Author: Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB
Last Updated On: November 24, 2022

Two-Stage Immigration for Entrepreneurs under IMP C11

IRCC has updated the criteria for IMP C11. Please visit the updated article instead of the current page.

If you have a business mind and enough expertise, you could immigrate to Canada with the help of IMP C11 in two stages. Please read this article carefully and remember the immigration policies could change at any time. An option that is available today may vanish tomorrow.

Stage 1 – Work Permit under the IMP C11

The International Mobility Program (IMP) paves the way to apply for a Work Permit without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA process is tedious and prone to refusal. Consequently, about two-thirds of those who receive Canadian work permits use one of the IMP programs (e.g. the Mobility Francophone, etc.). One of the IMP options is the LMIA exemption code C11. This code is for entrepreneurs or self-employed people who meet the following requirements*:

  • They have the skills and background to establish a successful business in Canada or purchase an existing one and turn it into a successful business.
  • They own at least 50% of the business they establish or purchase in Canada.
  • Their activities in Canada creates significant cultural, social, or economic benefits to our country (e.g. contributes to remote areas, creates jobs for Canadians, exports Canadian goods to other countries, contributes to technological development, shows to be innovative in nature, helps Canadians to hone their skills, etc.)
  • They present a business plan that is meaningful and viable.
  • They have taken steps to make their plans happen before entering Canada (e.g. they have established the business, they have secured enough financial resources for the business, have contacted parallel businesses in Canada, and have signed agreements with Canadian suppliers, etc.)

This work permit is limited to one applicant as the applicant needs to hold the business’s controlling shares. If you want to know more about this option, read the following articles:

Stage 2 – Applying for Permanent Residence after IMP C11

IMP C11 work permit does not result in permanent residency by default. In fact, dual intention for permanent residency is currently limited to the following immigration options:

  • Immigration to Canadian provinces as a business person or entrepreneur (PNP programs)
  • Immigration to Quebec as a self-employed person

Despite limitations on dual intent, an applicant who moves to Canada under this program and works for at least one year could apply under the Federal Skilled Worker program category through the Express Entry system. To apply for permanent residency, you need to meet the following criteria:

I must emphasize that your intention, in the beginning, needs to be the Work Permit alone. If you decide to immigrate to Canada after a year of work experience, you may consider stage 2. Also, consider the fact that immigration options could change at any time. Therefore this option may not necessarily be available to you when you complete one year of work in Canada. Also, explore potential PNP options.

What Happens to the Family of the Applicant

If you receive a work permit to Canada, which is valid for at least six months, your spouse qualifies to receive an open work permit that allows her to work in Canada for any employer. Your minor children may also study in Canada without a study permit. Of course, an immigration officer has the final say to issue a work permit or visa for your dependent family members.

Let us help!

If you would like to apply for the IMP C11 work permit, submit the following form. However, you may alternatively book a consultation session with me or fill out our assessment form. If you are filling out the following form, make sure to be as thorough as possible.

    How many years of work experience do you have as a business owner or senior manager in the past five years?

    The highest level of education

    How much do you intent to invest (in Canadian dollars):

    Do you have access to liquid assets for this investment?

    Your knowledge of the English language:

    Your knowledge of the French language:

    Have you ever travelled to Canada?

    Are you currently inside Canada?

    Please share more information to help us better assess you:

    * Resource: IRCC Operational Instructions: International Mobility Program: Canadian interests – Significant benefit – Entrepreneurs/self-employed candidates seeking to operate a business [R205(a) – C11]

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

    Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!

    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

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    Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB

    Al Parsai is a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University (Osgood Hall Law School). A respected member of CICC, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.