C11 Work Permit is designed for temporary workers, entrepreneurs, and self-employed individuals who have the potential to create significant benefits for Canadian businesses and citizens. Under the International Mobility Program, the C11 Work Permit allows individuals to work in Canada without requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
Instead, applicants must demonstrate their potential to contribute significant social, cultural, or economic benefits to Canadian citizens or permanent residents. We understand that each case is unique, and we evaluate applications on a case-by-case basis, providing personalized guidance throughout the process.
Our team is here to help you with your work permit application, employer compliance fee, LMIA exemption codes, and even crafting a compelling business plan to showcase your potential
What is a C11 entrepreneur work permit?
The C11 Work Permit, part of Canada’s International Mobility Program (IMP), grants foreign entrepreneurs and investors temporary permission to work as self-employed individuals in the country. Issued for an initial two-year period, this permit can be extended if the business remains active and profitable. Successful C11 permit holders may eventually qualify for permanent residency in Canada.
Who can apply for a C11 work permit?
Eligible applicants for the C11 work permit include self-employed individuals starting a business in Canada, entrepreneurs buying a business or franchise, individuals chosen through Entrepreneur streams of Provincial Nominee Programs, and startup founders applying for PR under the Startup Visa Program.
This permit is ideal for those who don’t plan to stay long in Canada, will establish businesses in remote areas, or provide a unique service or product benefiting Canadians. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate business ownership, relevant experience, financial capacity, a feasible business plan, progress towards executing the plan and generating significant benefits for Canada.
How do I get a C11 entrepreneur work permit in Canada?
The application process to obtain a C11 work permit in Canada includes these steps:
Choose Between Establishing or Buying a Business in Canada
Evaluate the pros and cons of setting up or purchasing an existing business in Canada, considering factors such as market demand, competition, and investment requirements. Seek guidance from Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants if needed.
Conduct Market Research and Develop a Business Plan
Perform thorough market research and create a detailed business plan, outlining your proposed business model, hiring plan, pricing strategy, and revenue projections to demonstrate the viability of your venture.
Begin Executing Your Business Plan
Start implementing your business plan before submitting your C11 work permit application to showcase your commitment. This may include depositing funds, choosing a location, and establishing business contacts.
Complete and Submit the C11 Work Permit Application
Fill out the C11 work permit application, providing supporting documents related to business ownership, purchase agreements, finances, and support letters from Canadian suppliers/vendors. Submit the application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Await Application Approval
Wait for your application to be processed, which typically takes one to three months. If approved, plan your journey to Canada.
Obtain Your C11 Work Permit in Canada
Upon arrival at the Canadian border, a Canadian Border Services Agent will verify your identity and issue your C11 work permit, allowing you to operate your business in Canada.
Operate Your Business and Apply for Permanent Residence
Run your business for at least 12 months, ensuring its profitability, and apply for permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Worker Program within the Express Entry system. Review the program’s specific requirements before applying.
C11 work permit documents requirements
To prove eligibility, a foreign national must provide either:
- An offer of employment number generated by the Employer Portal when they submit the offer for themselves or the Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) form [IMM 5802] if authorized by the Client Experience Branch or Immigration Program Guidance Branch to submit the form.
- Proof of payment of the employer compliance fee must also be submitted.
- An application for a work permit must be included.
- Supporting documentation must be provided to show:
- The degree of ownership of the business.
- How the business will create or maintain significant cultural, social or economic benefit.
- An indication of the temporary nature of their stay to satisfy an officer that they will leave Canada and are not attempting to become de facto permanent residents.
- Letters of support from related organizations, such as local or regional economic development organizations or chambers of commerce, should also be included.
- Additional information, such as submissions from the provincial tourism authority or labor market information from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), may be helpful to support the application.
C11 work permit processing time
The average processing time of the application is (90 days for a work permit). However, please note that due to the COVID-19 restrictions, it’s not possible to give accurate processing times for most applications. If you have already submitted your application, you can check its status here.
C11 work permit extension
Extensions for C11 work permits may only be approved while an application for permanent residency (normal extension procedures apply) or in exceptional circumstances are being completed. Significant investment projects or applicants awaiting a provincial nomination certificate are instances of exceptional circumstances. There must be a letter from the province or territory expressing their continuous support.
What is the C11 LMIA exemption?
The C11 LMIA exemption refers to a specific work permit category for entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals, allowing them to apply for temporary entry to Canada without needing an LMIA. This exemption is tailored for those with entrepreneurial intentions or a self-employed background.
C11 Entrepreneur Work Permit: Family Accompaniment and Opportunities
When applying for the C11 Entrepreneur Work Permit, your family members can join you on your journey to Canada. Your spouse may be eligible for an open work permit, while your children can obtain study permits. This allows you to focus on building your business in Canada with the support of your family.
If your spouse receives an open work permit, they have the option to work for your business. However, note that their employment will not contribute to the job creation requirement for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
It is crucial to plan ahead and consider all possibilities. Your spouse might also qualify as “self-employed,” which could impact your available PR pathways. To make informed decisions regarding your business and future, we highly recommend consulting a lawyer to discuss your short-term and long-term objectives.
C11 Application: Including Family Members
Yes, your spouse and dependent children can be included in your C11 application. Your spouse may receive an open work permit, and your children can secure authorization to study in Canada. Additionally, you and your family may be eligible for provincial health care and free public education for your children.
Owner-Operator Program vs. C11 Work Permit
Though the Owner-Operator program underwent changes in April 2021, making it more challenging to navigate, the C11 Entrepreneur Work Permit serves as an excellent alternative. This option provides increased independence and flexibility, allowing you to establish your business and adapt to the Canadian market.
How Canadapt Consulting Assists with C11 Applications
Canadapt Consulting boasts significant expertise in business immigration, including C11 applications. Our skilled immigration consultants offer customized solutions tailored to your unique situation. We devise an immigration strategy that suits your needs and support you throughout the entire process. With our assistance, you can concentrate on your business while we handle your immigration requirements.