The end of owner/operator LMIA! What is the alternative?

The Canadian government has marked April 1, 2021, the end date of owner/operator LMIA. Of course, you may still request an LMIA to run your own business in Canada. However, you must go through the normal process of a high-wage or low-wage application. For most applicants, this is an impossible option. So, is there an alternative?

discontinuation of owner/operator LMIA

What was the owner/operator LMIA?

The owner/operator LMIA was an opportunity for entrepreneurs to work and immigrate to Canada. You could purchase an existing business in Canada or establish a new one. Afterwards, you could hire yourself as a senior manager of the company. However, you had to go through the LMIA process. Unlike a regular high-wage/low-wage LMIA, you did not post job ads. By receiving a positive LMIA, you could obtain a work permit in Canada. Moreover, you could receive up to 200 CRS points for Express Entry. The end of owner/operator LMIA means those perks are off the table.

Is there an alternative for entrepreneurs?

The closest alternative to the owner/operator LMIA is IMP C11. Of course, in the latter, you may apply for a work permit without an LMIA. The following table compares these two options.

Issue Owner/Operator IMP C11
Business ownership in Canada Yes Yes
Senior management or business experience outside Canada Yes Yes
Work permit application You need a positive or neutral LMIA letter first. No need for an LMIA
Job creation in Canada Yes Yes
CRS points because of the job offer from your own company Yes, immediately Yes, but only after one year of working in Canada

Of course, this table is brief. The devil is in the details. Read my articles on IMP C11 for more information:

Disappointed with the discontinuation of the owner/operator LMIA? Let us help!

If you had plans to apply under the owner/operator LMIA, please contact us via the following form. However, you may alternatively book a consultation session with me.

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (class L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) in Toronto, Canada. He is an adjunct professor at Queen's University Law School and Ashton College. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of CICC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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