To start any business in Canada you must be a permanent resident or a citizen of the country. So a foreign national with a work permit in Canada do not stand a chance of initiating a business here. However, you can still make your dream come true by qualifying for either of its immigration programs.
Work Permit Limitations
The work permits in Canada have a stipulated validity restricted for a particular time, employer and job indicating that they are closed work permit. So if a work permit holder does try to do other work apart from his listed employer, it is taken as violating the conditions of work permit. It can cause legal hassles. Such a person either can leave Canada after the expiry of his work permit or apply for an extension if he wishes to continue his stay.
Even then there are some options from which you can benefit. Several types of work permits can make you eligible for an employer-specific permit which can be extended when it expires. Under it, you can launch a business that offers either cultural, economic, or significant social benefits to Canada or jobs to the citizens or permanent residents of the country.
Albeit that does not indicate that you can venture into any business with a valid work permit. The only way you can do so is by getting permanent residency.
Becoming A Permanent Resident Of Canada
As a foreigner, you can apply through several types of immigration programs to become a permanent resident or a landed immigrant in Canada. The programs that allow you this privilege include:
- Start-up Visa for Entrepreneur Immigrants
- Immigration as a skilled worker
- Immigration as a self-employed person
For immigrating to Canada as a self-employed person a candidate must have good experience in cultural activities or athletics so that he can make a decent contribution in the same field when he becomes a permanent resident of Canada.
For applying under the immigration program for skilled workers, you must first decide between Quebec and the other provinces because Quebec has a different program for skilled workers. For immigrating to other provinces you should apply under the Express Entry Program.
Applying Through Express Entry Program
To get an entry through this immigration program in Canada, an applicant must qualify for either of the following three programs:
- The Canadian Experience Class
- The Federal Skilled Worker Program
- The Federal Skilled Trades Program
Another Way To Start Business In Canada
Apart from getting a permanent resident visa or qualifying either of the Express Entry Programs, you can also start a business in Canada by starting a corporation or partnership in the country. However, you will have to collaborate with either a permanent resident or a citizen of Canada. It means you cannot be the sole proprietor in this case. Importantly you must consult a legal expert to ensure that your work permit is not invalidated in any way due to this partnership.
Also, even if you are a partner or shareholder in a Canadian business it does not give you the right to stay in the country for a long duration.