LMIA Owner Operator Program

The main purpose of the LMIA Owner Operator program is to provide a secure route where foreign business professionals can enter Canada to purchase or to establish a new business in Canada. The business person is required to work in a managerial position for the same business, usually, in order to immigrate permanently.

Once the visa is issued, the applicant will be required to become an employee of the company. Here, the company is required to pay the applicant a median wage for the proposed role.

The key requirement is that the business person owns a registered business in Canada with a controlling interest of more than 50%. Other requirements include:


Fund the business and maintain employment with a wage equal to or greater than the median wage requirements for the position


Be actively involved in the management of the business (i.e. not a passive investment) in a position which aligns with past experience and qualifications


Employ at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident, ideally in the first year of operations of the business


Provide a detailed business plan which outlines a viable business opportunity and assesses economic benefit to Canada

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Inclusion in a Business Plan

Business plan structures may vary significantly depending on the client’s needs. However, all business plans include the following key sections: market analysis, business model description, operational strategy, mission & vision, financial model.

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