Skip to content

Can I obtain Canadian permanent residence (PR) if I buy a business in Canada?

Can I obtain Canadian permanent residence (PR) if I buy a business in Canada?

Can I obtain Canadian permanent residence (PR) if I buy a business in Canada?

When considering your options to immigrate to Canada, the idea of buying a Canadian business may have crossed your mind. Purchasing an existing business would save you the trouble of having to start from scratch. An existing business comes with a built-in clientele and a proven track record. 

However, many fail to realize that the act of acquiring a Canadian business itself is not enough to grant you the revered status of a Canadian permanent resident. In fact, unless you are applying through one of Canada’s immigration programs, it has no bearing whatsoever on your eligibility for PR.

The benefits of buying a business in Canada

Buying a business in Canada won’t automatically grant you PR, but it may provide you with the opportunity to obtain a temporary work permit, which you’ll need in order to manage the operations of your business.

By purchasing a business you are also effectively assigning yourself a job in Canada. This in itself is very valuable, as obtaining Canadian work experience can greatly increase your options when it comes to applying for PR. 

Working in a managerial role in a Canadian company can boost your CRS score by more than 200 points. In this way, buying a Canadian business can certainly increase your odds of eventually obtaining PR.


The best Canadian immigration programs for business owners 

If you intend to obtain your PR through the acquisition of an existing business and gaining Canadian experience in running your business, you’ll want to make sure that the immigration program you’re applying for sets you on the right path. 

One of the options we recommend looking into is Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) for entrepreneurs. PNPs were designed to attract international talent to help fill labor gaps. As such, each Canadian province (except Quebec) has its own PNP with requirements that are tailored to meet the economic needs of that specific province. 

Factors that are usually taken into consideration include net worth, work experience, and whether you’ve invested or have an intention to invest in a business within the province. 

If you meet the requirements, your profile may be selected by the provincial government and you will receive an invitation to apply for nomination. Obtaining permanent residency through a PNP is a two-step process which involves first being selected by the province. 

With the support (nomination letter) of the province, you can then apply to the federal government for PR. 

If you are ready to invest and become actively involved in running a business within a Canadian province, a PNP could be a viable option.

If you’re interested in a direct route to PR, we recommend looking into the Start-Up Visa Program (SUV). Instead of buying a business, the SUV requires you to start your own business once you obtain Canadian Permanent Residency. 

New call-to-action