CANADA BUSINESS AND INVESTOR IMMIGRATION
Bridge Canada Immigration Services seeks to attract foreign investors, entrepreneurs and businesses into Canada. Investing into Canadian economy has an immense potential in terms of growing your business and developing slow sectors of the economy. In addition, by investing into Canada you may expect stability, reliability and return of your funds.
We offer support with Business Class applications under the following programs:
THE CANADIAN FEDERAL START UP VISA PROGRAM
The Start-Up Visa program was launched by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (presently Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, IRCC) as a new Canadian immigration pilot project on April 1 2013, and is the first of its kind in the world.
The program was designed to attract and bring innovative young companies and successful entrepreneurs to Canada, furthering the innovation/entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Start-Up Visa Program links successful entrepreneurs with private sector organizations in Canada who are able to provide funding as well as guidance and their expertise on establishing and operating a business in Canada that can scale internationally by exporting Canadian goods or services.
The process is intended to allow for the expedited immigration of foreign entrepreneurs looking to operate in Canada and granting them permanent residence, provided that they meet the criteria established under the program and IRCC’s standard requirements for immigration.
The Start-Up Visa program is a pilot project and is set to remain open for 5 (five) years; it may be extended or become permanent if it proves to be a successful Canadian immigration program. The Canadian government will only accept up to 2750 applications per year under Start-Up Visa.
- Successful and proven entrepreneur
- Level 5 English or French language requirement
- Clean criminal and medical records
- Completed at least one year of post-secondary education
- Sufficient settlement funds as per IRCC
- Letter of Support from a Designated Entity
- Must own at least 10% of the qualifying business
- Has been incorporated or is planning to incorporate in Canada
- Investment qualification
- Business Plan designed and supported by Designated Entity (industry & competitor analysis and investment, a well-developed market, financial and company growth strategy)
- Demonstrate market validation for the product/service
- The business has reasonable potential for solid financial returns
- Letter of Support and Commitment Certificate Applicants must obtain a letter of support from a designated investor organization. In order to receive a letter of support, the applicant must convince a designated venture capital fund, angel investor group or business incubator to invest in his or her proposed business. The investor organization must provide a Commitment Certificate directly to IRCC, summarizing the details of the commitment made with the applicant.
- Investment Applicants must secure an investment of at least CAD200,000 if the investment is from a designated venture capital fund, a minimum of CAD75,000 if the investment is from a designated angel investor group or must be accepted into a designated business incubator. Applicants are not required to invest any of their own money for this Canadian immigration program. However to get support from a designated entity, the applicant must be accepted into the designated entity’s business program. Programs vary in terms of their eligibility criteria, program offerings and length of engagement. Securing admission to such programs is a competitive process, with limited spots available. Each organization has its own intake process, evaluation criteria and investment funds requirements. Organizations select which business proposals to evaluate. If an organization decides to review potential applicant’s business proposal, it will assess business’ growth potential and viability. Therefore, this program is driven by the investment decision of the designated investors and is not intended as a general application for prospective immigrants. The program will focus on high-quality applications and not the quantity of applicants.
- Language The applicant must be able to communicate and work in English and/or French. Applicants must provide language test results from an approved agency with the minimum level of CLB 5 in either English or French.
- Education The applicant must have completed at least one year of study at a post-secondary institution. The applicant must also be able to provide proof that he or she was in good standing for at least one year while attending a post-secondary institution. Applicants can provide transcripts, a letter of good standing, certificates, diplomas or degrees as proof for this requirement.
- Sufficient Settlement Funds The applicant must have sufficient settlements funds to support themselves and their family once they immigrate to Canada. The amount of money required depends on the number of family members that will be accompanying the applicant.
- Security and Medical Clearances For admissibility requirement, the applicant and accompanying family members must undergo security, criminal checks and a medical examination to determine whether they pose a security threat or have a health condition that would place an excessive burden on the Canadian health care system.
- Letter of Support from a Designated Entity
First, the applicant is expected to present his/her business idea to a designated organization to convince them to support the business idea or venture and get a Letter of Support. An angel investor group or venture capital fund must invest in applicant’s business while business incubators can provide other forms of assistance to help applicant’s business growth. To get support from an angel investor group or a venture capital fund, the applicant must secure a sizable investment. Once a designated organization decides to support a proposed business, it will send IRCC a Commitment Certificate and provide a Letter of Support to the applicant. Applicants may apply as either a single entrepreneur or as an entrepreneurial team of up to five members. Each applicant must be an active member of the venture team with at least 10% of the voting rights to qualify. The combination of the applicant and the designated investor/investors must also hold at least 50% of the voting rights in the proposed venture to qualify. Eligible applicants will be matched with a qualifying Canadian business and referred to designated organizations that we have partnered with. This will make the initial stage of pitching a business idea and obtaining support from a designated entity a quicker and more manageable process. When partnering with a business incubator, the expected investment amount from the applicant starts at CAD300,000 plus 5% GST (federal tax), which will be utilized in the applicant’s business venture. The total investment amount will be determined and outlined in a Term Sheet prepared by the business incubator based on the proposed business venture. Upon securing the required investment funds in a designated Escrow (Trust) Account, the designated entity will issue a Commitment Certificate for permanent resident application. Work permit application will also be initiated.Syndication
Receiving support from multiple designated venture capital funds or angel investor groups is known as syndication. If the applicant receives syndicated support, then all investment entities involved in the syndication must be identified. Only one Commitment Certificate will be sent electronically to IRCC and one Letter of Support will be provided to the applicant. As soon as a designated venture capital firm invests in the applicant’s business, then the minimum total investment amount that must be invested in his/her business is CAD200,000, even if a designated angel group also invests in his/her business. If the applicant’s business receives support from at least one designated angel group, but not designated venture capital groups, then the minimum total investment amount that must be invested in his/her business is CAD75,000.
- Work Permit
The applicant receives a temporary work permit to start implementing his/her idea and working closely with the designated Canadian investment organization, which issued a Letter of Support.
This stage may take one to two months, depending on the visa office that will be processing applicant’s work permit application.
- Permanent Residence Application
The applicant and family may apply for permanent residence in Canada once all eligibility criteria have been met. We will prepare applicant’s complete permanent residence application and submit it to IRCC; the application processing takes approximately six (6) months to be approved.
Peer Review Process
The Canadian government may appoint peer panels from the designated associations to review the commitments between investor organizations and applicants in order to help prevent fraud and ensure the commitments are legitimate. Participants in this program are expected to enter the program in good faith and will be able to keep their Canadian permanent residence if their business fails. Our partner designated organizations have a proven track record under the Start-Up Visa program to deliver successfully established businesses.
British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) - Business Immigration
Requirements for Entrepreneur Immigration Stream
Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Entrepreneur Immigration stream is
designed for experienced entrepreneurs who are ready to invest in and actively
manage a business in British Columbia, Canada. The application process is a
scoring system and all candidates are assessed based on their experience, net worth,
investment, jobs creation, adaptability, and business concept.
Applicants for nomination in the Entrepreneur Stream will be required to:
- Make a personal investment of at least $400,000 CAD to establish or to purchase and expand an eligible business inside the Vancouver metropolitan area or $200,000 anywhere else in BC (more points are granted based on the sum of the investment and region).
- Create at least one new job in the business for a Canadian or permanent resident.
- Own at least one third (33.3%) of the equity of the business, unless personal equity investment is at least $1,000,000.
- Provide active and on-going participation in the day-to-day management and direction of the business.
- Demonstrate that they have:
- the skills and experience necessary to establish and operate a commercially viable business in BC, specifically:
- 3 years or more of experience as an active business owner-manager, or
- 4 years or more of experience as a senior manager, or
- combination of at least 1 year of experience as an active business owner-manager and at least 2 years of experience as a senior manager
- a personal net worth of at least $600,000 CAD obtained from legal sources
- sufficient unencumbered personal funds to make the required investment a viable business proposal.
- the skills and experience necessary to establish and operate a commercially viable business in BC, specifically:
Stages: (Source: BC PNP )
1. Preparation - Research and Exploratory Visit to British Columbia
The provincial authorities strongly encourage nominee applicants to research the market and make an exploratory visit to British Columbia prior to registering for the program. At this stage it is appropriate to meet with provincial authorities and explore business opportunities. We also recommend engaging a professional business broker firm to assist with selecting an eligible business.
Having conducted sufficient market research and obtained advice from business brokers/advisors, you may initiate registration on the BC PNP registration portal. We will create an account on your behalf and enter preliminary information about your business experience and proposed business in BC. If you meet the minimum registration requirements, you will be entered into the selection pool. Your registration is valid for six (6) months from the date that you receive your total registration score. Periodically, BC PNP will be inviting the highest-scoring registrants to apply for the program.
3. Invitation to Apply and Application
If you are invited to apply (ITA), we will prepare your complete application within four (4) months and submit it to BC PNP. You will be required to obtain a Review of Personal Net Worth from a qualified supplier, authorized by BC PNP to complete a report on your net worth and accumulation of funds and assets. The average price may range from $3,000 to $5,000 depending on the extent and complexity of your financial statements.
The Formal Application requires submission of the following:
- the applicable information for provincial and federal forms
- supporting documentation on your business experience, qualifications, and financial resources
- a comprehensive business plan
- CAD $3,500 BC PNP non-refundable processing fee.
Your completed application will be reviewed by a BC PNP business advisor. The information and supporting documentation submitted in your application must be verifiable to the BC PNP’s satisfaction. The BC PNP will conduct a review of your completed application and determine whether the application qualifies to proceed to the interview stage.
4. Personal InterviewYou will be required to attend a personal interview with a business advisor to discuss your application and business plan. You must have a thorough understanding of your business plan. A decision on your application will be made based on the information provided. If the application to the BC PNP is refused at this stage, the BC PNP will send you a letter advising you of the reasons for this refusal. The BC PNP will not refund any of the processing fees. If your application is approved, you will be invited to proceed to the next step.
5. Performance AgreementIf your application is approved, you will be required to sign a Performance Agreement with the Province of British Columbia. The Performance Agreement sets out terms and conditions for nomination that relate to implementing your business proposal. The agreement identifies key steps and milestones in establishing the proposed business, such as incorporating a company, leasing a building, buying and installing equipment, obtaining permits and hiring employees within a timeframe etc. These key steps and milestones must be included in your business plan.
6. Work PermitThe BC PNP will give you a Letter of Confirmation for a 2-year federal temporary work permit. The permit will allow you to work legally in Canada while you implement your business proposal. You must submit your application for a work permit to the appropriate CIC visa office within 60 days of the date on the BC PNP’s support letter. Your dependents will be granted temporary status as well.
7. Nomination and PRYou will be required to implement your business plan and submit an Arrival Report to the BC PNP office upon arrival to the province. When you have fulfilled the conditions of the performance agreement, your Final Report will be submitted to BC PNP. At this stage you will be accepted as a nominee candidate and we will be submitting a complete application for permanent residence for you and your dependents to the federal government.
The BC PNP will only consider registrations to establish or purchase and improve a business that contributes to the economic growth of the Province. The following sectors are considered and eligible for additional points:
- International Education
- Mining & Energy or Natural Gas Sector
- Technology and Green Economy
- Destination Tourism
- Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations
- establish a new business,
- purchase an existing business,
- form a partnership with an existing business, or
- partner with a local or foreign entrepreneur to establish a new business.
The BC PNP discourages registrants and applicants from making any investment prior to signing a Performance Agreement with the BC PNP and obtaining a valid work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
Eligible BusinessThe BC PNP will only consider applications to establish or purchase and expand a business that meet the following eligibility criteria:
- The business must be operated for the primary purpose of earning profits from active income through the provision of products and/or services.
- The business must have good potential for sustained commercial viability.
- The business must have the potential to create significant economic benefits for British Columbia. For example, the benefits may contribute to:
- increasing value-added manufacturing, processing or primary resource activity
- increasing exports of goods or services
- increasing destination tourism
- increasing R&D/technology commercialization
- developing innovative and creative approaches to traditional businesses
- transferring technology, skills and specialized know-how to the province
- servicing an underserved local or regional market
Ineligible BusinessApplications will NOT be approved where the BC PNP is not satisfied that the proposed business has the potential to be commercially viable in British Columbia. In addition, the BC PNP will NOT approve applications for the following type of businesses:
- Bed and breakfasts, hobby farms and home-based businesses
- Pay day loan, cheque cashing, money changing and cash machine businesses
- Coin operated laundries
- Automated car wash operations
- Sale of used goods (excluding collectibles, or where the business provides value-added services such as repairs, refurbishing, or recycling)
- Real estate development/brokerage, insurance brokerage or business brokerage
- Businesses involved in the production, distribution or sale of pornographic or sexually explicit products or services, or in the provision of sexually oriented services
- Any other type of business that by association would tend to bring the program or the Government of British Columbia into disrepute
- Convenience stores
- Video and DVD rental stores
- Gasoline service stations
- Personal dry cleaning services
The most popular path of immigrating to Canada as an investor is the QIIP, given it is a Government guaranteed, passive investment program with no stringent language, age or education requirements. The Province of Quebec administers its own immigration programs. The only Province to have such a dynamic program, Quebec shares responsibilities with the Canadian Federal Government for the selection of immigrants who wish to establish themselves in the Province of Quebec. However, once selected and granted status of Permanent Resident, any new Canadian Permanent Resident, may choose to reside in the Province of their choice.
Main qualifying Criteria for the QIIP are currently as follows:
- Principal Applicant (‘PA’) must prove a minimum net worth of CA$1,600,000 (if spouse included as dependent on the application, her assets may be included as well);
- PA must invest CA$800,000 in a zero interest, Quebec Government Bond, for five (5) years. While the investor gets zero return, he/she obtains security provided by the ‘Investment Quebec’ agency of the Province of Quebec.
Please note that most financial intermediaries will offer an up-front, all included, one-time financing package of approximately CA$250,000 which will cover the full CA$800,000 investment and interest over the five years including all of the set-up costs. With this financing option, immigrant investors do not have to liquidate high yield investments in other countries to meet the required investment requirement, which may also trigger undue tax consequences, while protecting against interest rate increases during this 5 years period. It also allows investors to use the available funds to acquire a property in Canada.
- PA must prove that he/she has had qualified business experience through business management or corporate employment management positions in two (2) of the last five (5) years;
- PA will have to provide proof how he/she has built current wealth and declare the nature of his/her assets and holdings;
- Please note that are no age requirements and no language requirements, but knowledge of English or French is a good asset;
- PA must confirm his/her ‘intentions' to settle in the Province of Quebec;
- Please note that following recent changes in Canadian immigration laws, dependent children can only be considered until the age of 19.
The QIIP process:
The first step requires us to make a preliminary assessment of your situation and available documentation to ascertain that you qualify and that it is the best path for you. This information will also enable us to preform our initial Due Diligence / background verification, both for internal and external regulatory requirements. Once you are cleared, we will select a Financial Intermediary that will help finance the required investment.
This QIIP program is therefore a 2 step process:
- You will file your QIIP application with the Quebec Immigration authorities and expect a conditional approval within 9-12 months; Applicants may also be called to meet a Quebec Immigration officer for an interview. Once you receive a conditional approval, you then have 4 months to transfer the required CA$800,000 (or CA$250,000 if financed as indicated above) investment. Quebec will send you a Certificate of selection of Quebec (‘CSQ’) as a proof of your acceptance.
- Upon receiving CSQ, we will prepare an application to obtain Permanent Resident status from the Federal Government, subject to medical and security verifications. This step may take another year or longer to complete, subject to processing times of the Canadian Visa office responsible for the place of residence of the applicant.
At the end of the process, once medical exams and security processing are cleared, the PA and his/her dependents, will each obtain a 5 year Permanent Resident Card, which can be renewed every 5 years, provided you and your dependents can meet residency requirement in Canada by residing at least 730 days during the 5 years.
In order to manage immigration intake levels, the QIIP has introduced an annual quota, and each Financial Intermediary is given a portion of the overall quota:
- The maximum number of applications is set at 1,900, among which a maximum of 1,330 applications from foreign nationals of the People's Republic of China, including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao.
- Applicants with advanced intermediate knowledge of French, demonstrated by a standardized test recognized by the MIDI, are not subject to this quota and can submit their application at any time.
As Financial Intermediaries will manage the quotas and only take their allotments, this means they will be very selective in the quality of candidates and applications they are willing to take. As files are accepted on a first in basis, if you are seriously interested to choose this program, we invite you to start the process at the earliest and be diligent in the document collection phase.
* In an effort to bolster French speaking immigration to increase retention of new immigrants on its territory, there is one (1) exception to this cap and closure, which is for applicants with an advanced intermediate level of French, demonstrated by a standardized test. Such applicant can still apply for the QIIP and would even be treated in priority, as the Cap and closure does not apply to them.
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