Immigration remains a federal responsibility, but agreements with Ottawa allow provinces to nominate candidates who want to invest and run a business for accelerated immigration. Here are the requirements for entrepreneurs applying under provincial nominee programs:
No specific entrepreneur category, but the nominee program includes a self-employed farmer category, for those able to invest at least $500,000 in a farming operation.
Applicants must show that they can develop and actively manage a business that will provide significant economic benefits to the province. Excluded businesses include coin laundries, payday loan offices and home-based businesses.
Entrepreneur applicants must have at least three years of entrepreneurial or relevant business management experience and a verifiable minimum net worth of $300,000, and ability to invest at least $150,000. A $75,000 refundable deposit is required.
Applicants must have three years of successful experience in senior management, have a minimum net worth of $350,000, and the ability to invest at least $150,000. An exploratory visit for a week to Manitoba is required along with a $75,000 cash deposit to guarantee establishment of a business in the province.
A business investment component of Opportunities Ontario's nominee program requires a minimum $3-million to invest in a new or existing business, and business ownership or management experience. Applicants must have a comprehensive business plan that creates at least five permanent full-time jobs and be actively involved in the day-to-day management of the business.
Applicant must demonstrate business ownership or senior management experience, have good knowledge of English and/or French, a minimum net worth of $300,000, and have a minimum of $125,000 to invest in a new business. A five-day exploratory visit is required before applying, and a comprehensive business proposal and deposit of $75,000 is required if approved.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Applicant must have a minimum of five years of senior management or entrepreneurial experience and a minimum net worth of $450,000, of which at least $350,000 should be in liquid assets. A Performance Agreement must be signed, promising a minimum business investment of $200,000 in a new or existing business. An exploratory visit to the province, a business plan and a deposit of $100,000 is required.
No specific entrepreneur immigration category. A provincial program provides loans to help immigrants start businesses after they immigrate.
Applicants must prove they have a net worth of $300,000, and a minimum of two years recent experience running a business on a day-to-day basis. They must have a working knowledge of French and create a business or partnership in Quebec with an equity of at least $100,000, which employs a Quebec resident who is not a family member.
Prince Edward Island
The island's immigrant entrepreneur nominee program has been temporarily suspended because of a federal investigation. The program required immigrants to have a minimum net worth of $400,000, and be prepared to make a minimum business investment of $200,000 to establish a new enterprise. A complete business plan and a refundable deposit of $100,000 are to be submitted along with the application.
Applicants must have a minimum net worth of $250,000, with a minimum of $150,000 to invest in a new business or an existing one, leading to equity ownership of at least one-third of the business. The applicant will manage day to day. Applicants must make an exploratory trip to Yukon to meet with officials and demonstrate reasonable skills in one of Canada's official languages and show a minimum of five years of senior management or entrepreneurial experience.