Canadian Immigration Authority recently released a new set of guidelines for specific Canada Business Visa pathways associated with the International Mobility Program. This particular mobility program is known as the Canada Work Permit that is popular among skilled professionals. However, some Business Entrepreneurs and Self-employed individuals use the work permit to be employed or self-employed in Canada’s new business. Most notably, the Canada Owner Operator program has a provision wherein the applicant can establish or operate a new business in Canada and become an employee of the same company under a work permit. Naturally, the work permit is valid for a minimum of 6 months, which one can renew multiple times upon meeting the requirements.
Unlike Canada Investor Visa, if a foreign business applicant applies for the work permit to operate and become an employee of their own business temporarily, must demonstrate that would generate significant benefit or economic, social, or cultural benefits. Govt. has also ordered the visa officers to encourage applicants to apply for permanent residency if they intend to permanently start or buy a business in Canada.
Factors to demonstrate “significant benefit."
Factors to demonstrate “Significant economic, social or cultural benefit."
Applicants applying for Canada Business Visa must provide relevant documents to visa offer that validate or support their claim of Significant economic, social, or cultural benefit to Canada.
Degree of ownership
As per the guidelines, Canada will grant the work permits for business applicants only when they have a minimum of 50% of the shares in Canada’s proposed business. Suppose an individual is a partial owner with less than 50% stakes in the company. In that case, they must apply for a work permit as an employee (rather than an entrepreneur or self-employed individual). Furthermore, it would also require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application.
Long-term Self-Employed Applicants
Applicants who have received work permits for multiple times over several years in the self-employed or entrepreneur category must provide evidence of the following:
Work permit processing for temporary residence applicants
To meet the eligibility, the applicant must:
If any applicant is aiming to apply for Canada permanent residency permit after residing in the country temporarily, then there are two categories for a work permit under this category:
As a thumb rule, the applicants in these categories must demonstrate that they establish or operate their business in Canada that will generate significant economic or social benefits, or opportunities for Canadian citizens or residents
Potential provincial nominees undertaking business activities
Under this category, an eligible foreign national can apply who has a valid nomination from a province for permanent residence and employed or has a job offer from an employer in that province. They may issue a work permit under LMIA exemption for permanent residence.
Work permit processing for Potential provincial nominees undertaking business activities
For eligibility, a foreign national must:
Quebec entrepreneurs or self-employed persons issued a CSQ
If an applicant wants to settle in Quebec’s province, then a work permit may be issued to those who received their CSQ. However, the applicant must not be yet a permanent resident or a temporary worker as Quebec does not have a provincial nominee program but comes under Canada Entrepreneur Visa.
Work permit processing for Quebec-destined entrepreneurs or self-employed persons issued a CSQ
To be eligible, a foreign national must:
Duration & Extensions
The initial work permit is valid for a maximum period of two years. One can extend beyond two years if the applicant has applied for permanent residence or some exceptional circumstances.
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