China’s parliament passed a national security law for Hong Kong. Many Hong Kong residents may want to emigrate, and there are calls for Canada to liberalize its immigration policy for Chinese in Hong Kong. There are already more than 300,000 Canadian passport holders in Hong Kong, and immigration experts expect that many Hong Kong families will send their children to be educated in Canada as an opportunity to permanently immigrate.
How Hong Kong Residents Can Start a Business In Canada
During the global pandemic, Canada's federal government invested heavily with an $82-billion emergency economic stimulus package to support businesses affected by the global crisis and provide benefits to Canadian workers impacted by COVID, including
- wage subsidies to protect jobs
- employment insurance for workers including the self-employed and contractors
- coronavirus emergency relief benefits
- increased child benefits
- tax deferrals
- keeping essential commerce and trade travel open
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said:
We will be able to make sure our economy gets back up to speed very quickly.
How To Become a Foreign Business Owner In Canada
In many situations, you do not need to be a Canadian resident to open a business in Canada. But if you plan to set up a business or work at your new Canadian branch, a Hong Kong business owner will need to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for an immigration temporary work permit or business visa, depending on your exact situation.
There is more than one way for a Hong Kong resident to have a business in Canada:
- open a new business
- open a branch location
- buy an existing business
- invest in an existing business
- hire Canadian workers to work remotely
- outsource work to Canadian companies, aka nearshoring or nearsourcing
- transfer existing employees to Canada
Canada Welcomes Hong Kong Business and Immigrant Entrepreneurs
Canada has made it very clear that we welcome immigrant entrepreneurs. Foreign entrepreneurs who want to move to Canada and start a business can apply to immigrate under the start-up visa program or a program for self-employed persons. Canada is divided into 3 territories and 10 provinces. The Canadian government and local provinces have put in place policies, programs and financial resources to recruit and attract skilled, educated immigrants to offset Canada's aging population, help grow the economy and create new jobs for Canadians. Business owners who want to live in Canada and open a Canadian branch can apply for Permanent Residence status and subsequently Canadian Citizenship.
Canada's Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program allows key staff members of a foreign business to travel to Canada on a temporary basis to open a new office and start their business. An executive or managerial employee or an employee with specialized knowledge can receive a temporary work permit to get the office up and running if the business meets all the applicable requirements.
Canada has federal, province and local programs, policies and financial resources in place that encourage foreign businesses to invest in Canada. The requirements to open a business or a branch office are different for each territory. There are also many licenses, permits, regulations and rules to follow as well as decisions and choices to be made and fees to be paid. An experienced business immigration lawyer can help you understand and navigate the process - save you time and money.
How Hong Kong Residents Can Open A Branch Office in Canada
Opening a branch office in Canada is typically a less expensive alternative to opening a new business in Canada. There is no single "best way" for a Hong Kong resident to open a business in Canada. It depends on many factors including the type of business, the amount of money you can invest, if you are already in Canada, if there are already competing businesses in Canada, what part of the country you want to operate in, etc.
A Canada business immigration lawyer can help you:
- pursue the best immigration options to meet your specific needs and goals
- identify any potential roadblocks
- troubleshoot and prevent delays at the border
- advise you on immigration compliance regulations
- manage you and your team's immigration application process
A Hong Kong entrepreneur or business owner that wants to open an affiliate or branch office in Canada needs to register the business with the local government in each Canadian territory where it will have operations. There are many advantages to opening a branch office in Canada:
1. Canada has tax treaties with many countries so that businesses are not subject to double taxation.
2. Foreign branches are entitled to many of the same rights as a Canadian-owned corporation, such as limited liability.
3. A branch's activities are overseen by the parent company.
Are You A Hong Kong Business Owner Who Wants to Expand to Canada?
Consult a Canada immigration professional BEFORE you cross the border if you are considering opening a branch location, starting a new business, or nearshoring to Canada. You need to have the right information and resources to prevent costly business decisions.
About Ackah Law
At Ackah Business Immigration Law, our goal is to make Crossing Borders Seamlessly a reality and to smooth your way to new opportunities in Canada.
Evelyn L. Ackah is the founder and managing lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law and has exclusively practiced immigration law for over 20 years. Ackah Law is headquartered in Calgary with offices in Vancouver and Toronto. Contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly at [email protected].