Work Permit Requirements

Enhancing Work Permit Requirements for Business Candidates in Canadian Provinces and Territories

Recently, Canadian provinces and territories have made significant updates to their work permit requirements for business candidates. These changes aim to ensure that applicants intending to establish or operate businesses in Canada genuinely contribute to the cultural, social, and economic landscape of the region where they plan to reside.

These updates also assist immigration officers in focusing on key requirements outlined in section R200, such as the applicant’s commitment to fulfilling the intended work and their plan to leave Canada upon the expiration of their authorized stay. Moreover, these modifications provide detailed instructions regarding the significant benefit review conducted by provinces and territories, along with the issuance of support letters based on the outcomes of the assessment.

Extension of Work Permit Duration in Quebec:

Additionally, the Quebec government has extended the duration of work permits associated with the Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) for entrepreneurs or self-employed individuals from two to three years. This extension reflects Quebec’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurial endeavors and fostering economic growth within the province.

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IRCC’s Consideration of Significant Benefits:

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) identifies specific scenarios that meet the requirements outlined in paragraph 205(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. These scenarios involve foreign nationals whose work creates significant social, cultural, or economic benefits for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. To facilitate the assessment of such cases, IRCC has established labor market impact assessment (LMIA) exemption categories, each assigned a unique administrative code.

Administrative LMIA Exemption Codes

Among these codes, C60 serves as the administrative LMIA exemption code for foreign nationals entering Canada to establish or maintain a business as entrepreneurs, provided they receive support from a province or territory. However, for individuals who do not meet the specific considerations for a C60 exemption, officers may evaluate their cases on an individual basis, potentially utilizing the broader LMIA exemption code C10, which encompasses assessments under paragraph R205(a).

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Overview of Business Categories

In the context of temporary entry for business purposes, there are two distinct categories:

  • Temporary Purpose: This category pertains to individuals seeking temporary entry, often for seasonal reasons, to manage their existing businesses, typically as self-employed individuals.
  • Business Candidate: This category encompasses individuals aspiring to enter Canada as business candidates, aiming to establish or manage businesses to fulfill provincial/territorial nomination requirements or qualify for the federal Start-up Business Visa.

Process for Business Candidates

For individuals falling under the business candidate category, the process involves applying to a province or territory for acceptance into the respective business immigration program. Upon approval, the province or territory issues a support letter enabling the candidate to apply for a work permit. Subsequently, the candidate is required to execute their business plan and satisfy specific provincial requirements, typically over two years.

Notably, Quebec offers candidates up to three years to fulfill these requirements. Following successful fulfillment of the provincial requirements, candidates receive a Confirmation of Nomination letter or a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) for permanent residence.

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Important Considerations

During the initial period of two years (or three years in Quebec), business candidates are not officially nominated by the province or territory but are considered potential nominees. Only upon meeting specific provincial requirements and receiving the Confirmation of Nomination or CSQ do they become eligible to apply for a work permit.

These updates in work permit requirements for business candidates underscore Canada’s commitment to attracting and retaining individuals who contribute positively to the nation’s economic landscape. By refining the assessment criteria and extending work permit durations, Canadian provinces and territories aim to foster an environment conducive to entrepreneurship and sustained economic growth, thereby enriching the country’s cultural and social fabric.

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