Shabnam Akrami Blogs

Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Do Entrepreneurs Need a Work Permit in Canada

Do Entrepreneurs Need a Work Permit in Canada

Which Entrepreneurs Need a Work Permit to Work in Canada

For many self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs, they believe Canada is a country of prosperity and opportunity with regards to creating profit and capital for their businesses. Consequently, many self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs alike come to Canada for these opportunities. However, it is important to note that these individuals need proper authorization from the Canadian government in order to pursue their business endeavors. Therefore, in this article, I will address which entrepreneurs and self-employed persons need to obtain a work permit to work in Canada and what options are available to these individuals.

Which Entrepreneurs & Self-Employed Persons Need to Obtain a Work Permit

The government of Canada has recently stated that there are specific categories of self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs that may be able to obtain a work permit prior to becoming a permanent resident of Canada. This is an important update as these individuals often have to wait until their permanent residency is approved in order to work. If the individual has not received permanent residency in Canada yet; however, they have received a nomination under a self-employed or a business category, then a C11 work permit may be issued. A C11 work permit intended for individuals who have a permanent residency application that is being processed. Similarly, it is also intended for individuals with dual intent; dual intent means that they would like to seek status as a worker in Canada and then proceed to gain permanent residency in Canada as well. This is extremely beneficial for the self-employed individual or entrepreneur as it can help them gain early entry into Canada as well as early entry into the Canadian labour market.

The Canadian government has indicated that this applies to these two scenarios:

  1. Provincial nominees or potential provincial nominees that are pursuing business activities
  2. Self-employed individuals or entrepreneurs that are destined to reside in Quebec and are issued a Quebec Selection Certificate.

Thankfully, the Canadian government understands and acknowledges that these individuals are seeking permanent residency in Canada and would like to enter Canada before gaining permanent residency in order to contribute to the Canadian economy and labour market. This essentially can benefit both the Canadian government and the individual seeking work authorization.

Provincial Nomination

In certain circumstances, a province may nominate you to work and gain permanent residency in their province. In these cases, a work permit may be issued to the foreign national seeking employment in this province prior to the provincial nomination. The work permit may be issued for the province to investigate and determine whether the foreign national can successfully implement their business plan and establish their business before the province actually nominates them.

In order to be eligible and apply under the provincial nomination program, a foreign national must:

  • Provide a letter of support from the province or territory that is nominating them - this letter would include evidence of the individual’s admission to Canada in order to operate their business and create a significant benefit to Canada’s economy
  • Receive an offer of employment or
  • Receive authorization by the Immigration Program Guidance Branch (IPG) in order to submit an “Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)” form
  • Have paid the employer compliance fee accordingly - this is done because self-employed persons are considered their own employer and thus must pay this fee
  • Successfully applied for a work permit in Canada

Destined for Quebec

If a self-employed individual or an entrepreneur is destined to reside in Quebec and they have successfully received a CSQ (Quebec Selection Certificate), then the individual may obtain a work permit prior to receiving their permanent residency.

In order to be eligible and apply in Quebec, a foreign national must:

  • Have received and been issued a valid CSQ as a self-employed individual or entrepreneur
  • Have a request for early entry from the Ministere de l’Immigration, de la Diversite et de l’inclusion (MIDI)
  • Receive an offer of employment or
  • Receive an authorization by the IPG in order to submit an “Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)” form
  • Have paid the employer compliance fee accordingly - this is done because self-employed persons are considered their own employer and thus must pay this fee
  • Successfully applied for a work permit in Canada

What Exactly is a Work Permit

A work permit is a permit that authorizes a foreign national to work in Canada and contribute to the Canadian economy and labour market. It is important to note that work permits usually entail many steps and they must be done prior to applying for a work permit. For instance, the potential employer of the foreign national must first apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). However, in the case of a self-employed individual or an entrepreneur, thankfully they do not require an LMIA prior to applying for a work permit.

Once the Canadian government authorizes a work permit for the foreign self-employed individual or entrepreneur to work in Canada, they will only be authorized to work for a specific time period which will ultimately be the validity time of the work permit. Keep in mind, this work permit can be issued prior to the self-employed individual or entrepreneur gaining permanent residency. Once they have successfully obtained their permanent residency in Canada, there will be no need to use the work permit as permanent residents in Canada may work for any employer, anywhere in Canada.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned important information in consideration prior to applying for a Work Permit as a self-employed individual or an entrepreneur. Additionally, if you are unsure whether you need a work permit or not, it is always best to research beforehand. Applying for work permits in Canada is a difficult task to do on your own; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients apply and receive a valid work permit to work in Canada and successfully gain permanent residency afterwards as well. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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