What is the owner/ operator LMIA?
An Owner Operator LMIA is an application that allows business owners to obtain work authorization within their own company and who have an active involvement in the operations. This specific category has been created for foreign businessmen who wish to either establish or purchase a business in Canada and manage it from Canada. The individual must meet strict requirements that the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has specified.
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The role of the simplified procedure is to attract business people to the country and make the transition process smooth, easy and quick.
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What are the requirements for the owner/ operator LMIA?
- Own a business located in Canada
- Hold more than 50% shares of the business
- Must hold a position within the business that cannot be dismissed or is answerable to a more senior member of the company
- Be able to provide proof that through the temporary entry to Canada there will be a creation of employment opportunities and/or skill transference offered to Canadians and permanent residents of the country
- A business plan with details of your funding and how you plan to create and maintain employment. Your plan must be convincing and detailed.
- You must be actively involved in the business. You should be willing to run and develop your business further.
- You must also show an intention to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents (preferably, in the first year of the business).
What are the next steps?
Once you receive a positive Owner/Operator LMIA, you can apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for a work permit.
A work permit is usually valid for two years.
After getting a work permit, you will be able to apply for Canadian permanent residence through the Express Entry system. You will get additional points for a job offer that your own company makes to you, the applicant.
With an LMIA-based Owner/Operator work permit, you have a good chance of immigrating to Canada under the FSW Program.