Business Immigration

1. Immigrating to Canada as an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are defined by the Immigration Act as people who have the ability to establish, purchase, or make a substantial investment in a business in Canada that will create or maintain employment for at least one person in Canada other than the applicant and his or her dependents. The entrepreneur must actively take part in the management of the business venture. An applicant must prove that he has a net worth of at least CAN$300,000 and has several recent years of management and ownership experience in operating a business. The applicant will also have to submit financial records of the previous 5 years of his business such as number of full time employees, total annual sales, annual net income and net assets of the company at year-end. His business must then pass the test of being a "qualifying business".

Specifically, the Entrepreneur Program allows applicants with business experience and a legally obtained minimum net worth of CAN$300,000 to immigrate to Canada provided that they commit to managing and owning at least one-third of a business of a defined size for at least one year within three years of landing in Canada.

In order to qualify as an entrepreneur, you must first meet the regulatory definition of an entrepreneur and then obtain a minimum of 35 points in a selection grid designed to determine whether you will be able to become economically established in Canada.

You must have managed a qualifying business and have had control of a percentage of equity of the qualifying business for at least two years in the period beginning five years before the date of your application for a permanent resident visa and ending on the day a determination is made in respect of your application.

A qualifying business means a business for which there is documented evidence of two of the following. In each of any two years in the period beginning five years before the date of application for a permanent resident visa and ending on the date a determination is made in respect of the application.

1. 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. the percentage of equity multiplied by the total annual sales is equal to or greater than CAN$500,000;
3. the percentage of equity multiplied by the net income in the year is equal to or greater than CAN$50,000; and
4. the percentage of equity multiplied by the net assets as the end of the year is equal to or greater than CAN$125,000.

Your business must not be operated primarily for the purpose of deriving investment income such as interest, dividends or capital gains.

Conditions

An entrepreneur who becomes a permanent resident must meet the following conditions:

a. the entrepreneur must control a percentage of the equity of a qualifying Canadian business equal to or greater than 33 1/3 per cent;
b. the entrepreneur must provide active and on-going management of the qualifying Canadian business; and
c. the entrepreneur must create at least one incremental full-time job equivalent in the qualifying Canadian business for Canadian citizens or permanent residents, other than the entrepreneur and their family members.

The entrepreneur must meet the conditions for a period of at least one year within the period of three years after the day on which the entrepreneur becomes a permanent resident.

How big is the Entrepreneur Program?

Over the past five years, approximately 1,000 entrepreneurs (principal applicants) a year have landed in Canada.

Where do most entrepreneurs come from?

Entrepreneurs come from all over the world. Currently, the majority of entrepreneurs are from China, Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong, but there are also large numbers of them applying from the Middle East and elsewhere.

2) Immigrating to Canada as a Self-Employed person.

The Self-Employed Person Program allows applicants with relevant experience in culture, athletics or farm management to immigrate to Canada provided that they make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada or purchase and manage a farm in Canada.

In order to qualify as self-employed, you must first meet the regulatory definition for self-employment and then obtain a minimum of 35 points in a selection grid designed to determine whether you will be able to become economically established in Canada.

To determine eligibility under the Self-Employed Persons Program, answer the following questions:

1. Have you been self-employed in cultural activities or athletics?
OR
2. Have you participated at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics?
OR
3. Have you had farm management experience?

If so, have you the intention and ability to be self-employed in Canada and to make significant contributions in cultural activities or athletics, or to purchase and manage a farm in Canada?

Can you obtain a minimum of 35 points in the selection grid?

Required Experience

You must have a minimum of two years of experience in one of the relevant activities. These two years of experience must have been gained during the period beginning five years before the date of your application for a permanent resident visa and ending on the day a determination is made on your application.

i. For those involved in cultural activities, your experience must consist of:
A. two one-year periods of experience in self-employment in cultural activities, or
B. two one-year periods of experience in participation at a world-class level in cultural activities, or
C. a combination of a one-year period of experience described in clause (A) and a one-year period of experience described in clause (B).
ii For Athletics, your experience must consist of:
A. two one-year periods of experience in self-employment in athletics, or
B. two one-year periods of experience in participation at a world-class level in athletics, or
C. a combination of a one-year period of experience described in clause (A) and a one-year period of experience described in clause (B).
iii For farm managers, in respect of the purchase and management of a farm,
you are required to have:
A. at least two one-year periods of experience in the management of a farm.

Other Requirements

In addition to demonstrating experience and the ability to financially support yourself, in order to qualify as a self-employed immigrant, you must also:
- Meet medical and security requirements. You and your family members must undergo and pass a medical examination and background checks.
- Meet any other requirements of Canadian federal and provincial immigration regulations.

What is meant by "cultural activities"?

We refer here to occupations generally considered to be part of Canada¡¯s artistic and cultural diversity. Examples include, but are not limited to, authors and writers, creative and performing artists, musicians, painters, sculptors and other visual artists, technical support and occupations in motion pictures, creative designers, craftspeople, etc. More examples may be found on the National Occupation Classification Web site.

Unlike the investor and entrepreneur programs, there are no regulated minimum net worth requirements. However, you will have to satisfy a visa officer that you have sufficient capital to settle yourself and your family in Canada and to finance the specified economic activities that your selection was based on .

Over the past five years, approximately 600 self-employed persons (principal applicants) a year have landed in Canada.

For further details of the Entrepreneur and Self Employment programs and the fees charged for the preparation and completion of an application package communicate with Leonard Simcoe.

 
 



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