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Canada Ranked as the Top Choice for Immigrant Entrepreneurs in 2023

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Amid the global landscape of immigration opportunities, Canada emerges as the most attractive prospect for immigrant entrepreneurs in 2023. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has honored Canada as the premier choice for startup founders and business visionaries, surpassing all other OECD nations.

Spanning 24 countries, the OECD includes prominent nations like the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Australia. In a concerted effort to stimulate innovation, job creation, and economic growth, these nations are increasingly competing to attract foreign entrepreneurs. The driving forces behind this attraction are numerous, encompassing innovation promotion, foreign investment, and the overall augmentation of their economies.

A multifaceted approach is imperative to establish an environment conducive to the flourishing of new and inventive enterprises. This involves cultivating robust entrepreneurial ecosystems, invigorating research and innovation, and ensuring aspiring founders have unfettered access to funding and pertinent human resources.

Central to this recognition is the OECD’s ‘Indicators of Talent Attractiveness,’ an evaluative system that gauges a nation’s appeal to foreign startup founders. This assessment encompasses various factors and immigration policies tailored to prospective international entrepreneurs. Among the seven fundamental dimensions scrutinized are market conditions, global reach, access to capital, digitalization levels, and interconnectedness.

Canada’s Ranking

Canada’s performance on this scale is striking, positioning itself within the upper quartile across all dimensions, with a solitary exception in the ‘skills environment’ category. In addition, Canada stands alongside Australia as the sole nation offering permanent residency to successful startup visa recipients from day one. Bolstering its allure are favorable regulatory frameworks for business commencement and operation, a migrant-welcoming society, and favorable living conditions.

This ranking underscores that countries steeped in a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial dynamism, like Canada, are inherently adept at enticing startup founders and enterprising minds. As the global landscape continues to evolve, Canada’s ascendancy in these rankings substantiates its status as a beacon for those seeking to pioneer their business journeys in a thriving and supportive environment.

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Coming to Canada as an Entrepreneur

Canada presents an array of immigration avenues and employment licenses catering to entrepreneurs, investors, and self-employed individuals.

The Start-Up Visa initiative awards permanent residency to immigrant entrepreneurs establishing themselves in Canada. The program’s essence lies in enlisting ingenious foreign entrepreneurs capable of propelling economic growth and job creation in the country.

Prospective candidates for a Start-Up Visa must fulfill the subsequent criteria:

  • Attain the stipulated language proficiency in English or French.
  • Possess ample funds to settle in Canada.
  • Express intent to reside in a province other than Quebec.
  • Clear Canadian security and medical evaluations.
  • Demonstrate business support from a designated organization.
  • Satisfy business ownership prerequisites.
  • Lastly, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has assigned numerous venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubators to participate in the Start-Up Visa program. Successful applicants must secure a minimal investment for their Canadian startup.


Beneath the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), US or Mexican citizens investing in new or existing Canadian businesses might qualify for Investor work permits, enabling them to manage Canadian ventures. Typically, the investor holds the majority or sole ownership of the Canadian business. However, expectations entail job creation or other local economic benefits rather than merely supporting the investor.

Furthermore, entrepreneurs aiming to run their existing foreign enterprise while expanding in Canada might be eligible for an Intra-Company Transfer work permit. This option predominantly serves multinational corporations shifting essential personnel across branches, tailored to entrepreneurs establishing new Canadian businesses.

Additionally, an Entrepreneur/Self-Employed work permit offers an avenue. This route suits entrepreneurs predominantly owning or being the sole owner of a Canadian business. Or instances where the Canadian business owner intends to reside outside Canada primarily. Besides, applicants must demonstrate their business’s significant economic, social, or cultural contribution to Canada.

Final Thoughts

Are you eager to immigrate to Canada and turn your dreams into a vibrant reality? Look no further than Green Light Canada! We are here to guide you every step of the way and make your journey to Canada smooth and successful. Fill out our Free Assessment Form, and let’s begin your journey today.

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