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Canada Immigrant Entrepreneur programs

Stephane Tajick

Last updated: September 15, 2023

Canada Immigrant Entrepreneur programs

The federal government of Canada shut down its Immigrant Entrepreneur program a few years ago and since then foreign entrepreneurs have been using provincial nominee programs to enter the country and start a business. Pretty much every province in Canada offers an Entrepreneur program, where applicants needs to start a business in the province they applied in.

Other than the Quebec program, which provides permanent residence, the Provincial Nominee Entrepreneur programs of the other provinces offer a work permit that can be made into permanent residence after 6 months if the conditions have been followed.

You can learn more on our page here: Canada Residence By Investment, Startup Visa, and Golden Visa

Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program

The Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program (QIEP) was revamped in 2018 and now offers 2 streams: one for start-ups and the other one more conventional. Places are scarce as only 60 applications will be approved every year. It’s the only entrepreneur program to offer permanent residence directly to applicants.

Stream 1

  • You must settle in Quebec to create and operate a business for which you have already received a service offer from a business accelerator or incubator or a university entrepreneurship center. You can carry out your project alone or with others, up to three of whom can be foreign nationals who have submitted selection applications as entrepreneurs for the same project.
  • You must present your project in the form of a business plan.

Stream 2

  • You must make a startup deposit and a security deposit at a financial institution with an establishment in Quebec with whom you have signed a deposit agreement:
    • You must use the startup deposit to set up your business. The required amount is lower (CAD $200,000) if you set up your business outside the Montréal metropolitan area (CMM). A startup deposit of CAD $300,000 is required if the business is located in the CMM.
    • The security deposit of CAD $200,000 serves as insurance that your business will actually be created. It will be refunded when you demonstrate that your business plan has been carried out.

You must also have a minimum net worth of CAD $900,000, alone or with your spouse or de facto spouse, and you must demonstrate that this money has been legally acquired.

BC Immigrant Entrepreneur Programs

To qualify, you must:

  • have a personal net worth of at least CA $600,000
  • demonstrate business and/or management experience
  • have, or be eligible for, legal immigration status in Canada

Regional Pilot Program

The criteria targets entrepreneurs with a desire to start a business and settle in regional communities (populations of fewer than 75,000):

  • exploratory community visit
  • minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments
  • minimum personal net worth of $300,000
  • minimum of 51% ownership
  • minimum of 1 new job created



Ontario Immigrant Entrepreneur Program

If your proposed business will be located:

  • within the Greater Toronto Area, you must make a minimum personal investment of $1M CDN and control at least one-third of the equity in the business
  • outside of the Greater Toronto Area, you must make a minimum personal investment of $500,000 CDN and control at least one-third of the equity in the business

If your proposed business is in the information and communications technology/digital communications sector, then regardless of location, you must make a minimum personal investment of $500,000 CDN and control at least of one-third of the equity in the business.

Need help?

Navigating through golden visa & citizenship by investment programs can be complex and overwhelming, regardless of the country or program you’re interested in. If you’re struggling to find clear, accurate information, you’re not alone. Our team is here to offer you clarity and reliable advice across a wide range of immigration programs.

By scheduling a consultation, you’ll receive personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We’re dedicated to helping you understand the details of various immigration programs, making them more straightforward so you can proceed with confidence.


During our call, we will:

Here is what to expect from a call with our advisory team:


We’ll answer your questions about the program and the application process, providing you with the clarity you need.


We’ll break down each stage of the immigration process, ensuring you know exactly what to expect.


We’ll help you determine if the chosen program is the right fit for you or suggest alternatives that may better align with your goals.


Gain access to our network of recommended local lawyers, as well as providers of eligible investment options.