Owner-Operator Visa

Owner-Operator Visa

Canada has a robust investment environment and offers excellent business opportunities to entrepreneurs who want to participate in this development. However, foreign workers cannot enter Canada for business purposes unless they have a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Foreign nationals who own and operate a business in Canada can apply under a special Owner Operator Work Permit or Visa category.

Foreign nationals can operate a business under Owner-Operator Visa, also known as the Entrepreneurs/Self-employed category.

If you are a foreign national aiming to enter Canada to operate a business, we can help you smoothly tide over the Owner-Operator Visa application process. With our immense experience in this field, we have helped many foreign nationals achieve their dream of visiting Canada and becoming a part of the country’s favorable and robust business environment.

Owner-Operator work permits are of two types:

  • Owner-Operator work permit based On LMIA
  • Owner-Operator work permit under the International Mobility Program

To qualify for an LMIA – based work permit, a foreign national must demonstrate the following:

  • They hold a permanent position in the organization and cannot be terminated.
  • They have ownership of at least 50 percent of the business.
  • They earn a wage that is equal to or greater than the median wage for that position.
  • Their business can create employment opportunities for Canadians or permanent residents.
  • They will allow the transfer of skills or knowledge to Canadians or permanent residents.
  • They have a viable business plan and measures to put their business plan in place. These may include procuring the financing needed for running the business, office space arrangements, and obtaining a business phone number with Canada Revenue Agency.
  • They must possess some experience and expertise to improve the feasibility of the business.
  • They will hire at least one Canadian or permanent resident in the first year of operating or opening the business in Canada.

While LMIA categories require advertisement or specific recruitment requirements, no such terms are applicable for the Owner-Operator LMIA.

A vital advantage of the Owner-Operator Visa based on an LMIA is the additional points that foreign nationals can gain under the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) matrix. A foreign national with an Owner-Operator Visa based on an LMIA in a senior manager position (NOC 00) can get 200 additional points. These additional 200 points boost the chances of a foreign national getting selected from the Express Entry pool of candidates.

Owner-Operator Visa Under the International Mobility Program

To qualify for an Owner-Operator work permit under the International Mobility Program, a foreign national must fulfill the following conditions:

  • They must prove that they own at least 50 percent of the business.
  • Their business has the capability to generate significant benefits in the economic, social, or cultural areas of Canada.
  • The business must provide employment or a unique service for Canadians or permanent residents.
  • The business must be viable and benefit Canada and the Canadian population.
  • They must have the expertise/experience to enhance the feasibility of their business.
  • All crucial elements of business management, such as funding, office space, and an official business number, must be obtained from the appropriate authorities.
  • They must file an Offer of Employer (Employer Compliance) application with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (Immigration Canada).

Other Mandatory Conditions

If the foreign official owns less than 50 percent of the company’s rights, they must obtain an LMIA as an employee of the company. Also, only one owner will be allowed to obtain an Owner-Operator Visa, even if the organization has multiple official owners.

A foreign national applying for an Owner-Operator visa can come to Canada on a temporary basis to operate a business or to eventually immigrate to Canada and become a permanent resident.
If they have this dual intent, they will have to convince the concerned officer reviewing the visa application that, if required, they will leave Canada at the end of their temporary stay.

Not sure how to go ahead with your Owner-Operator Visa processes? Call us. Dev Immigration Services Inc is one of the top names in professional immigration solutions in Canada. Our experienced professionals know how to make things work in your favor and ensure success for your Canadian dreams.


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