Government Clarifies Which Entrepreneurs May Apply for a Work Permit

By , on September 27, 2017


Photo: CIC News
Photo: CIC News

The government of Canada has issued confirmation regarding the categories of entrepreneurs and self-employed persons who may obtain a work permit before becoming permanent residents of Canada.

In cases where an applicant has received a nomination under a business category or is self-employed and the permanent residence application has not yet been processed, a C11 work permit may be authorized as an initial work permit or extension, where there is a compelling argument for early entry, both into the country and to the labour market.

Updated instructions state that this applies to the following two scenarios:

  1. potential or actual provincial nominees undertaking business activities;
  2. Quebec-destined entrepreneurs or self-employed persons issued a Quebec Selection Certificate.

In both of these scenarios, the government acknowledges that the individual is seeking eventual permanent residence and that entry to Canada and its labour market before permanent residence is granted may be mutually beneficial.

Provincial nomination

A work permit may be issued to a foreign national who is being considered by a provincial or territorial government for potential nomination for permanent residence. This is possible because the province or territory wants the potential nominee to implement his or her business plan and wants to ensure that the candidate is able to establish the business successfully before they actually nominate the foreign national.

To be eligible, a foreign national must:

  • have a letter of support from the province or territory (this letter of support should count towards evidence that their admission to Canada to operate a business may create significant economic, social or cultural benefit to Canada; additional documentation, such as a business plan, may be requested);
  • have received either:
    • an offer of employment number, or
    • authorization by the Immigration Program Guidance Branch (IPG) to submit the “Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)” form;
  • have paid the employer compliance fee (self-employed persons are considered their own employer and must therefore pay the employer compliance fee); and
  • have submitted an application for a work permit.

Quebec

A work permit may be issued to entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals destined to Quebec where a CSQ has been issued, but the foreign national is not yet a permanent resident or a temporary worker.

To be eligible, a foreign national must:

  • have a valid CSQ as an entrepreneur or self-employed person;
  • have a request from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) requesting early entry;
  • have received either
    • an offer of employment number, or
    • authorization by the IPG to submit the “Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)” form;
  • have paid the employer compliance fee (self-employed persons are considered their own employer and must therefore pay the employer compliance fee); and
  • have submitted an application for a work permit.

To learn more about business immigration to Canada, see this comparative table of provincial and federal programs.

To find out if you are eligible to immigrate to Canada as a business person, please fill out a free business assessment form.
If you have a work permit inquiry related to the above, or any other work permit-related issue, please send a detailed email to wp@canadavisa.com.

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