This program allows foreign entrepreneurs to work or operate their own business in Canada on a temporary basis. This program also allows foreign entrepreneurs who have the intention to settle in Canada permanently to come and start their business early. Therefore, an application under this category implies dual intent (i.e. both temporary and permanent residency).
The most important condition of eligibility is that the work/business would generate “significant economic, social or cultural benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents”. This condition is often met if the entrepreneur is providing a unique service that has the ability to create economic stimulus in Canada (i.e. job creation, advancement of Canadian industry and etc.).
The work-permit issued under this program is LMIA exempt with the initial duration of maximum two years. This type of work-permit can be renewed for multiple times if certain conditions are met. The prospect of obtaining permanent residency with this work-permit is very high through the Express Entry and PNP programs.
|Legal Ground||Section 205(a) of IRPR|
|LMIA Requirement||Exempted – C11|
|Eligibility||– Business owners with unique businesses providing goods/services that would provide “significant economic, social or cultural benefits” in Canada.
– Having a controlling interest (more than 50%) in the business
|Requirements||– Establish “significant benefit” of the business in Canada
– Canadian incorporation of a subsidiary, affiliate or branch
– Detailed business plan
– financial ability to operate Canadian company
|Financial/Investment Requirement||There are no investment obligations but the foreign company must prove sufficient financial ability to start operations in Canada. This amount varies depending on the type of business, but in general cannot be less than CAD 100,000|
|Required Supporting Documents||– proof of “significant benefit” of the business (i.e. business description, demonstration of uniqueness, annual reports, marketing material, public attention, licenses, patents, know-how, …)
– proof of applicant’s controlling interest in the business (i.e. shareholder structure, Articles of Incorporation, share certificates, etc.)
– applicant’s personal documents (i.e. resume, education, financial ability and etc.)
– proof of Canadian incorporation
– Detailed business plan
|Visa Validity and Renewal||2 years, can be renewed multiple times|
|Family Members||Transferee’s spouse may get open work permit
Transferee’s children under 22 years old may get study permit
|Work Permit Social Benefits||-access to free health care for transferee and family members
-access to free education for children (up to and including secondary education)
|Processing Time||2 weeks – 3 months (depending on the country of applicant)|
|Permanent Residency Prospect||Very high particularly under the Canadian Experience Class of the Express Entry program|