimum point entry criteria are entered into a pool of candidates.Those selected will receive an invitation to Apply.

Once you have been invited, you will have 4 months to submit your application, during which you must demonstrate your:

  • business plan
  • strategy for entering the BC market successfully
  • net worth (as reviewed by a BC PNP authorized accounting firm)
  • Ownership/investment amounts
  • Ability to general significant economic benefit will (including hiring at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident)

In-Person Interview and Performance Agreement

There may also be an in-person interview during this process. If approved, the applicant signs a performance agreement with the province, given 20 months to meet establish the business on the agreed-upon terms, and write a report at the end of that period.

STEP 2: Apply for Permanent Residency

If all requirements are met, and youhave satisfied all requirements and obligations, you will be nominated by the province, and issued a Confirmation of Nomination.

You will use this Confirmation of Nominationto apply for permanent residency via paper or through the Express Entry System.

Alberta Provincial Nominee Program

Self-Employer Farmer

Alberta’s Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) currently one has 1 open stream for entrepreneurs:

  • Alberta Immigration Self-Employed Farmer Stream
The Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Program and Startup Visa Stream are not yet accepting applications.

Alberta Immigration Self-Employed Farmer Stream

The self-employed farmer stream is for those with:
  • Proven farm management skills
  • The ability to invest at least $500,000 into a primary production farming business in Alberta and must show a business plan for that investment.

The application must detail their current farm type (crops or livestock), location, years in operation, and the applicant’s past responsibilities. Details on exploratory visits to Alberta, proposed partners, type of ownership, and any current business arrangements/offers for land in Alberta must all be included in the application, along with net worth, references, and supporting documents.

How to Apply

Unlike the Ontario and British Columbia entrepreneur streams, there is no need for an Expression of Interest or creation of a profile, with points evaluated by the province prior to an invitation to apply.

Instead, applicants can apply directly to Alberta’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (not directly to AINP).

If satisfied by both the assessment and the in-person interview, the AINP approves the nomination, after which the nominee can apply for permanent residency

Have a Question?

How We Can Help

VisaPath’s expert representatives have many years of experience with provincial business programs, in a number of different provinces. These programs are complex, and even a minor detail left out may be the difference between a success and a failure.

Our representatives can assist youthrough each step of the process, ensuring you follow all requirement and submit accurate and complete application to give you the highest chances of success.

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