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Business Immigration


Business Immigration

Canadian business immigration is a top priority in the overall immigration system. The Canadian government believes immigration is a critical factor in building a prosperous economy and is required to drive innovation in this century.

Canada uses a combination of federal visa programs, business schemes, and provincial programs to attract innovators, entrepreneurs, and business owners from around the world in almost every primary industry. 

The primary business immigration paths include: Intra-Company Transfers, the Owner/Occupier LMIA, Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs), and the Start-Up Visa Program. 



How to move an existing foreign company to Canada with Beaver Canadian business immigration

If you own a successful company outside of Canada and wish to open a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate in Canada, you may be able to secure a Canadian work permit through the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program. By opening a business in Canada, you, as the employer, can bring international staff to Canada as ICT transfers.

It is important to note that ICTs are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in advance of applying for a work visa. For this reason, the process is quicker, simpler, and more cost-effective than pursuing the LMIA option to hire a temporary foreign worker.

Qualified ICT workers provide “significant economic benefit to Canada” by transferring their skills and expertise. While an ICT employee may be from any country, the government has defined categories of what constitutes an ICT.

Work Permit Duration

Under the Intra-Company Transfer program, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) grants one-year work permits. These work licenses are renewable for several years.

For renewals, evidence should be provided that:

  • The Canadian and foreign companies still have a qualifying relationship;
  • The new office has engaged in the continuous provision of goods or services for the past year;
  • The new office has been staffed appropriately.

From a Temporary Worker to a Permanent Resident of Canada 

Intra-company transfer workers are often in a strong position to become permanent residents of Canada and work in any location within Canada.​

After a certain period of time, an ICT can enter Canada’s Express Entry immigration selection system through the federal government’s Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program. This has become the main driver of economic immigration to Canada since 2016, and ICT looking to transition to permanent residence received a significant boost as the government changed the Express Entry system to allow these workers to obtain Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points without first being issued a LMIA.

This important change has made it easier for ICTs to increase their CRS score, leading to an improved chance of being invited to apply for permanent residency.

There may also be options to transition to permanent residency outside the Express Entry system, such as through one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).


ICT Categories

The government has three broad categories for ICT workers:

Executives – Primarily direct the management of the enterprise, or a significant component thereof, and receive only general (if any) supervision from higher-level executives.

Senior Managers – All or part of the enterprise, and supervise or control the work of other managers or professional employees.

Specialized Workers – Must demonstrate specialized knowledge of the business’s product, service, or an advanced level of expertise in the enterprise’s processes and procedures.

In all cases, workers transferred to Canada must have at least one (1) year of full-time work experience with the foreign enterprise and be coming to Canada to perform comparable work. There must be a qualifying relationship between the employer and employee in order for a work permit to be issued.

Business immigration


As a regionally-based country, the Canadian immigration system allows its provinces to attract immigrants based on the province’s human capital and investment needs. Therefore, each province has its own business immigration programs to attract business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide.

Each province has different programs with different requirements, however, each PNP program requires the following criteria: 

  • Minimum net-worth ($300,000 to $1 million),
  • Investment requirement ($100,000 to $800,000), 
  • Overall business plan,
  • Hire Canadian workers,
  • Commitment to live in the province. 

To learn more about each province’s business PNP, click below

Why does the Canadian Government Promote Business Immigration?

Foreign direct investments bring billions of dollars into the economy Small business accounts for 80% of business tax revenue  Creates jobs and drives innovation It helps boost trade and diversify the economy  In the next 10 years, 80% of SMEs will start to retire ($1.5T)

Why do Business Investors Immigrate to Canada?

Canada has a stable economy; democratic government; elected government, and free press A sound banking system with affordable capital The rule of law, transparency, and private land rights  Preferable tax treatment for small businesses  Preservation of capital & currency hedge. Easy access to the US and global markets as a Canadian company
Business Immigration


Buying a business in Canada with Beaver Canadian business immigration

Entrepreneurs and business owners often immigrate to Canada by buying or starting a firm. Businesspeople can buy or start a company in a province through Canada’s many Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The applicant’s minimum net-worth, investment need, and business plan determine each PNP’s requirements.

The application and approval procedure might take years, and intake periods can open and stop without notice. Visit the PNP website to see each Canadian province’s programs.


What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

In most circumstances, any business entity that wishes to hire and pay a temporary foreign worker (TFW) in Canada must first apply and be approved for what is known as a “positive” Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA is a document submitted to the Canadian government justifying the need to hire a TFW while simultaneously ensuring there is a “neutral” or positive” impact on the current Canadian labour market.

The challenge with the LMIA is the mandatory requirement for employers to go through an exhaustive effort – through job postings and advertisements – to prove to the government that a local Canadian cannot fill the role based on the job requirements and salary range.

However, if a foreign national buys a business, they can apply for what is known as the “Owner/Operator LMIA.”

Understanding the Owner/Operator LMIA

If a foreign national buys a controlling interest (51%) of a company or a whole (100%) of a Canadian company, they can apply for what is known as an Owner/Operator LMIA. This application excludes the requirement of the purchased company to post any employment positions publicly.

Put another way, the Owner/Operator LMIA seeks the legal right for their newly acquired company to hire themselves or a family member as a temporary foreign worker. This is why the Owner/Operator LMIA is commonly known as the “Small Investment Immigration Program.”

The key advantage of the Owner/Operator LMIA

The Owner/Operator LMIA option enables applicants – who do not meet the specific investment and personal net-worth requirements of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) – to acquire or establish a new business in Canada with no minimum investment, personal net-worth conditions, or age restrictions.

Moreover, it also allows the applicant to choose the province of their choice. This relatively new and unique business immigration option is one of the most sought-after programs being offered by Beaver Canadian business immigration. The Small investment Immigration Program further provides applicants with a path toward Permanent Residency in Canada.

How the LMIA Works

Once the applicant has formed the business and secured a positive owner/occupier LMIA, they will be eligible to apply for a work permit for either one (1) to two (2) years, under which the applicant must be involved in the day-to-day operations of the business and meet other essential requirements, such as including the employment of Canadian citizens/permanent residents.

The applicant’s spouse can further be eligible for an open work permit where he/she can work anywhere in Canada and for any employer. Upon acquiring at least one (1) year of business experience in Canada, eligible applicants (who meet particular work experience and language requirements) can make a compelling application for permanent residency through the Express Entry System.

On average, approval wait times for an LMIA can take six (6) to eight (8) months from the date of submission of application.


By completing this form Beaver Immigration will assess your eligibility for Canadian immigration and provide you with various visa options. If you are eligible for one of Canada’s visa programs a representative will contact you directly.


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