How to Immigrate to Canada as a Business

by  , June 21st, 2022
How to Immigrate to Canada as a Business

Author: Yan Desjardins, Founder & Executive Director

As a Canadian working in Vietnam for many years, I have always been thoroughly impressed by Vietnamese entrepreneurs’ passion, business approaches, and dedication that is brought to the table.

Through my engagements, previous work experience and actually starting my own business in Ho Chi Minh City, I have been fortunate to learn more than a thing or two from Vietnamese businessmen and women.

To bring light to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to immigrate to Canada as a business, below is a list of what entrepreneurs looking to jump into the Canadian market need to prepare as part of the Canadian immigration process.

Also, as you keep reading below, we will also explore some basic concepts of the Canadian visa startup program requirements.

It starts with an idea!

The Canadian visa startup program aims to bring innovative businesses to Canada that will create jobs for Canadians and compete globally. Your business idea should bring new innovation to the business market in Canada. 

But how can you know if your business idea is innovative or not? That is a good question. With our expertise and our large pool of partners in Canada, we can help bring your idea to the next level and help you secure the support of a designated organization.

What is the role played by Designated Organizations? 

Designated organizations are authorized by IRCC to support the start-up business in Canada. These organizations are key to the success of the applicants and their businesses. There are 3 types of organizations: 

  1. Venture Capital Funds – provides an investment of at least 200,000CAD;
  2. Angel Investors – provides an investment of at least 75,000CAD;
  3. Business Incubators – provide expertise and support to bring the business to success.

When applying for the Canadian visa startup program, you will need to secure a letter of support from one of those organizations in order to apply for the visa. Don’t know how to get a letter of support, do not worry, we can help you. Contact us for a consultation.

Develop a Viable Business Plan

To immigrate to Canada as a business, the first and most crucial stage in your visa application is to develop a viable business proposal that will be reviewed by one or more of the designated organizations, and furthermore by the immigration officer when your visa application is being processed. 

Your business plan should highlight a specific, well-researched, and suitable business model for the Canadian market. Your business plan, it should include as much detail as possible within your industry and should consist of some or all the following sections as a standardized base:

  • A description of your business model;
  • Extensive market research;
  • An internal analysis of your company’s competitive advantages;
  • An external analysis of Canada’s political, economic, social, technological, legal and environment in relation to your business model;
  • Competitor analysis;
  • Identifying your strengths, weaknesses and the opportunities and threats entering the market;
  • Your company’s value proposition;
  • Short-term execution strategy;
  • Long-term vision;
  • Identifying key partners and suppliers;
  • Team & staffing plan;
  • Marketing strategy; and,
  • Profit and loss analysis.

When developing this plan, there should also be a long-term growth plan highlighting how your business will create jobs for Canadians and positively contribute to the Canadian economy. If you are not certain on how to best create a business plan that will suit your application to immigrate to Canada as a business, contact us for a consultation, we can help. 

Having Relevant Experience

When applying to start a business in Canada, you will need to demonstrate that you have similar or relevant experience in the industry of your business model. In addition, Canadian Immigration Officers will assess your managerial, educational, and employment background to establish if you are suitable to immigrate to Canada as a business. Therefore, it is important that you include all relevant skills and experience for Immigration Officers to be convinced that you can start a new venture in the Canadian market.

Sufficient Financial Capital


Entrepreneurs who wish to immigrate to Canada as a business should have sufficient financial capital to execute the proposed business plan during the application process. While the Canadian visa startup program does not have a financial capital requirement to qualify, it is a good measure to take to ensure the success of the business. 

During this process, the applicant must also show that the investment into the business will benefit the Canadian economy. While there isn’t a ‘set amount’ required from entrepreneurs, it will depend on the business plan and model that is reasonable to cover operational expenses for a 1-2 year period.

However, as a general rule of thumb, we recommend that applicants aim to have an investment of at least CAD $50,000 for the first year. When venturing into more complex business models such as exports, packaging or retail, realistically, it may be worthwhile having a higher financial capital to cover the business costs.

An important note to highlight is that investing your entire savings into starting a business in Canada is not suggested. Starting a new company, especially in a foreign market, involves a steep learning curve and risk. 

Therefore, when immigrating to Canada as a business, having sufficient financial capital is essential for your business health, and that is why IRCC has designated organizations that can help you and your business succeed. 

Demonstrate Commitment & Execution

Once you have established your business model, with the help of our partners, we will advise that you start taking smaller steps to commence business executions before submitting your application. Demonstrating your commitment to your business plan is an essential step during the application process. Some examples to show your commitment can be developing a brand identity and guidelines, for example.

To better your chances to immigrate to Canada as a business, being able to demonstrate your commitment in any shape, way, or form will ultimately provide a positive outlook while your application is being reviewed.

How Can Northern Road Support You to Immigrate to Canada as a Business?


We can support you in your immigration application to start a business as an entrepreneur in Canada. As a registered Canadian immigration consulting firm and 100% Canadian-owned, we can help you attain your ambitions and goals with a realistic approach with step-by-step guidance.

Book a meeting with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant to discuss your business idea and how you too can immigrate to Canada as a business.