Emigrate to & from Canada
The world’s second biggest country by area is spread across six time zones and offers infinite opportunities for an investor or entrepreneur. Canada is a perfect balance between of pristine mountain wilderness and fast-paced, high-rise cities. The country is a true immigrant melting pot and an economic success story, with good schools, health and transport infrastructure. With a stable political system, a strong regulatory framework and low levels of corruption, Canada regularly ranks as one of the best places in the world to do business. Its proximity to the United States and close links to Asia and Europe make it the ideal base for any entrepreneur or high-net-worth individual.
Canada is one of the most attractive places in the world to start a business, and the country now offers a general “Start-Up Visa” in a bid to attract the world’s best and brightest innovators and entrepreneurs. The Start-Up Visa program operates nationwide and applicants are not bound by a commitment to live in a particular province or territory.
Start-Up Visa applicants must meet a set of eligibility criteria including a letter of support from an eligible Canadian venture capital or angel investor firm, literacy in English or French, and proof of an ability to support yourself financially one you have moved to Canada. Processing times are relatively fast and currently stand between 12 months and 16 month.
The Start-Up needs to be able to demonstrate that it is an innovative concept, that it can create jobs for Canadians, and that it can compete on a global scale. Applicants must secure the support of an approved venture capital firm, an angel investor group, or a business incubator. These so-called “designated organizations” will evaluate the start-up’s business plan and determine whether to make an investment commitment. Only start-ups with a letter of support and investment intention from a “designated organization” can proceed with their application.
Each Canadian province and territory is permitted to offer its own bespoke start-up and/or investor visa program. The requirements of each differ, allowing the provinces to compete for talent. Options range from British Columbia, which incentivizes immigrants to set up businesses in communities with a population of less than 75,000, to Ontario, which requires a $5 million CAD investment and the creation of five full-time Canadian jobs. We recommend you consult with D&A to discuss the full range of options available.
Investors have the opportunity to gain Permanent Residency in Canada if they are able to make a risk-free investment of CAD $1.2 million in the French-speaking Province of Quebec. This is a passive investment for a fixed five years in a government-approved fund that bears no interest. The investor must be able to approve a net worth of at least CAD 2 million and must also express an intention to settle in Quebec. Applications are subject to a points-based evaluation with criteria including age, language proficiency, education, and connections to Quebec.
The lowest cost PNP program is offered by New Brunswick in eastern Canada neighboring Maine in the United States. Permanent Residency can be obtained through a $250,000 CAD investment in a business in New Brunswick. The applicant must own a minimum of a third of the business and must be actively involved in day-to-day management. Applicants have the option to establish a new business or buy into an existing business provided that it has been profitable and in continuous operation for the previous three years.
Canadian professionals are eligible for the TN visa through NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada also holds an E-2 Treaty with the United States, which means Canadians are eligible for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. The E-2 is a popular visa for Canadians seeking to start or buy a business in the United States from as little as $100,000 USD. Another popular option with higher-net-worth Canadians is the EB-5 Visa. This visa offers a fast route to a Green Card (permanent residency) for Canadians able to invest a minimum if $900,000 USD in the United States.