There are three categories of business immigration. The relevant criteria are complex and rigidly applied.
A foreign national who has relevant experience and has the intention and ability to be self-employed in Canada and to make significant contribution to specified economic activities in Canada may apply under this category.
Although technically open to all immigrants, this category of business immigration is more often employed by artists and craftspeople. To be eligible for immigration under this category, you must have the intent and ability to begin and operate a business. This must be demonstrated by a proven history of experience. You must demonstrate that you have sufficient money to establish yourself and your business and have a demonstrable history in your chosen fields. Most importantly, you must establish that you can make a “significant contribution” to the economy or culture and artistic life in Canada.
This category applies if you are a foreign national and have business experience and a legally obtained minimum net worth. You must satisfy landing conditions within three years before you are given a permanent status. This category is more suited to “pure” business applicants who have a history of business management. Note that entrepreneurs must be actively involved in their business. Entrepreneurs must meet a definition of business experience and must have a net worth of $300,000.
If you have significant funds and do not wish to be actively involved in a business, the investor category is a consideration. Currently, an investor must have successfully owned, operated or directed a business and have a minimum net worth of $800,000.
Skilled Worker / Independent
Skilled workers are assessed on a point system designed to determine who will make useful contributions to the Canadian economy and who will be able to successfully integrate themselves into the Canadian community.
Independent applicants are assessed on ten selection criteria:
- Education – up to 25 points
- Language in English or French – up to 20 points
- Work Experience – up to 21 points
- Age – up to 10 points
- Arranged Employment (an approved Job Offer) – 10 points
- Adaptability – up to 10 points, and includes Spouse’s Education, previous work or study in Canada, and family in Canada.
As can be seen, a great deal of emphasis is placed upon education, language and past employment in the selection criteria.
Whether or not an immigrant qualifies in an employment category is determined in accordance with a government publication called the “National Occupational Classification”, or “NOC”. This index lists most occupations (according to the Canadian government) and the training, education and licensing requirements for each.
Immigrants are given points for each of the above categories and must achieve a total of 67 points. There is little discretion on the part of Visa Officers to grant permanent residence to an immigrant who does not reach 67 points. An immigrant must also have sufficient funds at the time of landing, even if they have enough points.
Certain family members are entitled to apply for status in Canada because they are related to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. The following people, who are defined as members of the family class, may apply under this category:
- The sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner;
- A dependent child of the sponsor;
- The sponsor’s mother or father;
- The mother or father of the sponsor’s mother or father;
- The sponsor’s adopted child, or the child whom the sponsor intends to adopt, with certain requirements to be met;
- An orphaned sibling, grandchild, niece or nephew within the prescribed conditions, or
- A last remaining relative of the sponsor, within the prescribed conditions.
Visiting, Working and Studying
Persons who are not Canadian citizens or residents are allowed to come to Canada to visit for a short period of time. The point of a visitor visa is to grant temporary entry to Canada to visit, vacation, or even to survey the labor market. However, the entry must be temporary. The standard maximum length of a visitor visa is 6 months. A visitor visa may be extended after a person is in Canada.
Foreign nationals wishing to work in Canada, require an employment authorization. Working without this visa will result in your removal from Canada.
The potential employer must first obtain a job validation from Skills Canada; demonstrating that they cannot hire a Canadian to do the job advertised. There are various methods by which this can be done. Skills Canada does not grant permission to work in Canada, they only assess whether the job itself is available to be filled by an immigrant.
After job validation is granted the foreign national can proceed with the work permit application.
A student visa is required, if you wish to come to Canada to study;
- Attending any university or college enrolled in a degree granting program;
- Taking any academic professional or vocational training course at any university, college or other institution.
Foreign students must pass a medical examination, be accepted in an accredited program and be able to show sufficient funds to pay for tuition and their stay in Canada for the term of their study.