Investor and Entrepreneur Immigration
I Came to Canada as an Entrepreneur
Q.I came to Canada under the business category, as an entrepreneur. Together with a friend of mine from Canada, I founded a company that deals in oil equipment. I used my contacts from my previous job in the Middle East and we were extremely successful with our company. I had to travel a lot to secure contracts for our business therefore I stayed away from Canada a lot during this time. I would like to apply for citizenship and I wonder whether I qualify for this or not. Your advice would be much appreciated.
It is not clear if you remain a conditional permanent resident. What does this mean? All entrepreneurs are granted conditional permanent resident status for two years from the date of landing until the entrepreneur conditions are satisfied. Landing conditions include reporting obligations, opening and operating a business and employing at least one independent permanent resident or Canadian citizen (not related to or the entrepreneur applicant) among others. It would appear you might have satisfied the conditions but ultimately require approval from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). If you have not done so I would advise making an application to CIC to lift your conditions.
With respect to your citizenship – this may be more problematic. There is a different physical residence test under the Citizenship Act (CA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). So although under IRPA a permanent resident is entitled to travel related to a Canadian business and may still receive credit for physical presence in Canada during that time, under the CA you must be physically in Canada with very few exceptions and as such extensive travel may disqualify you at present. Good luck!