The fastest way for a non-Canadian to be able to make an investment into a business in Canada, and to work in that business, is with a Work Permit or a Work Permit Exemption. There are over 40 ways for non-Canadians to work in Canada, and these can take anywhere from 1 day to 6 months or more to process.
By contrast, it can take from 8 months to 3 years or more to process a Permanent Residence case. Many people will first apply for a Work Permit for 1 to 2 years to come to Canada quickly, then have their Permanent Residence case processed while working in Canada.
For people investing into a business in Canada, who need a Work Permit to allow them to manage that business, there are several general options:
- NAFTA Investor Work Permit: The North American Free Trade Agreement allows US and Mexican citizens to come to Canada to make a “substantial investment” into a business, then obtain a Work Permit to develop and direct that business.
- CETA Investor Work Permit: Similar to the NAFTA Investor Work Permit, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement allows citizens of European Union countries to come to Canada to make a “substantial investment” then obtain a CETA Investor Work Permit to develop and direct the business.
- Owner Operator LMIA Work Permit: The Owner Operator Labour Market Impact Assessment Work Permit is a 2-step process. Firstly, you need to apply to the Canadian government for an opinion that your obtaining a Work Permit would not have a “negative impact” on the Canadian labour market. Generally, you would need to prove that no jobs would be lost, and in fact jobs would be maintained or created. Once you get the OOLMIA approved, you would then need to apply for the Work Permit.
Here is a Podcast that Jeffrey Lowe did on Owner Operator LMIA Work Permits: http://www.canadianimmigrationpodcast.com/owner-operator-labour-market-impact-assessments/
Long term, you may wish to apply for Permanent Residence to Canada. Depending on your background and the timing of your application, you may be able to apply as a Federal Skilled Worker, under the Canadian Experience Class, or a Provincial Nominee Program.
Some of your Canadian Work Experience may give you additional points towards your Permanent Residence application, while others may not qualify. We strongly urge you to seek professional advice from your Immigration Lawyer or Consultant prior to making any investment decisions.