Owner Operator LMIA – Low CRS? Right Choice to Move to Canada!

Canada Immigration Consultants

LMIA Owner Operator work permit Canada

If you’re a business owner in your home country, then this article is the green signal for you to change gears and head to Canada. It is one of the few countries in the world that looks favorably upon immigrants who wish to open up shop in the country.

Owner-Operator LMIA is amongst the few pathways that can make this happen. It’s basically a work permit that allows you to work in Canada by establishing your own firm.

Owner-Operator LMIA allows foreign nationals who own at least 50.1% of the shares of a company to apply for LMIA. This application is exempted from advertisement requirement that is needed for a regular LMIA.

Owner Operator LMIA – Low CRS Right Choice to Move to Canada!


Before we delve deep into the details let us first understand what LMIA is so that we know how your request to obtain a work permit via owner-operator LMIA works.

A Labour Market Impact Assessment is a document that authorizes the employer to hire a foreign worker seeing that the employer was unable to hire a Canadian. The assessment proves that Canadian applicants lack the skills or expertise to meet the company’s expectations. It also looks at the benefits and profit a foreign employee will bring to the country’s economy.

They have to do this by advertising their job openings on various recruitment platforms and also going through a proper hiring process to find the right candidate. If their attempts to hire someone from Canada fails, then the government accepts the Canadian company’s plea. After this, they’re allowed to recruit employees from other countries.

The LMIA program is run by ESDC (Employment & Social Development Canada) which is NOT part of IRCC and is not directly involved with immigration or work permits. Their concern is to make sure that the immigrant workers aren’t filling in positions that could easily be taken by Canadian residents.


Owner-operator LMIA is an exception to the above process. Instead of analyzing the significance of a single candidate they look into your business proposal. If the government feels that your business is valuable enough for their economy, then they’ll allow you to set up shop here.

Some of the advantages of this work permit include:

  1. Getting a chance to operate your business in Canada.
  2. Getting the freedom to launch your company at your chosen city in Canada.
  3. No mandatory advertising/recruitment process required within the country before registering for the LMIA.

Note: LMIA also allow business owners to purchase a Canadian company that is undergoing administration change. Your request is usually accepted if you’re deemed capable to manage the firm and have the funds to operate.


The requirements are as follows:

  1. You must own at least 50.1% share of the Canadian business.
  2. Your average salary at your old job must be equal or above the top 10% of wages earned by Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the province/territory where the owner will be working.
  3. You must employ one or more Canadian employees (this includes permanent residents) in your company within the first year.

The owner must also be involved in the day-to-day operation of the business and have an employment relationship with it. This stream is therefore not meant for silent partners or passive investors. This can be demonstrated by taking the necessary steps to commence the business. This could include a strong and well though-out business plan, opening a bank account, incorporating and getting the required documentation from the Canada Revenue Agency as well as any required license and/or registration documentation from the government, hiring staff and signing a lease agreement.


  1. Outlines a business plan or identify a Canadian business to purchase.
  2. Submit a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) along with a suitable business plan.
  3. Once a positive LMIA opinion is issued, the foreign national applies for a 12-24 months, renewable temporary work permit at the management level.


In a nutshell, owner-operator LMIA is a great way to enter Canada. The work permit allows you to experience Canada on your own terms as it’s less restrictive as getting a regular job. You also get to be an integral part of the Canadian economy by contributing to it financially and through human capital.

The advantage of this pathway is that the positive LMIA can be used for both temporary purposes as well as for permanent residence under the Express Entry Program provided that the person applying is eligible.

Pro tip: You should get in touch with an immigration consultant before you apply for LMIA. It’s an effective way to counter any setbacks during your verification process. Moreover, they can also recommend alternate channels to live in Canada if you fail to get accepted for this pathway.

Owner Operator LMIA – Low CRS Right Choice to Move to Canada!

Through our established network of licensed professionals, we can help foreign investor-entrepreneurs to identify suitable businesses for sale in Canada. Once a suitable business is identified and purchased, we rely on decades years of legal experience in our kitty, recognized in the Canadian legal community, to complete the required immigration formalities.

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Team Novus Canada https://www.novusimmigration.com/