Canadian Work Permit for Business Owners/ Operators
Canada has a great investment climate and offers many business opportunities for entrepreneurs willing to do business here. Foreign workers, in general, need a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to get a work permit. Foreign nationals who are owners and operators of a business in Canada can apply under a special category. It is an Owner Operator LMIA.
Important Update Regarding Owner-Operator LMIA That Will Come Into Force On April 1, 2021
Owner Operator Program Requirements
To be eligible for an Owner-Operator Work Permit, an entrepreneur must be a sole proprietor or hold 50.1% of the shares in a Canadian company. It’s a minimum, and the higher control and ownership, the better. 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, hiring personnel, renting space, having a website, advertising, negotiating contracts with potential customers, if any, 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.