How to Get a C11 Work Permit Canada in 2024-25: Complete Guide

This is a comprehensive guide about the C11 Work Permit Canada with a step-by-step process for the Entrepreneur Work Permit application.


    Note:This form is not for job seekers or salary employees.

    *Not valid for Local Residents/Companies.

    C11 work permit

    Canada’s immigration system continues to witness a surge, with over 431,000 new permanent residents welcomed in 2023. This trend is projected to hold steady, as the federal government targets exceeding 465,000 admissions in 2024.

    The C11 Work Permit is a crucial pathway for entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals seeking to establish and operate businesses in Canada. With a typical validity period of two years, this permit allows candidates ample time to build their ventures. Moreover, it can be extended multiple times, providing flexibility for business growth.

    In this article, we will explain what a C11 work permit is, eligibility criteria, documents required, costs, application process, benefits and more.

    What is a C11 Work Permit Canada?

    The C11 Work Permit Canada is a special work permit issued under Canada’s International Mobility Program (IMP) that caters to aspiring entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals. It allows them to enter and work in Canada to run their own business.

    The initial work permit has a duration of two years, providing ample time for applicants to establish and manage their businesses. Furthermore, this work permit is eligible for multiple extensions. Following a minimum of 12 months of business operation, individuals who entered Canada under the C11 visa category can pursue permanent residency in Canada.

    How to Apply for C11 Work Permit Canada

    Eligibility Check

    Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for the C11 Work Permit.

    You must fall into one of the following categories:

    • Self-employed: You work for yourself as the owner of a business and rarely hire people outside your family.
    • Entrepreneur: You organize and operate a business, taking on greater financial risks and hiring employees other than family members.

    Prepare Documents

    Gather the necessary documents, including:

    • Passport or travel document.
    • Proof of business ownership experience.
    • Evidence of language proficiency.
    • Sufficient funds to support yourself and your business in Canada.

    Online Application

    • Apply online for the C11 Work Permit.
    • Use a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents.
    • Pay the required fees (work permit fee and open work permit holder fee).

    Read the Instruction Guide

    Even if you apply online, read the instruction guide before completing your application.

    The guide explains how to complete each field on the form.

    Answer Questions for Personalized Checklist

    Before uploading your forms, answer questions to create a personalized document checklist.

    These answers help tailor the process to your specific situation.

    Know the Fees

    Understand the fees you need to pay.

    For open work permits, ensure you pay both the work permit fee ($155) and the open work permit holder fee ($100).

    Create Your Online Account or Sign In

    You need an account to apply online.

    Use your account to pay fees, submit your application, and check your status.

    Eligibility Criteria for C11 Work Permit Canada

    The required eligibility criteria for C11 work permit for Canada are:

    • Business Ownership Experience: Applicants must have relevant experience in business ownership or management.
    • Language Proficiency: Demonstrating good language proficiency is essential. Effective communication skills are crucial for running a business successfully.
    • Financial Capacity: Applicants must possess sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in Canada. Additionally, they should have the financial capacity to purchase or operate their business within the country.
    • Ownership or Control of a Business in Canada: The applicant must prove ownership or control of a business in Canada, with a minimum ownership share of 50%.

    Remember that the C11 Work Permit aims to create significant cultural, social, or economic benefits for Canada. If you meet these requirements, you’re on the right track! Feel free to explore further details about the application process and other considerations with our experts.

    Documents Required to Apply for C11 Work Permit Canada

    Valid Passport: A copy of the applicant’s valid passport, including the biographical page containing personal information.

    Application Form: Completed application forms as required by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, including the appropriate work permit application form and any additional forms specific to the C11 visa category. Choose the appropriate form based on your situation:

    • For initial C11 applications: Form IMM 1295.
    • For extensions: Form IMM 7864.

    Proof of Identity: Provide two proofs of identity, such as:

    • Driver’s license
    • National ID card
    • Birth certificate

    Ownership Validation: Show that you are the owner or manager of a Canadian firm. Financial statements, purchase agreements, and documentation related to business registration may fall under this category.

    Business Plan: Provide a thorough and well-written business plan that outlines your idea for the company, your target market, your marketing approach, your projected financials, and how you will make a big difference for Canada.

    Proof of Funds: Prove that you have enough cash on hand to sustain yourself and any dependents while visiting Canada. For precise quantities, use the “Minimum necessary funds” tool from the IRCC.

    Cost for C11 Work Permit Application

    There are many fees associated with filing for a C11 work visa in Canada, and the total sum may change based on your individual circumstances. Below is a summary of the primary costs:

    • Application Fee: CA$100 for an extension (IMM 7864) or CA$150 for the original application (IMM 1295). 
    • Biometric Fee: If demanded by IRCC, CA$85 (applicable to the majority of applicants from outside Canada).

    Benefits of Canadian C11 Work Permit 

    The benefits of Canadian C11 work permit includes:

    • Fast-Track Entry: A significant benefit is the exemption from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This streamlined process can significantly reduce processing times compared to traditional work permit applications.
    • Pathway for Permanent Residency: Working under the C11 Work Permit can lead to permanent residence. You can work for yourself in your business and become eligible to apply for PR within one year.
    • Family Benefits: The C11 Work Permit extends its benefits to the entire family. While the primary applicant contributes to Canada’s socio-economic landscape, family members can simultaneously work and study, making the transition to Canadian life seamless and integrated.
    • Alternative Pathway for Owner/Operator Work Permit: C11 work permit caters to individuals under international agreements like NAFTA or CETA, it also provides an alternative pathway for entrepreneurs and business owners to obtain the Owner/Operator Work Permit in Canada.
    • Choose any Province: C11 work permit allows you to establish your business anywhere in any province of Canada.

    Final Thoughts

    The C11 work permit in Canada provides an important opportunity for talented professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors to contribute to the economy. It is facilitated by international accords like NAFTA and CETA, and it permits admission into vital vocations with a two-year validity, extendable options, and a potential road to permanent residency. Understanding the C11 process is critical, given Canada’s emphasis on innovation and diversity. Adherence to qualifying standards, proper documentation, and diligence in navigation are critical to reaping the rewards. Finally, the C11 work visa represents Canada’s friendly immigration policy, which promotes success for skilled persons in  Canada.


    The typical processing time for a C11 work permit varies by country of residency. A work visa typically takes 6 to 12 months. Please keep in mind that the processing time does not include the time it takes for you to submit your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) and medical exam, as well as the time it takes for IRCC to receive your passport, insert the visa, and return it to you.

    A C11 work visa is granted for a maximum of two years. Entrepreneurs or self-employed workers may be given an extension of their work visa only in rare cases or while their application for permanent residency is being reviewed. For applications pertaining to significant investment projects or applicants awaiting a provincial nomination certificate, you will need a letter from the province or territory confirming their ongoing support.

    Entrepreneurial or self-employed foreign workers are covered under C11 work permits. Simultaneously, high-skilled foreign workers can work temporarily in Canada under the C12 (Intra Company Transfer Visa) program for companies that own a business branch in Canada.

    A minimum investment is not necessary to get a C11 entrepreneur work visa. Generally, a firm in Canada requires an investment of at least $100,000, depending on the business concept, plus an additional $50,000 for necessary running expenditures.