Entrepreneur Work Permit: New Owner Operator LMIA

Become a permanent resident within a  year through the owner-operator LMIA work permit. Here is a step-by-step to the Entrepreneur LMIA (New Owner Operator Alternative).

The Owner-Operator LMIA is a special class of applications under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for self-employed and qualified individuals who wish to set up, purchase, and operate a business in Canada. Foreign nationals with business ownership experience can easily apply for this program as there is no minimum net worth requirement.

What is the Owner-Operator Work Permit?

The Owner-Operator Work Permit is a special LMIA work permit issued to foreign entrepreneurs and business people wishing to set up, purchase, or operate a business in Canada. This work permit is issued under Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program, designed to bring valuable foreign professionals to Canada and boost its economy.

Entrepreneur LMIA Work Permit stands out because its application has a processing time of only 2 to 3 months. Once issued, this work permit will be valid for two years. This gives the candidate enough time to set up or purchase and operate their business in Canada.

Once the candidate has begun operating their business, they can apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Programs.

Owner Operator LMIA

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Who is Eligible for the Owner-Operator LMIA Work Permit?

The Owner-Operator program Canada is open to qualified professionals who intend to set up, purchase, and operate a business in Canada. However, simply having the intention to do so isn’t enough to make a candidate eligible.

The candidate will also need to demonstrate they possess the work experience and capabilities to operate this business in Canada. This includes being able to handle the expenses associated with setting up or purchasing and operating their business. In addition, they must show that they intend to work in the business in a management position.

Owner-Operator LMIA Work Permit Requirements

Applicants who intend to apply for the Owner-Operator LMIA Work Permit must meet the requirements related to:

Business Ownership

The candidate must be the sole owner of the business. Alternatively, they must possess a majority equity stake in the business, whether a partnership or a company.

Work Experience

The candidate must demonstrate work experience in a business ownership or senior management role. They can check if their work experience matches the following NOC TEER codes:

  • 00012 Senior managers in business services such as finance and communications
  • 00013 Senior managers for education, health, community, and social services organizations
  • 00014 Senior managers in broadcasting, trade, and similar services
  • 00015 Senior managers in transportation, construction, utilities, and production

Significant Benefit to Canada

The candidate’s business must create new jobs for Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents. In addition to this, it must also transfer valuable skills to Canadians.

Solid Business Plan

The candidate must present a solid business plan that discusses critical aspects of the business’s operation. This includes how the candidate intends to fund the business’s operations, create new jobs, and maintain employment.

Active Participation in Business Management

The candidate must be involved with managing their business daily. This includes performing managerial tasks such as hiring personnel, maintaining a website, renting business space, advertising products and services and creating contracts with prospective customers.

Providing Appropriate Wages

The candidate must pay their employees a wage rate comparable to the average wage rate for their occupation. They must also be willing to fund other aspects of the business’s operations.

Possessing Enough Funds

The candidate must demonstrate that they possess enough funds to operate their Canadian company. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) haven’t specified any minimum amount, so candidates must show they have enough to operate the type of business they intend to run.

Owner Operator LMIA Work Permit Application Process

Prospective applicants who intend to apply for the Owner-Operator LMIA Canada must follow the application process described below.

Step 1: Select a Canadian Business to Set Up or Purchase

The first step is to decide whether to set up or purchase a business in Canada. Either option offers distinct advantages and drawbacks. Following this, the candidate must decide precisely what type of business they intend to operate and create a business plan accordingly.

Step 2: Apply for a Positive LMIA

The candidate must then apply for an official Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and provide Employment and Skill Development Canada (ESDC) with their business plan for support.

Step 3: Apply for the Work Permit

Candidates who receive a positive LMIA can submit a work permit application with IRCC. Once they receive their work permit, they can enter Canada to operate their business.

Step 4: Operate the Business and Apply for Permanent Residence

Once the candidate has begun operating their business in Canada, they can apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry System or the Provincial Nominee Program.

If they intend to apply through the Express Entry system, they can get up to 200 CRS points for having a job offer in Canadian business. Similarly, they can apply for a Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) stream and get 600 points toward their permanent residence application.

Owner Operator Work Permit

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Owner-Operator LMIA Processing Time

The processing time for the Owner-Operator Entrepreneur LMIA is approximately 4 to 6 months. This is because it takes 2 to 3 months to complete the LMIA and then 2 to 3 months to receive the work permit. For this reason, prospective entrepreneurs and business people who wish to use this program to operate a business in Canada should apply as soon as possible.

Types of Businesses Eligible for the Owner-Operator LMIA

There are different requirements for new and existing businesses to be eligible for the Owner-Operator LMIA.

Existing Businesses

Existing businesses must meet the eligibility criteria described below:

Complete Purchases: For businesses where the purchase has been completed, the new owner must apply for their Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). They can then use this to support their Owner-Operator LMIA visa.

Pending Purchases: For businesses where the purchase is still pending completion, the business’s current owner must hire a foreign professional and apply for an LMIA work permit in Canada to support their application.

Partial Purchases: The eligibility will vary depending on the current stage of the transaction. Officials will also assess how solid the candidate’s business plan is and how they intend to acquire a majority percentage of shares in the business. They will also examine whether the business will retain or create jobs for Canadians.

New Businesses

New businesses must meet the criteria described below:

Preliminary Preparations: The candidate must first make preparation efforts towards opening their business. This includes performing key tasks such as

  • Incorporating the business
  • Applying for a business license
  • Executing the business’s lease agreement
  • Securing new contacts for operations

Possessing a Viable Business Plan: The candidate must have a viable business plan describing how they intend to set up and operate their business in Canada.

Hiring intentions: The business must operate in a manner that helps create new jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Managing Operations: The candidate must intend to be the business’s sole owner and remain actively involved in day-to-operations as a temporary foreign worker.

Benefits of Owner-Operator LMIA Work Permit for Entrepreneurs

Many people apply for the Owner-Operator LMIA Work Permit due to its numerous benefits. This includes:

Providing a Pathway for Permanent Residence

This Owner-Operator LMIA work permit program offers a speedy pathway for foreign professionals who want to obtain permanent residence quickly. Candidates can apply for permanent residence as soon as they have begun operating their business.

Setting Up a Business

This program offers a headstart for people who have dreamed of setting up a business in Canada. This makes it preferable to alternate pathways that require the professional to first immigrate to Canada through other programs and then set up a business.

Being Able to Manage Their Own Company

As the owner or majority shareholder, the candidate reserves the right to manage the company as they please. This means they can operate it as they see fit and potentially turn it into a more profitable venture in the future.

Getting to Launch in Any Part of Canada

The Owner-Operator LMIA work permit program is a Federally operated program that doesn’t force candidates to launch their business in any specific province. As a result, the professional will be able to choose which province and city they would like to launch their business in.

No Minimum Investment Requirement

There is no minimum investment required for this Owner-Operator LMIA work permit. Candidates must demonstrate they possess enough funds to operate their business.

No Annual Work Permit Quota

IRCC does not place an annual quota on the number of work permits it issues under the Owner-Operator LMIA Program. This means candidates won’t have to compete with other candidates when they apply for an LMIA work permit.

Coming to Canada With Family

Candidates selected for an Owner-Operator LMIA Work Permit can bring their family to Canada with them. Their spouse will be eligible to apply for an official open work permit, and their children will be permitted to attend public schools in Canada.

Owner Operator LMIA Benefits

How Elaar Immigration Can Help?

The Owner-Operator LMIA program offers an excellent pathway for entrepreneurs and business people wishing to come to Canada and fulfil their dream of operating a business there. As we have seen, candidates who intend to apply for this program must meet many requirements.

If you need assistance with your Owner-Operator LMIA application, please get in touch with Elaar Immigration. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants are familiar with the Owner-Operator LMIA requirements and can offer you their expertise to optimize your application. They can also assist you in creating a robust business plan that boosts your odds of receiving a positive LMIA. Take the first step towards your business life in Canada with Elaar Immigration.

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Move to Canada as an Entrepreneur by setting up a business through the new Owner-Operator LMIA Work Permit.