Since immigration to Canada is mainly the jurisdiction of the Federal Government in the country, each of Canada’s provinces has their own small immigration program whereby the provincial government can nominate individuals for immigration to their province based on their own particular criteria. The individual can apply for permanent residence via the federal immigration program, once nominated by a province. These PNP’s (Provincial Nominee Programs) usually break down into a skilled worker category and a business immigration category.
Quebec Investor Program
Generally, this program allows business persons to immigrate to Canada by providing the totality of $1,200,000 CAD to the Quebec government, which the Quebec government will invest for its own advantage, then refund to the investor immigrant after a 5 year period (interest free).
In order to be qualified for this program, you must:
- Have (alone or with an accompanying spouse) net assets of $2,000,000 CAD (at least) obtained legally, setting aside the amounts collected by donation less than 6 months prior to the date on which the application was filed
- Possess experience in management in a legal farming, commercial or industrial business, or in a legal professional business where the staff, setting aside the investor, occupies minimally the equivalent of two full-time jobs, or for an international agency or a government or one of its departments or agencies
- Plan to settle in Québec and sign an agreement to invest $1,200,000 CAD
- The investment of $1,200,000 CAD for a 5 year term is promised by the Gouvernement du Québec
- Brokers and trust companies provide the possibility of financing the investment
- Within 30 days, Quebec will reimburse the applicant $1,200,000 CAD without interest at the end of the 5 year term. Although, the amount may vary in case the applicant secured financing for the investment
Keep in mind that the assessment of the application will additionally take into account other components such as age, the nature and duration of any professional training and the applicant’s language skills.
Provincial Nominee Programs
British Columbia Nominee – Regional Entrepreneur
Primarily, applicants need to register with the Entrepreneur Immigration Registration. Applicants will be given a score which is based on experience, net worth, personal investment, jobs, adaptability, and business concept (the maximum score available is 200). Only the highest applicants will get an invitation to apply under the BCPNP Entrepreneur Immigration Stream.
In order to be eligible to register for the BCPNP-Entrepreneur Stream, an applicant needs to, at a minimum:
- Have a personal net worth of $600,000, which includes your spouse’s or common law partner’s assets.
- Possess more than 3 years of experience as an owner/manager, or more than 4 years as a senior manager (there have to be at least 3 employees under your supervision to be considered a senior management role) of a business in the last 10 years.
- Exhibit 2 years of post-secondary education, or have experience as a business owner-manager with 100% ownership for a minimum of 3 of the past 5 years (100% ownership can be shared with a spouse of common law partner.
Furthermore to the aforementioned personal requirements to apply to the nomination program, there are as well requirements on the proposed business activities of the applicant. The BCPNP will only consider the applications for registration of applicants pursuing to establish, or purchase and improve, a business that contributes to the economic advancement of the province. An applicant needs to decide on the type of business they aim to establish, and once the application is filed, there is no chance to switch the proposal.
While reviewing an applicant’s business proposal for nomination, the BCPNP will consider the following elements:
- Does the business model show true potential for growth and profit?
- Does it meet the minimum ownership percentage of 33.3% (this criterion is waived in case the applicant’s personal equity investment is larger than $1 million)?
- Does the particular applicant have a market entry strategy?
- Is the proposed product/service one that would flourish in the proposed market?
- Is the proposed investment and job creation rational (the proposal need to account for a minimum of one job being created or an applicant cannot register; the business need to create 3 new jobs in case the applicant proposes having a key staff member)?
- To end, are the risk factors acceptable?
In case the applicant has suggested to take over an existing business, there are 2 additional elements BCPNP will consider:
1. Does the particular applicant have an expansion plan for the current business, as well as, is it feasible?
2. Is the purchase and expansion of the ongoing business financially secure?
Additionally, the BCPNP will examine whether an applicant’s skill set (ie. Past ownership or senior management experience) is transferable within their proposed business venture. Finally, the BCPNP will inspect the economic benefit of the business on the province and award it points appropriately.
Suppose that the applicant’s proposed business activities meet the BCPNP criteria, the applicant need to show that they will be able to make a minimum eligible personal investment of $200,000. Suppose an applicant suggests having a key staff member, they need to make an eligible personal investment of at least $400,000.
Furthermore, if a registered applicant is invited to apply to the nomination program, they will have 4 months to finish and submit the necessary documentation. In case the application is approved by the BCPNP, the applicant will have to sign a performance agreement and they will get a letter supporting them for a two-year temporary work permit (Note: Performance agreements are unique for each applicant). The applicant needs to arrive in BC with a work permit within 12 months, after signing the performance agreement. The applicant needs to then file an arrival report within 2 months of arriving in BC, and set up their business within 20 months of that time. At the end of the 20 months, the BCPNP will then review the applicant’s file and make a decision whether it will nominate them for permanent residence.
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program – Business Applicant
Suppose an applicant is hoping to run a business in Manitoba, they need to first file an EOI (Expression of Interest) in conjunction with an Exploratory Visit (the visit cannot be more than a year before the EOI is filed), and a summary of Business Intent. This step has to be done to be invited to apply for nomination.
To be eligible for the Business Applicant program, a candidate needs to:
- A minimum Personal net worth of $350,000 that is verifiable
- Have at least 3 years of management experience (or, a minimum 3 years of executive level experience as a senior manager of a business) and successful business ownership
- Achieved a minimum score of 60 on the Adaptability Assessment Matrix
- At minimum, commit to make a $150,000 investment.
- Commit to make a $100,000 good-faith Deposit Agreement that is refundable in case the terms of the agreement are reached by the applicant.
To conclude, the province will determine top candidates from the EOI pool to apply for nomination and will then pick the top nomination applicants for nomination. There are no guarantees that an application will lead to a nomination. To add, there are also no guarantees that IRCC (Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada) will approve a nominated applicant for permanent residency.
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) – Business Applicant
Generally, the main idea of this program is to identify and nominate qualified business people from around the world who will possess and actively manage a business that contributes to New Brunswick’s (NB) economy. The primary step is for the interested applicant to file an EOI which means Expression of Interest. Interested parties have to be selected from the EOI pool to be able to apply to the nomination program. Applicants to the EOI pool are assessed on a set of criteria listed below and given a score based on that evaluation. The minimum score that an applicant need to achieve is 50. However, this is not a guarantee for an invitation to apply to the nominee program. It's important to note that only the highest ranked candidates will be invited to apply.
Thus, to be eligible for the Business Applicant program, a candidate should:
- Be between 22- 55 years of age
- Have adequate English and/or French to manage a business. In order to show proof of this requirement, a candidate may be asked to produce an IELTS from within the last 2 years.
- Have been granted a high school diploma (at a minimum)
- Be able to show that they will live in and operate their business in New Brunswick.
- Show that they have ownership or senior management experience in at least 3 of the last 5 years
- Additionally have an understanding of the business climate in New Brunswick
- Have a net worth of $300,000 (minimum) and commit to at least $125,000 investment in their business. To further add, they need to supply evidence they can make a $75,000 deposit in accordance with the province’s Deposit Agreement which is refunded in case the candidate meets the provinces requirements.
Keep in mind that if a candidate is invited to apply for the NBPNP they will need to schedule a visit to NB, where they will have an in-person interview and provide a comprehensive business plan. At this stage, if NB selects to nominate the applicant, both parties will sign the Deposit Agreement and the nominated applicant will apply for permanent residency: to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Ontario Immigration Nominee Program – Investment Stream
In order to obtain a nomination from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade (MCIIT), the primary step is to submit an Investment Referral Form to MCIIT to be reviewed by a secondary Ontario ministry. Based on which ministry would be impacted by the business plan, the MCIIT will assign referral forms. Thus, the registration applications are reviewed and ranked.
In order for MCIIT to nominate an applicant, investments have to be of significant importance to Ontario and need to create jobs for Ontarians. Both new investments and expansions to current operations are eligible. Investments has to meet the following eligibility guidelines:
- The investment need to get an official endorsement from another Ontario ministry at the Deputy Minister level for the investment and the number of key positions requested
- The amount of the investment is a minimum of $3,000,000
- The investment needs to create at least 5 net permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Ontario. Suppose there is more than one requested nominee position, the requisite number of full time jobs created augments.
Furthermore, Investment Nominee Positions that are being considered for approval by the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program need to:
- Be vital for the long-term success of the investment
- Be in a skilled occupation – NOC 0, A, or B
- Be full-time and permanent positions
- Meet current wage levels. The Service Canada Labour Market Information website contains information about wages for a variety of professions.
- Not affect the settlement of any labour dispute. Additionally, not affect the employment of a person involved in such a dispute, adversely affect employment, training opportunities for permanent residents of Ontario or Canadian citizens.
In case the ministry accepts the investment plan, they will provide the applicant with instructions on how to apply. Once again, the application is assessed by the assigned ministry and additionally, reviewed by MCIIT. In case the MCIIT and the secondary ministry approve the application, the applicant is going to receive a nominee application package. Once received, the applicant will have 60 days to finish the application package and file it for assessment in which there is a $3,500 non- refundable fee to file the application. If MCIIT nominates an applicant, the applicant will have 6 months to apply to IRCC (Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada) for permanent residence. Note, that the applicant can request a temporary work permit while the IRCC is assessing their application.
Prince Edward Island Business Impact Stream for 100% Ownership
Normally under the 100% Ownership Stream, the primary step that an applicant needs to make is to fill out and send a self-assessment form and a business proposal. In case the PEIPNP accepts the applicant’s file, there is going to be an in-person interview and the applicant needs to submit a settlement plan and a business plan for approval. In case the PEIPNP accepts the business and settlement plan, the applicant is going nominated for permanent residency.
In order for an applicant to be eligible for this process they need to:
- Have a minimum personal net worth of $600,000 that is verifiable and has been accumulated via legal and legitimate sources in their own right.
- Have a minimum education of high-school equivalent
- Possess transferable management skills and past employment
- Have scored at least a band score of 4.0 on the IELTS within the last 2 years
- Provide a comprehensive business plan for 100% business ownership that falls within an eligible sector and meets every single program criteria in place at the time of application
- Give ongoing and active management from within Prince Edward Island (of the business)
- Sign an Escrow Agreement that has stipulations on a deposit of $200,000 to be held by the province once the terms of the agreement have been met - In case the applicant fails to follow by the agreement, they could lose their $200,000 deposit in accordance with the terms
- Make at least $150,000 investment into either a new or existing Prince Edward Island owned and operated business
- Give a purchase and sale agreement, in case the applicant is investing or buying out an existing business
Due to Prince Edward Islands’ distinctive economy and the current demands facing it, the province will prioritize businesses involved in the following areas:
- The beginning or expansion of an export-oriented business
- Businesses that employ primary sector resources from the following sectors: Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry
- Businesses that aid to economically diversify rural communities within the province
- Businesses that evolve emerging innovative sectors such as bioscience, information technology, aerospace and renewable energy
Suppose if an applicant meets all program criteria at the time of application and is approved, a nomination certificate will be issued (according to the PEIPNP).
Saskatchewan Immigration Nominee Program – Entrepreneur (SINP-E)
Filing an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the SINP-E is the primary step in the application process. It is via the EOI candidate pool that applications are evaluated and ranked. Successful candidates will get an invitation to apply to the PNP Program.
1. Candidates are picked from the EOI system according to how they score as per the points criteria grid
The criteria grid takes into account age, exploratory visits, official language ability, qualifications, net worth (the greater the net worth, the greater the applicant’s score), entrepreneurial experience, demonstration of innovation, amount of investment and impact on Saskatchewan’s economy.
2. Next, the applicant’s file is reviewed and they receive an endorsement for a two-year temporary work permit (which has to be filed with the federal government within 3 months of its receipt)
3. During that 2 year period, the applicant will be anticipated to enter into a BPA (Business Performance Agreement), and implement their Business Establishment Plan (BEP). Please note that an applicant’s BEP must provide evidence that their application is consistent with S.87 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations as explained previously.
4. If the applicant fulfills his/her obligation under the BPA, they will be able to apply to be nominated for permanent residency.
To file an Expression of Interest, the applicant needs to:
- Have at least a net asset of $500,000 (business and personal)
- Have at least 3 years (in the last 10) of business management or entrepreneurial experience
- Hoping to invest at least $300,000 in Regina or Saskatoon, or $200,000 in any other part of Saskatchewan.
The applicant will get a letter of recommendation for a temporary work permit, in case the above criteria is met. If the applicant follows the Business Performance Agreement, he or she will be able to apply to the SINP for nomination. Last but not least, with a nomination in hand, the applicant can finally apply for permanent residency.
Yukon Business Immigration Nominee Program
In order to apply, first the applicant will have to submit an application for evaluation. The application will then be evaluated based on the assessment criteria.
To pass the assessment criteria, the registered applicant must: Have received a minimum score of 56 on the Nominee Assessment Grid;
Note: Points are awarded according to the following factors: the applicant’s age (between 29 and 40 will result in maximum points), language skills, the size of an applicant’s proposed investment value, their personal net worth, length of prior visit, education and training, and amount of ownership or senior management experience.
- Have achieved, at minimum, either a Level 6 in the IELTS, or a Level 4 in the TEF (Test d’Évaluation De Francais);
- Have either relevant entrepreneurial or business management experience
- Have a net worth of $250,000 CAD (minimum)
- Have at least $150,000 CAD in liquid assets such as cash, bonds, cash equivalents, etc.
- Have documented proof that claim that the net worth and liquid assets have been obtained legally.
Once an applicant is approved for nomination, they will get a letter of recommendation, which is submitted to the IRCC to obtain a two-year work permit. When the work permit is obtained, the applicant will be asked to submit a business plan with comprehensive documentation demonstrating either of the following:
(a) A business plan that illustrates how the Supported Applicant will set up a successful business in one of the industries listed on the Strategic Sector List. Within this category, the Supported Applicant needs to demonstrate a minimum of $150,000 CAD investment in the business with no less than 1/3 ownership;
(b) Otherwise, an equity investment of at least $1,000,000 CAD in a business in one of the industries listed on Strategic Sector List.
Successful applicants will be then notified whether the YBINP will support their permanent residence application to the IRCC at the end of the 2-year period.
North West Territories Immigration Nominee Program – Entrepreneur Stream
Firstly, the candidate needs to take the self-evaluation to see if they are eligible to apply to the program. Provided that they are, the application is sent and it is reviewed by the territory.
Please note that every economic sectors are eligible for this program, although, priority will given to those applicants whose business offering is new in NWT or would generate sizeable benefits for the territory. The business plan could be for the establishment of a new business or the purchase of an existing business (it is critical to show the incremental benefits that will accrue to the territory).
In order to be eligible for this program, applicants need to have:
- At least $300,000 equity if they are starting or buying a business within the corporate boundary of Yellowknife; or, $150,000 CAD in case you are starting or buying a business outside the corporate boundary of Yellowknife;
- Personal net worth of $500,000 CAD (at least) in case you are beginning or buying a business within the corporate boundary of Yellowknife; or $250,000 CAD (at least) if you are beginning or buying a business outside the corporate boundary of Yellowknife;
- An additional $75,000 that will remain in a trust account, to be released without interest upon the completion of a performance agreement;
- A satisfactory understanding and comprehension of the territory and its economy;
- Satisfactory communication skills;
- The education and experience needed to successfully implement the business plan.
Positively, if all of the above criteria are met, and the business plan is approved by the Assistant Deputy Minister, the NWT may choose to nominate the applicant, for temporary residence so they may set up their business according the Business Performance Agreement. Should the conditions of the agreement be satisfied, the NWT will (at the point) nominate the applicant so they may apply to IRCC for a PR.
Federal Government Requirements Applicable to all Provincial Nominations
Any PR application is subject to a final decision by IRCC and a nomination from a province is not a guarantee that IRCC will approve the request for PR. IRCC will review admissibility criteria (such as the applicant’s criminal history and medical condition) and can turn down an application if they discover the applicant to be inadmissible on the basis of the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.