Immigrate to Canada Through The Federal Self-Employed Program

While the Express Entry system is the most popular pathway for non-business applicants to apply for permanent residence in Canada, the program can be relatively challenging for many candidates who are unable to achieve a satisfying score on the CRS ranking system due to their age, language ability or other selection criteria.


Applicants who have relevant experience in cultural or athletic activities may be eligible to apply under the Federal Self-Employed program instead. Successful candidates will essentially have to demonstrate their desire and ability to contribute to cultural or athletic life in Canada, in addition to other selection factors. Examples of qualifying occupations under the self-employed stream are:

  • Authors and writers
  • Musicians, singers, and actors
  • Translators and journalists
  • Interior designers
  • Graphic designers
  • Athletes and coaches
  • Photographers, film producers and directors

Please check here for a full list of qualifying occupations and contact me if you think you would be a good fit for the program.

Manitoba is Open for Business

The province of Manitoba is now accepting applications under the newly launched Business Investor Stream (BIS).


  1. The Entrepreneur Pathway is designed for applicants seeking to open or buy an existing business in Manitoba.
  2. The Farm Investor Pathway is for those who wish to establish and operate a farm in rural Manitoba.

Under the Entrepreneur Pathway, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Official language proficiency of at least CLB 5
  • Minimum of 3 years full-time work experience as an active business owner or senior management role of a successful business; or farm management
  • Minimum Canadian high school diploma equivalent
  • Verifiable personal networth of at least $500,000 CAD
  • Present a Business Plan and conduct a Business Research Visit
  • Sign a Business Performance Agreement (BPA) with the province after an application is approved

Under the Entrepreneur Pathway, applicants must be willing to invest at least $250,000 CAD in an eligible business in the Manitoba Capital Region or $150,000 CAD outside the Manitoba Capital Region.

Under the Farm Investor Pathway, applicants must invest at least $300,000 CAD to establish a farming business in rural Manitoba. The application requirements are similar to those of the Entrepreneur Pathway, with a focus on farming experience and ability.

Successful applicants will receive a letter of support that will enable them to apply for a Temporary Work Permit to establish and operate a business in Manitoba, and thereafter satisfy the terms of the Business Performance Agreement. Applicants may qualify for a provincial nomination and ultimately permanent residence after they have operated their businesses for at least 6 months.

Canadian Immigration Options for Business People

The terms investment immigration and business immigration can be quite misleading to the average person who doesn’t have in-depth knowledge of the Canadian immigration system.

I often receive inquiries from business persons who assume that merely establishing or purchasing a business in Canada can satisfy the requirements for acquiring permanent residence status in the country. This isn’t entirely true, but it’s not entirely wrong, either.

Immigration Program Choices

In a general sense, business immigration requires someone to make an application for permanent residence in Canada under one of the available business/investment programs. An application can be made to the federal and/or the provincial government depending on the program of choice.

At this time, there are two types of investment immigration which business persons may explore: Passive Investment, and Active Investment.

Passive investment

A passive investment means that you are giving your money to someone else for their use. You don’t have to operate a business or manage anything. You just hand over the money.

Right now, this option is only possible through the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP). Qualified applicants must enter into an agreement to invest with the government of Quebec through authorized financial intermediaries.

Active Investment

The active investment option is ideal for entrepreneurs who possess transferrable experience and skills and prefer to either establish or purchase an existing business in Canada. However, applicants may not necessarily have the freedom of choice with respect to the Canadian location of their future business.

Canada has ten provinces and three territories, some of which have a Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). Many of these programs offer entrepreneur streams to attract business persons. For the province, it’s a matter of attracting good people who will add jobs and create economic growth in the community. Therefore, qualified applicant must show a true intention to live in the province. Additionally, most provinces impose refundable performance bonds to confirm the seriousness of applicants.

Work Permits

Business persons who do not wish to participate in any of the above options, but still wish to establish a business in Canada, may qualify for work permits instead of permanent resident status. A work permit allows an applicant to run/manage their own business, but doesn’t automatically qualify an applicant for permanent residence in Canada.

Changes to The Quebec Investor Program

The province of Quebec has made some changes to its investor immigration program. The major changes are:

  • Candidates must have net assets of at least CAD $2,000,000 (previously $1,600,000).
  • The investment candidates must make has increased from CAD $800,000 to $1,200,000.

The program is currently closed and will not be accepting new applications until around August, 2018. There is no word yet on the date range for the future intake of applications, nor how many applications will be accepted.

A Good Option: The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program

Here is a brief overview of the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program.


Why It’s Good

  • An Antiguan passport allows visa-free travel to over 100 countries. This includes travel to the UK, Hong Kong, and countries in the Schengen Area.
  • The application process can take as little as three months.
  • You do not have to go to Antigua and Barbuda during the application process.
  • Dual citizenship is allowed.
  • There is no tax on worldwide income.
  • The program is relatively inexpensive compared to other Citizenship by Investment programs. High net worth individuals can apply by making a $100,000 contribution to the National Development Fund. (There are other investment and real estate options available for a higher value; contact me for details).
  • There are no strenuous residency requirements. You – and any family members on the application – must reside in the country for 35 days out of 5 years.

How To Qualify

In order to qualify for the program, you must have a high net worth, a clean bill of health, and no criminal record.

If you are seeking visa-free travel options, contact us to discuss the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program. It could be exactly what you’re looking for.

If you are interested in discussing this program, or immigration to Canada in general, contact me.

PEI Provincial Nominee Program

The Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEIPNP) is a good route for businesspeople who wish to immigrate to Canada.

There are three streams under the Business Impact Category, all leading to Permanent Residency. The below information is in regard to the 100% Ownership and Partial Ownership Streams.



The benefits of the Business Impact Category include the following:

  • small initial payment of $5,000 (plus $15,000 to be paid upon Invitation to Apply, $245,000 to be paid after approval, and $150,000 to be invested in a business after landing)
  • speedy provincial processing (an interview will be scheduled approximately 4-7 months after the complete application is filed)
  • fast federal processing is expected (9-12 months in most posts)


Applicants in all streams of the Business Impact Category must meet the following criteria:

  • intend to settle in PEI, and to manage, invest in, or own a business in PEI
  • make a minimum investment in a PEI business in accordance with Section 87 of the IRPA regulations
  • have minimum $600,000 in Net Worth (principal applicant’s and spouse’s assets combined)
  • be able to document the source of funds for $600,000 (it must be earned through the applicant’s own endeavours; loans, inheritance, and gifts cannot be used)
  • be between 21 and 59 years of age
  • have completed at least 12 years of school (completed secondary school)
  • have minimum 3 years (in the past 5 years) of transferable management or business ownership experience, directly managing at least 3 employees
  • have basic proficiency in English or French (CLB 4 or greater)
  • Syrians must obtain a DFAIT permit before applying

Application Process

The preliminary steps are as follows:

  • passport for each family member
  • English and/or French language assessment for the principal applicant (and spouse, if applicable). IELTS is the accepted English language test. TEF is the accepted French language test.
  • a document explaining how the principal applicant and spouse accumulated/earned their combined net worth (it can not be inherited or gifted)
  • proof of education (e.g. diplomas)
  • proof of enrolment and current attendance of any children in PEI schools (minimum 6 months), if applicable
  • proof of spouse’s attendance at a post-secondary institution in PEI, if applicable
  • proof of close relatives (parent, grandparent, child, brother, sister, aunt, or uncle) living in PEI for minimum 1 year, if applicable
  • proof of experience in agriculture and expressed desire to operate a farm in PEI, if applicable

Note that you must be prepared to sign an escrow agreement with the province and submit a $200,000 deposit, which will be refunded upon you meeting the terms and conditions of the escrow agreement.

Please contact us to discuss this opportunity.

Changes to the Manitoba Investor Immigration Program

Marwa Badra – Pace Immigration: The province of Manitoba has announced immediate changes to its Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program-Business (MBNP) stream. It will be now be known as the Business Investment Stream (BIS). It has been split into an Entrepreneur Pathway and a Farm Investor Pathway. I will concentrate on the Entrepreneur Pathway here. From […]

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