Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Canada Secures Top Spot as Most Desirable Destination for Immigrant Entrepreneurs in 2023

In an insightful report released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Canada has soared to the forefront among all OECD nations, emerging as the most appealing hub for immigrant entrepreneurs and startup founders.

Remarkably, Canada has consistently outperformed its global counterparts by securing a position within the top 25% across all dimensions of the evaluation framework, with the exception of the ‘skills environment’. Setting itself apart through an innovative approach, Canada, in tandem with Australia, is the only nation granting permanent residency to successful start-up visa applicants from the moment of their arrival. Additionally, Canada’s favorable regulatory landscape for initiating and operating businesses, its inclusive and immigrant-friendly society, and overall favorable living conditions have further augmented its global appeal.


This accolade underscores the intrinsic advantage that countries like Canada, endowed with a robust culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, possess. Such nations are naturally poised to captivate start-up founders and entrepreneurs from across the globe.

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Navigating the Path to Entrepreneurship in Canada

For those aspiring to embark on an entrepreneurial journey in Canada, the nation offers a range of immigration pathways and work permits tailored to suit entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed individuals.

The eligibility criteria for the Start-Up Visa program encompass

  1. Demonstrating proficiency in English or French, meeting minimum language requirements.
  2. Having sufficient financial resources to settle in Canada.
  3. Planning to establish residence in any province other than Quebec.
  4. Successfully passing Canadian security and medical clearance procedures.
  5. Presenting substantial proof that your business has garnered endorsement from a designated organization.
  6. Meeting the stipulated ownership requirements for your business.
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Furthermore, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has handpicked several venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubators to partake in the Start-Up Visa program. Successful candidates are required to secure a minimum investment for their Canadian start-up to materialize.

Additionally, under the provisions of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), individuals hailing from the United States or Mexico, who invest in either new or existing businesses within Canada, stand eligible to apply for Investor work permits. These permits grant them the authority to actively manage their Canadian business endeavors. Typically, the investor assumes the role of the principal shareholder or sole proprietor of the Canadian enterprise. However, it is explicitly expected that the business will contribute to local employment opportunities or other significant benefits without solely catering to the investor’s interests.

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Entrepreneurs harboring aspirations of expanding their pre-existing overseas businesses while simultaneously setting foot in Canada may avail of the Intra-Company Transfer work permit. While this permit is predominantly embraced by multinational corporations for staff relocation between branches, it’s equally well-suited for entrepreneurs endeavoring to launch fresh enterprises in Canada.

Moreover, the Entrepreneur/Self-Employed work permit offers an avenue for entrepreneurs who either serve as majority or sole owners of a Canadian business or, in certain instances, where the Canadian business owner intends to primarily reside outside of Canada. Applicants are mandated to furnish evidence that their business will yield substantial economic, social, or cultural benefits for Canada.

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