Canadian Work Permits Available to Entrepreneurs

How to Immigrate to Canada and Start a Business

Being an entrepreneur is something that many aspire to be. But when attempting to immigrate to Canada, it can be difficult to navigate the immigration system as a business owner, as the immigration pathways differ from the traditional routes.

Fortunately, there are options available for entrepreneurs looking to set up shop in Canada.

Keep reading to learn more.

Intra-Company Transfer

An Intra-Company Transfer work permit is one option that enables entrepreneurs to expand their existing foreign business into Canada. While this program is most often used by large corporations looking to transfer staff to Canadian branches, entrepreneurs looking to move their operations to Canada can also apply.

In order to obtain an Intra-Company Transfer work permit, the following criteria must be met:

  • The new Canadian business must pass a viability test, and provide financial information, evidence that a physical business location has been secured, and a business plan that includes hiring a minimum of one Canadian employee during the first year of operation.
  • Both the foreign company and the Canadian businesses must have either a parent-branch, parent-subsidiary, or affiliate relationship.
  • The person being transferred to manage the new Canadian business must have been employed by the foreign business for a minimum of one year. They must also have been employed in a similar full-time, senior managerial or executive position.

CUSMA Investor

The Canada-United-States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) Investor program is open to citizens of U.S. and Mexico looking to invest in a new or existing Canadian business.

CETA Investor

The CETA Investor program enables eligible European investors to live in Canada for one year, and does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Entrepreneur/Self-Employed Work Permit

Foreign entrepreneurs that own at least 50 per cent of a seasonal Canadian business can apply for the Entrepreneur/Self-Employed work permit. This permit is also available to entrepreneurs that own a Canadian business but intend to live outside of Canada.

In order to be eligible, applicants must prove that their business will benefit Canadians economically, socially, and culturally.

Entrepreneur/Self-Employed work permit holders can obtain either temporary or permanent residence in Canada.

As you can see, with assistance from an experienced immigration lawyer, there’s no shortage of opportunities for foreign business owners looking for opportunities in Canada.