Treaty Investor Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Canada’s Treaty Investor Program

How much you need to invest to obtain a work permit and permanent residency in Canada?

A $50,000 CAD business investment can get you a work permit that leads to permanent residency in Canada. How? Canada has trade agreements with a number of countries. These treaties allow immigrant investors to develop and direct a business in Canada. Your investment can be to establish a startup business or you can buy an existing business in Canada. Qualification for permanent residency is a two-step process. First, the treaty investor must obtain a work permit. After 1 year, the treaty investor may be eligible to apply for Express Entry permanent residency. The eligibility criteria are outlined below. You must meet the eligibility criteria for both a work permit and permanent residency in order to qualify.

Who is eligible for this program?

The treaty investor program is only available to citizens and permanent residents of certain countries.

Eligibility by citizenship:

The following is a list of countries whose citizens are eligible:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Peru
  • Poland

Eligibility by permanent residency status

The following is a list of countries whose permanent residents are eligible:

  • Australia
  • Colombia
  • Peru

How do I qualify for a treaty investor work permit?

To qualify for a treaty investor work permit:

  1. If the investor is a person, the investor must be a citizen or permanent resident of a country on the eligibility list. If the investor is a partnership or business, the partners or owners must be citizens or permanent residents of the same one country on the eligibility list.
  2. The investor must make a substantial at-risk investment. This means that the investment must be sufficient to support start-up costs or purchase the business in Canada. Typically, this means investing at least $50,000 CAD, but can be more or less depending on the business.
  3. The business in Canada must be “non-marginal”. This means the profits should be high enough to support more than just the investor and their immediate family. Typically, this means the business should have at least 1 employee in Canada who is not a family member of the investor.
  4. The applicant can be the investor or an employee of the business. The applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of the same country as the investor.
  5. The applicant should be offered an Executive Management position in the business in Canada to obtain maximum benefit toward their permanent residency. Supervisors and essential skilled positions are also eligible for work permits, but their permanent residency options may be more limited.
  6. The applicant should have prior relevant work experience or education to show that they can perform the job duties for their position in Canada.
  7. The applicant must be admissible to Canada (i.e., no criminal, medical or negative immigration history that would exclude them from Canada).
Scenarios:

Prior to coming to Canada, you should fit into one of the below scenarios. You will be required to provide proof of qualifying work experience and obtain an Education Credentials Assessment (ECA) to confirm your foreign education. Qualifying work experience must be obtained in a managerial or professional occupation outside of Canada before coming to Canada. If you do not meet the foreign education requirement, you can enroll in post-secondary studies. You must complete the program of study before you apply for permanent residency. Your program of study can be in any country (i.e., you can study online/distance learning). If your school is outside of Canada, you will still be required to provide an ECA to confirm your foreign education. If you study in Canada, you must obtain a study permit and verify that your program meets the criteria with us before commencing studies.

Scenario 1

20-35 years old:

  1. Has a bachelor’s degree,
  2. Scores 6.0 on each area of the IELTS General test, and
  3. Has at least 3 years of full-time, paid qualifying work experience outside of Canada in the past 8 years.
Scenario 2

35-40 years old:

  1. Have a bachelor’s degree,
  2. Score at least 7.0 overall on the IELTS General test (with no score below 6.0), and
  3. Has at least 3 years of full-time, paid qualifying work experience outside of Canada in the past 8 years.
Scenario 3

35-40 years old:

  1. Has a bachelor’s degree,
  2. Has a second post-secondary diploma/degree,
  3. Score at least 6.5 on each area of the IELTS General test, and
  4. Has at least 3 years of full-time, paid qualifying work experience outside of Canada in the past 8 years.
Scenario 4

Any age (18+):

  1. Has a bachelor’s degree
  2. Scores at least 8.0 in reading, 7.0 in all 3 other areas of the IELTS General test,
  3. Has at least 1 year of full-time, paid qualifying work experience outside of Canada in the past 8 years.
Scenario 5

Any age (18+):

  1. Has a 1 year post-secondary diploma/certificate
  2. Scores at least 8.0 in reading, 7.0 in all 3 other areas of the IELTS,
  3. Has at least 3 years of full-time, paid qualifying work experience outside of Canada in the past 8 years.
Scenario 6

20-30 years old:

  1. Completed secondary (high) school diploma
  2. Scores at least 8.0 in reading, 7.0 in all 3 other areas of the IELTS,
  3. Has at least 3 years of full-time, paid qualifying work experience outside of Canada in the past 8 years.

Can my family come with me to Canada?

Your family can move with you to Canada as temporary residents or permanent residents, provided they meet the below criteria.

Spouse or common-law partner

Spouses or common-law partners of treaty investor work permits are eligible for “open” work permits. This means that they can work for any employer in any occupation in any place in Canada. They are also eligible to accompany you as permanent residents.

Children under 18 years old

Children of treaty investors are eligible for study permits. Children must be under 18 years of age and attending pre-school, primary school or secondary school. They are also eligible to accompany you as permanent residents.

Children 18-21 years old

Children who are 18-21 years old may also accompany their parents as visitors or students. They must be financially dependent on you, and they must not themselves be married or have a common-law partner. If they wish to attend post-secondary studies in university or college, they must have an acceptance letter from the school in order to apply for a study permit. You must also show that you have sufficient savings to pay for their school and living costs. They are also eligible to accompany you as permanent residents, provided you submit your permanent residency application before their 22nd birthday. While the application for permanent residency is in process, they must continue to be dependent on you and unmarried.

Children 22 years of age or older

Children who are 22 years old or older may come to Canada, but they will need to independently qualify for a work, study or visitor visa. These older children will not be eligible to be included on your treaty investor application for a work permit or permanent residency.

Applying for Canada’s Treaty Investor Program

Mandelbaum Immigration Lawyers can help you apply for Canada’s Treaty Investor Program. Simply fill out our contact form, send us an e-mail, or call us during our office hours.

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