The recent changes to the Owner Operator LMIA program that will be in place starting April 1, 2021, involve having to advertise your own position for one month, then first obtain a LMIA (a Labour Market Impact Assessment) that will show that no other Canadian but you can be the owner of that business, and then be able to finally apply for a work permit. Needless to say, although the program remains open, it is not the first entrepreneur pathway one should consider.
Another business immigration program much faster than the Owner Operator LMIA program, is the Significant Benefit Work Permit.
If you are a senior executive or a business owner with years of experience, and want to open a business that will bring a significant benefit to Canada, this program may be a good option for you.
There is no specific or restrictive definition of what Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada can consider as a “significant benefit”, however it usually articulates around economic, social and/or cultural benefits such as, but not limited to:
Immigration will also want to see that you have experience in that field and ideally, that you already make a living out of it back home. Your past experience, expertise, recognition, awards, leadership in that same field will make up for a strong application.
You will obtain a 2-year work permit so you can come to Canada, open and manage the business for at least 1 year, and then be eligible to apply for permanent residence.
During these two years, you will have to create at least 1 job, have clients, suppliers, etc. In other words, you must get the business running.
Although there is no minimum investment requirement, we will have to show evidence that you have the financial ability to start the business and pay the operating expenses such as rent, salaries, etc.
In general, we suggest being able to demonstrate a net worth of at least $400,000 CAD and be prepared to invest at least $150,000 – $200,000 CAD into the new Canadian corporation to increase the strength of your application. Of course, the amounts may vary depending on the type of business you will open.
After 1 year of operating the business, you may obtain up to 200 points as the Owner of the business which will highly increase your chances to obtain permanent residency under the Express Entry program.
You will have to:
It will take approximately 8 to 12 months to obtain permanent residency for you, your spouse and your children under 22 years old.
We help entrepreneurs set up their business and immigration strategy and execute on it.
We believe immigration is more than just a visa. We accompany our entrepreneurs during their entire immigration journey: from business set up to the first work permit, then permanent residency and finally, citizenship.
To book a consultation with a lawyer and explore your business immigration options, email us.