If you are a self-employed person or entrepreneur who wants to work in Canada, you may be eligible for an LMIA-exempt work permit.
What is a self-employed person and entrepreneur?
A self-employed person is someone who works for themselves as the owner of a business and rarely hires people outside of their family members. They as the owner usually carry out all the responsibilities of an employee.
An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business. They also hire employees other than their family members to carry out the activities of the business.
If you are an owner of a business, you must control 50% or more of the business. Otherwise you need to apply for a work permit as an employee.
How to qualify?
To be eligible for an LMIA-exempt work permit, the work you are going to do in Canada must:
Be temporary or seasonal. You must also show that you will leave Canada, and
Will generate significant economic, social or cultural benefits, or job opportunities for Canadian citizens and PRs.
Temporary or seasonal work
Your work must be temporary or seasonal. Seasonal businesses such as bed and breakfast operators, gold miners and wildlife guides are examples of employment that is temporary in nature.
If you are an owner of a business that has a year-found operation in Canada, you then need to show the work you will be doing is temporary.
Significant economic, social or cultural benefits
If your work does not require you to hire Canadian citizens or PRs, then it must provide significant economic, social or cultural benefits to Canadian clients.
IRCC or the immigration legislation does not define what significant economic, social or cultural benefits are. Generally speaking, you must prove that the benefit of your work is significant. Then, the benefit must be economic, social, or cultural.
Note that investors do not automatically qualify as self-employed persons or entrepreneurs unless they meet the above criteria. However, if you are an eligible investor under a Free Trade Agreement (FAT), you may apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit under the FAT criteria.
We can help you assess whether you meet the eligibility requirements.
Opening a new business in Canada
If you want to open a new business in Canada, you may be eligible as an entrepreneur as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. But, if you are an Executive, Senior or Functional Manager of the business, you may be eligible for an LMIA-exempt work permit as an Intra-Company Transferee (ICT).
Self-employed persons and entrepreneurs who want to apply for PR
Keep in mind that one of the criteria is that your work must be either temporary or seasonal. Even if you want to become a PR, you must still show that your work is temporary or seasonal and that you will leave Canada in a specified period of time.
If you are in the process of an application for PR, such as under the Start-Up Business Class, you will need to provide more proof and explanations about your eligibility.
What we do
We value your trust in us and have your best interest in mind. Therefore, we will never make false assurances or promises. At LegalRoots, client experience is what we care about the most. We also create a safe and friendly place for those who wish to discuss their matters with us freely.
Book an initial assessment today or contact us directly.