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Work Permit for Self-employed Business Owners (WP-C11)

Work Permit for Start-up Visa Program


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Work Permit through International Mobility Program (IMP)

If you are an entrepreneur applying to work for yourself or to operate your own business on a temporary basis, may apply for a work permit under International Mobility Program (IMP). Qualified candidates are exempted from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (➨ under paragraph R205(a) of Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) (exemption code C11).

To see a list of LMIA exemption Codes (➨

You must demonstrate that your admission to Canada to operate your business would generate significant economic, social or cultural benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Benefits to Canadian clients of a self-employed worker may be considered in this case, particularly if the worker is providing a unique service.

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.


Minimum Requirements

In order to be eligible to work in Canada as a Self-employed person or Entrepreneur, you should meet the following criteria:

1- Skills and Background

You must have the skills and background to establish a successful business in Canada or purchase an existing one and turn it into a successful business.

2- Significant Benefits

Your activities in Canada must create significant cultural, social, or economic benefits to the country (e.g. contributes to remote areas, creates jobs for Canadians, exports Canadian goods to other countries, contributes to technological development, shows to be innovative in nature, helps Canadians to hone their skills, etc.)

3- Temporary Basis

Your work is on a temporary or seasonal basis and that they have plans to leave Canada in a specified period of time

4- Minimum Ownership

You must own at least 50% of the business you establish or purchase in Canada.

5- Business Plan

You must present a business plan that is meaningful and viable and you must have taken steps to make your plans happen before entering Canada (e.g. you have established the business and secured enough financial resources for the business, have contacted parallel businesses in Canada, and have signed agreements with Canadian suppliers, etc.)

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.



Step 1: Submit a self-employed offer of employment

As an entrepreneur or self-employed person, you are both employer and employee. Before you can apply under the LMIA exempted work permit, you must make an offer of employment to yourself as owner/operator of your business and pay the employer compliance fee.

If your business has already registered for a Canada Revenue Agency business number, this should be done online using online Employer Portal (➨

If your business has not registered for a Canada Revenue Agency business number, you will not be able to use the Employer Portal. Instead, email the Employer Portal ([email protected]) and indicate that you are an entrepreneur.

In your email, include your full name, date of birth, citizenship, country of birth and gender.

If your email request is approved, you will get an email back with forms and instructions on how to submit your offer of employment and pay the employer compliance fee.

Step 2: Apply for Work Permit

As a self-employed person or an entrepreneur who is eligible for one of the above categories, you may apply for a work permit without requiring an LMIA.
Unless under exceptional circumstances (such as disability), submission of applications for Work Permit must be done online. When you complete your work permit application, select “Exemption from Labour Market Impact Assessment” as the type of work permit in the “Details of intended work in Canada” section.
Your application for the work permit must include the offer of employment and proof your employer (in this case yourself) has paid the employer compliance fee of $230 and received the Offer of Employment Number that begins with the letter “A” and is followed by seven digits.

To find out how to submit your application, see (➨

Your spouse may apply for an open work permit. The open work permit should be location-restricted to the province your employer is located. The duration should match the lesser of either the passport validity or your work permit validity.
You may be eligible for two-week application processing if your company in Canada is already registered and you can submit an offer of employment through the Employer Portal.
Temporary Work Permit
Submit offer of employment:
Submit Online Application:
Official Program Guide:
IRCC Application Fees:
Employer Compliance Fee $230
Applicant: $155
Applicant with Open WP $100
Open WP – Spouse $155
Each child – Visitor $100
Biometrics: $85
Processing Time:
Document Checklist:

1-888-242-2100 (in Canada)

1-613-944-4000 (outside Canada)

Web Form:

Visa Office:

Step 3: Get your fingerprint and photo taken (Biometrics)

You and any members of your family between 14 and 79 years old need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics). You only need to give your biometrics once every 10 years. If you gave biometrics in the past as part of an application for a visitor visa, work or study permit and they’re still valid, you don’t need to give them again.

You will be contacted to give your biometrics and you will have 30 days from the date on the letter to do it.

In order to give biometrics you need to go to an official biometrics collection service point. You must give your biometrics in person.

Before you go, check the location’s website for its services and fees at (➨

Step 4: Arrival with Work Permit

If your application is approved, you’ll get a letter that says you’re allowed to work in Canada. Bring this letter with you when you travel to Canada. You’ll get your work permit when you arrive in Canada.

The work permit will outline:
  • the type of work you can do
  • the employer you can work for
  • where you can work, and
  • how long you can work

If you’re eligible to apply from within Canada, the work permit will be mailed to your Canadian address.

Ready to take the next step towards your Canadian immigration journey? Fill out the form below and embark on your path to new opportunities.




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