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owner operator questions | Canada Immigration Forum


I have seen many of you are looking guidance toward business immigration for Permanent Residence, I am hereby explaining program options that you can avail.

There are three main options that you can use toward business immigration for PR.

1) Federal Program – Startup Visa
2) Provincial Program – Entrepreneur Program
3) Express Entry – Owner Operator LMIA (I called this program as self created you will not see any info about this program on official sites)

All three programs have different criteria and need different documentation, i will explain shortly about all three programs.

1) Federal Program – Start-up Visa Program

Under federal program there is no specific net worth requirement by IRCC but you need to get a support letter from one of three organization.

To get a support letter from one of three organization you need to present your idea and business plan they will provide you support letter based on that letter you can apply for TWP as well as PR Application.

2) Provincial Program – Entrepreneur Program

There are 10 provinces and 3 territories each have their own requirement for minimum investment and net worth.

If you are setting up a new business you don’t need exploratory visit however if you are buying an existing business most provinces require to do a exploratory visit. you don’t need to buy business before getting approval from province/territory.

Common Documents are business plan, exploratory visit report if applicable, verification of net worth from designated accounting firm of that province, we had used KPMG and most of the provinces have them on list.

3) Express Entry – Owner Operator LMIA (I called this program as self created you will not see any info about this program on official sites)

This is the program that give access to come Canada if you don’t qualify to two other programs.

To apply under this program you need to buy a business in Canada, no matter what is the price of business and don’t need minimum net-worth requirement as well.

Generally you should have Visit Visa so that you can come and buy business, if you don’t have visit visa you can setup corporation and other partner/share holder can complete this formality for you.

Each province has different regulations regarding foreigners to open corporation in Canada however the easy one to open by adding up a PR or Citizen as shareholder in Corporation. After setting up corporation and buying business in Canada you need to submit LMIA application under NOC 00 to get 200 points for express entry. once you got positive LMIA you can use that for express entry.

LMIA requirements by ESDC are as under:

These positions are for business owners only. They are not intended for individuals receiving shares as part of a compensation package. To qualify as an owner/operator, foreign nationals must demonstrate prior to submitting their application, and for the duration of their employment in Canada:

  • they have controlling interest in the business:
    • by being the sole proprietor
    • by being a majority shareholder (hold a minimum of 50.1% of the shares)
    • by providing an official document to confirm that one shareholder has controlling interest
  • they cannot be dismissed
  • Variation: no advertisement or recruitment is required
  • Applicability: all provinces and territories

I hope above information will be enough to understand basics for more information email at Subject: Business Immigration.

Thanks and Have a Great Day

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