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New Guidelines for Canada Business Immigration

Canada Business Immigration
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.
  • While applying for the temporary visa, applicants must demonstrate that they will contribute significant economic, social, or cultural benefits to the society and depart Canada once the project is complete or the business closes down.
  • Applicants who have a dual intent to enter Canada as temporary workers and then eventually apply for permanent residence must satisfy the ability to contribute economically, socially, or culturally and willingness to leave Canada at the end of the temporary period.


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.”

  • Create viable business that will benefit Canadian permanent resident and citizens Canadian or contribute in the economy
  • Possess background or expertise that will improve the viability of the business
  • Provide business plan that outlines the steps taken by the applicant to run the business
  • Show evidence of a financial plan, renting space, obtaining the business number, staffing plan, ownership documents or agreements, etc.

Factors to demonstrate “Significant economic, social or cultural benefit.”

  • Provide details about general economic steps (such as employment generation, regional development, community contribution, remote setting, or expansion of export markets for Canadian products and services.
  • Contribute to the Canadian industry’s progress (such as product or service innovation, technological enhancement, or skills transfer to Canadians).

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:

  • business registration as a legal entity in Canada
  • Demonstrate that business profits remained in Canada
  • Proof of tax returns filing to appropriate federal, provincial or territorial bodies
  • Meet the temporary requirement that they will leave Canada at the end of the period

Work permit processing for temporary residence applicants

To meet the eligibility, the applicant must:

  • have received either:
  • Valid Job Offer / Employment Number, or
  • Immigration Program Guidance Branch (IPG) Authorization to submit the “Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)” form [IMM 5802]
  • Paid the fee of employer compliance
  • Submitted the work permit application


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