Opportunities for Self-Employed Individuals in Canadian Immigration

Requirements and Work Permit Options

Canada offers various immigration streams for self-employed individuals who wish to establish themselves in the country. This article explores the eligibility criteria and work permit options available to self-employed professionals in Canada.

Canadian Immigration Streams for Self-Employed Individuals:

Federal Self-Employed Persons Program 

The Federal Self-Employed Persons Program allows self-employed foreign nationals with experience in cultural activities or athletics to become permanent residents. To be eligible, candidates must have at least two years of relevant self-employment experience or demonstrate participation at a world-class level in cultural or athletic pursuits.

Quebec’s Self-Employed Worker Immigration Program

In Quebec, eligible self-employed individuals can apply for permanent residence by establishing themselves as independent tradespersons or professionals in the province. The program requires candidates to fulfill specific requirements set by the Quebec government.

Physician Self-Employment 

Physicians facing barriers to accessing permanent residence through traditional employer-employee models now have greater opportunities. IRCC exempted physicians working in a fee-for-service model from certain requirements, making it easier for them to access Canada’s economic permanent residence programs.

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Work Permit Options for Self-Employed Persons:

Temporary Work Permit

Many self-employed individuals enter Canada through a temporary work permit, gaining valuable work experience that can support future applications for permanent residency. This option is especially beneficial for those aiming to meet work experience requirements for economic immigration programs.

Self-Employed Work Permit 

Entrepreneurs who own a Canadian business may obtain a self-employed work permit. This option could be exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for those who are the sole or majority owner of a Canadian business or have no primary residence outside Canada.

Investor Work Permits 

Under agreements like CUSMA and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, citizens of certain countries can apply for Investor work permits to manage their Canadian businesses. They must demonstrate their business’s potential benefits to Canada.

Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit 

Entrepreneurs wishing to establish a new business in Canada can consider the Intra-Company Transfer work permit. While primarily used by corporations to transfer key staff between branches, it can also be suitable for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Tax Implications of Being Self-Employed:

Self-employed individuals in Canada have specific tax obligations, including filing their taxes by June 15th instead of April 30th. They must register for GST/HST if their revenue exceeds $30,000 within a calendar quarter or four consecutive quarters.

Canada offers numerous opportunities for self-employed individuals to immigrate and contribute to its economy and cultural life. Eligible candidates can explore the various immigration streams and work permit options, ensuring a smooth transition to working and residing in Canada. However, it is essential to comply with tax obligations and immigration requirements to make the most of these opportunities.

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