Entrepreneur Program


Latest News: On June 24, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced that applications under the Federal Entrepreneur Program will no longer be accepted until further notice. As a result, entrepreneurs may consider to apply under this category through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) offered by various provinces in Canada.

Canada and its provinces offer 8 entrepreneur immigration programs, respectively offered by Canada, B.C., Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, PEI, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

The basic requirements for this type of programs are personal net worth and management experience. For the federal entrepreneur program, the applicants must have a net worth of at least $300,000. They must have managed a qualifying business and controlled a percentage of equity of a qualifying business for at least two years in the period beginning five years before the date of application.

Additionally, they must have the intention and the ability to: Control a percentage of equity of a qualifying Canadian business equal to or greater than 33 1/3%; Provide active and ongoing management of the qualifying Canadian business; and Create at least one incremental full-time job equivalent for one or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents other than the entrepreneur applicant and their family members.

Qualifying Canadian business means a business operated in Canada by an entrepreneur—other than a business operated primarily for the purpose of deriving investment income such as interest, dividends or capital gains— for which there is, in any year within the period of three years after the day the entrepreneur becomes a permanent resident, proof of any two of the following:


  1. That the percentage of equity multiplied by the number of full-time job equivalents is equal to or greater than two full-time job equivalents per year;
  2. That the percentage of equity multiplied by the total annual sales is equal to or greater than $250,000;
  3. That the percentage of equity multiplied by the net income in the year is equal to or greater than $25,000; or
  4. That the percentage of equity multiplied by the net assets at the end of the year is equal to or greater than $125,000.


Over all, it is expected that an investment of C$125,000 will be required to establish and run a qualifying Canadian business. Entrepreneurs are required to sign a declaration stating they intend and will be able to meet the conditions of permanent residence.

For requirements of other provincial entrepreneur programs, please consult Jeff Li, immigration lawyer.

Due to the complexity of the entrepreneur application, potential applicants should consult a competent immigration lawyer to find out the most effective goal to achieve their goal.


More on:

Business immigration

Canadian permanent residence application

Citizenship application

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