Blog“How can Business Persons Obtain Permanent Residence in Canada?”

17 November 2021

About the Author

In our most recent blog, we examined the options for business persons to establish themselves in Canada. While the two federal business immigration programs – the Start Up Visa (SUV) and the Self-Employed (SE) category as well as the provincial and territorial PNP entrepreneur programs, lead to permanent residence, the other options for entrepreneurs are to firstly establish a business presence in Canada and then work towards permanent residence through the Express Entry selection program. As we have repeatedly said in our blogs over the past many years, working towards Canadian permanent residence for a businessperson takes long term strategic planning.

Virtually all of Canada’s programs for permanent residence are based upon some type of scoring system which ultimately leads to an Invitation to Apply (ITA). The benefit of the points-based selection system is that it allows federal, provincial and territorial governments the ability to manage their inventory and intake of applications. This can be extremely challenging for applicants, particularly in the PNP programs, as the scoring mechanisms are not transparent and don’t provide a great deal of predictability. However, the Express Entry program is based upon objective criteria – age, education, language proficiency and years of work experience – and it is based upon these criteria that applicants are provided with an ITA. A prospective applicant needs to become extremely familiar with the program that they are applying under in order to develop the strategy that will lead to their Canadian immigration success.

As discussed in our most recent blog, “Entrepreneur alert – What are your business immigration options?”, there are several ways for business persons to establish themselves in Canada with a work permit as:

  • Intra-Company Transferees;
  • Owner-Operator LMIAs; and
  • Free Trade Agreement Traders and Investors.

While these programs can lead to being issued a work permit to allow you to establish and operate your business in Canada, they don’t necessarily lead to permanent residence. Ultimately an applicant will need to qualify for permanent residence under Canada’s Express Entry selection program. This means that you will be scored the same as all other applicants and selection will be based upon age, education, language proficiency and work experience. But prospective business immigrants take note – you will not be given any points for your Canadian self-employed work experience! The Express Entry comprehensive ranking system (CRS) doesn’t provide any points for Canadian work experience of a self-employed nature. This makes it extremely difficult for an applicant to score enough points to garner an ITA.

Consider the circumstances of a business applicant that we recently assisted in coming to Canada. This individual has been running his own business for nearly 10 years and has locations in India and Dubai.  He has previously travelled both to Canada and the US for business purposes demonstrating his legitimacy in seeking to establish in Canada.  He has an ECA confirming his Master’s Degree and an IELTS test with scores of CLB 9 and 10. Notwithstanding his high level of education and language proficiency, he does not presently score sufficient CRS points to receive an ITA under Express Entry.

Our strategy was to obtain an ICT work permit as the CEO/President of his Canadian company obtaining a work permit under NOC 0013.  After one year of working in Canada he will garner 200 “adaptability” points such that he will meet the Express Entry scores to obtain an ITA.  (For a better understanding of ECA, IELTS, CLB, CRS, ITA and NOC – please refer to our previous blogs on Express Entry).

Let’s review our business applicant’s Express Entry CRS scores both now and after one year of work experience in Canada:

A.   CORE / HUMAN CAPITAL FACTORS 2021 2022
AGE (37/38) 60 55
EDUCATION 119 119
LANGUAGE 122 122
CANADIAN WORK EXPERIENCE 0 0
B.   SPOUSE OR COMMON-LAW PARTNER FACTORS  
EDUCATION 8 8
LANGUAGE 4 4
CANADIAN WORK EXPERIENCE 0 0
C.    SKILL TRANSFERABILITY FACTORS  
EDUCATION AND LANGUAGE 50 50
EDUCATION AND CANADIAN WORK EXPERIENCE 0 0
FOREIGN WORK EXPERIENCE AND LANGUAGE 50 50
FOREIGN AND CANADIAN WORK EXPERIENCE 0 0
D.   ADDITIONAL POINTS  
ARRANGED EMPLOYMENT 0 0
NOC 00 – CEO 0 200
TOTAL 413 608

As these scores indicate, there is a substantial increase in CRS points after one year of work experience in a NOC 00 occupation in order to garner 200 adaptability points under Express Entry. For those business applicants who are unable to establish in Canada at a senior executive level with a NOC 00 job description (there are only four such potential job descriptions) then starting at a senior managerial level and advancing after one or two years to a senior executive role is a workable option that can lead to permanent residence.

The path to permanent residence for business persons is not an easy one.  In our experience as immigration lawyers, we have found that an individualized strategy is essential to achieving Canadian immigration success.

About the Author

Sas and Ing Immigration Law Centre LLP

A partnership between Catherine Sas Law Corporation and Victor Ing Law Corporation

Copyright © sasanding 2021

About the Author