Dear Miss Powell,
I am a successful businessman in Jamaica, and I am looking to expand into Canada and to become a Canadian citizen. Could you please advise regarding what my options are?
I am pleased to hear of Jamaicans who are interested in launching international businesses. Congratulations! Business immigrants have various options available to them. These include applying as an investor, entrepreneur, self-employed persons, or taking advantage of the Intra-Company Transfer Programme.
As an investor or entrepreneur, you will need to be prepared to invest a minimum of CDN$800,000 to own or manage a company in Canada. You should also be able to satisfy the required experience and net worth criteria. While these are two of the many programmes and ways of immigrating to Canada, you should note that there is a temporary pause on the acceptance of applications under the Investor and Entrepreneur Class. Don't be dismayed! This could open up at anytime, and you may still be eligible depending on the type of business you own, your experience, qualifications, and financial ability.
Other possible routes include proving that you can establish yourself as a self-employed person who can make a significant contribution to the economic, cultural, and athletic life of Canada. You should note that if you have the experience and funds to purchase and manage a farm in Canada, then you could be eligible. This is a good pathway to becoming a permanent resident and then going on to become a citizen.
There is also the Intra-Company Transfer Start-up programme, which is one of the best programmes for business owners who are seeking to expand into the Canadian marketplace without totally abandoning their own country. Persons who qualify will be given a work permit once they are able to establish their company's ability to fully establish the business in Canada.
You did not give details about your business experience or the amount you intend to invest. However, you should note that eligibility under each category is different. Furthermore, once you submit an application under one category, you will not be permitted to switch. Consequently, you will need to ensure that you choose carefully from the initial stages. I, therefore, recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer to help you with the process.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, personal injury, family and administration of estates. Email: email@example.com. Subject line: Immigration or Tel: 613-695-8777