Establish or Buy a Business in CanadaProvincial Nominee Programs

Canadian immigration legal framework allows each Canadian province/territory to design and enforce their own provincial programs known as Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). These programs target foreign nationals based on the province’s needs and priorities. Once a province nominates an individual, the federal government will assess his/her admissibility to Canada and ultimately grants them the right of permanent residency.

Each province has different PNP streams each designed to target a different group of potential immigrants. At SILAW, we only focus on PNP streams that are designed to attract entrepreneurs with the experience, intention and ability to start/buy a business in Canadian provinces, and permanently settle in Canada. These PNPs are often called Business PNPs.

Although every Business PNP is different, they all share the overarching provincial objective of performance-based selection. This means that Business PNPs almost always entail a business performance agreement signed between the province and the applicant. This performance agreement contains expectations and milestones that the applicant must meet in a specified timeframe, otherwise his/her nomination may be revoked. In practice the nominated applicant will get a work-permit to start working in and on the business, and will receive permanent residency if they meet the contractual performance milestones.

These PNPs are also similar in some of their categorical eligibility requirements. These requirements include but are not necessarily limited to having a certain net wroth, business experience, language proficiency, education, Age, investment, and performance milestones.

See Summaries of PNPs that SILAW Focus on:

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) – Self-Employed Farmer Stream

This program targets applicants with farm management skills who are willing to purchase and develop a farm in Alberta and settle in that province. This PNP program starts with a work-permit specific to working on the farm and permeant residency will be issued only if certain conditions are met.

AINP- Self-Employed Farmer Stream at a glance
Legal Ground Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
Net Worth Minimum of CAD 500,000 (may need verification)
Investment Minimum of CAD 500,000 (equity)
Experience Proof of farm management skills:

– financial document showing existing farm business

– documents proving education, training and work experience

– proposed business plan for the farming business in Alberta

Scope of Business Farming- Primary Production
Exploratory Visit Required
Interview Required – with a government of Alberta representative to assess eligibility
Path to PR Work-permit, performance agreement, fulfillment, PR
Processing Time ≈ 12 months
Remarks – often requires applicant to show the ability to invest more than the minimum

– needs proof that a Canadian financial institution is financing the proposed farming business

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) – Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category

This program targets senior managers or business owners who intend to establish new businesses or take over and grow existing businesses in BC.

 BCPNP- Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category at a glance
Legal Ground British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)
Net Worth Minimum of CAD 600,000 (must be verified)
Investment Minimum of CAD 200,000
Experience 3+ years of experience as a business owner-manager, OR, 4+ years of experience as a senior manager, OR, a combination of 1+ year of experience as a business owner-manager and 2+ years of experience as a senior manager
Education Post Secondary credential OR (3 years of active business owner-manager in the last 5 years with 100% ownership in business)
Language CLB 4 (English or French) due at final report stage
Business Proposal Required. For establishment or acquiring a business in BC.
Ownership in Proposed business At least one-third (%33.33)
Job Creation Required. At least one full-time job for Canadian/PR
Location Anywhere in BC
Scope of Business Must be eligible AND contribute to economic growth of the province
Exploratory Visit Not required
Interview Required
Path to PR Work-permit, performance agreement, Final Report in 18 months, fulfillment, PR
Processing Time ≈ 6 weeks for scoring + 4 months for decision
Performance Agreement Highlights – Must submit final report

– Active management and accountability for day-to-day operations of the business

– Must reside within 100km of the intended business

– Physical presence in BC for at least 75% while on work-permit

– Minimum language ability of CLB 4 by the time of Final Report submission

Remarks – Point-based selection. Total of 200 points (120 for self-declared and 80 for business proposal)

– Allows for partnership with ONE other applicant

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) – Regional Pilot

This pilot program is currently in force and focuses on attracting foreign entrepreneurs to establish businesses in regional communities.

The participating communities in this program have a key role and are actively involved in attracting foreign entrepreneurs. The communities may refer foreign entrepreneurs to the BCPNP whose business concept aligns with the community’s economic priorities. The foreign entrepreneur must be invited by the community to conduct an exploratory visit and present their concept to the community’s designated contact person prior to receiving a referral.

Please note that each participating community in this pilot has implemented its own unique process for arranging the necessary exploratory visits or issuing referrals. Therefore, those interested in this program shall first familiarize themselves with these communities, their economic priorities and the business opportunities to choose the community that is most compatible with their business goals.

BCPNP-Regional Pilot At a Glance
Legal Ground British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)
Net Worth Minimum of CAD 300,000 (must be verified)
Investment Minimum of CAD 100,000
Experience 3+ years of experience as a business owner-manager, OR, 4+ years of experience as a senior manager, OR, a combination of 1+ year of experience as a business owner-manager and 2+ years of experience as a senior manager
Education Post Secondary credential OR (3 years of active business owner-manager in the last 5 years with 100% ownership in business)
Language CLB 4 (English or French) due at Registration
Business Proposal Required. For establishment or acquiring a business in BC AND be referred by an enrolled community
Ownership in Proposed business Controlling interest (at least 51%)
Job Creation Required. At least one full-time job for Canadian/PR
Location ONLY in participating communities
Scope of Business Must be endorsed by the community based on certain criteria
Exploratory Visit Required before Registration
Interview Required
Path to PR Work-permit, performance agreement, Final Report in 12 months, fulfillment, PR
Processing Time ≈ 4 weeks for scoring + 4 months for decision
Performance Agreement Highlights – Must submit final report

– Active management and accountability for day-to-day operations of the business

– Must reside within 100km of the intended business

– Physical presence in BC for at least 75% while on work-permit

Remarks – Each community sets its own business requirements

– Point-based selection. Total of 200 points (140 for self-declared and 60 for business proposal)

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) – Strategic Projects Category

This program is for foreign corporations who have identified strategic investment opportunities in BC to establish operations that are integral to the growth and expansion of their core business. The foreign corporation may apply for provincial nomination to support the permanent residence of up to five of its current senior employees. These employees will actively manage the BC operation.

BCPNP-Strategic Projects Category at a glance
Legal Ground British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)
Company eligibility – Excellent financial health

– well-established and in the course of conducting active business

– Identify investment opportunities in BC based on commercial decisions and credible foundations

Key staff eligibility – Current senior employees with qualifications and experience that are essential to establish and operate the business in BC

– Employed in an executive or senior managerial position, or has specialized knowledge essential to the proposed BC operation

– Will be employed in a permanent full-time capacity at the BC operation with a wage commensurate with his/her expertise and consistent with industry and corporate compensation structures

Investment Minimum of $500,000 (directly toward BC operation)
Education Post Secondary credential OR 3 years of active business owner-manager in the last 5 years with 100% ownership in business
Language CLB 4 (English or French) due at Registration
Business Proposal Required and shall be based on sound business/commercial grounds
Job Creation Required. At least three new full-time jobs for Canadians/PRs for EACH foreign key staff member proposed
Location Anywhere in BC
Scope of Business Must be eligible AND provide significant economic benefit to BC
Exploratory Visit Required to discuss the business proposal
Interview Required
Path to PR Work-permit, performance agreement, Final Report in 12 months, fulfillment, PR
Processing Time ≈ 4 months
Performance Agreement Highlights – Must submit final report

– Must make agreed upon investment

– All proposed key staff have to arrive in BC within 180 days of work-permit and be employed full-time by the business

– Site visits and interviews are very likely

Remarks – Successful corporate applicants typically have at least 150 staff members and annual revenues of at least $20,000,000.
Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) – Manitoba Farm Investor Pathway

This program is for individuals with proven farm business experience, sufficient available capital to invest, and the intention to establish and operate a farm operation in rural Manitoba.

Successful applicants will have to establish a farm business in rural Manitoba producing primary products that is consistent with the province’s current farm industry. The type of operation and investment must correlate with Provincial statistics and be relevant to Manitoba’s farm industry. Agri-business operations not producing primary products may qualify under the Entrepreneur Pathway.

MPNP- Farm Investor Pathway At a Glance
Legal Ground Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
Net Worth Minimum of CAD 500,000 (may need verification)
Investment Minimum of CAD 300,000 (tangible assets)
Experience Minimum of three years farm ownership and operation experience supported by verifiable documents.
Language No official score but must be able to conduct the interview in either English or French
Scope of Business Farming- Primary Production AND type of operation and investment must correlate with Provincial statistics and be relevant to Manitoba’s farm industry
Exploratory Visit Required. Must conduct a Farm Business Research visit
Interview Required
Path to PR Work-permit, performance agreement, Fulfillment, PR
Processing Time ≈ 12 months
Remarks – Must be in rural Manitoba

– Must live on the farm

– Must actively participate in farm management on an ongoing basis from within Manitoba

– Investment cannot be speculative (buy/hold/sell for profit)

– Shall not use 3rd party farm managers

– If nomination is approved, a deposit of $75,000 shall be made to the government of Manitoba to ensure applicant will abide by the investment terms and will reside in Manitoba

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) – Manitoba Entrepreneur Pathway

This program targets qualified business people who have the intention and ability to move to Manitoba and establish, purchase a business or become partners in an existing business within the first 24 months of arrival in Canada on a temporary work permit.

MPNP- Entrepreneur At a Glance
Legal Ground Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
Net Worth Minimum of $500,000 (must be verified)
Investment – $250,000 for businesses situated in the Manitoba Capital Region.

– $150,000 for businesses situated outside of the Manitoba Capital Region.

Experience – Minimum of three years of full-time work experience in the past five years either as an active business owner or working in a senior management role of a successful business.

– Business owners are given higher points in comparison to senior managers.

– Business owners must have at least 33 1/3% ownership to qualify for points.

Education High school Diploma
Age No minimum or maximum but points are awarded accordingly to candidates 29-49 years of age
Language CLB 5 (English or French)
Business Plan Required.
Ownership in Proposed business %33.33
Job Creation Required. At least one job for a Canadian Citizen/PR (excluding applicant and close family)
Location Within Manitoba
Scope of Business Must be eligible
Exploratory Visit Required. (no more that one year prior to submission of EOI)
Interview Required
Path to PR Work-permit, performance agreement, Fulfillment, PR
Processing Time ≈ 6 months
Performance Agreement Highlights After an application is approved, a Business Performance Agreement (BPA) must be signed prior to the MPNP issuing you a letter of support for applying for a work permit
Remarks – Point-based selection with points for adaptability criteria such as spouse language ability, relative residing in Manitoba, child enrolment in Manitoba education system, etc

– Requires two progress reports after arrival, first within 6 months of arrival and the second no later that 20 months of arrival

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) – Entrepreneurial Stream

This program is designed for experienced business owners and senior managers who wish to become permanent residents by owning a business in New Brunswick and managing it, while residing in the Province.

NMPNP- Entrepreneurial Stream At a Glance
Legal Ground New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
Net Worth Minimum of $600,000 (may be verified)
Investment Minimum of $250,000
Experience At least three years of experience in managing and owning a business (of at least 33.3%) in the last 5 years OR five years of experience in a senior business management role in the last 5 years
Education Minimum of a two-year post-secondary education after high school
Age No minimum or maximum but points will be awarded accordingly
Language Minimum of CLB 5 (English or French)
Business Plan Required. must be approved by NB government AND show how the business will benefit NB
Ownership in Proposed business At least %33.33
Job Creation Required. At least two full-time jobs for Canadian citizen/PR (excluding applicant and close family)
Location NB
Scope of Business Must create economic benefit for NB. Priority will be given to business that:

– Increase value-added manufacturing or processing for NB exports.

– Enhance R&D

– Develop new products and/or services

– Develop innovative approaches to traditional businesses

– Develop and/or enhance new technologies

– Transfer technology and specialized knowledge to NB

– Provide products and/or services to an under-served local or regional market;

Exploratory Visit Not required but strongly recommended (must provide visit report)
Interview May be required
Path to PR Work-permit, Business Performance Agreement, Fulfillment, PR
Processing Time Varies case by case (at least 8 months)
Performance Agreement Highlights – 2 years to fulfill the terms and condition from landing date

– Requires active day-to-day management and residence in NB among other business milestones

Remarks –  Point-based selection

– Applicant must assume a day-to-day management role in the business

– NB government will conduct two to three site visits to ensure compliance with business performance agreement

– Requires a deposit of $100,000 to NB government to ensure compliance with Business Performance Agreement

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP) - International Entrepreneur Category

This program is intended for experienced business owners or senior business managers who wish to permanently reside in Newfoundland and Labrador.  They must start a new business or buy an existing business and must actively participate in the day-to-day management of the business.  After operating the business for at least one continuous year, the international entrepreneur may be nominated for permanent resident status, subject to fulfillment of certain criteria outlined by the Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism of the province.

NLPNP- International Entrepreneur Category At a Glance
Legal Ground Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
Net Worth Minimum of $600,000
Investment Minimum of $200,000
Experience At least two years’ experience actively managing and owning a business (%25 minimum ownership) in the last five years OR 5 or more years’ experience in a senior business management role in the last ten years
Education High school Diploma
Age 21-59
Language CLB 5 (English or French)
Business Plan Required. Must accompany financial documents verified by 3rd party
Ownership in Proposed business At least %33.3 or $1,000,000 in equity investment
Job Creation At least one full-time job for Canadian citizen/PR
Location Newfoundland and Labrador
Scope of Business Must have the potential to create significant economic benefit to

Newfoundland and Labrador. For example:

– Increase value added manufacturing or processing, exports, destination tourism, research and development, and technology commercialization;

– Develop innovative approaches to traditional businesses

– Transfer technology and specialized knowledge to Newfoundland and Labrador; or

– Provide products or services to an under-served local or regional market

Exploratory Visit Required
Interview Required
Path to PR Work-permit, Business Performance Agreement, Fulfillment, PR
Processing Time Varies case-by-case (at least 8 months)
Performance Agreement Highlights – Must be signed within 15 days from interview completion

– Includes obligations on: active business management, investment amount, ownership percentage, job creation, business succession, location and etc.

Remarks – Point-based selection with points awarded for Age, Language, Education, Business Experience, Province priorities, and adaptability

– Requires one year of active business management before request for nomination

– Requires an Audit Opinion after PR application that includes an audit of financial statements of the business

– Requires Special Purpose Report after PR application to show financial viability, sustainability, improvement, market analysis, competitive analysis and etc.

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) - Entrepreneur Stream

This program is for experienced business owners or senior business managers who want to live in Nova Scotia. They must start a new business or buy an existing business and must actively participate in the day-to-day management of the business. After operating the business for a year, the entrepreneur may be nominated for permanent resident status. Application to the stream is by invitation only.

NSNP- Entrepreneur Stream At a Glance
Legal Ground Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
Net Worth Minimum $600,000 (must be verified)
Investment Minimum $150,000
Experience At least 3 years actively managing and owning a business (1/3 ownership minimum) OR more than 5 years in a senior business management role
Education Highs school diploma
Age No minimum or maximum but points will be awarded accordingly
Language CLB 5 (English or French)
Business Plan Required
Ownership in Proposed business At least %33.33
Job Creation At least one full-time job for Canadian citizen/PR
Location Nova Scotia
Scope of Business Must have the potential to create significant economic benefit to Nova Scotia. For example:

– Increase value added manufacturing or processing, exports, destination tourism, research and development, and technology commercialization

– Develop innovative approaches to traditional businesses

– Transfer technology and specialized knowledge to NS

– Provide products or services to an under-served local or regional market

Exploratory Visit Required. Report must be submitted
Interview Required
Path to PR Work-permit, Business Performance Agreement,  Fulfillment,  PR
Processing Time At least 8 months
Performance Agreement Highlights – Must assume residence in NS within 12 month of approval

– Proof of fund transfer of $150,000 to NS

– Assume a managerial position and attend the business premises on a regular basis

– Operate business based on Business Establishment Plan

Remarks – Point-based selection with points awarded for Age, Language, Education, Business ownership and/or Experience, Net worth, NS’s economic priorities, investment, and adaptability

– Must provide active and ongoing participation in the day-to-day management of the business from the place of business in NS

– Different requirements for starting a business v purchasing an existing business

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) – Entrepreneur Stream

This program targets entrepreneurs interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario. It gives an entrepreneur (and up to one foreign national business partner) the opportunity to be nominated for permanent residence once their business has been established in Ontario.

ONIP- Entrepreneur At a Glance
Legal Ground Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
Net Worth – Minimum $800,000 for GTA (City of Toronto, Durham, Halton York and Peel regions)

– Minimum $400,000 for outside of GTA

– Minimum $400,000 for businesses in ICT sector

Investment – Minimum $600,000 for GTA (City of Toronto, Durham, Halton York and Peel regions)

– Minimum $200,000 for outside of GTA

– Minimum $200,000 for businesses in ICT sector

Experience At least 24 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months as a business owner or as a senior manager (as an owner, must have had active role AND owner at least 1/3 of the business)
Education No minimum requirement, but points will be awarded under human capital factors
Language CLB 4 (English or French)
Business Proposal Required and will be awarded points based on business model, market research, significant economic benefit and key sector, investment allocation, business location, and job creation
Ownership in Proposed business At least %33.33
Job Creation – Two full-time jobs if in GTA

– One full-time job if outside GTA or in ICT sector

Location Ontario
Scope of Business Must be eligible, and cannot be passive
Exploratory Visit Required. Must be in the 12 months prior to EOI submission
Interview Required
Path to PR Work-permit, Business Performance Agreement, Fulfillment, PR
Processing Time ≈ 6 weeks for scoring + 4 months for decision
Performance Agreement Highlights -Must be actively managing the business

– Mandatory business milestones and achievements

– Timeframes for all commitments

Remarks – Point-based selection. Total of 200 points (74 for business concept, 46 for Investment factors, 80 for human capital factors)

– No minimum score to enter the draw and if applying with partner, the lowest score will be used

– allows for partnership with ONE other applicant

– Different requirements for starting a new business v acquiring an existing one

– Applicant(s) have a maximum of 20 months from arrival to fulfill Business Performance Agreement and apply for PR

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) – Entrepreneur Category

This program offers applicants the opportunity to establish, acquire, or partner in a business in Saskatchewan and be actively involved in its management, and obtain Canadian Permanent Residency.

SINP- Entrepreneur Category At a Glance
Legal Ground Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
Net Worth Minimum of $500,000 (must be verified)
Investment Minimum of $300,000 if in Regina or Saskatoon

Minimum of $200,000 if in any other community

Experience At least 3 years of entrepreneurial experience in the last 10 years
Education No minimum but points will be awarded for education
Language Not Required but points and priority will be awarded
Business Proposal Required
Ownership in Proposed business At least %33.33 or $1,000,000 in equity investment
Job Creation At least two jobs for Canadian citizen/PR
Location Saskatchewan
Scope of Business Must be eligible and points and priority will be awarded to businesses in the fields of: Science and technology, Manufacturing, Export, Rural Business Succession, and Rural Business Development
Exploratory Visit If purchasing an existing business, Required

If starting a new business, NOT Required BUT priority will be given for conducting a visit

Interview Required (either in-person or remote)
Path to PR Work-Permit, Business Performance Agreement, Fulfillment, PR
Processing Time At least 6 months
Performance Agreement Highlights Specifies applicant’s level of investment, place of investment, specific industry, and business milestones
Remarks -Point-based selection system with point awarded for Human Capital Factors (Age, Exploratory Visit, Language Ability, Education, Net Worth), Business Experience (Entrepreneurial Experience, Business Revenue, Innovation), Business Establishment Plan (Investment Amount, Investment in Key Economic Sectors)

– Possibility to enter into a Joint Venture with ONE other applicant

– Must arrive in Saskatchewan within 18 months of receiving approval

Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) – Business Stream

This program is for business people with the ability to establish, purchase, or invest in an existing business in Northwest Territories. Selection will be primarily based on ability to create jobs for the applicant, and other Canadians living in the region.

The process begins with a working business concept and a desire to move to the Northwest Territories. Prospective applicants submit complete applications and business plans for review to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment. If the applicant is accepted and the business plan is implemented, a nomination certificate will be issued and the applicant may apply for Permanent Residency.

NTNP- Business Stream At a Glance
Legal Ground Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
Net Worth – Minimum of $500,000 if business in within Yellowknife

– Minimum of $250,000 if business is outside Yellowknife

Investment – Minimum of $300,000 if business in within Yellowknife

-Minimum of $150,000 if business is outside Yellowknife

Experience Must have “necessary” experience and education to successfully implement the business plan
Education
Language CLB 4 (English or French)
Business Proposal Required
Ownership in Proposed business At least %33.33 or $1,000,000 in equity investment
Job Creation – Minimum one full-time employee and one part-time employee if the business is within Yellowknife

– Minimum one full-time or two part-time employees if the business is outside Yellowknife

Location Northwest Territories
Scope of Business Must be Eligible
Exploratory Visit Required
Interview Required prior to EOI
Path to PR Work-permit, Business Performance Agreement, Fulfillment, PR
Processing Time No wait-list and relatively fast processing time (At least 4 month)
Performance Agreement Highlights – Requires in-trust deposit of $75,000 to ensure compliance

– Residency obligation within 100 Km from business operation AND 75% residency time while on work-permit

– Operate business for at least 12 months

– Complete Business Performance Agreement Interim Report AND Business Stream Final Report

Remarks – Requires a self-assessment and initial investigation before the interview

– Expression of interest only accepted after successful interviews

– Program requires knowledge of Northwest Territories and its business context, will be tested in interview

Yukon Nominee Program (YNP) – Business Nominee Program

The program is designed to attract and retain skilled international entrepreneurs to add diversity and innovation to Yukon’s economy. Accepted applicants become candidates for nomination support and may start a new business, purchase an existing business, or partner with an existing business. In all cases, the candidate must operate the business.

Candidates receive support for a two-year work permit, during which time they are to establish themselves, their family and their business in Yukon. At the end of the permit period, candidates who meet the requirements will be eligible to apply for Permanent Residency.

YNP- Business Nominee Program At a Glance
Legal Ground Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)
Net Worth Minimum $500,000 (must be verified)
Investment Minimum $300,000
Experience Minimum 3 years of entrepreneurial or business management
Education Minimum high school diploma
Language IELTS 4 or TEF 4 (by the time of PR application)
Business Proposal Required
Ownership in Proposed business At least %33.33
Job Creation Not specified
Location Yukon
Scope of Business Must be in one of the following Strategic Sectors: IT, Manufacturing, Value-added procession, Forestry, Tourism, Energy, Mining, Agriculture, Cultural Industry, Film/Video production
Exploratory Visit Not required but points will be awarded for prior visit
Interview Required
Path to PR Work-permit, Performance Contract, Fulfillment, PR
Processing Time At least 6 months
Performance Agreement Highlights – Obligation to reside in Yukon with dependents, if applicable, while actively managing and investing in Yukon business.

– Contractual business milestones

Remarks -Point-based selection with points awarded for investment value, liquid assets, net worth, age, prior visit, education and training, business experience, work experience, language, location of proposed business

– Applicant MUST meet a 65 points threshold

– Applicant must have 5 years of “relevant” experience related to the proposed business

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Net Worth?

In simple terms, your Net Worth is everything you own(assets) minus what you owe(liabilities). Your assets can be tangible like cash, cash-equivalent, and real estate or intangible like patents, goodwill, and licenses. In most PNPs your spouse’s Net Worth can also count towards yours.

The minimum requirement for Net Worth is different for each PNP. It can also be different based on the geographical location within each province. For example, the required Net Worth in the Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP) for a business outside of Yellowknife is $250,000 while for a business within Yellowknife is $500,000. These amounts for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program(OINP) for within and outside of the Greater Toronto Area is $800,000 and $400,000 respectively.

How is my Net Worth verified?

Usually the province considering your nomination has authorised third-parties to conduct reviews and verification on your claimed Net Worth. Some provinces may do this themselves. Nevertheless the process involves submission of documents proving claimed Net Worth. Depending on the complexity, nature and diversity of your finances the process can be both complicated and time consuming.

Examples of the types of documents you will need to provide are title deed, property valuation report, banks statements, purchase agreements, share certificates, income statements for businesses, statements of profit and loss, copy of your accountant’s license and contact information, transfer of share documents and etc.

For some provinces there are country-specific documents that you will need to submit to either the province or the third-party authorised by the province depending on your country of residence.

Can I use my existing business for these programs?

You cannot use that business per se to satisfy the PNP requirements but you can base your Canadian business on your existing business outside of Canada. This strategy shall be adopted with care, due diligence and depending on the type your business, and sophistication of your home jurisdiction’s market. For example if you are coming from a common wealth jurisdiction you may find many similarities between Canada and your home jurisdiction but if you are coming from a less sophisticated market, then you have to be very careful about how your business should adapt to the Canadian market.

What is Minimum Investment?

The minimum investment requirement is the minimum amount that each province expects you to spend on your proposed business. All investments shall be made based on the province’s guidelines and the terms of your Business Performance Agreement. Not all investments are eligible.

The amount of the minimum investment like the net worth varies between each province and it can also vary based on geography. In some provinces like Ontario, the minimum investment also varies based on the type of business.

Are there any limitations on how I spend the required amount on the business?

Almost all provinces have guidelines that govern investment eligibility. These guidelines are different for each province.

Examples of eligible investments are new equipment purchase, leasehold improvement, inventory, operating expenses and etc. Examples of ineligible investments are cash and working capital, wage paid to yourself and your family members, passive investments(i.e. buy and hold real estate to sell for profit) and etc.

The underlying objective of provincial guidelines imposed on investments is to ensure that the proposed business will lead to active income, and therefore create economic stimulus. Through the years of implementing PNPs the provinces have made the use of their programs very difficult for passive investors who are mainly interested in obtaining the right of Permanent Residency as opposed to run a well intended business.

Is the success of my proposed business important?

Success is rather a vague term in this context. What is important however is the terms of your Business Performance Agreement. This agreement stipulates business milestones that you will have to meet in order to be eligible for provincial nomination, and eventually the right of Permanent Residency. These milestones are usually based on your business plans and are finalized after a series of negotiations with the provincial authorities.

What is the Business Performance Agreement?

This is the agreement that potential provincial nominees sign with the provincial government that outlines all terms and conditions that will determine their ultimate eligibility for nomination and permanent residency. Every agreement is different and unique to each business and applicant but in general these agreements contain terms pertaining to:

  • Investment terms, amounts and timelines;
  • Number and type of jobs to be created;
  • Mandatory business milestones and achievements;
  • Reporting and audit requirements;
  • Deadlines for commitments;
  • Registration, licensing, provision of goods and services commitments;
  • Location of proposed business and applicant’s residency requirements;
Do I have to be physically present in the province all the time?

Every PNP sets its own residency requirement but almost all of them have this requirement. For example some provinces require the applicant to be physically residing in the province for 75% of the Performance Agreement period. Some provinces even impose a geographical vicinity obligation (i.e. applicant must prove they have resided within 100 kilometres of the business).

These obligations are set in place to deter those seeking only the right of permanent residency as opposed to having the primary intention of running a legitimate business.

Can I move to another province after I become a Permanent Resident of Canada?

In most cases when you apply to receive a provincial nomination, you sign a letter indicating your intent to settle in that province, and in some case like in New Brunswick, you even sign a commitment to reside in the province. However once you become a permanent resident of Canada you are afforded Mobility Rights pursuant to section 6(2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that allows every permanent resident of Canada to move and take up residence in any province. But this right is not absolute. While there is indeed the possibility that your nominating province can request the IRCC to revoke your PR status on the grounds of misrepresentation (arguing that you misrepresented your intent to stay in the province), the law on this point remains ambiguous and open to interpretation.

Provinces nominate you for permanent residency because they want you to reside in that province and contribute to its economic prosperity, and while they have the legal possibility to cause your PR revocation if you ultimately move out of the province, they will have an incredibly difficult job in succeeding.

Are the requirements in PNPs that allow business partners, divided among the partners?

No. while some PNPs allow for co-applicants or business partners on a single proposed business, they expect each and every applicant to meet the program requirements. For example, in Ontario if you have a foreign national business partner, they must also meet the minimum investment funds requirement on their own (i.e. in the case of business being in the GTA, each applicant must invest a minimum of $600,000 for a minimum total investment of $1,200,000 in the proposed business).

What is Business Eligibility in PNP programs?

Every PNP is designed to accommodate the economic priorities of its province. Therefore, PNPs usually impose restrictions on the type of business that you can buy or establish in that province. For example, Ontario does not allow you to buy an existing franchise for a proposed business within the GTA, or you cannot start a real estate development business in British Colombia, or you cannot start or buy a bed and breakfast business in Manitoba. It is therefore very important that you are properly advised on business eligibility for each PNP.

What is Active Management?

Active management or active involvement in the day-to-day management activities of the proposed business is almost always a requirement in every PNP. The purpose here is to ensure your engagement on the business thus increasing its chances for success and economic contribution to the province. This requirement is yet another measure used by provinces to prevent individuals from primarily wanting to obtain immigration privileges rather than running legitimate businesses in the province.

The active management requirement coupled with the residency requirements mean that you will have to be physically present to manage your business in the province.

How do point-based PNPs work?

Similar to other point-based immigration programs, the point-based PNPs set minimum requirements for eligibility but will choose applicants from those scoring the highest points. For example, in Ontario, the most popular province for immigration, applicants need at least twice the minimum eligibility scores to have a chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply. Therefore, you need to bear in mind that merely meeting the minimum requirements for point-based PNPs will not result in your admission into those programs. This is particularly the case for provinces that are popular for immigration (like Ontario and British Colombia).

How long will it take to get permanent residency through PNPs?

While no specific time can be given, the time line for PNPs can be divided in the following:

  1. Time to prepare your case: This is perhaps the longest time you will need to spend in this process and will include time spent on: identifying business opportunities, formulating a business action plan, field and market research, writing and finalizing the business plan, preparing the necessary documents for submission of an Expression of Interest, visit the province if required, and final submissions.
  2. Province Processing Time: This is the time that the province will take to process your application and varies in each province between 4 to 12 months.
  3. Performance Agreement duration: This is the time in which you will have to meet all the terms and conditions of your Business Performance Agreement to be eligible for nomination and permanent residency. this time also varies between each province between 12 to 36 months.
How can I retain SILAW for my Business Immigration needs?

It often starts with a Complimentary Business Immigration Assessment that we will conduct for you free of charge. In this process we will evaluate the information you provide to formulate tailored strategies for your needs and expectations. We then will schedule a Complimentary Consultation Session wherein we share the results of the assessment with you and will determine if we are the right fit for each other. If we mutually reach a decision to form a professional relationship, we will send you a retainer agreement and when you accept and sign, we will begin working for you.

What is a retainer?

Depending on how you use this term, it can mean either of the two following things:

  • A lump sum of money paid to a lawyer to secure his/her services and to cover legal fees and other future expenses of a legal action (referred to as a “retainer fee”); or
  • A written agreement (contract) between the lawyer and client that is the basis for the lawyer-client relationship (referred to as “Retainer Agreement”);
What can I expect from the Complimentary Business Immigration Assessment?

There are many different business immigration programs and they are often complicated to navigate, and determine whether they are a good match for your needs. We fill that gap by providing you with an assessment that will analyse your situation against many different business immigration programs to identify the one(s) that best suit your needs and expectations.

The results of this assessment, among other things, will be discussed with you during a scheduled Complimentary Consultation Session.

What can I expect from the Complimentary Consultation Session?

Please note that for our Business Immigration section, no Complimentary Consultation Session is scheduled unless you complete the Business Immigration Assessment Questionnaires.     

Our Complimentary Consultation Session is a half-hour meeting (in-person or remote) with one of our lawyers to discuss the results of your Business Immigration Assessment, your needs and expectations,  and to decide whether we are a good fit for each other. The purpose of this meeting is to ensure that we can actually help you achieve your goals and it is not to address all of your concerns and questions.

There is no obligation on you and no obligation on us to continue our relationship and the complimentary consultation session will not, on its own, form a lawyer-client relationship between you and our firm.

What type of Fee Arrangement can I expect from SILAW?

For all Business Immigration services we will charge you a Flat Fee. In this arrangement we will charge you a single fixed fee for services that we specify in your Retainer Agreement. The fixed (flat) fee is divided into different installments that will be due once certain milestones are met.

Why should I trust SILAW?

There are many reasons. You can read about some of them here or here. Also SILAW Professional Corporation is a licensed corporation by the Law Society of Ontario and as such it is held to its professional and ethical rules of conduct. You can read about these rules here.

But the BEST way to answer this question is to see us in action. For better insights to judge our value, consult as many professionals as you can, then Contact Us and decide for yourself.

Do you guarantee results?

Based on the rules of our governing body (the Law Society of Ontario) we cannot use contingency billing or guarantee results in an immigration matter. But we can, and we do guarantee that we will provide the best possible client service and legal representation.

We will always honestly assess your case (both good and bad) and set realistic expectations during your consultation. We’ll discuss our goals and objectives but no duly licensed attorney can ever guarantee how a case will conclude.

As an alternative to looking for guaranteed results we recommend you look for an attorney who most likely will succeed. Because in immigration matters your life and future is at stake, and getting a refund is little consolation. Mistakes and omissions in this area of law will gravely jeopardize your future chances. Therefore it is very important you choose your representation carefully.

Start Complimentary Business Immigration Assessment now

Please Contact us if you have question

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