Owner Operator LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment)
Businesses that 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 an owner operator applying for an 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 the 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 Operator Exempt From Minimum Recruiting Requirements
One of the most important variations for the owner LMIA process involves job advertising and recruitment.
Most LMIA applicants are required to demonstrate the business's 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, 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
Businesses and enterprises don’t automatically receive permits because of LMIA exemptions designed to expedite business immigration. This program features specific owner-operator LMIA requirements that 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 LMIAs, 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 details
- Applicants 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”, an 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.
Successfully petitioning for an LMIA exemption doesn’t guarantee a work permit, temporary or permanent residence.