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Episode 43: How Canada’s Executive Express Entry Can Help Foreign Business Owners Become Citizens

Podcast posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Podcast

Episode 43: How Canada’s Executive Express Entry Can Help Foreign Business Owners Become Citizens

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Canada is actively encouraging skilled, highly educated foreign professionals to move to Canada to help rebuild the economy and create jobs. There are many opportunities for executives to move to Canada and become permanent residents and then citizens. Foreign business owners or entrepreneurs who want to move to Canada and become Canadian citizens may qualify under Canada's Executive Express Entry! Some executives move to Canada as intercompany transfers. Some foreign professionals who want to move to Canada may find it difficult to meet some of the requirements under the Express Entry professional stream - particularly the age limit. Under the standard Express Entry, you start to lose points if you are over 40.

If you are a foreign business owner or entrepreneur who wants to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen and are over age 40:

  • You can invest in a Canadian business for as low as $50,000CA
  • You can buy an existing Canadian business
  • You can start a new business in Canada

Learn MoreExecutive Express Entry: How Business Owners Can Become Canadian Citizens

About Evelyn Ackah

Evelyn Ackah is the Founder and Managing Lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. We work with individuals and business owners from all over the world who want to cross borders seamlessly. For more information on immigration to Canada or the United States, Ask Evelyn Ackah at Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email Evelyn directly at contact@ackahlaw.com.



Good day. This is Evelyn Ackah of Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer, Evelyn Ackah Podcast, as well as the Ackah law webinar, focused on executive express entry and how business owners can become Canadian citizens.

Today, I'm going to talk about all the ways that executives can move to Canada and become permanent residents. And so, it's going to be a hit list of options and things to consider. And if you have any questions, of course, you can always contact me at Ackah Business Immigration Law. Our phone number is (403) 452-9515 and you can find us at ackahlaw.com.

One of the first ways, of course, that executives can enter Canada is if they come as permanent residents under the federal skilled worker category. This is the category where you need to obtain a certain number of points. Right now it's over 515, 520 points.

And so, if you are an executive with significant work experience and a lot of education, usually a master's level, and are under 40 years of age, you may have the requisite points, along with the language testing, whether it's English, French, or both, to qualify to move to Canada as a permanent resident.

That process under the Federal Skilled Worker Program takes about a year to a year and a half from beginning to end before you can move to Canada with your family as permanent residents to continue your executive career in Canada. That is the most common one. A number of our clients have used this who have moved from other countries to become permanent residents in Canada. Lawyers, doctors, veterinarians even have been able to utilize this category so that they can move to Canada under that stream.

We have some people joining us now for the webinar. And just to repeat what I said when I started, there are no slide decks. I'm going to just wing it today. It'll be very casual. And this is also part of the Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer, Evelyn Ackah Podcast. We're doing both at the same time.

I've spoken already in terms of executives moving to Canada under the Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker category. And this is a category, again for those who have a lot of education and a lot of work experience, and are usually about 35 or under, because you get way more points if you are under 40 in terms of coming as a federal skilled worker permanent resident. That one is the one where you need to have about 520 points to be invited to apply. That's a high threshold for many people. But if you don't have those points, there are other options, and so I'm going to talk about that as well.

If you're in another country and you want to move to Canada, one of the other options is to come to Canada first as an employee, as a worker. Some executives we've worked with over the years have come as intercompany transfers. They've been able to transfer to Canada with their existing corporation, so long as there is an international component. Perhaps you work for the one in your country and there's also a Canadian component that allows you to transfer as an executive, whether it's a specialized knowledge worker or managerial senior manager executive. And you can come to Canada and work with the related entity for a period of at least 12 months. When you have the 12 months completed, you're then going to be eligible for what's called Canadian Experience Class.

This is the category where you can apply for permanent residence from inside Canada. And that process is because you've had 12 months of work. And again, that process is based on points, but you get a significant number of points for Canadian work experience as an executive. And so, that allows you probably within a year and a half to obtain permanent residents for you and your family, and you can then move into citizenship down the line. This is very common. We do this a lot. At Ackah Law, we also help companies incorporate related Canadian entities if they want to have a branch or subsidiary location to transfer their people to so they can also obtain permanance. This happens a lot as well from US to Canada because there are a number of highly skilled executives and professionals in the US, waiting on H-1B for their green card processing. That could take 10 years.

And within three years you could become a permanent resident of Canada, arriving to work for 12 months, start your application for Canadian Experience Class, and then you become a permanent resident within a year and a half. It's really much faster than many of the US streams for permanent residents. Another category for executives could possibly be even the federal skilled trades. That's a category that's similar to the Federal Skilled Worker. And if you have a regulated trade profession, you can also come to Canada under the Express Entry category as a Federal Skilled Tradesperson. Canada needs them desperately. A lot of our tradespeople are retiring, and so this might be an option as well to get the points you need and move to Canada as a skilled trade, as a permanent resident.

At Ackah Law, we also work with clients who want to invest. if you're an executive in another country, if you want to come and invest in a business in Canada under some of the various entrepreneur or investor streams that require financial contribution, usually it's $200,000 to 1,000,000 dollars. Whether you're buying a partnership in a business, buying a franchise, if you're doing that, that's one way to move to Canada as a permanent resident. For instance, British Columbia has a great Entrepreneur Investment stream where you can invest between $300,000 to $600,000 minimum, depending on where you're going to be located, so that you can purchase a business, partner in a business, or start a business that's in British Columbia that's going to employ at least one Canadian citizen, and you can obtain your permanent residence that way. We always recommend people think about this as an option. If they already have the entrepreneurial spirit and drive, this is a way for them to move to Canada as a permanent resident with their families.

Every province has a very different stream and process for entrepreneurs and investors, and so we always want to make sure that we do a consultation, because we need to look at every province for you to ensure that you meet the criteria and you have the means to afford to move to Canada and invest for permanent residents options, so we definitely recommend we have to do a consult first. As I said, there's the Investor stream, the Entrepreneur stream. One of the streams we've done as well is the Self-Employed category. If you're an executive from another country and self-employed, you may be able to come to Canada as a worker and then move yourself as well in that process to permanent residents, and that would allow you to move to Canada, continue running your operations and move to permanent residents. As an executive, the self-employed category is another category that you may want to delve deeper into. And give us a call and we can assist you.

One of the most common and well-known, but quite expensive streams is the Startup Visa. The Startup Visa is a category that grants you permanent residence once you usually have to pay anywhere from between legal fees and startup fees with the incubator, anywhere from $150 to $250,000. It is not cheap by any means, but it is a way that you can obtain the nomination or the certificate you need from an incubator and from a startup certify entity to move yourself as permanent residents to Canada with your family. And so, a really, really great option for you to do that if you want to run a business. The Startup Visa entities we work with, Startup Visa Canada, and they help our clients to do the whole process of launching the business, setting it up, the business planning, the competitor analysis, all the things that must be done in order to have a viable business startup. And having the project in mind, as well, for you to move to Canada first as a worker and then as a permanent resident.

If that's of interest at all, even with the price point, and you have some business ideas you want to start in Canada, the Startup Visa might be the best way for you to move to Canada and launch a business at the same time, and continue to be an executive and run your business successfully.

I want to also talk about the Owner-Operator, LMIA. That's the Owner-Operator Labour Market Impact Assessment category. This is the category of work permit that allows you, if you're already running a business at home, to move to Canada and you get an extra 200 points for permanent residents under the owner operator, LMIA stream. Again, this is another means for you to become a permanent resident. There have been some recent changes, so we want to make sure that your company and your plan is going to work for the goals that you have in terms of moving to Canada and continuing to operate your business.

Again, it's called the Owner Operator Labour Market Impact Assessment stream, and it's a stream that allows you to launch a business or continue doing what you're doing and sponsor yourself, essentially. One of the things we're seeing is we're highly recommended if you're married, the spouse gets a regular job in Canada, so that, let's say, the first spouse who's running the business can run the business. But we also want to make sure you've got every option towards permanent residence, and so we recommend that the spouse gets a Canadian job as well because they're entitled to. They're able to continue with what's called the Canadian Experience Class after 12 months. You don't want to limit yourself to simply one option. You always want to keep all your options open as a permanent resident in Canada.

I think those are the main categories I want to talk about in terms of Executive Express Entry and how business owners can move to Canada and become Canadian citizens. At the end of the day, we need to learn more about your specific criteria and your specific situation to give you the best legal advice possible. None of this podcast or webinar can be considered legal advice that you can depend on. We always have our caveat as lawyers, but we want you to understand there are ways to get to Canada as a worker, as a business owner, as an investor, as an entrepreneur, as an employee, as a student, there are many, many ways to move to Canada. And by doing a consultation with Ackah Law, we're going to be able to help you determine which is the best category for you, and then you can initiate knowing that you have the right information for your specific needs.

I hope this has been helpful. Again, right now the government is introducing about every two weeks the federal skilled worker and the CEC Express Entry invitations to apply. Right now, there are over 500 points, so it's not easy for the federal skilled worker, but you can qualify. And if you get an LMIA, a Labour Market Impact Assessment, keep in mind that that gives you usually at least an extra 50 points. If you're an executive, it gives you an extra 200 points toward Express Entry, which basically guarantees you're going to become a permanent resident. That's another option.

The Labour Market Impact Assessment work permit that you would use to apply for express entry, that gives you an extra 200 points which guarantees permanent residence to Canada for you and your family.

I hope that you found this very short podcast and webinar informational and informative. And if you have any questions, as I say, please always contact us at Ackah Business Immigration Law. We're here to help you cross borders seamlessly and happy to do we do initial discovery calls that are complimentary. And if you'd like our podcast and the information we've been sharing over the last couple years, please give us a five-star review on all podcasts.

Again, thank you so much for joining us at the Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer, Evelyn Ackah podcast. Take good care. Bye-bye.

Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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We just got out of our interview and getting a new SIN paper for Ivan's permanent residency. Thank you so much you guys made this possible for us and we are so thankful for all you have done.

- N and I

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