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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

How to Bring Your Business to Canada

Canada remains a popular immigration destination for entrepreneurs, business owners, and workers. There are many options available to expand your business in Canada, bring your business to Canada, or transfer to a Canadian company.

Intra-company Transferee Program

The intra-company transferee program is designed for employees of a parent company, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada. Workers who are transferred to the Canadian location can apply for a Work Permit through this program.

Employers who bring workers to Canada through this program are exempt from LMIA requirements because transferees offer significant benefits to the Canadian economy through the transfer of their skills and expertise to the Canadian labour market.

Foreign workers must fall into one of three categories to be eligible for the intra-company transferee program:

  • Executives: primarily direct the management of the enterprise and receive only general (if any) supervision from higher-level executives.

  • Senior managers: manage all or part of the enterprise and supervise or control the work of other managers or professional employees.

  • Workers with ‘specialized knowledge’: can demonstrate specialized knowledge of the enterprise’s product or service, or an advanced level of expertise in the enterprise’s processes and procedures.

IRCC states that work permits granted under the Intra-Company Transfer program are typically for a one-year duration. However, these work permits may be renewed. Further, intracompany transferees are often eligible to apply for Permanent Residency after working in Canada for one or more years.

Start-Up Visa Program

Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build businesses in Canada that are innovative, can create jobs for Canadians, and can compete on a global scale.

To apply for the SUV program, your business idea or venture must get support from a

To apply for the SUV program, you must have a Letter of Support from a Designated Organization. There are also ownership requirements for the SUV program. Each applicant must hold 10% or more of the voting rights in the business and up to 5 people can apply for the SUV Program as owners of a single business. The Designated Organization and applicants must jointly hold more than 50 percent of the voting rights in the business.

Owner-Operator LMIA

The Owner-Operator LMIA is a type of Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) designed for self-employed individuals who want to bring their business to Canada or purchase a business in Canada. Applicants essentially offer themselves a job offer as a business person and submitting a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to prove there is a need for them to come to Canada to perform their job.

There are several requirements for this type of application. First, the business owner must show that the company offers significant economic benefits to Canadians. For example, they can show that they meet the demand for a service or good or create more jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. This information can be included in the business plan submitted in the application.

Another requirement is that the owner must own 51% or more of the company. This is applicable whether the company is already in existence or the applicant plans to purchase a company.

It’s also important to note that Immigration Officers pay special attention to the genuineness of the job offer. The business owner is someone who is performing the duties described in NOC 00 - Senior Management Occupations.

As such, an entrepreneur’s prior experience in managing a business (either a Canadian or non-Canadian company) is a very important factor. The applicant can speak about their ability to successfully operate a business in Canada, for which an LMIA is requested.


Our Services

Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.

We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.

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