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What is C-11?

What is C-11?

C11 is a way for foreign businesspeople to relocate to Canada on a temporary basis to run their own business!

Foreign candidates with extensive business experience or unique skills may create their own employment in Canada by acquiring a business in Canada, becoming co-owners of existing Canadian business (at least 50 %) or creating a new business in Canada.

What is interesting about this program?

Both, high-scale entrepreneurs, and self-employed individuals may benefit from this option.

Even if you intend to open a one-person business or a business which would only involve you and your family members, you have a chance to qualify under the program.

You can transfer your extensive experience, unique expertise, or other skills by becoming an independent contractor involved in a variety of occupations including writers, management consultants, tradespeople, freelancers, traders/investors, salespeople, etc.

What is the Temporary nature of a business project?

The candidate must demonstrate that he intends to depart Canada when the business has successfully been established or when the work is finished.

It is usually easy to justify the temporary nature of seasonal businesses clearly operating during certain seasons, such as gardening or landscaping etc. 

However, it is often difficult to justify the temporary character of other types of businesses, such as a manufacturing business, restaurant business, hairdressing salon, etc.

In such cases, candidates should have a “transition plan” demonstrating that once the business is developed and running, it will be possible for the candidate to leave Canada, while the business would continue running to benefit the Canadian economy. It means that the candidate will be able to train Canadian candidates and eventually identify a Canadian citizen or Temporary resident of Canada as an appointed manager who would be able to run the business, while the client leaves Canada by the end of his work permit period.

Initial work permits under the C11 category may be issued for a period of up to 24 months.  Extensions are possible as long as there is a clear justification that the work continues to generate significant economic, social or cultural benefits, or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

What is “significant benefit” & how will it be assessed by the immigration officer?

When officers are reviewing the significant benefits of the proposed business, it is not necessarily the type of business (sole proprietorship, franchise, corporation, etc.) that makes it a significant benefit or even how much is spent on it. Instead, it is how it provides opportunities for Canadians or permanent residents, or a benefit to a local or regional economy.

For example, a convenience store located on Yonge Street in Toronto that hires 2 extra people would not make any real difference to any local economy, and 2 extra jobs is not significant.

But if that same convenience store is established in a small rural area where the nearest grocery store is 20 kilometres away, then it may be a benefit as it would hire from a much smaller pool of local people where jobs may be scarce, and it could enhance the economies of other businesses around it by attracting people to the area.

Tour operator opening a company in a rural area with intent to promote the attractions of this area  clearly shows the benefits since it expects to attract tourists, investment and subsequently may result in employment openings for Canadians residing there.

Or to use a franchise example, is it the only Burger King in the town and therefore attracting people into the town from a much broader area? Or is it 1 of many in a small radius in a city where the opening would not have a significant impact?

C11 and Permanent Residency!

Any period of self-employment is not calculated toward the period of work experience for the Canadian Experience Class

However, if the candidate is capable of establishing an “Employer-employee” relationship while working for his own business, his employment experience may be considered.

To establish “Employer- Employee” relationship considered for Canadian Experience Class, the candidate may be required to take certain steps, such as reducing financial control over the company by becoming a minority shareholder as well as becoming a salaried employee of the company which would entail all the mandatory social deductions. These issues would be discussed later during the process, once the initial work permit is issued. 

To summarise:

1. NO specific amount of investment or net worth is required, to qualify for the process as per the IRCC requirements. However we insist on a verifiable net worth of at least 500k  CAD and a minimum investment of 200k in your venture to strengthen the case and maximize your chances of success.
2. NO mandatory requirement in terms of size of business to be established in Canada.
3. NO mandatory requirement in terms of number of positions to be created for Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada. Businesses, located in remote areas are preferable over the businesses located in big cities, since they clearly benefit economic development of remote areas.
4. Businesses which are of temporary nature (seasonal) may have a higher chance of being approved.
5. If the business is of a permanent nature, business intent should indicate that foreign national plans to train and hire a Canadian director once the business is active and running, which would allow foreign nationals to leave Canada, upon the expiry of the work permit.
6. Initial permit is likely to be issued for 24 months.
7. Immediate family members of principal applicant may be eligible to obtain open work permits for a period of up to 24 months. It includes spouses and working age children accompanying the principal applicant. It means that spouse and children may be allowed to work for any Canadian company including the business principal applicant creates.

8. Relocation to Canada with a work permit under C11 Category may become a first step towards Canadian Permanent Residency.

Please contact our experienced Desjardins lawyers team to discuss your immigration project!