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Business / Investor Visa

Over the past decade, the number of countries with immigrant investor programs has increased dramatically. Although governments have long extended residence permits or citizenship to wealthy individuals willing to invest large amounts in their economies, the forces of globalization and rapidly increasing interest among prospective immigrant investors are challenging policymakers to step up to meet this demand. About half of Member States in the European Union now have dedicated immigrant investor routes, while Malta and countries in the Caribbean have developed their own “citizenship-by-investment” programs, sparking public debate.


In theory, the benefits of immigrant investor programs for both newcomers and destination countries are straightforward. For potential investors, these initiatives make doing business abroad attractive by offering a faster or easier route to resettlement, insurance against political or economic upheaval at home, or access to visa-free travel, among other things. In exchange, destination countries enjoy the perks of new investment, including revenues and job creation. In practice, however, policymakers have been disappointed to find the economic impacts of immigrant investment are often modest at best and designing a program to control where and how money is invested, thereby maximizing economic benefits, can be a challenge. In Canada there are two main investor programs,

(A). Self-employed persons


To immigrate as a self-employed person, one must:

1.Have relevant experience in

  • taken part in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level or
  • been a self-employed person in cultural activities or athletics
  • Be willing and able to be self-employed in Canada

2.Meet the selection criteria such as a self-employed immigrant, you must:

  • meet the definition of a self-employed person
  • get a minimum of 35 points after we grade you based on our five selection criteria and point system

3.Meet medical, security and other conditions


Relevant experience for a self-employed person means at least two years of experience.

It must be during the period starting 5 years before the day you apply and ending on the day we make a decision on your application.

You can get more points if you have 3, 4, or 5 years of experience.

At a minimum, your experience must be:

  • for cultural activities:
    1. 2 one-year periods being self-employed in cultural activities, or
    2. 2 one-year periods participating at a world-class level in cultural activities, or
    3. a combination of a one-year period described in (a), and a one-year period described in (b)
  • for athletics:
    1. 2 one-year periods being self-employed in athletics, or
    2. 2 one-year periods participating at a world class level in athletics, or
    3. a combination of a one-year period described in (a) above, and a one-year period described in (b) above

Selection criteria

We assess you on selection criteria that include your:

  • experience
  • education
  • age
  • language abilities
  • adaptability

Medical, security checks and other requirements

You and your family members must have a medical exam and get police certificates.

You must also show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family after you get to Canada.

B) Start-up Visa Program

To qualify for the Start-up Visa Program, one must meet all 4 eligibility requirements, as well as the admissibility requirements to enter Canada.

Eligibility requirements for the Start-up Visa Program. One must

  • have a qualifying business
  • have a letter of support from a designated organization
  • meet the language requirements, and have enough money to settle and live in Canada before you make money from your business
  • To be eligible to come to Canada, you must meet the admissibility requirements to enter Canada.
  • These apply to all applicants, not just Start-up Visa Program applicants.
  • IRCC may refuse your application if you are inadmissible to Canada.

Please note these are only general information. Pls consult a qualified ICRC for specific information based on your circumstances