How To Obtain Canadian Citizenship As A Business Owner?

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Canada is one of the few countries that has a high number of educated workforce. It is ranked 23rd in the list of countries with the most ease of doing business globally. This is why it is a highly sought-after country to get citizenship as a business owner. However, this is not an easy task. There are many requirements that need to be proven for gaining Canadian citizenship status as a business owner. 

Requirements for Business Owners to Get Canadian Citizenship

Investors and entrepreneurs need to invest in Canadian businesses to get citizenship in the country and also satisfy the below requirements. The applicant should have: 

  • A PR (Permanent Residence) status
  • Spent at least three years (1095 days) in Canada in the last five years
  • Regularly filed their yearly IT returns
  • Passed a basic test on the knowledge of Canada and the responsibilities and rights of a Canadian citizen
  • Basic language skills

The most challenging part of all these requirements is getting a PR status. 

Difference between PR Status and Canadian Citizenship

PR status and Canadian citizenship are two different things. A permanent resident gets this status by moving to Canada but are a citizen of some other country. They don’t have the right to run a political office or vote or work in certain positions that need high-level security clearance even though services of Spectrum mobile don’t work in Canadian premises. However, they get to enjoy living, studying, or working anywhere in the country and get covered under Canadian health policies. Permanent residents can apply for citizenship in Canada if they meet all these requirements. 

Becoming a Permanent Resident of Canada

Entrepreneurs and business investors can enter with a Canadian business visa. They have the below options to get the PR status in Canada

– Executive Express Entry Program

The Express Entry Program is mainly for professionals who are under 35 years of age with high qualifications, word experience and a strong hold of the language. However, the Executive level Express Entry Program gives even senior business owners 200 points in the ‘arranged employment’ category in Canada. 

Entrepreneurs willing to get their PR through this program should establish their business in Canada as a foreigner and operate it for at least a year with a valid work permit or post graduation work permit before applying for PR. 

Once they have operated the business for the stipulated time, they can apply for a PR by satisfying the below conditions. The applicant should have:

  • A minimum score (CLB 7) for language skills
  • Minimum qualifications equivalent to a degree at high school level
  • A police clearance certificate
  • A medical clearance certificate

The advantage of Express Entry Program is that you don’t need to give a minimum upfront investment. Secondly, the duration for getting the PR is also comparatively shorter (around 12-18 months). However, the language level requirements are high with this program. 

– Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The PNP program is similar to the previous program with. The only difference is that you will have to apply to the PNP for business immigration. The application process differs from one province to another. The general steps to apply include: 

  • Register an expression of interest with the province
  • Once you get an invitation to apply, you need to sign a performance deal with the province
  • Apply for a work permit in Canada
  • After arriving as a foreign worker in Canada, establish the business and operate it as per the performance agreement. 
  • Once you have satisfied the agreement requirements, you can apply for nomination following which you can apply for PR. 

The advantage of PNP is that the language level requirements are considerably lower. But, it needs proof of a larger investment initially. It also needs a longer time to get PR (around 24-36 months).

– Start-Up Visa Program (SUV)

The SUV is for business owners who can establish their business in Canada and employ more Canadians. Under this program, the applicant should:

  • Submit a business plan to a Canadian-designated company that are authorized to evaluate and support start-up businesses through the SUV program
  • Minimum language score of CLB 5 in French or English
  • Have the required funds for settling in Canada 
  • Reside in a territory or province in Canada apart from Quebec
  • Clear the medical and security tests

The advantage of this program is that you don’t need a net worth of minimum initial investment. You can reside anywhere in Quebec except Canada. Further, your PR status is not affected even if your business fails. 

Canadian Citizenship for Business Owners

Once you have got your PR visa for Canada under one of the above-mentioned programs, you can apply for Canadian citizenship after spending at least three years in the country. Ensure that you file for Income Tax returns promptly through this duration. Educate yourself about the responsibilities of Canadian citizens. Also, hone your basic language skills. All these can ensure that you can get your Canadian citizenship as a business owner.

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