Foreign Businessmen Opportunities in Canada

Foreign Businessmen Opportunities in Canada

The Canadian Immigration government has made a crucial alteration to the owner/operator category of foreign skilled workers who might be willing to work in Canada. Foreign operators/owners must now possess more than 50% of the business before they can qualify for exemption from the requirements of advertising which is typically a major prerequisite for obtaining a LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) Application.

Before now, a foreign worker who may want to apply to Canada to work on a temporary basis as a business owner/operator can own any percentage of the business to qualify for the advertising exemption. Whereas Canadian employers must advertise all the vacant job positions in the Canadian job market for at least 4 weeks before proceeding to apply for the LMIA, employers who may be willing to hire expats in certain employment categories are subject to advertising requirements’ variation which may include – which is the case for any eligible owners/operators – exemption from all the requirements altogether.

So as required by Immigration to Canada authorities, to qualify as an owner/operator, the foreign national must:

  • Show a level of controlling interest in the said business e.g. Should be a sole proprietor or better still, a majority shareholder;
  • Show that such temporary opportunity for entry will only create Canadian job vacancies for Canadians and permanent residents as well as allow skills to be transferred to them.
  • Show that he or she cannot be dismissed from the company.

Although the sole proprietor and majority shareholder owners/operators are exempted from the LMIA advertising requirements, they are required to submit a detailed application which must satisfy the above requirements. It should be noted that the advertising requirements of LMIA is what is required and not the entire LMIA application in itself that the owner/operator is exempted from.


Are you planning to enter into Canada via the owner/operator Category? Why don’t you consult us at Permits and Visas for all your visa related queries. You can fill out our free visa assessment form and one of our agents will get back to you shortly.