In short, the answer is yes. Canada is a country looking for top-notch immigrants and will speed up the visa process to those that are willing to invest and become entrepreneurs. There are several programs and most require that the potential immigrant proves a specific amount of capital to invest in Canada. The business idea also needs to prove that it will be sustainable and has the potential of generating employment and helping towards Canada’s economic development. These programs are fairly new but are becoming more attractive as the world around us looks at Canada as a progressive country with a stable economy and peaceful living. There are two types of business visas:
1. Start-up Visa Program: to be eligeble you require the backing of a Canadian venture capital fund, business incubator or angel investor group. You will need to proof that you have a specific amount of money that will support you prior to your business generating income. Lastly, you need to be fluent in any of the official languages (English/French).
2. Self-employed Persons: eligibility is based on people that are self employed in the areas of:
- Farming – managing the operations of a successful farm;
- Culture – being self-employed and/or taken part of/have magaed world-class cultural activities (think of world-known cultural festivals, or are you a well-known dancer constantly involved in well known international events; or an artist whose work tours international events and galleries)
- Athletics – being self-employed and/or taken part in world-class athletics events (think of events such as the Panam Games, World Cups and even Olympics; have you helped organize these or have you been a participating athlete?)
Other requirements need to be met as per usual – medical examinations and security clearance.
Are you someone who came through any of these programs? Let me know your experience. I love hearing about success stories.
For those thinking about it, you can always contact me if you need questions answered.