If you’re considering becoming a Canadian citizen and have the means to make a significant investment, you may be looking for Canada Citizenship by Investment opportunities.

Canada is renowned for its high standard of living, excellent healthcare system, strong economy, and diverse cultural landscape. Meanwhile, the Canadian government has earned a reputation for welcoming immigrants, enabling many to attain permanent resident status and obtain Canadian citizenship. Because of these factors, the nation’s citizenship by investment opportunities are popular among foreign entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals worldwide.

For clarification, the country doesn’t offer a straight route via a Citizenship by Investment program as, for example, the Caribbean countries do.

However, it’s possible to achieve the same result by opting for a Residency by Investment program (otherwise known as the Canada Golden Visa program) and then, after fulfilling the permanent residence requirements and gaining a permanent residence permit, applying for Canadian citizenship.

Wondering how to get Canadian citizenship through investment? In this guide, we’ll explore the various programs and pathways available for investment immigration to Canada, as well as the benefits of Canadian citizenship.

Benefits of Canadian Citizenship by Investment

quebec immigrant investor programBefore 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 citizen, you’ll 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 family members. Furthermore, Canadian citizenship grants you the privilege to participate in the democratic process by voting in federal, provincial, and municipal elections.

Canadian citizenship also grants real estate rights, including full ownership and purchase rights for both residential and commercial properties, broader real estate investment options than permanent residency enables, flexible title holdings, straightforward inheritance procedures, standard rental agreements, and uncomplicated property sales.

Another benefit is that Canada allows dual citizenship, meaning you can hold Canadian citizenship and the citizenship of another country simultaneously. However, it’s important to check the rules and regulations of your home country, as many countries have different policies regarding dual citizenship. When dealing with matters related to your citizenship(s), it’s advisable to consult with legal experts or authorities in both Canada and your home country to understand the implications.

Importantly, when you gain Canadian citizenship, you’ll be granted a Canadian passport. According to the Global Passport Index Canadian passport is one of the most powerful in the world, enabling its holders to enjoy visa-free travel to many countries around the world, including the United States, Singapore, New Zealand, and the Schengen countries (the Schengen countries are 27 countries covering most of mainland Europe).

Additionally, when you apply for the Canadian citizenship by investment program, your immediate family members, including spouses, common-law partners, dependent children under the age of 21, and dependent parents and grandparents, can also apply for permanent residence and receive a permanent residence permit under the program.

How to Get Canada Citizenship by Investment

canadian citizen Then, to obtain citizenship through investment, you must first acquire permanent residence in Canada (and receive your permanent residence permit) and then apply for citizenship. So, the first step of the immigration process is to choose the business immigration program that best suits your needs. The visa will grant you temporary residence in Canada.

Once you obtain permanent residency, you’ll need to fulfill certain requirements before becoming eligible to apply for a Canadian 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.

To obtain citizenship, you’ll 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 (you’ll need to provide proof that you have no criminal record) in your home country and any other countries of residence.

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

Canada CBI: The Main Routes

Start-Up Visa Program

investment canada citizenshipThe Start-Up Visa Program is an excellent pathway for foreign nationals with innovative business ideas to establish themselves in Canada.

This business immigration program is specifically designed to attract talented and ambitious individuals who can contribute to the growth of the Canadian economy by establishing an innovative foreign company in the country.

To be eligible for the Canadian Startup Visa, you must first secure a commitment certificate from a designated organization.

The minimum investment required for your entrepreneurial venture depends on the type of designated organization that endorses your business idea. It can be a designated Canadian venture capital fund (minimum of CAD $200,000), an angel investor group (minimum of CAD $75,000), or a business incubator (no minimum or funding requirements). 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 certificate from a designated organization, you’ll 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.

To meet the SUV eligibility requirements, you must also show that you possess business development and business management skills. You can demonstrate that you have these skills with your business plan, resume, portfolio, and any relevant certifications or training you have completed.

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 for the Start-Up Visa program is successful, you’ll receive permanent residence, and after fulfilling residency requirements, you can apply for Canadian citizenship.

Quebec Immigrant Investor Program

The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (sometimes known as the Quebec Citizenship Program) is not currently active. The program was discontinued in 2019 and will go through changes before applications reopen.

It’s expected that the revamped Immigrant Investor 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 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

Successful applicants could obtain permanent residency in Canada, specifically in the province of Quebec, being able to apply for Canadian citizenship later.

Other Business Immigration Programs: Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

banking in canadaAnother way of acquiring permanent residence by investment is through the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). 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.

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.

There are many Canadian business immigration programs across various provinces, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The entrepreneur streams of two of the most popular business immigration programs are:

Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP)

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

The Rural Entrepreneur Stream

Nominates entrepreneurs who want to start a new or buy an existing Canadian 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 an investment of at least $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’s 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.

  • Invest at least $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 growth of BC’s economy.

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 an investment of at least $100,000

Entrepreneur Immigration – Base

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

  • Have a net worth of at least $600,000
  • Make an investment of at least $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 for successful applicants. Let’s look at other ways to acquire Canadian citizenship: 

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

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 get 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’s no official minimum amount that you must invest to obtain Canadian permanent residency. 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,  you must make an investment of at least $500,000.

What is a Golden Visa Canada?

Golden Visa Canada is another way to refer to Canada Residence by Investment program. By making an investment in the country through one of several investment programs, 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 of obtaining Canadian citizenship?

The fastest way to obtain citizenship is through the naturalization process, which requires meeting specific criteria and completing the necessary steps.

While there’s no direct fast-track option, the general path involves obtaining permanent residence, often through residence by or other immigration streams, residing in Canada for a minimum period, demonstrating language proficiency, proving that you have no criminal record, 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.

Can a US citizen get Canadian citizenship?

Yes, the Canada Start-up Visa enables American entrepreneurs to secure permanent residency (and later become eligible to apply to obtain citizenship) by establishing a startup in Canada with funding from designated VC funds or angel investor groups. Applicants must possess a business plan and demonstrate entrepreneurial skills.

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

Getting Canadian citizenship is 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 business 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. 

What are the basic eligibility requirements for the Canadian citizenship by investment program?

You must first obtain Canadian permanent residency status  before applying for citizenship. You’ll then need to file taxes in Canada for at least three of the five years immediately preceding your application. You’ll also need to pass a Canadian citizenship test, demonstrating knowledge of Canadian history, culture, values, geography, and government. You’ll also have to pass a medical examination.

What are the language requirements for Canadian citizenship?

You must meet the language requirement to be eligible to gain Canadian citizenship: Reach level 4 of the Canadian Language Benchmark in French or English.

What is the 1,095 day rule for Canadian citizenship?

To acquire Canadian citizenship, individuals must spend a minimum of 1,095 days (equivalent to three years) in Canada within the five-year period leading up to their application date.

Additionally, the Canadian government has introduced a new provision, allowing applicants to consider each day they were physically present in Canada as either a temporary resident or a protected person before obtaining permanent resident status as half a day towards fulfilling the residency requirement for citizenship. This credit can be applied for up to a maximum of 365 days.

Is there a Canada Golden Visa?

The Canada Start-Up Visa, also known as the Canada Investor Visa or the Canadian SUV Program, is broadly similar to the golden visas that are available in other countries, although it requires a period of permanent residency before applying for citizenship. It’s a unique Government of Canada program designed to attract innovative immigrant entrepreneurs from around the world to establish their businesses.

What is golden citizenship in Canada?

In Canada, you can gain permanent residency by investing in a business. Three to five years after making the investment and gaining permanent residency while maintaining a physical presence in Canada, you can apply for citizenship. If successful, you’ll be granted a Canadian passport.

How much is the Golden Visa for Canada?

The Canada Startup Visa (which is essentially the Golden Visa for Canada) costs CAD $3,735 for main applicants and $2,140 for their partners and children. The overall cost, including consultant fees, medical exam and police clearance, travel expenses, and settlement expenses, can range from CAD $8,735 to CAD $16,735.

There is no minimum investment amount, but generally you could expect to invest between CAD $250,000 and CAD $350,000.