About Owner/Operator LMIA
The government of Canada has created a special category of work permit called owner/operator LMIA that enables majority owners of a company to acquire the right to work in Canada legally.
In general, many businesspersons around the world consider Canada as the logical choice with its favorable economic climate, the work ethic of the people, and the diversity of the population. Therefore, all these factors are making Canada an ideal environment in which to operate a business.
The main purpose of the Owner/Operator program is to provide a secure route through which foreign businesspersons can enter Canada to run their business. The program is for the businessmen who are aiming to purchase or establish a new business in Canada and planning to work in a managerial position for the same business, usually in order to immigrate permanently.
Later, once the business person receives a positive LMIA, s/he can obtain a work visa usually up to 2 years. Upon receiving a work permit, the businessman will be eligible to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry. This program gives a substantially better chance for a business person to permanently immigrate to Canada.
Who is eligible for the owner/operator LMIA?
Business owners with a controlling interest (more than 50%) in the Canadian business.
Requirements related to the business:
- Founding a business where s/he will be employed with a wage equal to or greater than the median wage requirements for the position;
- Active management of the business (i.e. it cannot be a passive investment) in a position that accords with the foreign businessmenʼs qualifications and experience.
- Hiring at least one Canadian or permanent resident.
There is no requirement for minimum investment. However, the Canadian company must show sufficient funds to pay the salary to the foreign owner.
Can Family Members be included in the application for the owner/operator LMIA?
Yes, family members can join the main applicant. The spouse may get a work permit and children may get a study permit to attend a public school for free.
Do I have access to health care:
Yes, both applicant and the family members can get access to free health care during the validity of their visas.
What is the processing time of the owner/operator LMIA?
It takes an average of 2 months.
Will I be able to stay permanently in Canada?
Yes, the chances are very strong to stay permanently in Canada.