Owner Operators Labour Market Impact Assessment

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Owner Operators LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment)

Businesses which seek to hire foreign workers typically undergo a process to prove that hiring outside of Canada won’t create a negative impact on the Canadian economy. 

As such, employers must obtain authorization from the appropriate authorities, often requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before Canada will consider issuing a foreign worker visa.

This process changes for owner operators applying for a LMIA, providing a specific path for those who qualify for this program.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Exemptions

Companies hiring foreign workers for legal employment in Canada usually require a full LMIA before proceeding to the next phase of the process.

This document proves genuine need for a foreign hire to fill a vital position. Normally, employers must attempt to hire local first, or show that the Canadian labour market doesn’t supply the talent required. Industries that need specialized skills and education grow faster than the number of Canadians who meet job requirements. For owner operators, creating business in Canada is the main skillset.

Since labour requirements differ according to industry and business needs, LMIA applications offer various paths to obtain this documentation. In some cases, the Canadian government expedites the process to promote specific types of business immigration, especially for those who create economic benefit.

An owner operator LMIA application enters a different stream compared to other types of foreign worker programs, which may reduce the processing time while increasing the odds of a successful application.

Owner Operators Exempt From Minimum Recruiting Requirements

One of the most important variations for the owner LMIA process involves job advertising and recruitment.

Many LMIA types require the owner to attempt to advertise and recruit from within Canada for a prescribed period of time, before the company may consider a foreign worker for the position.

Owner operators don’t need to perform any recruiting efforts or create advertisements for employment. Instead, the departments of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IIRC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will consider your application as a business owner, instead of a prospective employee.

LMIA Exemption Requirements for Owner Operators

Business and enterprise don’t automatically receive permits because of LMIA exemptions designed to expedite business immigration. This program features specific owner operator LMIA requirements which must be proven before proceeding to apply for a work visa:

  • Applicant must be the sole proprietor of the organization, or
  • Applicant must own a minimum of 50.1% of total shares in the company
  • An official document must prove that the applicant shareholder owns controlling interest
  • For owner operator LMIA Canada, you must have a significant role in managing the business
  • The sole proprietor or majority shareholder can’t be dismissed from their position
  • An owner operator LMIA business plan, which includes financial planning and investment.
  • Applicant must show the ability to create employment for Canadians and residents

The Canadian government states that this program is “not intended for individuals receiving shares as part of a compensation package”.  owner operator LMIA exemption. 

Applicants must adhere to these requirements throughout the duration of their stay under this program. There are no regional restrictions for owner operators applying under an LMIA exemption. The process remains the same for LMIA in Toronto and LMIA in Vancouver.

Successfully petitioning for an LMIA exemption doesn’t guarantee a work permit, temporary or permanent residence.

Alternatives For LMIA Owner Operators

Depending on your business situation, owner operators may wish to consider alternative paths to achieving an LMIA exemption. The IIRC lists several exemption codes for LMIA applicants, including trader and investor categories under international trade agreements with Europe and North America, among other trading blocs.

Canada encourages business immigration through multiple means and programs, including:

These alternatives for owner operator LMIA may provide a more appropriate path for business people looking to expand into the Canadian market, create a new Canadian business or engage in trade and investment beneficial to Canada’s economy.

Owner Operator LMIA FAQ

Can a Foreign Start-Up Get an Owner Operator LMIA Exemption?

Typically, this type of LMIA is reserved for established businesses. For example, an applicant who recently purchased an existing Canadian business would be more likely to secure an exemption.

Why Doesn’t a Successful LMIA Result in a Work Permit?

Obtaining an LMIA, regardless of the immigration stream, is one of many requirements for those who wish to secure a work visa. As such, the LMIA is part of a larger immigration process and not the end goal.

How Long Does It Take To Get A LMIA?

The owner operator LMIA processing time varies from case to case, ranging from weeks to months. A clear, concise business plan and full legal documentation will likely reduce the waiting period.

Will a Successful LMIA Applicant Obtain Canadian Residency?

Within the previous points system, a LMIA used to all but guarantee a high enough score to be invited for a work permit, temporary and even permanent residency. However, a LIMA remains valuable because obtaining this document greatly increases your points score.

Start Your Owner Operator Exemption Process In A Minute

Business owner operators know that time is money, which makes an LMIA exemption valuable for all enterprise entering the Canadian market from abroad.

Obtaining an owner operator LMIA exemption requires a detailed business plan along with precise legal documentation for business immigration. This includes detailed financial plans, employment projections and property lease details, all of which greatly increase the odds of a successful application.

My Visa Source provides proven legal strategies for owner operator LMIA programs, developed over a decade of successful practice. We believe that business immigration solutions should cover all aspects of the process, including business plans, complete documentation and legal representation.

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