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BUSINESS CATEGORIES

BUSINESS CLASS CATEGORIES

Canada has three classes of business immigrants: investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons. You must choose to apply under only one of these classes, even if you meet the requirements for more than one class. Features of each type are listed below to help you make that decision. Note that you cannot change the class you are applying under once you have submitted your application.

Investors

Investors must have business experience. They must have either

(a) managed a qualifying business and controlled a percentage of equity of a qualifying business for at least 2 years in the period beginning 5 years before the date of application, or

(b) they must have managed at least 5 full-time job equivalents per year in a business for at least 2 years in the period beginning 5 years before the date of application.

The investor class applicant must have a net worth of at least $800,000. They are required to make an investment of $400,000, paid to the Receiver General of Canada. The investment is subsequently allocated to participating provinces and territories in Canada. These governments use the funds for job creation and economic development. The full amount of the investment (without interest) is repaid to the investor after 5 years. The exact date of repayment depends on when the $400,000 is received by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. At the latest, the amount would be returned 5 years and 3 months after the date of payment. The return of the investment is fully guaranteed by participating provinces and territories.

Features of the Investor Program

- Investors are not required to start a business in Canada;

- Investments are fully guaranteed by provinces and territories that participate in the program;

- The provinces and territories control the investment during the 5 year lock-in period; and

- No immigration conditions are imposed upon admission to Canada.

Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, the province of Quebec operates its own immigrant investor program. All investors in the Quebec program must intend to live in Quebec and must be selected by Quebec. In common with the federal program, investors in the Quebec program must invest $400,000 and have a net worth of $800,000.

Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs must have business experience. They must have managed a qualifying business and controlled a percentage of equity of a qualifying business for at least 2 years in the period beginning 5 years before the date of application.

The entrepreneur class applicant must have a net worth of at least $300,000. Additionally, they must have the intention and the ability to:

1. Control a percentage of equity of a qualifying Canadian business equal to or greater than 331/3%;

2. Provide active and ongoing management of the qualifying Canadian business; and

3. Create at least one incremental full-time job equivalent for one or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents other than the entrepreneur applicant and their family members.

Entrepreneurs are required to sign a statement that they intend and will be able to meet the conditions or permanent residence.

Features of the Entrepreneur Program

- A minimum net worth requirement of $300,000;

- A requirement that within three years of becoming a permanent resident, the entrepreneur must have controlled and have actively managed a qualifying Canadian business for a period of at least one year, and that the business must have created employment opportunities for others; and

- All family members are admitted under the same conditions as the principal applicant; the conditions are removed once the entrepreneur satisfies the conditions.

Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, the province of Quebec operates its own immigrant entrepreneur program. All entrepreneurs in the Quebec program must intend to live in Quebec and must be selected by Quebec. In common with the federal programs, entrepreneurs in the Quebec program must have a net worth of $300,000.

Self-employed persons

Self-employed immigrants must have relevant experience (see Definitions). Points are awarded for relevant experience within the 5 year period immediately preceding the date of application.

Features of the Self-employed persons program

- No immigration conditions are imposed on this class.

- Self-employed immigrants must have the experience, intention and ability to:

- establish a business that will, at a minimum, create an employment opportunity for themselves and that will make a significant contribution to cultural activities or athletics in Canada; or

- purchase and manage a farm in Canada.

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