Business Plan Immigration

Canada is considered one of the best countries in the world to launch a business. With low taxes, easy access to the American and Pacific Rim markets, cutting edge innovation and low business start up costs, Canada is gaining traction as the place to launch new ventures.

Several Canadian provinces have their own business immigration program. Sterling Immigration can advise you about each program so that you can make an informed decision about where to invest.

Key Features

Some of the key features of the Canadian Business Visa include:

  • Low minimum net worth requirement of $350,000 (£190,000), 

  • Low minimum investment of $150,000 (£85,000),

  • A minimum of two years’ previous business ownership or senior management experience.

  • Secure Canadian permanent residence in as little as 12 months.

Canadian Business Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Canadian Business Visa you must make an investment in an eligible business. Lists of ineligible businesses are updated regularly. If a particular location is saturated with similar businesses then your application will not succeed.  

You may establish your own business. If you do you must show that your business will create a certain number of jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents according to the proposed business location.  

You may also take over or invest in an existing business.  If you are taking over a live business you must maintain existing jobs. If you are investing in an existing business as a partner, your ownership share must be at least 33%of an eligible business.

You must prove that you will actively manage your proposed business and must live within a certain radius of the business location. You must satisfy the Canadian immigration authorities that your investment is not a passive one.  

Your total net worth, business plan, investment, business location, previous experience, language ability and education will all be assessed before the Canadian authorities make a decision. 

Before your immigrant visa is issued, you are required to sign a statement that you intend and will be able to meet the conditions of visa at certain agreed milestones.

Owner Operators

If you are investing in a Canadian business which is not related to an existing business overseas, you may consider either an LMIA-exempt entrepreneur work permit or an LMIA-based work permit for owner operators. It is important to determine what percentage of ownership of the Canadian company the foreign national does or will own.

Majority ownership in a Canadian company (50% or more) – the person may qualify for a “significant benefit” work permit. NO LMIA is required but a certificate of exemption should be sought prior to filing a work permit application.

Minority ownership in a Canadian company (less than 50%) – the person may qualify for an LMIA-based work permit.  No advertising would be required, and the foreign national would need to demonstrate that an employer-employee relationship exists, even though they own a part of the business.


Manitoba PNP Business Program is targeted for the investors who wish to invest into a new or existing business and assume an active managerial role in that business and intend to reside in Manitoba with their dependent family members. 

We have extensive experiences in successful filling MPNP-B for our clients.  Let us guide you through the complicated Canadian immigration processes and to make your Canadian immigration dream come true.  

Prince Edward Island PNP Business Program is targeted for the investors who wish to invest into a new or existing business and assume an active managerial role in that business and intend to reside in Prince Edward Island with their dependent family members.  


We have extensive experiences in successful filling PEI PNP-B for our clients.  Let us guide you through the complicated Canadian immigration processes and to make your Canadian immigration dream come true.   

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Quebec Investor Visa

The Quebec Investor Visa is one of the most popular passive investor visas in the world. It is administered and guaranteed by the government of Quebec, Canada’s largest province and has been in operation since 1986.


Even though this is a passive investor program, the Quebec Government seeks applicants with previous business ownership or senior managerial experience.  


With the Quebec Investor Program, your capital is invested in a five-year, zero-interest, government-guaranteed Quebec term note that supports Quebec-based businesses, creating jobs and fostering economic growth. 

At the end of 5 years, your full capital is returned and you enjoy the satisfaction of having made an important contribution to the economy of your new country and the well-being of your new fellow citizens.




To qualify for Quebec Investor Visa, interest applicants must:

  • Have a minimum net worth of $1,600,000 CAD that was obtained legally.

  • Make a $800,000 CAD investment for 5 years with zero interest but fully refundable or choose the financing option through designated securities brokerages with a down payment of $220,000 CAD.

  • Have at least two years of senior managerial or business ownership experience in the past five years.


Program Benefits:
  • Requirements for age, education and English level are very flexible.

  • An applicant does not need to establish a business in Canada.

  • Investors in the program will receive a permanent resident visa from the Government of Canada.

  • Your spouse and children under 19 years of age can accompany you to Canada as permanent residents. 

Note that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees mobility rights, or free movement within Canada: “Every citizen of Canada and every person who has the status of a permanent resident of Canada has the right to move to and take up residence in any province and to pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province.”


For more information please contact the team at Sterling Immigration Hong Kong

Start-Up Visa

The Canada Start Up Visa program grants Canadian Permanent Residence to immigrant entrepreneurs while assisting them to become established in Canada. Successful applicants link with private sector organizations in Canada, where they can receive funding, guidance and expertise in opening and operating their enterprise in Canada.

Successful applicants are able to secure Canadian permanent residence in 6 months. In the interim they can also obtain a Canadian work visa within 7 days to start work on their venture.


In order to be eligible, applicants for the Canada Start Up Visa must meet the following requirements:

  • Have received a letter of support from a government-designated organization;

  • Meet minimum language requirements (IELTS Band 5.0);

  • Have completed at least one year of post-secondary education, 

  • Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada; and

  • Pass Canadian security and medical clearances

No more than five foreign nationals may apply for permanent residence as part of the same business venture under the Start Up Visa Program.

Letter of Support

If the designated organization (VC, Angel Investor or Incubator) supports your business idea, it will give you a Letter of Support.

You must include your Letter of Support with your application as proof that a designated organization supports your business idea. If you do not have a Letter of Support from a designated organization, your application will be refused.

Advantages of the Canada Start Up Visa Program

There are several advantages of the Canada Start Up Visa program when compared to other entrepreneur programs such as the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Program. They include:

  • If successful you will be granted Canadian Permanent Residence (you can live in Canada indefinitely);

  • There will be no conditions on your Canadian immigration status;

  • Experienced mentors will guide you through the process of launching your business in Canada;

  • If your Canadian start-up is unsuccessful, you will still retain your Canadian Permanent Resident status.

I Want to Apply for a Canada Start Up Visa

If you are interested in establishing your Start Up in Canada please get in touch.

Federal Skilled Worker Visa

Canada Skilled Worker visa is the most popular Canadian immigration program. If successful you and your family members will be granted  permanent resident visas. The benefit of Canadian Permanent Residence is that there are no conditions attached to your stay in Canada. You are free to live and work where you choose. 


Canada Skilled Worker Visa Requirements

To qualify you must have at least one-year of full time work experience in a skilled occupation. Skilled occupations are those jobs which are classed as managerial, technical and professional occupations under the Canadian National Occupational Classification. Each province has it’s own list of in-demand occupations based on it’s labour market needs.

Points Grid

You must meet the minimum points criteria for the Canada skilled worker visa program in order to be eligible for Express Entry. Qualifying for the Canada skilled worker visa program is a pre-requisite to being eligible to apply to many of the provincial skilled worker programs. Your points total (and the strength of your application) will depend on a number of your personal factors and adaptability criteria including: 

Personal Factors

  • Age;

  • Occupation;

  • Length of work experience

  • Education

  • Family situation (marital status, children etc);

  • Language ability (English/French);

  • Personal net worth/debts;

  • Immigration history;

  • Medical history;

  • Criminal inadmissibility; and 

  • Previous visa refusals or credibility issues

Adaptability Factors

  • Job offer from a Canadian employer;

  • Valid Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA);

  • LMIA exemption;

  • Whether your occupation is regulated in Canada;

  • Provincial/Federal licensing process;

  • Education credential evaluation;

  • Spouses’ language ability (English/French);

  • Settlement Funds/Investments in Canada

  • Previous employment in Canada;

  • Previous study in Canada, and

  • Relatives who are Canadian PR’s or Citizens.


Express Entry

Once you meet the required points threshold for the federal skilled worker visa your application will then be assessed against the Express Entry Points Grid. 

Canadian employers, Provinces and territories are now key partners in the Express Entry program. An LMIA validated offer of employment or a Provincial Nominee Certificate are crucial to your chances of securing an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.

I Want to Apply for a Canada Skilled Worker Visa!

If you are interested in submitting an application for a Canada skilled worker visa please complete our assessment form.

Express Entry System
What is Express Entry Canada?

Express Entry Canada is not a new immigration program, rather it is a way for Canada to better manage all economic immigration programs. It is designed to assist employers and provinces to connect with applicants who have the required skills and experience to adapt and establish themselves in Canada.


How does Express Entry Canada work?

Express Entry will manage and rank all qualifying applications made through the following four programs:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

  2. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

  3. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

  4. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

Canadian Express Entry Steps

You must first meet the selection criteria of one of the four programs. 

The second step is to have the proof that you meet the requirements of these programs. Your language test results, educational credential evaluations, and your reference letters from your previous employers confirming your past work experience, must all be in the format required by CIC.

Once an application has been completed you will be ranked according to CIC’s new Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). If your application is inaccurate you will be found guilty of misrepresentation and be barred from entering Canada for 5 years.

The new Comprehensive Ranking System is based on a 1200 point ranking system which takes into account your personal characteristics and skills transferability factors. All candidates will then be ranked against each other. The most highly weighted factors are securing a validated job offer from a Canadian employer with a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a Nomination Certificate from a Canadian Provincial or Territorial Immigration Office. 

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will then host a draw every two weeks to select the highest ranked candidates and provide Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Permanent Residence. Applicants who received ITAs will then have 60 days to file an electronic application for Permanent Residence and upload their supporting evidence. If you do not submit your application within 60 days you will have to start the process again from the beginning.

Express Entry Canada Consultation Service

Book a consultation with us to assess whether your CRS score is likely to trigger an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Our Canadian Express Entry Consultation Service includes:

  • Determination of your best economic category (FSWP, FSTP, CEC, PNP) and its points assessment.

  • Estimate of your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score

  • Estimate of your rank via-a-vis other applicants

  • Strategies to increase your CRS score

  • Your prospects of obtaining an ITA based on your assessed CRS Score.

  • Ensuring that you have ALL of the necessary supporting documents before you apply.

  • Review of other immigrant and non-immigrant programs if you do not qualify for one of the 4 programs.

  • Written summary of all of the above and a recommended plan of action moving forward.

  • If you have received an ITA we can review your initial submission and prepare your electronic permanent residence application.

I Want More Information About the Express Entry Canada System

If you are interested in learning more please complete our assessment form.

Self Employed Visa

To qualify for the Canada Self Employed visa, and Canadian permanent residence, you must prove that you have 2 years’ relevant self-employment experience in cultural activities or athletics in the 5-years immediately preceding your application(see below for occupation list).

You must demonstrate that you have the intention and ability to become self-employed in Canada. This is the most important element of this program and one that applicants completely overlook. A person’s financial assets may be a measure of intent and ability to establish self-employment in Canada.

Applicants are also assessed based on their education, experience, age, language ability, adaptability and ability to become established in Canada.


Significant Contribution

Applicants must not only meet the tests of experience, the regulatory definition of a self-employed worker, the tests of intention and ability to become self-employed, they must also meet the test of significant contribution to Canada. This test ensures that frivolous or weak applications will be refused.

Benefits of the Self-Employed Immigration Program
  • A job offer is not required.

  • No conditions on your status.

  • No need to purchase or establish a business before arrival in Canada

  • If successful, you and your family members will be granted Canadian Permanent Residence.

  • Fast processing time from the United Kingdom – 12 months or less.

Processing Time

Sterling immigration can secure you a Canada self employed visa within 12 months through the Canadian High Commission in London.

Eligible Occupations For a Canada Self Employed Visa

If you have 2 years self-employed experience in one of the occupations below you may qualify for Canadian permanent residence:

Cultural Activities


Athletic Activities


I Want More Information!

If you have 2 years self-employed experience in one of the occupation groups listed above we would like to hear from you.

Student Visa

The most important factors listed by students when choosing a study destination are location, quality, price and opportunities for further study and employment. 

Canada actively seeks to retain its international graduates and provide a clear path to permanent residence. In Canada, international graduates receive a post-graduate work permit up to 3 years in length. 

Read our blog post – 12 Reasons to Study in Canada to learn more about why Canada is one of the most attractive destinations in the world for international students.

Canadian Study Visa Requirements

To secure admission to a college or university in Canada the following documents are required:

  • Copy of your passport biographical page

  • A 2-page CV/resume.

  • A 2-page Letter of Intent.

  • IELTS Academic Certificate (an overall band score of 6.0 is required)

  • Your transcripts and certificates for each qualification. You grades must be at least 50%. 

When applying for a visa you must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to cover your living costs and tuition for at least one-year. You must prove that you have social and economic ties to your country of origin to warrant your return when you graduate.


Full-time students enrolled on a course of study of at least one year are entitled to work a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during scheduled breaks and summer holidays.

Post-Graduate Work Permit (Post-Study Work Visa)

Graduates from two-year programs at qualifying institutes receive a three-year Post-Graduate Work Permit.

How will I qualify for Permanent Residence?

Once you have a full-time permanent job offer you can apply for permanent residence through one of the provincial immigration programs. If you have one-year of skilled work experience you can apply for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class.

Our Services

Our student advisers will understand your goals and advise you of the course and institution most suitable for you. We will create a clear academic and career path for you which will also secure your long-term immigration status and citizenship. We will also assess your profile against more than 70 Canadian immigration programs to ensure that you secure Canadian permanent residence quickly and cost-effectively.

I Want to Study in Canada

Please complete the assessment form if you want to study in Canada.

Temporary Work Permits
Canada Work Visa (LMIA Required)

A Canada work visa is a great way to enter Canada and then transition to permanent residency through the Express Entry system after 1 year.

To qualify for a Canada Work Visa, you will need to secure a job offer from a Canadian employer. 

Your prospective employer will need to demonstrate that they tried to hire a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident before they offered you the job and that they have secured a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment & Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Transitioning to Canadian Residence

In general, a Canada Work Visa is valid for a period of two years. If you are undertaking seasonal work such as working on a farm or a specific construction project which has a limited duration then your Canada Work Visa may be considerably shorter.

If your Canada work visa is for employment in a skilled occupation you can apply for permanent residence after you have gained one-year of skilled work experience in Canada. 

In some circumstances, semi-skilled work experience also enables a person to apply for Canadian permanent residence through a provincial nominee program.

You should consult Sterling Immigration to ensure that you have a clear road-map to Canadian permanent residence. We have seen many people leave Canada as they took up employment which made them ineligible to apply for permanent residence. If they had planned correctly in advance then this situation could have been avoided. 

LMIA Exemptions

There are other situations where foreign workers can take up jobs in Canada without an employer having to receive an LMIA. For further information please contact us.

I Want More Information About Applying for a Canada Work Visa

If you would like to know more about the Canada Work Visa process please complete our case assessment form or contact us to schedule a telephone or personal consultation.

Canada Working Holiday Visa (LMIA Exempt)

The Working Holiday visa initiative enables citizens of certain countries aged between 18 and 35 (in some countries the age limit is 29 or 30) to stay in Canada and work legally.

You do not need to have a pre-arranged job or LMIA in order toparticipate in this program. However, it will increase your chances of success if you do have a job offer.

Each country receives a set quota for the number of visas that will be issued. Working Holiday visas are available on a first come first served basis and are valid for 12 or 24 months depending on your nationality. You may extend your visa for a further period of 12 or 24 months in certain circumstances.

Canada Working Holiday Visa: Participating Countries

Citizens of the following countries are eligible for the working holiday visa program:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Rep., Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Canada Working Holiday Visa Advantages

A Working Holiday Visa is a popular visa as it is not employer or location specific. The holder of a Canada Working Holiday Visa is authorized to work for almost any employer in Canada.

The second benefit is that it is fairly simple to transition to permanent residence after you have gained one-year of skilled work experience in Canada. In some circumstances, semi-skilled work experience also enables a person to apply for Canadian permanent residence through a provincial nominee program.

Apply Now for the Canada Working Holiday Visa program

Canada Working Holiday Visa applications are no longer processed on a first come first served basis. Canadian Immigration Officers will now approve applicants who have the strongest merits. Applicants who demonstrate that they have the tools necessary to establish themselves in Canada and contribute positively to the Canadian labour market will be selected. 

Sterling Immigration will assess your eligibility for a Working Holiday Visa and provide you with your own personalised road-map to permanent residence. To learn more please contact us.


Manitoba PNP Business Program (MPNP-B)


To qualify for the Manitoba PNP Business Program (MPNP-B), interested applicants must:


  • Have a minimum verifiable personal net worth of CAD$350,000

  • Make an investment of at least CAD$150,000 in your business

  • Require to submit a good-faith deposit in the amount of CAD$100,000

  • Have scored a minimum band score of 4.0 on the IELTS within the last 2 years.

  • Have a minimum 3 years of successful business ownership and management experience OR a minimum 3 years of executive-level experience as senior manager of a business

  • Score a minimum 60 points in the Adaptability Assessment Matrix

  • Exploratory Visit is an optional initiative for an applicant, but is recommended


To qualify for the Prince Edward Island PNP Business Program, interested applicants must:


  • Possess a minimum verifiable personal net worth of CAD$600,000 which has been accumulated through legal and legitimate sources.

  • Make a minimum CAD$150,000 investment into a new or existing Prince Edward Island owned and operated business. 

  • Sign an escrow agreement containing stipulations on a deposit of CAD$200,000 to be held by the Province until the terms of the agreement have been met.

  • Be within 21-59 years of age at the time of application.

  • Possess a minimum education of high-school equivalent.

  • Have scored a minimum band score of 4.0 on the IELTS/TEF within the last 2 years.

  • Have transferable management skills and past employment.

  • Provide active and on-going management of the business from within Prince Edward Island.

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