Canada Makes Some Policy Changes That Affects Immigration Options for Businessmen

The first step in running a business in Canada for an entrepreneur is to get a work permit. Canada made a recent announcement of removing the Owner/Operator category under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). This will be effective from April 1, 2021.

The Owner/Operator category lets applicants apply for a work permit without advertising as per the requirement of the LMIA.

Some new directions will affect Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) Investors. Since January 1, 2021, Canada has stopped processing UK applicants under CETA.

On the contrary, these applicants will be processed under the new Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement. This will start once this new agreement is approved. Confirmation of this new agreement will happen early this year.

Unless the new agreement is approved, applicants will have to go with an LMIA. They may also fulfill the eligibility criteria of an LMIA-exempt work permit category.

Options for Businessmen Who Wish To Start a Business in Canada

Here are some choices for entrepreneurs who wish to start their business in Canada.

Intra-Company Transfer

If you wish to expand your existing foreign business into Canada, you will have to opt for the Intra-Company Transfer work permit. This permit is suitable for multinational companies to shift their key staff and management between international branches.

However, it may also be a choice for entrepreneurs who wish to open their businesses in Canada.

This work permit will allow you to split your time between managing your present global business and starting a Canadian subsidiary, branch, or affiliate.

Essential eligibility criteria include:

  1. The new Canadian business needs to pass a viability test. This is possible by providing some information, such as:
  2. The proof of acquiring physical premises.
  3. The financial information of the business.
  4. A business plan that will provide the option of hiring a minimum of one Canadian in the first year of operation.
  5. There needs to be a relation between the foreign company and the Canadian business. This should work in terms of their ownership structure. It means that they must have either of the below relationships:
  6. Parent-subsidiary
  7. Parent-branch
  8. Affiliate
  9. The person in charge of the new Canadian business management should be an employee of the foreign business. This person should be transferred to a similar full-time executive or managerial position for a minimum of a year.

CUSMA Investor

If you are a citizen of Mexico or the US, willing to invest in an existing or a new business in Canada, you may apply for a work permit. This permit will be under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) Investor program.

People who can use this program to either develop or direct their business from within Canada include:

  1. Majority shareholders
  2. Eligible investors
  3. Sole owners

An investor needs to prepare a business plan to apply for the work permit. The plan should have details of the total capital required to purchase or set up the business.

It is also essential to show that a large portion of the fund is already used for the project. There should be new job prospects and other benefits for the local community.

CETA Investor

European investors eligible for the CETA Investor program may stay in Canada for a year without an LMIA.

Eligible investors need to be employed. Their job should be in an executive or a supervisory position. They should be working for an enterprise-ready to commit a large capital to a Canadian business.

The provisions of the CETA Investor program is similar to the CUSMA program:

  1. Investors will require a business plan.
  2. The business should provide benefits to the Canadian economy.
  3. Investors should already commit a large amount of capital.


The Entrepreneurs/self-employed work permit is for all the entrepreneurs who own a minimum of 50% of a seasonal Canadian business. It may also apply in situations wherein a Canadian business owner wishes to stay outside the country.

In such scenarios, the work permit can be exempt from needing an LMIA.

These people may apply for a temporary residence or a permanent residence at a later stage. Applicants need to prove that their business will provide the following benefits to Canadians:

  • Economic
  • Social
  • Cultural

Get in touch with us on WhatsApp or Call us at 905-671-4442. You may even email us at if you have any queries about your work permit application.

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