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The “Owner/Operator” LMIA Program. Dead or Alive?

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Many people may consider the Owner/Operator LMIA (OOLMIA) program dead. Is it? The answer is NO.

In April 2021, the unique processing criteria that exempted Owners/Operators (O/O) from recruitment efforts was removed. This appeared to be the death of the OOLMIA program. But it is not. The O/O is still able to conduct the recruitment efforts and obtain a positive LMIA.

Let me break this down. After this change came into force, we have gotten several approved LMIAs for our clients who have purchased or started businesses in Canada. Many of them are now living here in Canada with their families.

Yes, you read right! Get an approved LMIA for PR!

What is an LMIA?

You may ask, what is an LMIA? It stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment. An approved LMIA enables you to apply for a work permit and/or Permanent Residence (PR) in record time. For PR, you will be able to claim 50 or 200 points under the Express Entry and ever-increasing cut-off scores of selection.

There are over ten Canadian business/investor immigration programs, like the Ontario Immigration Nomination Program (OINP), requiring applicants to show a net worth of up to $800,000 and invest $600,000 within the GTA area or a net worth of $400,000 and invest $200,000 outside of the GTA or in the Tech industry irrespective of the location in Ontario. However, many consider the Owner/Operator LMIA program one of the fairest and most realistic. This is because the investment sum could be as low as $150,000 to $250,000 and you will invest this sum into your business and not give it up for a certain period with zero interest like some other programs. The other advantage of this program is that it is a federal program, hence, you can live in any province.

The LMIA program involves starting a business here in Canada. You can either buy an existing business, buy a franchise, or start a new one of your choice from scratch. Businesses eligible for Canada Business Immigration cost an average of $250,000 CAD ($200,000 USD). The process of buying a business is similar to buying a house. We present you with brokers who will send you listings, you can also search listings online or get your friends/family in Canada to do the same for you.

It is important to note that the sum quoted is not cast in stone. You can find and buy businesses for less than $150,000 or above $400,000. Or only make a deposit of about the same for a much bigger business to be fully acquired on a payment plan financed by the seller. The aim here is to get the business approved. And from our experience, the factors that influence approval include how many jobs are being created; 8 -12 mlower-levelr level jobs or 5-8 minimum higher-skilled jobs (e.g. accountants, engineers, technology specialists). The business must also place you in the role of a senior manager to claim the highest point possible (200).

Upon investing in a business, we will then proceed to get the business approved (LMIA). Next, we apply for a work permit and get you to Canada faster because you do not need the Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) or language tests (IELTS) for your work permit application. After arriving in Canada, we can apply for Permanent Residence (PR).

You may want to wait until you conclude your ECA & IELTS and go for the PR straight up rather than getting the work permit first. However, I recommend you move swiftly instead. Policy changes are abrupt and are the enemy of time.

Should you need clarification or further details regarding your Canada immigration pursuit, do not hesitate to reach us via email, WhatsApp, or Call 647-495-3724.

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