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Owner/ Operator LMIA-Based Work Permit

Labor Market Impact Assessments provide employers with the opportunity to fill a labour shortage within their company. Various types of LMIA’s are available and determining which one is best for your company is an important decision before applying. Temporary Foreign Workers can increase productivity for a company facing a labour shortage by participating in the program.

LMIA’s are subject to intensive scrutiny by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), also known as Service Canada. As such, LMIAs must be error-free.

LMIA permits you to come to Canada as a Temporary worker to run your own business. There is no minimum net worth requirement; you can buy an existing business or start a new one.

After submission of a complete application, the processing time is approximately 5-8 months, including the work permit application.

Owner-Operator of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The foreign investor should consider purchasing an existing business or starting a new one in Canada, and obtaining a work visa as a management employee to relocate to Canada. Under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program, revised federal policies are gaining considerable attention among new business owners.

Under provincial programs or through Express Entry, successful temporary workers can transition to permanent residence after a period of less than one year.

A foreign employee-investor can qualify for a work permit as a TFW if they create a new business, acquire an existing Canadian business, or invest substantially in it. There must be a transfer of knowledge to Canadians and the acquisition of the business by the foreign national must, among other conditions, result in Canadian jobs being created or retained.

What Does An LMIA Owner-Operator Mean?

Employers are not required to post job openings for certain types of jobs. An LMIA for Owner Operators allows business owners who are actively involved in operations to obtain work authorization within their own company. ESDC has stipulated strict requirements for the individual to meet.

Owner/Operator LMIA Qualifications

It is important to note that, as with any employment opportunity in Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) closely monitors the process of owning or operating your own business and applying for the respective LMIA. The purpose of this is to ensure that you meet the program’s requirements and that the business venture is positive.

ESDC stipulates the following qualifications for foreign nationals who wish to own or operate businesses in Canada:

  • Are you a Canadian business owner
  • Own 50 percent or more of the company
  • Assert that temporary entry into Canada will create or retain employment opportunities and/or skill transfer for Canadians and permanent residents
  • Must hold a position within the company that cannot be dismissed or be accountable to someone more senior
  • A business plan should include a financial projection, a timeline, and a description of how the individual plans to create or maintain employment within the company.
  • The foreign national must demonstrate that the business is managed actively, rather than passively, that they possess the qualifications and experience necessary to hold the position they desire within the company, and that they are able to earn a wage that is at or above the median wage
  • A business plan must include a commitment to hiring at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident within the first year

Almost all foreign nationals granted a positive LMIA for owning or operating their own business in Canada seek permanent residency shortly thereafter.

ImmigCanada can be of assistance to you in this process if you are looking to start a business in Canada due to the complexity of the programs. For more information, contact us today!