Canada is renowned for its high standard of living, excellent healthcare system, strong economy, and diverse cultural landscape. If you are considering becoming a Canadian citizen and have the means to make a significant investment, you may be looking for Canada Citizenship by Investment opportunities.

So, first things first: for clarification, the country doesn’t offer a straight route of Citizenship by Investment, or CBI, as, for example, the Caribbean countries do.

However, it is possible to achieve exactly the same result by obtaining Residency by Investment and then, after fulfilling the permanent residence requirements, applying for Canadian citizenship.

In this guide, we will explore the various programs and pathways available to obtain it, as well as the benefits of Canadian citizenship.

The Benefits of Canadian Citizenship

quebec immigrant investor program

Before diving into the process of obtaining Canadian citizenship through investment, it’s essential to understand the numerous benefits that come with being a Canadian citizen. As a Canadian citizen, you will have the right to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada. You can also enjoy the freedom to travel to many countries without the need for a visa.

Additionally, Canadian citizens have access to world-class healthcare, a robust social welfare system, and excellent educational opportunities for themselves and their families. Furthermore, Canadian citizenship grants you the privilege to participate in the democratic process by voting in federal, provincial, and municipal elections.

How to Get Canada Citizenship by Investment

To obtain Canadian citizenship through investment, you must first acquire permanent residence in Canada and then apply for citizenship.

Once you obtain permanent residence, you will need to fulfill certain residency requirements before becoming eligible to apply for a second passport. Generally, you must physically reside in Canada for at least 1,095 days (three years) during the five-year period immediately preceding your citizenship application. This timeframe allows you to integrate into Canadian society, contribute to the community, and establish roots in your chosen province or territory.

In order to obtain citizenship, you will also need to demonstrate that you have filed tax returns (if required) for at least three of the five years before applying, meet the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) in the official languages of English or French to level four or higher, have knowledge of Canada’s history, geography, economy, governments, laws, and symbols, and have a clean criminal background in their home country and any other countries of residence.

There are several pathways available for entrepreneurs and investors to gain permanent residence, each with its own specific requirements. Let’s explore some of the popular programs:

Start-Up Visa Program

The Start-Up Visa Program is an excellent pathway for entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas to establish themselves in Canada. This program is specifically designed to attract talented and ambitious individuals who can contribute to the growth and development of the Canadian economy.

To be eligible for the Start-Up Visa Program, you must first secure a commitment from a designated Canadian venture capital fund (minimum of CAD $200,000), an angel investor group (minimum of CAD $75,000), or a business incubator. It can strengthen your application if you demonstrate an intent to develop a business concept or idea in conjunction with one of the government-designated venture capital fund and angel investors groups.

This commitment serves as an endorsement of your business idea and demonstrates that your entrepreneurial venture has the potential to succeed in the Canadian market. It also ensures that you have the necessary financial backing and support to establish and grow your business in Canada.

In addition to securing a commitment, you will need to meet certain language requirements. Proficiency in English or French is essential, as it enables effective communication with clients, customers, and business partners in Canada. Adequate language skills are crucial for networking, marketing, and building relationships within the Canadian business community.

Furthermore, you must demonstrate that you have sufficient settlement funds to support yourself and your family upon arrival in Canada. These funds are intended to cover your living expenses and ensure that you can establish a stable foundation for your business. The specific amount required varies depending on the size of your family. For a single person, the minimum amount is CAD $13,757. It rises to CAD $17,127 for two people, CAD $21,055 for three, and so on.

If your application is successful, you will receive permanent residence, and after fulfilling residency requirements, you can apply for Canadian citizenship.

Québec Immigrant Investor Program

The Québec Immigrant Investor Program is not currently active. The program was discontinued in 2019 and will go through changes before applications reopen, on 1 January 2024.

The new regulations are to be published early in the fourth quarter of 2023. It is expected that the revamped program will require the applicant to demonstrate stronger settlement ties to the province. Knowledge of the French language may also be required.

For reference, the requirements for applicants for the previous version of the Québec Immigrant Investor Program were:

  • Having a net worth of at least CAD $2 million
  • Having two years of suitable management or business experience within the five years preceding the application;
  • Being able to make an investment of CAD $1.2 million in a prescribed government-guaranteed investment for a period of five years.
investment canada citizenship

Approved applicants were granted permanent residence in Canada, specifically in the province of Quebec, being able to apply for Canadian citizenship later.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

Another interesting way of acquiring permanent residence by investment is through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). This is a Canadian immigration pathway offered by various provinces and territories, each with its own specific streams and criteria, tailored to the particular needs and priorities of the province or territory.

Note that candidates who use a PNP can do so through two streams: they can apply directly to a province through a base stream or get an enhanced nomination through the federal Express Entry system.

Here we will have a closer look at the entrepreneur streams of two of the most popular programs:

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)

This program is aimed at attracting entrepreneurs who have the potential to contribute to Alberta’s economic growth and development. It is divided into four streams:

The Rural Entrepreneur Stream

Nominates entrepreneurs who want to start a new or buy an existing business in a rural Alberta community (any community with a population of less than 100,000, outside of the Calgary and Edmonton Census Metropolitan Area). As a candidate, you must:

  • Have a minimum net worth of $300,000
  • Make a minimum investment of $100,000 from your own equity.

The Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

Nominates qualified international graduates from Alberta post-secondary institutions who want to establish or operate a business in Alberta to apply for permanent residence.

  • There is no minimum investment requirement

The Farm Stream

For experienced farmers who plan to buy or start a farm in Alberta. You must demonstrate farm management skills and present a viable business plan.

  • Minimum investment: CDN $500,000 (you must prove a minimum net worth of CDN $500,000, or confirmation of the ability to access a similar amount of funds from other sources).

Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

For qualified foreign-educated graduates from outside of Canada who want to launch start-up enterprises and innovative businesses in Alberta.

  • Minimum investment of $100,000 for an urban center, or $50,000 for a regional area (this investment may be from your own equity or from a recognized Canadian financial institution, venture capital, or angel investment firm).

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

The BC PNP aims to attract individuals like you who have a strong entrepreneurial background and can contribute to the economic growth of British Columbia.

Under the BC PNP’s Entrepreneur Immigration stream, there are three options available:

Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot

Intended to attract entrepreneurs to participating regional communities to establish new businesses that align with the communities’ economic development priorities. You must:

  • Have a net worth of at least $300,000
  • Make a minimum investment of $100,000

Entrepreneur Immigration – Base

Intended for experienced entrepreneurs who intend
to establish new businesses or take over and grow existing businesses in BC. You must:

  • Have a net worth of at least $600,000
  • Make a minimum investment of $200,000

Strategic Projects

For foreign corporations that intend to establish a subsidiary or branch
office in BC that strategically aligns with their core business.

  • Minimum investment: $500,000 directed toward the corporation’s operations in BC

 Canadian Citizenship by Investment at a Glance


Financial Requirements

Time to Citizenship

Start-Up Visa Program

Canadian venture capital fund

$200,000 minimum investment

Three years after receiving Permament Residence

(you can apply for Canadian citizenship after completing three years of residence during the five years after receiving PR)

Angel investor group

$75,000 minimum investment

Business incubator

No minimum investment

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program

Rural Entrepreneur

$300,000 net worth /

$100,000 minimum investment

Graduate Entrepreneur

No minimum investment

Farm Stream

$500,000 minimum investment

Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

$100,000 minimum investment for an urban center or $50,000 for a regional area

British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot

$300,000 net worth /  $100,000 minimum investment

Entrepreneur Immigration – Base

$600,000 net worth /  $200,000 minimum investment

Strategic Projects


Other Ways to Acquire Canadian Citizenship

Becoming a Canadian citizen is an exciting opportunity that opens doors to a multitude of benefits and opportunities. Let’s have a look at other ways to acquire Canadian citizenship: 

  • Canadian citizenship by birth: You are automatically a Canadian citizen if you were born in Canadian territory
  • Canadian citizenship by descent: If you were born outside of Canada to at least one parent who is a Canadian citizen, you can apply for Canadian nationality.
  • Canadian citizenship by naturalization: That’s the very popular route of applying for Canadian citizenship after obtaining Canadian permanent residence. Other alternatives to achieve permanent residence are the Express Entry program for skilled workers, family reunification, a work permit, and many others. 

How Global Citizen Solutions Can Help

Expats and foreign investors can encounter many difficulties when applying for second citizenship and a second passport, which is why it is worthwhile to have an expert on hand to provide personalized Canadian citizenship assistance throughout the application process.

Our specialists can help you with the following:

  • Minimize the visits you have to make to the designated country
  • Have someone who works solely on your behalf
  • Reduce the hassle associated with putting your application together
  • Acquire insider knowledge from someone with years of experience in the market
  • Let’s get you moving forward in your quest to obtain Canadian citizenship and a Canadian passport. Get in touch with us to book a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Canada Citizenship by Investment

How much do I need to invest in Canada to get PR?

There is no official minimum amount that you must invest in Canada to obtain Permanent Residence. There are investment programs with no minimum investment threshold, such as the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program or the Business Incubator option of the Start-Up Visa.

However, if you decide to invest in a Strategic Project under the British Columbia PNP, or apply for the Farm Stream of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program, then you must make an investment of at least $500,000.

What is a Golden Visa Canada?

Golden Visa Canada is simply another way to refer to Canada Residence by Investment. By making an investment in the country, you and your family can obtain Permanent Residence, which can lead to Canadian Citizenship after at least three years as residents in the country. 

What is the fastest way to get Canadian citizenship?

The fastest way to obtain Canadian citizenship is through the process of naturalization, which requires meeting specific criteria and completing the necessary steps. While there is no direct fast-track option, the general path involves obtaining permanent residence, often through residence by investment programs or other immigration streams, residing in Canada for a minimum period, demonstrating language proficiency, passing a knowledge test, and fulfilling income tax obligations. Once you demonstrate you fulfill all the citizenship requirements, you and your family will receive your second passport.

How easy is it for a US citizen to get Canadian citizenship?

Obtaining Canadian citizenship is generally considered a relatively straightforward process for US citizens due to the close relationship between the United States and Canada. As a US citizen, you must first become a Canadian permanent resident through various immigration programs. Once you meet the residency requirements, which involve physically residing in Canada for a specific period, demonstrating language proficiency, and passing the knowledge test, you can start your Canadian citizenship application.