Entrepreneur program

The provincial Entrepreneur Stream helps individuals from countries outside of Canada to implement a new business idea or buy an existing business. It also offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to be nominated for permanent resident status once their business has been successfully established in Canada. (OINP website)
Each province has its own Entrepreneur program.

Start-up business class

In order to apply, applicants are required by paragraph 98.01(2)(d) and subsection 98.06(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to have started a qualifying business. This means the applicant must have formed an entity for business/commercial purposes that has an ownership structure that complies with the percentages established by the Minister.
For the purposes of subsection 12(2) of the Act, the start-up business class is prescribed as a class of persons who may become permanent residents on the basis of their ability to become economically established in Canada, who meet the requirements of subsection (2) and who intend to reside in a province other than Quebec. Ref. IRPR

Eligibility requirements for the Start-up Visa Program

You 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

Have a qualifying business
A qualifying business means you created a business that meets the following conditions.
• At the time you get a commitment from a designated organization:
o each applicant holds 10% or more of the voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time (up to 5 people can apply as owners)


o applicants and the designated organization jointly hold more than 50% of the total voting rights attached to all shares of the corporation outstanding at that time
• At the time you receive your permanent residence:
o you provide active and ongoing management of this business from within Canada
o an essential part of the operations of the business happens in Canada
o this business is incorporated in Canada.

Meet the language requirements

The ability to communicate and work in English, French or both languages will help your business succeed in Canada.

You must take a language test from an approved agency and include the results with your application, or we won’t process it.
You must meet the minimum level of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in either English or French in all of these four areas:

• speaking
• reading
• listening
• writing
Ref. IRCC website