Provincial Nominee Programs

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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. In this section, 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.

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Alberta

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

 Self-Employed Farmer Stream

Summary

This program targets applicants with farm management skills who are willing to purchase and develop a farm in Alberta and settle in this 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;

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 🡪 business 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

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)

Entrepreneur Immigration Base Category

Summary

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

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;

Ownership in Proposed business

At least one-third (%33.33);

Job Creation

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 🡪 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

Summary

This is a PILOT program focused on attracting foreign entrepreneurs participating regional communities in BC. Please note that each participating community in this pilot has implemented its own unique process, therefore you shall first familiarize yourself with these communities, their economic priorities and the business opportunities to choose the community that is most compatible with your business goals;

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;

Ownership in Proposed business

Controlling interest (at least 51%);

Job Creation

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 🡪 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

Summary 

For foreign corporations who have identified strategic investment opportunities in B.C. 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 B.C. operation;

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

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 🡪 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

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)

 Manitoba Farm Investor Pathway

Summary

For individuals with proven farm business experience, sufficient available capital to invest, and who intend to establish and operate a farm operation in rural Manitoba;

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 🡪 business 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

Summary

For qualified business people who have the intent 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;

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

Highschool 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

At least one job for a Canadian Citizen/PR (excluding applicant and close family);  

Location

Anywhere in 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 🡪 business performance agreement 🡪 fulfillment 🡪 PR;

Processing Time

6 months; 

Performance Agreement Highlights

  • Must submit periodic report;
  • Must be actively managing the business;
  • Grants access to province to request any document;
  • Unannounced visits to business location;
  • Must reside within 100 km of business;
  • Must be physically present in the province for at least 80% of work-permit duration; 

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

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)

 Entrepreneurial Stream

Summary 

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;

Legal Ground

New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP);

Net Worth

Minimum of $500,000 (may be verified);

Investment 

Minimum of $150,000;

Experience

  • Management AND ownership experience for 3 years in the last 5 years, OR
  • Senior management experience for 5 years in the last 5 years; 

Education

High school diploma;

Age

No min or max but point 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

At least one full-time jobs for Canadian citizen/PR (excluding applicant and close family);

Location

Anywhere in New Brunswick;

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;

Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)

 International Entrepreneur Category

Summary 

For experienced business owners or senior business managers who wish to permanently reside in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Legal Ground

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP);

Net Worth

Minimum of $600,000;

Investment 

Minimum of $200,000;

Experience

  • At least 2 two years of fulltime and active business management and ownership in the last 5 years, OR
  • 5 years of senior business management experience in the last 10 years;

Education

Highschool 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

Anywhere in 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;
  • 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

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)

 Entrepreneur Stream

Summary

For experienced business owners or senior business managers who want to live in Nova Scotia, and start a new business or buy an existing business;

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 min or max but point 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

Anywhere in 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 months 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

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Entrepreneur Stream

Summary

For seasoned entrepreneurs interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario;

Legal Ground

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP);

Net Worth

  • Minimum $800,000 for Greater Toronto Area (City of Toronto, Durham, Halton York and Peel regions); 
  • Minimum $400,000 for outside of Greater Toronto Area;
  • Minimum $400,000 for businesses in Internet Communication Technology (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;

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 business is in GTA;
  • One full-time job if business is outside of GTA;
  • One full-time job if business is in ICT sector;

Location

Anywhere in Ontario;

Scope of Business

Must be eligible;

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;
  • Includes mandatory business milestones and achievements;
  • Contains timeframes for any commitment;  

Remarks

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

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

Entrepreneur Category

Summary 

For entrepreneurs interested in establishing, acquiring, or partnering in a business in Saskatchewan and be actively involved in its management, and obtain Canadian Permanent Residency;

Legal Ground

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP);

Net Worth

Minimum of $500,000 (must be verified);

Investment 

  • Minimum of $300,000 if business is in Regina or Saskatoon;
  • Minimum of $200,000 if business is in any other community;

Experience

At least 3 years of entrepreneurial experience in the past 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

Anywhere in 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;

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

Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)

 Business Stream

Summary 

For business people familiar with Northwest Territories and the ability to establish, purchase, or invest in an existing business in Northwest Territories. 

Legal Ground

Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP);

Net Worth

  • Minimum of $500,000 if business is within Yellowknife;
  • Minimum of $250,000 if business is outside Yellowknife; 

Investment 

  • Minimum of $300,000 if business is within Yellowknife; 
  • Minimum of $150,000 if business is outside Yellowknife;

Experience

Must have necessary experience to successfully implement the business plan;

Education

Must have necessary education to successfully implement the business plan;

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

Anywhere in 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

  • 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

Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)

 Business Nominee Program

Summary

For skilled international entrepreneurs looking to start a new business, purchase an existing business, or partner with an existing business in Yukon;

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;

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

Anywhere in 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 🡪 business performance agreement 🡪 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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;

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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).

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.
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Canada immigration programs