October 16, 2017

Significant Benefit – Entrepreneur and self-employed Work Permits

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently made some clarifications with respect to the Canadian Interests – Significant benefit – Entrepreneurs and self-employed work permit category. This work permit category consists of two categories of candidates, temporary or permanent residents who wish to operate a business in Canada.

Temporary resident Applicants

Candidates who wish to work for themselves in Canada or to operate their own business on a temporary basis must show their business would generate “significant economic, social or cultural benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents”.  Benefits that accrue to Canadian clients of a self-employed workers may also be considered.

Eventual Permanent Resident Applicants

Candidates who have been approved or are pending business nominations from a provincial or territorial government or self-employed candidates waiting on permanent residence are also eligible for significant benefit work permits. Quebec-destined entrepreneurs or self-employed persons issued a Quebec Selection Certificate are also eligible.

How is “Significant benefit” Defined

Significant benefit in the context of entrepreneurs and self-employed persons is generally defined through the following assessment:

  • Is the work likely to create a viable business that will benefit Canadian or permanent resident workers or provide economic stimulus? General economic stimulus (such as job creation, development in a regional or remote setting or expansion of export markets for Canadian products and services) will be considered.
  • Advancement of the Canadian industry (such as technological development, product or service innovation or differentiation or opportunities for improving the skills of Canadians).
  • Does the applicant have a particular background or skills that will improve the viability of the business?
  • Is there a business plan that clearly shows that the applicant has taken steps to initiate their business?
  • Has the applicant taken some measure to put the business plan in action (showing evidence of having the financial ability to begin the business and pay expenditures, renting space, having a staffing plan, obtaining a business number, showing ownership documents or agreements, etc.)?

Ownership Requirement:

The issuance of work permits under this category is generally considered when applicants own 50% or more of the business. Ownership of less than 50% can be considered in exceptional circumstances. Note that candidates under this work permit category must also process and register their position online through their employer portal and pay the employer compliance fee to qualify.


Initial work permits can be issued for a period of two years and extensions are possible only if permanent residence applications are in process or in other exceptional circumstances.

If you would like more information about the significant benefit work permit category, please contact us today.