There are many options available and great investment opportunities for businessmen/entrepreneurs and those in senior management willing to do business in Canada. These foreign investors need a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), following the purchase or holding a majority of share of an existing profitable business, before they can get a work permit.

Advantages of Owner Operator LMIA

While an LMIA is still needed to apply for an Owner Operator Work Permit, there are certain advantages of going through it.

As compared to regular LMIA, which is a lengthy and somewhat expensive process to prove that permanent residence or Canadians are not available for the job, there are no job advertisement requirements or recruitment efforts needed for owner operator LMIA. Therefore it makes the application process a bit easier and faster provided the business idea is good and genuine.

This is the pathway for business people and their family members to immigrate. On getting a positive LMIA or a confirmation letter it give the business owner with 200 express entry points, which in many cases increases the CRS score and therefore inviting business owner along with family members such as spouse and dependent children under 22 years of age to apply for a permanent residence.

How long does the program take

Owner Operator LMIA could be eligible for expedited service about or within 10 business days processing by the Economic and Social Development Canada (ESDC). It falls under the priority if the wage being offered to the owner is higher by 10% of wages earned by PR/Canadians in the province, where the job is offered.

With a confirmation letter, a business owner should apply for a work permit. Time varies depending on what Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) visa office processes an application. On average, from 1 to 6 weeks. A work permit can be issued for up to 2 years. If it is a first-time Owner Operator LMIA application, a work permit is likely to be issued for a duration of 1 year.

Who is an Ideal Candidate for Owner Operator Program

To be eligible for an Owner-Operator Work Permit, a businessmen/entrepreneur must be a sole proprietor or hold minimum of 50.1%, although the higher the better of the shares in a Canadian company.  It is possible to apply for a work permit under this category to grow the existing business. Importantly, an applicant must take some steps to put the business in action prior to applying for the Owner Operator LMIA. For example, registering business with authorities, renting space, possibly having a website, advertising,  hiring personnel, etc.

A business must have a perspective of bringing significant economic benefits to Canada. For example, meeting the demand for a service or good, creating more jobs for Canadians, which is described in a business plan, constituting an integral part of this type of application.

An important consideration is a genuineness of a job offer. A business owner is someone who is performing duties described in NOC 00 – Senior Management Occupations. Therefore, an entrepreneur’s prior experience in managing a business (not necessarily a Canadian company) is a very important factor, speaking about the ability to successfully operate a business in Canada, for which an LMIA is requested.

When can Owner Operator apply for Permanent Residence

There isn’t any minimum or maximum time period required. PR can be applied during the first year too if the work permit holder along with family if they qualify under a suitable program such as Federal Skilled Worker or Provincial Nominee Program.