Wealthy business immigrants are buying businesses and turning to Ottawa’s temporary work visa, ‘owner-operator’ policies to gain entry to Canada.
Foreign investor entrepreneurs who want to relocate to Canada with their immediate families, can buy an established business or launch a new business in Canada. Then, qualified investors can apply for a work visa as a management level employee under the federal Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program. Revised rules governing new business owners under the TFW program is gaining considerable local and international attention.
After a period of less than 1-year, successful temporary work visa holders and their families can change to permanent residence under a provincial immigration program or as a federal skilled worker under Express Entry.
The purchase of the business by the foreign national must be supported by a suitable business plan that will, along with other conditions, result in the creation or retention of Canadian jobs.
- A foreign investor with verifiable, transferable management experience.
- Sufficient assets to purchase, or start the targeted business in Canada.
- Sufficient language abilities in either English or French to actively work as a manager in the business.
What is the process?
- The foreign investor identifies a Canadian business to purchase.
- A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is submitted along with a suitable business plan.
- Once a positive LMIA opinion is issued, the foreign investor applies for a 12-24 months, renewable temporary work permit.
How long does this process take?
Once a suitable business is found, it will take 2-3 months to complete the LMIA application process. It will take less than 3-months in most jurisdictions, to receive a work permit.
When can the work permit holder apply for Canadian permanent residence?
There is no minimum wait time. Qualified candidates may apply for permanent residence with their families, soon after they arrive in Canada.
Is this a formal government program?
No. The above described process relies on the rules governing owner-operator policies, and other immigration programs to achieve the above described outcome.
Who is an ideal candidate for a “buy business and work in Canada visa”?
Opportunities under formal investment-based immigration programs are very limited in Canada. Most provincial investment-based residence immigration programs operate by an invitation to apply scheme. That overall process takes 12-36 months and often longer to conclude.
A foreign investor entrepreneur, motivated to live in a particular area of Canada, can purchase a suitable business and relocate to that area of choice. This is far more advantageous than trying to meet provincial immigration programs.
With the exception of the Quebec Immigrant Investor program, provincial investment-based immigration programs are becoming less attractive to foreign investor entrepreneurs.
How can immigration.ca help?
Through our established network of licensed professionals, we can help introduce foreign investor entrepreneurs to buy suitable businesses for sale in Canada. Once a suitable business for sale is identified, we rely on our 60+-years of legal experience, recognized in the Canadian legal community, to complete the required immigration formalities.
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