Operational Bulletin 555 – October 28, 2013

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Work Permits for Start-up Business Class Permanent Resident Visa Applicants


Effective October 26, 2013, qualifying foreign nationals who have received a Commitment Certificate/Letter of Support issued by a designated entity may be considered for a short-term Work Permit (WP) in order to facilitate their early entry to Canada if the designated entity supports the request for a WP. In addition, business incubators have been included in the list of designated entities.


Designated entities have stated that a three- to six-month processing timeframe for permanent residence (PR) is a challenge for commitments that are time sensitive. This issue is even more pronounced with the inclusion of business incubators as designated entities on October 26, 2013, given the aggressive timelines under which these entities operate.


Economic Action Plan 2012 announced the Canadian Government’s intention to build a fast and flexible economic immigration system with a primary focus on meeting needs of the Canadian economy. As part of its initiatives to support Economic Action Plan 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada created the Start-up Business Class pilot program.

The pilot program is intended to facilitate the processing of PR applications for:

  • no more than 2,750 applications per year;
  • no more than five persons per business proposal;
  • persons who intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec;
  • persons who have the support of a Canadian business entity, in the form of a Commitment Certificate (ComCert);
  • persons who meet or exceed the minimum language proficiency threshold set by the Minister for proficiency in English or French for each of the four language skill areas;
  • persons who have completed at least one year of post-secondary education; and
  • persons who have sufficient funds to economically establish themselves in Canada.

Once an applicant provides proof of having a commitment from a designated entity in the form of a Letter of Support, other factors will be reviewed and assessed against the Ministerial Instructions (MIs) for selection and admissibility.

Start-up Business Work Permit – Eligibility Parameters

To be eligible for a Start-up Business WP, the following parameters must be met:

  • applicant has the intention to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec;
  • a Commitment Certificate/Letter of Support must have been issued by a designated entity indicating that the WP applicant is ‘essential’ and there are urgent business reasons for the applicant’s early entry to Canada (i.e., section 8.0 is completed);
  • the designated entity has been advised that the Commitment Certificate is valid.

Start-up Business Visa Work Permit Issuance

Commitment Certificate

The case processing centre in Ottawa (CPC-O) will create each designated entity listed in the MIs as an “Organization” in the Global Case Management System (GCMS). All applicants should be associated to the designated entity within GCMS.

On receipt of the ComCert, CPC-O will create a client note in GCMS to which officers can refer. If section 8.0 is completed, CPC-O will input the information from section 8.0 into the note. This will indicate to other processing offices that the ComCert exists and that a WP application is allowed.

Place of Application

Upon applying for a WP, all applicants must present a letter of support linked to a ComCert issued by a designated entity within GCMS.

Applicants from Temporary Resident Visa-exempt and medically-exempt countries may apply at the Port of Entry (POE), as per section R198 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, if they choose. In such instances, the applicant must still present a copy of their Letter of Support that states that the applicant is “essential” and that urgent business reasons necessitate a work permit for this applicant. As well, the applicant must meet the normal admissibility requirements.

If not applying at the POE, applicants must submit an Application for a Work Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1295 (PDF, 465.84KB)) form, indicating that they are applying for a Start-up Business WP. The application should be submitted to a Visa Application Centre or the visa office responsible for their place of residence.

Spouses of Start-up Business Work Permit Holders

For the purpose of subparagraph R205(c)(ii) and section 5.38 of the Temporary Foreign Worker Guidelines, the generic National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code “8888-000” will be considered to be a high skilled code in level ‘0, A or B’ in the NOC Matrix.

Therefore, the spouses of the Start-up Business Class WP holders may apply for an open WP based on their status as the spouses or common-law partners of a high skilled worker (Labour Market Opinion Exemption: C41).

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: