Owner Operator LMIA2021-09-28T16:28:49-06:00

New Alberta Provincial Nomination Programs – Webinar

Our webinar regarding the 4 new Alberta Provincial Nominee Programs designed as alternatives to the Federal Owner Operator LMIA category of applicant.

The Four Alberta Programs outlined in our webinar:

Rural Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (REIS)

Rural Renewal Immigration Stream (RRIS)

Foreign Graduate Startup Visa Stream (FGSVS)

International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream (IGEIS)

YouTube video

đź‘‘ Owner Operator LMIA Specialists đź‘‘

At Canada Immigration and Visa Services (CIVS), one of our specialty business immigration pathways to permanent residency is the Owner Operator LMIA. As one of the leading immigration practices in the country specializing in this pathway; it can be ideal for applicants that wish to own or operate their own business in Canada and who are eligible for the program.

The overall strategy with this pathway is to be granted an LMIA from Service Canada or ESDC to work as a business owner operator in your business in Canada. A positive LMIA allows you to apply for a Work Permit and depending on the applicant, sufficient points for arranged employment to receive an Invitation to Apply in the Express Entry system as a Federal Skilled Worker.

“A business ownership pathway to permanent residency in Canada through arranged employment.”

YouTube video

The Owner Operator LMIA pathway appears to remain open after April 1st, 2021. An Owner Operator can still create his or her own job however there is an additional requirement of demonstrating that the position fills a labour shortage in the market.


Screenshot from Service Canada website on March 5, 2021

Can I still immigrate to Canada as an Owner Operator?2021-02-17T10:03:29-07:00

Yes. However, as of April 1st, 2021, there must be recruitment efforts made by the employer to hire Canadians/Permanent Residents. Canada Immigration and Visa Services is experienced in all LMIA applications and variations and can assist with recruitment requirements.

Is the “Owner/Operator” program cancelled?2021-02-17T10:01:45-07:00

No. As mentioned in the Service Canada update, the applications will be assessed using the normal process; meaning requirement efforts are required.

What does this mean?2021-02-17T10:03:57-07:00

It means like any employer or business owner applying for an LMIA to hire a foreign worker, there must be proof that reasonable recruitment efforts are made to hire Canadians/Permanent Residents beginning April 1st, 2021.

Ultimately, the application to come to Canada a business owner through this pathway has become more challenging.

Are there alternative pathways for business immigrants?2021-02-17T10:04:26-07:00

Absolutely. Canada Immigration and Visa Services is on standby to assist entrepreneurial newcomers and investor immigrants in living the Canadian dream. As a licensed immigration practice and recruitment agency, we can navigate these changes and assist in a successful application for you and your family to immigrate to Canada. Contact us today.

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Canada Immigration and Visa Services is one of the nations leading immigration practices from coast to coast helping entrepreneurial newcomers live the Canadian dream. CIVS is experienced and in the owner operator LMIA pathway and receives approvals for a significant number of applications every year.

Canada Immigration and Visa Services is also uniquely positioned to not only assist and advise our clients on the appropriate immigration pathway but through our business development arm, CIVS Marketplace, is able to assist new businesses owners to Canada in all their management and business development needs.


Don’t just take our word for it, see our approvals from around the world below.



Owner Operator LMIA Testimonials

Hi. I am Rajesh from India. Mr Nikola and his team handled my LMIA and work permit application. I was impressed by the way they filed my application and the whole process. My work permit was rejected 6 years back and this is my second time. They make sure that I submitted all my documents and corrected a few things. I followed them and took their advice seriously submitting my documents. Mr Nikola was very patient and constantly was in touch with me regarding my application.i would like to thank Jeethna( admin) as well in this regard.

I strongly recommend Nikola (CIVS) and his team for immigration and work permit process.

Good Luck

Rajesh G

“I would like to express my appreciation to you and your teammates according to the application of Owner Operator LMIA and Express Entry.

On 29 September 2000 afternoon, I was thrilled when I received a call from Connie that my OO LMIA application has been approved. Then the next day, I was successfully invited to apply for PR by the EE draw on 30 September 2020, it’s beyond my expectation. During these 3 months, I was pleased to work with your team especially Connie, she always provided me with prompt advice even after working hours. Sean, I’m envious that you have Connie in CIVS. I need to thank Steven for the bravo business plan with every detailed figure that was written in just a very limited time. Also Anne and Kimberly, you both made the progress smooth well. Finally, I do appreciate for Sean’s professional guidance and I don’t think that it’s easy without your assistance. Sean, you make things happen, always ~and yes, this is how you roll~”

Ben Wu

Sean, Kimberley, Annie and the whole team are very professional and knowledgeable. They have become more like my extended family thats how great they have been.
Lets sail into the future.

Captain Gurdeep, Captains Nook

CIVS has been extremely helpful in my immigration application to Canada as a business investor. The team helped every step of the way and ensured that I submitted all the right documentation. They make sure that you are always informed about the status of your application. If you are looking to immigrate to Canada as an investor, CIVS is the place to go. I would recommend them 100%

Lakhbir Ludhar Singh, Sherwood Infrastructures

“I am here to express my great appreciation to CIVS. CIVS is the best immigration agency to work with. This professional team provides the efficient and suitable way to guide you with the immigration process. They helped me to set up a company which is suit for me and also apply for LMIA, work permit and Express Entry as well. I am thankful to get PR invitation after 9 months process. It was such a great success for CIVS again. I want to say thank you to Sean, Connie and Nick for being such a helpful person throughout the process. Special thanks to Connie again for the contributions, she is a friendly and caring staff who communicates with me all the time. I highly recommend this company for immigration to my friends because of their excellent work and services. They deserve my 5 stars reward. Last but not least, I send my best wish to CIVS and definitely I hope to meet you guys soon.
Thank you!”

Jamie Chan

“Thanks Sean, Connie and the Team, I can’t find a word to express my happiness and thanks god!! Given the HK situation, most of the real HKers are planning to flee and it’s a good time to arrange my new life in a country which upholds and respects the same values.

See you all next year and appreciate for your help.”

Ms Leung

Owner Operator LMIA Approvals



Client’s Name: Narinder
LMIA Approval Job Title: CEO

Approval Date: November 21, 2020
Approval Story: Read Story

Company: Pro-M Consulting Ltd

Company Description: Pro M Consulting is a Canadian success story working on large scale projects all over the world.

Location: 205 – 6628 152 Street Surrey, BC

Website:  Visit Website

Phone: 778-822-5269



Client’s Name: Jamie
LMIA Approval Job Title: President and General Manager

Approval Date: November 5, 2020
Approval Story: Read Story

Company: Jamie Chan Math & Music Learning

Company Description: Jamie Chan Math & Music Learning is a tutoring and extra-curricular educational institution that focuses on Music Theory, Piano Instruction (All ages), Mathematics (Elementary and High School students) and Language – Cantonese & Mandarin (All ages).
Office Location: 1822 Professional Centre, Suite 200, 1822 10 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta

Website: Visit Website

Email: jcmathandmusic@gmail.com



Client’s Name: Jatin
LMIA Approval Job Title: President and General Manager

Approval Date: December 16, 2020

Approval Story: Read Story

Company: QOR World Incorporated

Company Description: QOR World is a Canadian is a medical and non-medical devices supply, distribution and manufacturing company.

Office Location: 135-Laurier Ave W Spaces Laurier- Ottawa, Ontario K1P5J2

Warehouse Location: 2747, Marleau Ave – Cornwall, Ontario K6H 7B6

Website: Visit Website

Email: info@qorworld.com


The Owner Operator LMIA Pathway

What is an LMIA?

Obtaining an offer of arranged employment in Canada requires the issuance of an LMIA. An LMIA stands for “Labour Market Impact Assessment.” Service Canada evaluates the effects on the labour market to determine if permitting the foreign national to work in Canada would have a positive or negative effect on the labour market. A positive LMIA will add either 50 points to the CRS score of an applicant if the NOC code for the LMIA position is in skill level 0, A, or B. A positive LMIA in skill level 00 will add 200 points to the CRS score of the applicant.

The Service Canada officer will evaluate the effect on the labour market by doing a global assessment of the 7 labour market factors:

  1. whether the employment of the foreign national will or is likely to result in direct job creation or job retention for Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  2. whether the employment of the foreign national will or is likely to result in the development or transfer of skills and knowledge for the benefit of Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  3. whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to fill a labour shortage;
  4. whether the wages offered to the foreign national are consistent with the prevailing wage rate for the occupation and whether the working conditions meet generally accepted Canadian standards;
  5. whether the employer will hire or train Canadian citizens or permanent residents or has made, or has agreed to make, reasonable efforts to do so;
  6. whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to adversely affect the settlement of any labour dispute in progress or the employment of any person involved in the dispute; and
  7. whether the employer has fulfilled or has made reasonable efforts to fulfill any commitments made, in the context of any assessment that was previously provided under subsection (2), with respect to the matters referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) and (e).

An LMIA will be approved and receive a positive confirmation if the reviewing Service Canada officer is convinced it will have a positive impact on the labour market and meets the following 4 tests of “Genuineness”

  1. The business is actively engaged and providing a good or service
  2. The business has a reasonable employment need for the LMIA being requested
  3. The business can fulfill the terms of the job offer
  4. The business has no past compliance issues

The employer requesting the LMIA must provide proof of sufficient advertising (30 days) and attempts made to hire Canadians or Permanent Residents first, before the LMIA will be issued to a foreign national.

Once the LMIA is approved, the foreign national now officially has secured “arranged employment.” This results in a CRS score increase in Express Entry of either 50 or 200 points depending on the skill level of the LMIA approved. The skill level is determined by the NOC (National Occupation Classification) code, essentially a code assigned to the occupation of the position.

50 points are assigned for NOC 0 (management), A, and B skill levels.

200 points are assigned for NOC 00 (senior management positions).

What is an Owner Operator LMIA?

An Owner Operator LMIA is simply a variation in the advertising requirements for the LMIA. It is not a different type of LMIA. It pertains to the situation where the business owner is applying for an LMIA for their position and is therefore exempt from the advertising requirements. According to Service Canada, this is the specific wording on the Owner Operator variation:

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

We know from our interactions with Service Canada, and our access to information requests that for Owner Operator variant of LMIA applications, they do emphasize and more heavily weight labour market factors 1 and 2.

  • Job retention and creation
  • Skills and knowledge transfer

Types of LMIA

There are several different types of LMIA’s (agricultural worker, low wage, high wage, seasonal agricultural, PR) that require slightly different forms and have nuances in their application and advertising requirements. The two that are most pertinent to our economic class business and investor clients are:

  • High Wage LMIA
  • Permanent Residency – PR LMIA (Also referred to as dual-intent LMIA)

Both LMIA’s will offer additional CRS points of either 50 points or 200 points depending on the NOC code of the position.

The Pathway to Canada

An LMIA permits the applicant to apply for a work permit to Canada, allowing the applicant to enter Canada as a worker. In most cases, the LMIA will allow a work permit to be issued for 2 years. The applicant must work only for the employer that is listed on the LMIA and subsequent work permit, which in many cases of investor immigration, is the business they have controlling interest in as the Owner Operator, such as the business they have 1) started 2) acquired.

An accompanying spouse is eligible to accompany the applicant to Canada and receive an open work permit, allowing them to work for any employer in Canada. The dependent children of the applicant under the age of 22 are eligible for visitor records and study permits.

The Points Pathway to Permanent Residence

Based on recent draws, generally a CRS point score above 470 will receive an invitation to apply in a matter of weeks. For applicants seeking a draw for permanent residency, an applicant with 420 CRS points or higher and receiving a 50-point LMIA will be drawn imminently for permanent residency. For candidates in the 270-419 range, a 200-point LMIA is needed for an imminent invitation to apply for Permanent Residence.

It may seem obvious by now that a 200-point LMIA is almost always more favourable than a 50 point.

50 vs 200-point LMIA

We always aim for the 200-point LMIA however depending on the Service Canada officer, a small portion will challenge the seniority of the position required and can sometimes demote to a 50 point LMIA. Their rationale depends on a few things, some officers require that the position involve “Senior Managerial Duties” that is, to manage teams of people, and coordinate the work of departments. For small business owners, they may not fit this description. For applicants that are in the range of 270-419 who receive a 50-point LMIA, it is unlikely that they will be drawn in Express Entry as they will not be above the 470 mark.

So how does the pathway to permanent residency work from there?

An LMIA, whether a 50-point or 200-point LMIA enables the applicant to apply for a work permit, an open work permit for an accompanying spouse, and visitor records for children. This will permit entry to Canada, the right to work in Canada, healthcare, and other benefits of being a worker in Canada.

Things to note:

1) Service Canada is responsible for issuing the LMIA

2) IRCC evaluates Work Permits and Permanent Residency

Often times the LMIA (arranged employment) is needed to apply for a Work Permit or is needed for additional points to be drawn in Express Entry. So both departments must be respected.

Key differences:

Service Canada is focused on the company. IRCC is focused on the individual.

Service Canada focuses on genuineness of the job offer based on the 4 factors

  1. Reasonable Employment Need (does the employer need the position being requested)
  2. Ability to Fulfill (can the employer pay the worker the wages stated)
  3. Actively Engaged (is the employer operational in providing a good or service in Canada)
  4. Past Compliance (history of company with LMIA issuances and compliance)

Service Canada does not evaluate your ability to perform the job duties required by the NOC. Service Canada is focused on the employer itself. It is important that the LMIA issued to your company for you to be the owner operator as, you must be able to perform those duties based on your work experience for a smooth transition to Permanent Residency or for entry to Canada as a worker by application of a work permit.

ESDC (Service Canada) does not assess the applicant’s qualifications for the job (including skills and education); this is the role of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). ESDC communicates exclusively with the employer and third party representative.

Obtaining points through work experience

To further improve your score in Express Entry it is possible to obtain Canadian Work Experience while working on an LMIA and a work permit for an employee, or an employment LMIA. However, for Owner Operator LMIA candidates, who have achieved the LMIA based on their ownership in the company, may be considered self-employed by IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada).

Most Recent Ministerial Instructions Respecting the Express Entry System

The most recent ministerial instructions (still regarded as current) respecting the Express Entry system for all 3 categories: FSW, CEC, and FST. The important part of the instructions regarding work experience are outlined in:

Section 15 – Canadian Work Experience

  • Sub-Section 7 – Work Experience -requirements
    • Sub-Subsection (b), 15(7)(b) which states:

(b) a period of self-employment or unauthorized work is not to be included in calculating a period of work experience;

This means, if the immigration officer reviewing the file considers your period of employment in Canada operating your own business as, self-employment, you cannot gain additional points for Canadian Work Experience.

Pathways to PR for a 50-point LMIA holder

If the applicant does not have sufficient Express Entry CRS point score, and has no certain pathway of obtaining additional points through Canadian Work Experience, how can they achieve permanent residence?

Upgrade to a 200-point LMIA

If the company on the application was too small and the applicant now has a work permit in Canada, they can seek to work and grow the company to the point the LMIA suitable would be a 200 pt job description.

Receive a Provincial Nomination

If an applicant’s profile in Express Entry is active and they have an LMIA, it is possible that they receive a provincial nomination/expression of interest.

Spouse with Open Work Permit as Primary Applicant

If the applicants spouse accompanies the primary applicant to Canada it is possible to achieve additional Canadian work experience points.

In many cases, there are several different pathways afterwards depending on the circumstances of the applicant.

Recent Updates to Owner Operator LMIA evaluation

Our recent blog, outlines some changes to the Owner Operator LMIA Pathway, including more stringent NOC evaluation, substantial proof of operations in addition to active engagement. For more Owner Operator LMIA updates, see our blog section below.


Sign up for our newsletter and receive a free copy of our Updated Second Edition, Owner Operator LMIA Guidebook for Business Immigrants to Canada

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Owner Operator LMIA FAQs

What is the Owner Operator LMIA?2021-02-09T18:26:53-07:00

Owner Operator LMIA is a special class of applications within the TFWP whereby a self-employed individual wishing to enter Canada can do so by establishing or purchasing a business.

Do I need to have business management experience to obtain an Owner Operator LMIA?2021-02-14T15:25:20-07:00

Not necessarily. The Owner Operator LMIA is issued by Service Canada and Service Canada has a mandate to focus on the employer, that being the Canadian entity (the corporation or company) that is hiring the applicant.

However not having the required skills, on the job and work experience can create challenges when using that LMIA to apply for a Work Permit or for Permanent Residency with IRCC. Your work experience and duties required to own and operate your Canadian entity must be like the job duties and roles where your work experience comes from, and IRCC must be convinced when evaluating your Work Permit or Permanent Residency application that you have the required skills to perform the work sought.

Is there a pathway to permanent residency if I obtain a 50-point LMIA and come to Canada on a work permit?2021-02-14T15:26:30-07:00

It depends on the applicant. If the applicant is within the 50-point range of the Federal Skilled Worker draw cutoff than the pathway is very clear. An Invitation to Apply (ITA) will be triggered once the applicant has a positive, 50 pt. LMIA. If the applicant is below the cutoff for an ITA, Canada Immigration and Visa Services will devise a longer-term strategy to obtaining PR. Some of the strategies for example could be:

  • Growing the business and reapplying for a 200 pt. LMIA
  • Using the spouse as the principal applicant if the spouse has a higher score due to younger age/education and has obtained Canadian work experience
  • Receiving an Invitation to Apply with an active Express Entry profile
Do I need a Canadian partner to purchase or own a Canadian corporation?2021-02-14T15:26:52-07:00

In every province except for British Columbia, a lawfully incorporated entity (corporation) requires a Canadian resident director. This means someone that is lawfully living in Canada as a citizen or permanent resident. This does not constitute a partner per se. A foreign national can still own 100% of the shares of a corporation, making them the 100% owner, but require a Canadian resident director. Canada Immigration and Visa Services can assist, through our CIVS Marketplace business development arm with the procurement of a Canadian resident director for your Canadian company.

How long does it take for my LMIA to be approved after submitting the application?2021-02-14T15:27:10-07:00

Processing times vary but, in our experience, LMIA’s can be approved in as little as two weeks and sometimes take up to three months. LMIA processing times are available here.

As an Owner Operator LMIA applicant, do I have to do an interview?2021-02-14T15:27:28-07:00

Most often yes. A Service Canada officer will want to speak to the Owner Operator to verify the genuineness factors of the business and to clarify any additional information and developments since the submission. This interview is often a telephone interview and CIVS will assist and prepare you for the interview.

What is the minimum investment amount for Owner Operator LMIA?2021-02-14T15:27:47-07:00

There is no minimum investment amount. Service Canada looks at the Genuineness Factors of the employer (the Canadian company) and the 7 labour market factors in issuing the LMIA, not the amount paid for or invested in the business. One of the genuineness factors is “ability to fulfill the terms of the job offer.”  It should be noted that the business must be able to fulfill the terms of the job offer to the foreign national Owner Operator and comply with a pay rate and wages, so the business should be large enough the lawfully and pay the Owner Operator to comply.

In practical terms and our experience, and considering the Canadian business market, it is challenging to obtain any operational or start any operational business substantial enough to warrant the issuance of an LMIA and have Canadian staff on payroll for an investment and working capital expense budget of less than $75,000. You must consider that to achieve a positive LMIA the company requires a reasonable employment need for the job as an owner operator, an ability for the company to pay for the job, and that the business be fully operational/actively engaged in business by providing a good or service in the Canadian market.

What is NOC (National Occupation Classification), and which one will CIVS apply under for me?2021-02-14T15:28:10-07:00

Canada Immigration and Visa Services considers several factors when deciding on an NOC for your Owner Operator LMIA applied for with Service Canada. Most importantly the NOC should match the reasonable employment need of your Canadian business, and must also be consistent with your experience, skills, education, and ability to perform the job duties for a smooth Work Permit and/or Permanent Resident application with IRCC.

Here are two negative examples:

Example A: If your last 10 years of work have been as a cook at a fast-food franchise, it is highly unlikely that IRCC will grant you a Work Permit or Permanent Residency for a 200 pt. NOC 0015 – General Manager to manage 3 convenience store locations. There very well may be a reasonable employment need for a General Manager to oversee and direct the operations of 3 active convenience store locations, and the LMIA will be approved by Service Canada, but significant challenges will be faced with IRCC on a Work Permit or Permanent Residency application because it is unlikely, they will be convinced the applicant can perform the job duties of a Senior Manager.

Example B: If you are an experienced senior manager with 15 years of management experience, managing teams of people IRCC will likely be convinced that you have the skills and work experience to apply for a Work Permit or Permanent Residency with a 200 pt. LMIA. However, if on your application for an Owner Operator LMIA to Service Canada only involves 1 convenience store location with 2 staff on payroll, Service Canada will not be convinced that a 0015 – General Manager is required to operate 1 location, and more appropriately adjust your NOC code to a 0621 – Retail Store Manager.

If my Canadian company is too small to obtain a 200-point LMIA from Service Canada and/or my experience does not align with senior management experience, but I require more than 50 points to obtain an invitation to apply for permanent residency, what are my options as a pathway to PR?2021-02-14T15:28:29-07:00

Every applicant has a unique situation and circumstances differ so there is no simple answer to this question. Some ways to improve point scores that would make a 50-point NOC code Owner Operator LMIA suitable for achieving permanent residency in express entry could be an improvement in English, education, or other creative strategies such using your spouse as the principal applicant on a permanent residency application if your spouse is able to obtain Canadian work experience or happens to be younger and can achieve a higher score in express entry. There is also the chance of a provincial nomination in many cases of temporary residents working and living in Canada.

Can I get started on an Owner Operator LMIA application while overseas?2021-02-14T15:28:48-07:00

Absolutely. CIVS, Canada Immigration and Visa Services and our business development operational arm CIVS Marketplace, specializes in business development and assisting Owner Operator LMIA applicants through the entire process whether it be starting or acquiring your own business. CIVS Marketplace even has turnkey, ready to go business solutions that you can purchase direct depending on your experience and NOC code for an Owner Operator LMIA that you require.

Isn’t it hard for me to manage a business without being in Canada first?2021-02-14T15:29:08-07:00

Yes. Remote management of a business is challenging however that is one of the arguments made to Service Canada for bringing you, the applicant, to work in Canada as the owner operator to maintain and operate your business in Canada.

Do I have to purchase the business first or can I apply for LMIA and then purchase the business contingent on approval?2021-02-14T15:29:28-07:00

An owner operator must control, own, and operate the business to be able to apply for an owner operator LMIA. The issuance of an LMIA cannot be contingent on what will happen in the future, but rather how the business exists today.

What types of businesses can I purchase to be eligible for an Owner Operator LMIA and a pathway to permanent residency?2021-02-14T15:29:48-07:00

Most businesses that provide a good or service in Canada lawfully are eligible. The business you purchase, or start should have a correlation to your work experience. For 200-point LMIA’s, there is mobility amongst senior management positions and you can be a senior management in different industrial sectors.

Do I need valid IELTS to submit an Owner Operator LMIA?2021-02-14T15:30:10-07:00

No. An applicant does not need IELTS to obtain a positive LMIA from Service Canada. Recall, Service Canada is focused on the employer, which in the case of an Owner Operator LMIA, is the Canadian entity or corporation that is issuing the LMIA to the foreign national. However, for a Work Permit or Express Entry application following a positive LMIA decision a valid IELTS, at least as a CLB 7 is required.

Do I need and ECA (Educational Credential Assessment) from WES or similar for an Owner Operator LMIA?2021-02-14T15:30:27-07:00

No. An applicant does not need an ECA from WES or a similar institution to obtain a positive LMIA from Service Canada. Recall, Service Canada is focused on the employer, which in the case of an Owner Operator LMIA, is the Canadian entity or corporation that is issuing the LMIA to the foreign national. However, for a Work Permit or Express Entry application, an ECA will be required to convince IRCC you have the education required and support your application for a Work Permit or Permanent Residence and meet the job requirements of the LMIA.

How many jobs must I create to obtain a positive Owner Operator LMIA?2021-02-14T15:30:45-07:00

There is no specific requirement however to support a positive LMIA decision, Service Canada must be convinced that the issuance of the LMIA will likely create or retain jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. The number of jobs created in different NOC codes for Canadians and permanent residents not only has a bearing on a positive LMIA decision, but is considered when evaluating the NOC code, the Owner Operator is applying under. You will need to create or retain the amount of jobs that would be reasonable in that type of business and to support the NOC code you are applying under.

How will my business remain in compliance while I am waiting for my Work Permit or Permanent Residency?2021-02-14T15:31:04-07:00

Canada Immigration and Visa Services is Canada’s leading business immigration practice helping entrepreneurial newcomers live the Canadian dream. Through our business development operational partner, CIVS Marketplace, our team can manage and operate your business in your absence until you are able to arrive in Canada. This is a premium service and is available outside the scope of our immigration services but through our business development company, CIVS Marketplace. We are the only diversified organization that can not only assist in your immigration goals to resettle in Canada permanently with your family but to get you into a good business and make sure that that your business remains in operation until you are able to land in Canada and work in your business.

When can I sell my business?2021-02-14T15:31:22-07:00

After a positive LMIA is issue, if you enter Canada on a closed work permit you are required to work in your business and for your business exclusively. Your spouse is eligible to apply for a spousal open work permit and can work for any organization including your own company that you have purchased and are operating. You may sell your business once you have obtained your permanent residence if you so choose to.

I have a small business and am on a 50-point LMIA and work permit. Can I reapply for a 200-point LMIA?2021-02-14T15:31:39-07:00

Absolutely. If you originally came to Canada on a work permit backed by a 50-point LMIA, you can always later, reapply for a 200-point LMIA. This becomes useful if you have grown your business to 2 locations or more, and your job duties and experience are no more inline and accurately represented by a 00 NOC.

If I have a positive Owner Operator LMIA, can I apply at a port of entry for my work permit?2021-02-14T15:31:55-07:00

If you are from a visa-exempt country or have a valid visa, and the borders are open to Canada, you may apply at a port of entry for a work permit. Due to the rapidly evolving and changing COVID-19 restrictions, applying at a port of entry should be carefully studied as a compelling reason to come to Canada or re-enter is necessary.

CIVS Owner Operator LMIA Support Team


Sean G. McKinsley, B.A., RCIC


Sean G. McKinsley, BA, RCIC is the Managing Partner and Founder of Canada Immigration and Visa Services Inc. (CIVS).


Connie Kwok, B.A.


Ms. Kwok serves as the Director and Head of the Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) division at Canada Immigration and Visa Services.

Ms. Kwok can advise on resettlement solutions for families including school choice, residential accommodations and other pre/post-landing services for our valued clients.

Ms. Kwok is fluent in Cantonese, English and Mandarin.


Anne Serrano, B. Sc.


Anne Serrano is currently serving as Canada Immigration and Visa Services National Director, Client Services.


Kimberly White


Kimberly White is the Vice President, Finance at Canada Immigration and Visa Services. She is located in our Calgary office.


Nikola Misina, B.A., RCIC


Nikola Misina is a Partner at Canada Immigration and Visa Services Inc. (CIVS).

Owner Operator LMIA Updates

Special Bulletin: Two (2) New Owner Operator LMIA Approvals Back-to-back: Welcome to Canada!

May 4, 2021 Owner Operator Program in full force -  Sean Mckinsley and the team at CIVS have the experience and the expertise to get the Owner Operator LMIA application [...]

Special Bulletin: Owner Operator LMIA Approval in Full Force – Sean McKinsley and the team at CIVS Congratulates Mr. Mohsin of ZMJ Auto Solutions.

May 3, 2021 Owner Operator Program in full force -  Sean Mckinsley and the team at CIVS have the experience and the expertise to get the Owner Operator LMIA application [...]

Special Bulletin: Open Work Permits from Hong Kong and Owner Operator LMIA Approvals – Congratulations to our Clients!

April 17, 2021 Sean G McKinsley, Managing Partner, Micky Singh, Executive Director and Partner,  Nikola Misina, Partner, and Steve Paolasini, Senior National Vice President, Canada Immigration and Visa Services (CIVS), [...]

Special Bulletin: Temporary Public Policy -The Gift Paying Back to All Temporary Residents Who Kept Canadian Economy Rolling During Global Pandemic

April 15, 2021 From Coast-to-Coast, CIVS is Canada’s national immigration firm specializing in helping entrepreneurial newcomers live the Canadian dream. Great News from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for [...]


CIVS is owned and managed by Sean G McKinsley, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). CIVS is headquartered at the Maximus 88 Professional Center located in the Sunalta beltline. We are pleased to offer free on-site parking. We are also steps away from the Sunalta LRT C-train station.

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