Business Immigration To Canada Through The Express Entry Process


A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.

Since the Federal Immigrant Investor and Immigrant Entrepreneur programs were shut down in 2014, the majority of our business immigration clients choose to apply for Canadian permanent residence via the Express Entry system.

What Is The Process For Immigrating As A Business Under The Express Entry Program?

The process typically starts with obtaining a work permit, and then using the entrepreneur’s arranged employment and, if necessary, their Canadian work experience to gain sufficient CRS points to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Given the interplay between business and immigration considerations, as well as the complex procedural framework, proper planning is crucial, as is correct completion of the required application forms.

How Can Abramovich & Tchern Help?

We excel at guiding our clients through the often complex process. When necessary, we work with a team of professionals, including accountants, actuaries, corporate counsel, and business plan writers, to ensure we have the documents necessary for us to present the best possible case at each step of the process.

While most of our clients have fairly well-developed business plans before engaging our immigration law firm, we can introduce clients to business brokers (agents selling businesses) who work across a range of industries, and who can help our clients assess their business options from an immigration perspective.

Once we decide on the best pathway towards permanent residence for our business immigration clients, we prepare a detailed roadmap which sets out the key steps as well as the timelines for completion.

Owner/Operator LMIA Applications

We routinely assist with Owner/Operator LMIA applications, which allow foreign nationals who have a controlling share in a Canadian business (50.1% of share or more) to hire themselves without having to demonstrate a Canadian labour market shortage. The majority of our Owner/Operator LMIA applications are in the NOC 00 category, Senior Management positions such as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. This means that upon the LMIA being issued, the individual obtains 200 CRS points for arranged employment.

Intra-Company Transfers

We also assist with intra-company transfers in the start-up context. This stream allows foreign businessmen to transfer themselves to a newly formed Canadian entity. As with Owner/Operator LMIAs, this is typically done within NOC 00 position as the executive and owner is typically first transferring himself to the newly created office.

Applications in the start-up context generally require a professionally prepared business plan setting out the key factors and projections with respect to the business, as well as proof of financials, details with respect to leasing or property acquisition plans (some companies start with virtual offices), as well as submissions with respect to the company’s as well as the executive’s qualification for an ICT work permit.

One of the key differences between the O/O LMIA, ICT, and C11 applications is the timing of the arranged employment points receipt. With a positive LMIA, the applicant is immediately awarded 50 or 200 points (depending on the NOC code) arranged employment points. With a C11 or an ICT work permit, arranged employment points are awarded after a year of work in Canada provided that the applicant is working for the employer at the time of the application, and the offer of employment is for at least one year in duration.

Significant Benefit – C11 Work Permits

Another popular stream for self-employed business people is using Code C11, which is designed to allow foreign nationals who work for themselves or to operate their own business on a temporary basis and who can demonstrate that their admission to Canada to operate their business would generate significant economic, social or cultural benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Questions about the state of operations or degree of establishment the newly formed entity must reach for either an ICT, a LMIA, or C11 application be approved? Concerned about minimum investment amounts, dependent status, and percentage of ownership? Book a consultation to discuss your options with us.

Ksenia Tchern

A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.