Owner-Operator (Work Permit Program)
The Canadian Business Owner Operator program is a program that allows foreign shareholder of Canadian businesses who do not have a Canadian status to obtain a work visa and immigrate to Canada, as assessed by Human Resources Canada.
A foreign shareholder who owns more than 50% of the business shares is considered to be an owner of the business. Entrepreneurs can apply for a work permit to come to Canada using a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) endorsement. The Labour Market Impact Assessment, or LMIA, is an assessment conducted by Employment and Social Development Canada to determine whether the employer has the need and ability to employ foreign workers. Through this market assessment, the foreign shareholder of the business can apply for a work permit to come to Canada or start a business in Canada. Once a Canadian Work Permit is granted, immigration is something manageable. The owner will actively manage his or her investment in Canada and, after 1 year of residency with accumulated relevant experience, he or she can apply for the express entry for a permanent residential status in Canada, which is known as the Canada Permanent Resident Card.
This application requires proof of the foreign holder’s control over the business and his or her significant role in the day-to-day operations of the business. A minimum of 50% ownership by the foreign entrepreneur is the general requirement. At the same time, the business must also demonstrate that its operations will benefit Canadians by maintaining existing jobs and creating new employment opportunities.
When the applicants who is entering Canada to work on the Owner Operator Visa, his or her spouse is eligible to apply for a Spouse Open Work Permit, and their children can get a study permit to enjoy the complimentary and high-quality public education in Canada.
In addition, since this program is not a one-step immigration program, it is based on the fact that the business entrepreneur is a foreign worker who engage in the business management and plays a vital role in the business operation, and that the operation of the business can bring economic benefits to Canada.
After being granted a work permit, the foreign business holder can kick off the application process for permanent residence. Business owners must first accumulate their work experience in Canada and get ready for the language skills test under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which is the scoring system of the Canada’s express entry. Once you reach a certain score, you can apply for immigration through Canada’s Express Entry Program. (Business owners may also consider other immigration programs, such as Provincial Nomination program, but the Express Entry program is the fastest way at the moment)
It is important to note that when applying for the Express Entry Program, the applicant must fulfil all of the requirements for the immigration application, including language proficiency. As business owners are categorizes as the senior management, an IELTS score of 6 or higher (6 or higher in each single item) is required. Applicants with LMIA’s approval document and work permit issued by the Canadian Workforce Management Agency can earn 50-200 extra points in the Express Entry scoring system, which greatly increases the chances of being invited and successful in immigration.
Advantages of Owner Operator
- Although the business owner cannot become a permanent resident directly, it still has a lot of advantages. One of the key advantages is LMIA application process can be very quick if the applicant fulfilled the requirement. It leads the applicant and his/ her dependants can land to Canada in a short term. His/ her children can also enjoy free education in Canada and relevant benefits.
- Another advantage is the business owner does not need to worry about language test issue, it is different with other entrepreneur programs. Each Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) required the applicant to submit his/ her language test result in advance. However, owner operator only required the applicant to submit his/ her language test result during the application of permanent resident by Express Entry or other PNP entrepreneur programs. Which means, the business owner does not have any language requirement during work permit status. He/ she can practice English while he/ she is running business in Canada, in order to increase the successful rate of applying permanent resident.
- When LMIA is processing the documents, they do not have a clear requirement list for the application, such as source of fund, scale of the business, profit or number of staff requirement.
- – After the applicant landed to Canada, he/ she have to involve in his/ her business’s daily operation. His/ her position and salary must following or above the market price according to his/ her qualification and experience.;
- – No language requirement during work permit status. However, Express Entry requires the applicant to have CLB7 (6 score in IELTS) or BCPNP requires the applicant to have CLB4 (4 score in IELTS);
- – No new staff requirement during work permit status. However, Express Entry requires the business owner to hire at least 5 new staff (who are PR or citizen) or BCPNP requires the business owner to hire at least 1 new staff (who are PR or citizen) .
The applicant signs a contract with Tianen Group, then the processing team of Tianen will tailor-make an immigration application to the applicant.
To gather the supporting documents with the applicant.
According to the applicant’s background and the business to launch a recruitment advertisement.
The processing team will assist to submit all the supporting documents to LMIA
Once the Employment and Social Development Canada approved the case, the applicant will obtain the LMIA.
Once IRCC approved the applicant’s work permit, he/ she can land to Canada (also his/ her dependants).
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