VIII. Business Immigration Programs

Business Immigration Programs are designed for experienced business people to contribute to Canada’s economy:

Types of Programs:

  • Start-Up Visa Program: For entrepreneurs with the potential to establish businesses in Canada.
  • Self-Employed Persons Class: Remains relatively unchanged, focusing on individuals with relevant self-employment experience.
  • Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program (now closed): Targeted high-net-worth individuals willing to make significant investments in Canada.

These programs are part of Canada’s broader strategy to attract individuals who can contribute to economic growth and are subject to changes and updates based on economic needs and policy decisions.

A. Applications for Business Immigration Programs

The Business Immigration Programs, distinct from Express Entry, cater to experienced business individuals. The application process includes:

  • Application Kits: Available on the IRCC website, including guides, forms, and instructions specific to each business immigration category.
  • Submission: Completed packages are mailed to the specified office for review.
  • Review Process: IRCC officers check for completeness and assess the applicant’s business and financial background, including the viability of the business plan and legal acquisition of wealth.
  • Communication: Applicants receive an email outlining the next steps and a file number for online tracking.

B. Settlement Funds Requirement

Business immigrant applicants must demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves

and their family members upon arrival in Canada. This requirement is crucial as they will not receive financial assistance from the Canadian government.

IX. Start-Up Visa Program

The Start-Up Visa Program focuses on connecting immigrant entrepreneurs with experienced Canadian private sector organizations. Key aspects include:

  • Program Goal: To attract innovative entrepreneurs to start businesses in Canada, contributing to the economy.
  • Designated Organizations: Include angel investor groups, venture capital fund organizations, or business incubators.
  • Admissions: In 2021, 565 individuals were admitted under federal Business Immigration Programs, with a target of 5,000 admissions for 2024.
  • Program Status: Made permanent in 2017 after a successful pilot phase, now formally part of the IRPR.

Eligibility for Start-Up Visa Program

  • Qualifying Business: Must be new, intended for operation in Canada, and have support from a designated organization.
  • Investment Requirements: No personal investment needed, but must secure either $200,000 from a venture capital fund or $75,000 from angel investor groups.
  • Application Conditions:
  • Active and ongoing management within Canada.
  • Significant part of operations conducted in Canada.
  • Business incorporation in Canada.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Start-Up Visa Program, applicants must:

  • Have a qualifying business.
  • Obtain support from a designated organization (letter of support/commitment certificate).
  • Meet language requirements (CLB 5 in all areas).
  • Have sufficient settlement funds.
  • Intend to reside outside Quebec.
  • Be admissible to Canada.

Officers review applications to ensure all criteria are met, including the potential for economic establishment in Canada.

X. Self-Employed Persons Program

This category is designed for individuals with self-employment experience in cultural or athletic fields:

  • Scope: Targets individuals contributing to Canada’s cultural or athletic life.
  • Eligibility: Requires experience in cultural activities or athletics at a world-class level.
  • Points System: Applicants must score a minimum of 35 out of 100 points based on experience, age, education, language proficiency, and adaptability.
  • Relevant Experience: At least two years of experience in the past five years in cultural or athletic self-employment or participation at a world-class level.
  • Intention and Ability: Applicants must demonstrate their intention and ability to become economically established in Canada.

A. Relevant Experience

  • Defined as a minimum of two years of experience in specified cultural or athletic activities within five years before the application and until the decision-making day.
  • Includes management experience, catering to behind-the-scenes professionals like coaches or choreographers.

B. Intention and Ability

  • Critical for applicants to show their potential for economic establishment in Canada.
  • Officers have the discretion to conduct a substituted evaluation to assess the applicant’s ability to become economically established.

The Self-Employed Persons Program, though narrow in scope, plays a significant role in enriching the Canadian cultural and athletic landscape by allowing talented individuals in these fields to contribute to Canadian society and economy.

XI. Atlantic Immigration Program

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is a collaborative effort between the Canadian government and the Atlantic provinces, designed to address the unique workforce needs and promote the integration of newcomers in the Atlantic region. Key components of the program include:

Atlantic International Graduate Program

  • Eligibility: Foreign nationals who have lived and studied in one of the Atlantic provinces for at least 16 months in the two years before obtaining their degree, diploma, or credential.
  • Education: Must have been a full-time student at a recognized educational institution in the Atlantic region.
  • Language Proficiency: Require Level 4 or 5 in Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) or Niveau de compétence linguistique canadien (NCLC).
  • Financial Support: Must demonstrate sufficient funds unless already working in Canada on a valid work permit.

Atlantic Skilled Worker Program

  • Work Experience: At least one year of full-time (or equivalent part-time) paid work experience in the last five years in NOC 2021 TEER 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 categories.
  • Job Offer Requirements: The job must be permanent and full-time. For TEER 0, 1, 2, and 3, the job offer should be for at least one year post-PR; for TEER 4, it should be a permanent position without a set end date.
  • Language and Education Requirements: Similar to the International Graduate Program, with proficiency in English or French and education assessed for Canadian equivalency.
  • Proof of Funds: Required for applicants not currently working in Canada.

General Application Process

Both programs require employers to be designated by the province, and the job offers must align with program requirements. The process includes:

  • Employer Designation: Employers must be approved by the provincial government.
  • Job Offer Requirements: Must align with the specific program and applicant’s qualifications.
  • Provincial Endorsement: Applicants must receive an endorsement letter from the province after fulfilling all requirements.

Documentation and Submission

Applicants must provide various documents, including proof of work experience, language proficiency, and education. The application for permanent residency to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can only be submitted after receiving the provincial endorsement.

The AIP is a strategic initiative aimed at enhancing the economic development of the Atlantic region by leveraging skilled immigration, and it underscores Canada’s approach to regional immigration policies.

Application Processing for Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

The application process for the AIP involves several steps, including submission of necessary documents and adherence to specific criteria:

  • Preparation of Application Package: Applicants must compile PR application forms, a valid job offer, payment of government processing fees, and supporting documents like biometrics, photos, language test results, education documents, police clearances, and a settlement plan. For documents not in English or French, certified translations are required.
  • Submission to IRCC: The complete application package should be submitted through the IRCC online portal.
  • Application Review by IRCC: IRCC reviews the application for completeness, including checking forms, payment of fees, and all required documents.
  • Acknowledgement of Receipt: Once the application is deemed complete, IRCC provides an Acknowledgement of Receipt, and an officer begins a detailed review focusing on eligibility and admissibility criteria.
  • Medical Examination: Applicants will be asked to complete and pass a medical exam conducted by an IRCC-designated panel physician.

XII. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program (RNIP)

The RNIP is a community-driven initiative addressing demographic challenges and labor shortages in rural and northern communities:

  • Community Recommendation Requirement: Applicants need a recommendation from a designated Economic Development Organization in the participating community.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Includes qualifying work experience or graduation from a local post-secondary institution, language requirements, sufficient funds, a job offer, and community recommendation.
  • Work Experience: At least one year of full-time paid work experience in the last three years, with the flexibility of different occupations and employers.

Application Process for RNIP

  • Education: High school diploma or a post-secondary certificate/degree equating to the Canadian standard is required. For foreign education, an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) is necessary.
  • Language Proficiency: Minimum language requirements vary by NOC TEER, with tests results from designated testing agencies needed.
  • Settlement Funds: Proof of sufficient settlement funds is required unless currently working in Canada.
  • Job Offer Requirements: A qualifying job offer from an employer in the community is essential.
  • EDO Recommendation: A positive recommendation from the community’s EDO based on specific criteria is crucial.
  • Submission of Application: The application, along with necessary documents, is submitted online to IRCC. If accepted, an acknowledgment of receipt is issued.

XIII. Caregiver Program

This program offers pathways to permanent residency for caregivers, with significant changes introduced to enhance fairness and flexibility:

  • Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots: These programs replaced the previous caregiver streams, removing the live-in requirement and offering more flexibility in changing employers.
  • Work Experience Categories: The pilot categorizes applicants based on their amount of qualifying work experience in Canada.
  • Eligibility Requirements: Includes language proficiency, education, and plans to reside outside Quebec.
  • Application Processing: Applicants must submit a comprehensive application package online, including various documents and forms. Those who have applied and received acknowledgment may be eligible for a bridging open work permit.

These programs reflect Canada’s commitment to providing fair and accessible immigration pathways for caregivers and addressing the unique needs of

rural and northern communities through the RNIP. The AIP and RNIP highlight Canada’s approach to regionalized immigration, aiming to balance economic development with the integration and retention of immigrants in specific regions. For caregivers, the new pilots offer a more direct and supportive route to permanent residency, ensuring that their rights and contributions are recognized and valued within the Canadian immigration framework.

Direct to Permanent Residence Category under Caregiver Program

For individuals with at least 12 months of qualifying work experience in caregiving, the Direct to Permanent Residence category offers a streamlined pathway to permanent residency in Canada. The application process and eligibility requirements are as follows:

A. Eligibility

To qualify, applicants must fulfill these criteria:

  1. Language Proficiency:
  • Applicants must demonstrate a minimum proficiency in English or French.
  • Proficiency levels required are Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 for English or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) 5 for French, in all four language categories: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
  • Language test results must be from a designated testing agency and less than two years old.
  1. Education:
  • Applicants must possess a post-secondary educational credential of at least one year from Canada.
  • For foreign educational credentials, an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from an IRCC-designated organization is required. This assessment should be less than five years old when the PR application is received by IRCC.
  1. Residence Plan:
  • Applicants must plan to reside in a province or territory outside Quebec.

B. Application Processing

Applicants must follow these steps:

  1. Document Compilation:
  • Gather supporting documents and complete federal immigration application forms (refer to the document checklist IMM 5981).
  • This includes photos, the ECA report, police certificates, language test results, and possibly biometrics.
  1. Medical Examination:
  • Applicants will be required to undergo a medical examination by an IRCC-designated panel physician upon IRCC’s instruction.
  1. Online Submission:
  • Submit the application online via the IRCC Permanent Residence portal.
  • The program has an annual cap of 2,750 principal applicants, including immediate family members, totaling up to 5,500 applicants.
  1. Acknowledgment of Receipt:
  • Once the application is accepted for processing, IRCC will issue an acknowledgment of receipt letter or email.
  1. Bridging Open Work Permit:
  • Applicants who have submitted their PR application and received an acknowledgment letter may be eligible for a bridging open work permit. This permit allows them to extend their current work permit while awaiting a final decision on their PR application.

This category provides a clear and accessible pathway for caregivers already in Canada to transition to permanent resident status, recognizing their valuable contributions to Canadian families and society.

Pax Law can help you!

Our team of skilled immigration lawyers and consultants is prepared and eager to support you to choose your work permit pathway. Please visit our appointment booking page to make an appointment with one of our lawyers or consultants; alternatively, you can call our offices at +1-604-767-9529.


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