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Updates to the Owner Operator LMIA

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Business Immigration to Canada and Owner-Operator Work Permits

Updates to the Owner Operator LMIA

Canada immigration is ending the special work permit processing currently available for immigrant business owners under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) the owner-operator category. Effective April 1, 2021, owner/operator candidates will be evaluated on the same basis as other TFWP applicants.

Currently, to be eligible for an Owner-Operator Work Permit, an entrepreneur business owner must be the sole proprietor or own 50.1% of shares in a Canadian company, and for qualified business owners:

  • is a pathway for immigration and permanent residency for business owners and their families
  • provides 200 Express Entry points
  • may qualify for expedited service (10) business days processing by the ESDC
  • is exempt from the job advertisement requirement
  • is exempt from the prevailing wage requirement

These changes are part of regular policy reviews to ensure that the TFWP

  • continues to work within its intended purpose, and
  • is only used by employers to fill a position when qualified Canadians or Permanent Residents are not available.
- Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

How To Buy a Business and Move to Canada

While owner-operator TFWP applicants will no longer receive special processing effective April 1, the owner-operator program has not ended. Business immigrants who want to buy a business in Canada may qualify for a Temporary Foreign Worker permit under owner-operator policies will benefit from discussing their application and qualifications with an immigration legal expert who can advise them.

Business, investor and entrepreneur immigrants can help support Canada's economic growth and create new jobs. Quebec's Investor Program is for immigrants with business experience who want to move to Quebec and are willing to make a 5-year investment of C$1,200,000 in Quebec.

Self-Employed Persons Program

To immigrate to Canada as a self-employed person, you must demonstrate that you are able to be self-employed in Canada and meet all selection, medical and security criteria to move to Canada.

There are 2 pathways to becoming a Canada Permanent Resident in the Self-Employed Visa program:

  1. Cultural Activities
  2. Athletics

Applicants must be willing and able to make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada.

Start-Up Visa Program

The Start-Up Visa Program focuses on entrepreneurs who want to immigrate to Canada. Specifically, those who can build businesses and create jobs for Canadians and Permanent Residents. The start-up visa allows applicants to obtain their Permanent Residency. Canada's start-up visa is the first of its kind in the world, linking immigrant entrepreneurs with experienced private sector organizations that have expertise in working with start-ups.

Business and economic immigration are important to the future of Canada. The team at Ackah Business Immigration Law works closely with our clients to identify the best opportunity for you to move to Canada as a business investor or entrepreneur and identify and remove any potential roadblocks. By not using an experienced immigration lawyer you could be putting your business and your family at risk. Ackah Business Immigration Law can help you understand your rights and understand Canadian immigration policies as they apply to your unique circumstances.

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Do You Want To Move To Canada and Open A Business? Contact Ackah Law Today

An experienced immigration lawyer can help save you time and stress and ensure that all your immigration application documentation requirements and deadlines are submitted on time, and identify and resolve any potential problems with your application. Contact Ackah Law today at 403-452‑9515.



Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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