Canadian Immigration News

What Are the Canadian Work Permit Options Available for International Entrepreneurs in 2021?

3 minute read
"Recently, Canada has introduced some changes to the immigration pathways for international entrepreneurs. The Canadian government announced that the owner/operator category under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) will no longer be operational from April 1, 2021. "
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  May 24, 2021
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Recently, Canada has introduced some changes to the immigration pathways for international entrepreneurs. The Canadian government announced that the owner/operator category under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) will no longer be operational from April 1, 2021. 

The Owner/Operator LMIA category authorized Canadian employers to hire foreign workers without meeting the advertising requirements of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for a work permit. These new changes will also affect the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Canada will no longer accept applicants from the United Kingdom for this program beginning January 1, 2021. 

If applicants from the UK want to apply for business immigration, they can apply under the new Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement which is expected to come into effect early this year. Until then, they will be required to apply for an LMIA or meet the eligibility criteria for an LMIA exemption. 

Canada allows international entrepreneurs to apply for a work permit under some of its immigration pathways. Having a work permit allows the applicants to set up and establish their business and meet the terms set in their Business Performance Agreement to get permanent residency. 

What Are the Options Available for International Entrepreneurs?

Intra-Company Transfer: 

The Intra-Company Transfer is for international entrepreneurs who want to expand their existing business into Canada. This program is usually opted by multinational companies to set up their operations in Canada and move key staff members between their international branches, also known as Intra-Company Transferees. 

This way entrepreneurs can divide their time between their overseas business and their Canadian branch, subsidiary or affiliate. 

The new business must have a physical location and a business plan to hire at least 1 Canadian employee in the first year of operation. The new business must be related to the foreign business in terms of ownership and operation. The key staff member being moved to Canada must have been employed with the foreign business for at least 1 year in a senior managerial or executive position. 

CUSMA Investor: 

Under the Canadain-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), citizens of the United States and Mexico who want to establish or acquire a business in Canada are eligible to apply for a temporary work permit. International investors, majority shareholders and sole entrepreneurs can apply for this program if they want to establish and operate their business from inside Canada. To be eligible, they must have a business plan with all financial details about the total investment required to set up the business. They must demonstrate that a portion of the funds have already been invested in the project and the business will generate significant benefit for the Canadian economy and labor market.

CETA Investor: 

The CETA Investor program is for European investors who are employed in a supervisory or executive capacity by a company to invest a substantial amount of money in a Canadian business. The European investor will be allowed to come to Canada for 1 year on a work permit that does not require a positive LMIA. The eligibility requirements for this program are the same as those mentioned above for the CUSMA investor.

Self Employed-Entrepreneurs: 

The Entrepreneur/Self-Employed work permit is for international entrepreneurs who own at least 50% of a seasonal Canadian business. International entrepreneurs who intend to live outside Canada can also apply for this program. Applicants can seek temporary residence and eventually permanent residence. Under certain cases, applicants could even be exempt from the LMIA requirements. They must have a business plan on how their business will contribute to the economic and social development of Canada. 

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