The Owner Operator LMIA is one of the most useful tools for Business Immigrants who can meet the Express Entry requirements as it helps in improving Comprehensive Score Rating CRS by 200 points. This program is the only hope for those qualified and experienced applicants who are eligible to create Express Entry profile, but their CRS score is too low to beat the current threshold cut-off.
Work permits may be issued to foreign nationals( the applicant) whose proposed Canadian employer( The applicant himself) has obtained an opinion from Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”), which ensures that the job offer( to the applicant only) is genuine; and would likely have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian labour market.
For the purposes of the TFWP, “Owner/Operators” are defined as foreign nationals who hold a share in a business located in Canada and are classified under NOC 0,or00 occupation. Owner/Operators are not the same as self-employed individuals and are not required to be hands-on with the day to day operations of the company.
“LMIA exemptions are determined by CIC under C-10 or C11 where CIC may issue a work permit without an LMIA, if it is determined that the foreign national would create or maintain significant social, cultural or economic benefits and job opportunities for Canadians. ESDC Canada is required to assess all LMIA applications. Although an employer-employee relationship is generally required in order to provide an LMIA, there are certain situations, such as the owner/operators, where the principal owner would also serve as the worker.
An officer is to consider the following in deciding as to whether an offer of employment to a foreign national would have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian Labour Market. Whether the employment of the foreign national will or is likely to result in direct job creation or job retention for Canadian citizens or permanent resident. ESDC officers must examine all the evidence put before them, then decideas to whether or not issuing the owner operator LMIA would have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian labour market.
The holder of the largest share of the business is the “Principal Owner”. Where there are few equal shareholders, one of them can be designated as the “Principal Owner.Also no Advertising is required as this is noted in the “Variations to Minimum Advertising Requirements” on the ESDC website.
It remains to be seen if ESDC will develop a consistent policy regarding Owner Operator LMIA applications where a Business Immigrant’s business purchase is subject to work permit approval for the Business Immigrant. As a matter of speculation, one might consider whether proof of a significant and non-refundable deposit of funds for such a business purchase could be a beneficial factor to an Owner Operator LMIA applicant.
Remember that the ultimate goal in the application is to assist the ESDC officer in understanding the basic concept and operation of the business as possible to demonstrate the genuineness of the business and that the employment of the Owner Operator is likely to have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market.