August 25, 2021

It is a common misconception that in order to immigrate to Canada on a business or entrepreneurial-related visa, one must either be of high net worth with a substantial capital, operate a large organisation or obtain an angel investor support letter for a start-up visa. While this is generally true in the majority of applications, it is not always the case.

In this month’s article we will scrutinize a recent case successfully achieved by Barrister and Solicitor Afshin Yazdani, where he demonstrates that being a pioneering immigration lawyer is not only about memorizing law books but requires years of experience, analytical thinking, innovation and a vast understanding of the rules, laws, and policies set out by the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada). 

In this instance, the client and his family were granted permanent residency through an entrepreneurial work visa for an SME (Small-to-Medium Enterprises) business. The thought-process of being creative created a new, ingenious pathway to permanent residency within the current policies and requirements of various immigration streams based on the complexities of the client’s circumstances, hailed as the winner.

Before examining the specifics of the case, it’s crucial to understand the significance that SMEs has on the country’s economy, as well as the efforts made by the IRCC and the federal government to attract experienced entrepreneurs who wish to own and actively manage a business in Canada. 

The IRCC ministry created various entrepreneurship immigration streams, as part of their initiative to sustain and boost the booming business industry through immigration, while also creating new jobs for citizens and permanent residents locally. 

The impact of SMEs on the global economy is often overlooked, even thoug  this sector accounts for a substantial share of the world’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). 

In Canada it is a common believe that large companies provide huge employment opportunities, however SMEs are actually the largest job creators and the strength of country’s economy is crucially dependent on it.

With 1.15 million small businesses in the country, on average this sector contributes 55.32% to Canada’s entire GDP and 40.8% to the employment sector in all of Canada. As of 2019, small businesses employed 8.4 million individuals, or 68.8 percent of the total private labour force, according to the Government of Canada’s Innovation, Science and Economic Development – latest available Small Business Statistics – November 2019 edition. 

Small businesses generally refers to organizations with 1 to 99 paid employees, where as a medium-sized business has 100 to 499 paid employees and to be considered a large company it must employ 500 or more paid employees.

The various entrepreneur and self employed programs, are aimed at at individuals with a mid-range personal net worth who intend to establish and operate a business in Canada, while the investor program is suited for high net worth individuals who wish to make a passive investment with no obligation to establish a business. Wealthy business immigrants may buy or establish a new business in Canada and qualify for a temporary work visa, under the federal ‘owner-operator’ policies in which after a period of time, applicants may qualify for permanent residence under a suitable immigration program.

Other business immigration offering permanent admission to Canada includes the Federal Start-Up Visa; Federal Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program; Provincial Nominee Entrepreneur, Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), Quebec Entrepreneur and Quebec Self-Employed Programs.

In the case in point, the client, an Iranian citizen has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with an IELTS score overall band of six. He has no Canadian relatives for the extra CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) points, his spouse does not have a tertiary education and neither one had Canadian work experience or a Canadian degree prior to arriving here. 

In 2018, he made the decision to immigrate on the basis of exploring business opportunities in Canada after identifying a gap in the market for computer supplies in the lucrative Information Technology (IT) industry nationally. He subsequently sourced the services of YLG Law Group to assist in streamlining the process to establish a business locally and assist with all immigration related requirements. 

In partnership with a Canadian citizen, the client’s business was incorporated under the laws of the Province of Ontario in May 2018. 

With the intention to create an economic growth infrastructure for the local economy by horning the skills of locals and obtaining domestic IT supplies, a flawless business plan was submitted, together with his  application for a temporary work visa. 

In October 2018, his one year temporary work permit was approved as an NOC 00 executive management position for his registered company. Subsequently, in November 2018, YLG lodged an open work permit visa for the client’s spouse on the basis for her husband’s work permit and was approved in December 2018. 

The couple was afforded an extension to their work visa in December 2019 by which point the client had successfully established his company, sourced real estate and was employing locals. 

In July 2020, he entered into the pool to apply for a permanent residency (PR) through the Express Entry program. He was now eligible for PR by account of the 246 extra CRS  points (46 and 200 for Canadian Work Experience and Arranged Employment, respectively) that he gained through his work experience as an executive director for his own company.  His overall CRS points accumulated to 576, which was sufficient to receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply) in March 2021. In August 2021, the client’s, his spouse and minor son’s application for permanent residency was approved and soon they will be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship.

The above scenario proves categorically the various inventive ways to maximize the different immigration streams, used to gain permanent entrance into Canada. This was only possible through the experience, originality and understanding of immigration laws by Attorney Afshin Yazdani. 

Written By: Veruschka Mungroo – representing the YLG Law Group



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