C11 Entrepreneur Work Permit: Create Significant Benefits to Canada

Find out how you can qualify for the C11 Entrepreneur Work Permit which requires you to start or buy a Canadian business that will create significant benefits to Canada.

In many cases, getting a work permit is the first step towards getting permanent residency in Canada. If you are an entrepreneur or a self-employed individual looking to work in Canada and eventually want to become a permanent resident, you can consider the option of the C11 entrepreneur work permit. In this article, we will walk you through all the details you need to know about the C11 work permit of Canada.

C11 Entrepreneur Work Permit Overview



Canada’s International Mobility Program (IMP) has carved a way for Canadian employers to hire temporary workers from all over the world where Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) doesn’t affect the work permit requests from immigrants. The same IMP program has another LMIA exemption that goes with the name “C11”. Exemption code C11 lets entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals apply for a work permit that does not require LMIA.

Essentially, the C11 work permit is for two types of entrepreneurs. The first group is those entrepreneurs who want a temporary entry to Canada based on their entrepreneurial plans and career. The second group seeks the C11 work permit in the context of the entrepreneurial or self-employed permanent residence program.


Whether you are looking for a temporary stay or permanent residency with your C11 entrepreneur work permit, you need to prove to the immigration officer that:


  • You own a business yourself or are a self-employed individual with a viable business plan and resources.
  • The business/venture/self-employed gig you run can bring considerable economic as well as social and cultural benefits for Canadian citizens.


If an applicant can satisfy the immigration officer for these two things, they will be awarded the C11 entrepreneur work permit.


Who Qualifies For a C11 Work Permit?

It is important to understand that owning a business in your home country is not enough to qualify for the C11 work permit. If you want to improve your chances to qualify for the C11 work permit for Canada, you need to be mindful of things that immigration officers usually use as a yardstick to determine if an applicant is eligible for the C11 work permit.

  • The applicant has the history and aptitude to set up a successful venture or they have the resources and skillset to purchase an existing Canada-based business and turn it to into a profitable entity.
  • The applicant at least has 50% of the ownership of the business they buy or establish in Canada.
  • The applicant has a well-thought-out business plan that is realistic and makes sense in practical settings.
  • The applicant can create a set of activities that can benefit Canada and Canadians in various fields and across different walks of life.
  • The applicant has done enough groundwork to establish their business/work in Canada. For instance, they must have secured finances for the establishment of the business. Entrepreneurs should also have a staffing plan ready and shortlist a location to buy/get on rent before applying for the C11 work permit. Similarly, they must have started developing a network of Canadian associates, suppliers, vendors, etc while applying for the C11 entrepreneur work permit.

If an applicant fulfills all the requirements, there are negligible chances that their C11 work permit application will be rejected.

What Type Of Business Is Eligible For The C11 Entrepreneur Work Permit?



It has been observed that entrepreneurs and businessmen who plan to have a primary residence outside Canada easily get the C11 work permit. Among those entrepreneurs, the ones owning or planning to set up seasonal businesses even have a better success rate with C11 work permit applications.


Some of the seasonal businesses/self-employed ventures that have good scope and can be started in Canada are as follows.


  • Outdoor Adventure Company
  • Lawn care and landscaping
  • Chimney sweeping service
  • Moving services
  • Christmas/Halloween retailer
  • Pool maintenance services
  • Personal trainer or coach

What Does “Significant Benefit” to Canada Mean?



Sometimes a C11 work permit gets approved or disapproved based on its “significant benefit to Canada” outlook. As mentioned earlier, the immigration officer assesses the applicant’s proposed business or a business plan for its significant benefit to the country.

These are some points that highlight what “significant benefit to Canada” implies.


  • The work the applicant plans to do will create an economic stimulus for Canadians and permanent residents. The economic stimulus can mean different things. For instance, it entails the creation of new jobs, growth of Canadian exports, or development work in any particular region in the country.
  • The work the applicant plans to do will results in industry advancement in the country. The industry advancement can also be interpreted in different ways. Usually, the immigration officer considers a business bringing industry advancement if it: involves technological development, product/service innovation, and differentiation, or improves the skills of the Canadian workforce.
  • The work the applicant plans to do is generally favorable for the Canadian society with no harmful consequences and doesn’t encroach upon the operations of Canadian businesses.

Two-Stage Immigration for C11 Work Permit Holders




It is important to understand that a C11 work permit doesn’t get the applicant permanent residency by default. Nonetheless, there is a two-stage immigration room for C11 Work permit holders. The first stage is to get a C11 work permit. The second stage is to apply for permanent residency by fulfilling these criteria.


  • Successfully managing your business in Canada for 12 consecutive months (at minimum) with a valid work permit.
  • Fulfilling minimum requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
  • Getting ITA (Invitation to apply) for Express Entry by the IRCC.

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