How to succeed an Owner-
How to succeed an Owner-Operator Work Permit Application in Canada
Stream two: Owner-Operator Work Permit Under the International Mobility Program – LMIA Exemption Code 11
The International Mobility Program (IMP) under R205(a) paves the way to apply for a work permit which exempted from LMIA. The exemption for owner-operator work permit codified under code C11, which quoted as “entrepreneurs or self-employed people”.
With some exceptions similar to the LMIA basis Owner-Operator WP, to qualify for an Owner-Operator work permit under the International Mobility Program, a foreign national (Work Permit Applicant) must demonstrate that:
1. He/she owns at least 50% of the business; the business is better to be incorporated in Canada; it can be done through establishing a new business or purchasing an existing business and turn it to a successful business; to demonstrate controlling interest in the business it can be determined by being the sole proprietor, or by being a majority shareholder (hold a minimum of 50.1% of the shares), or by providing an official document to confirm that one shareholder has a controlling interest;
2. Operating the business will generate significant economic, social or cultural benefits for Canada, or will provide opportunities for Canadians or permanent residents, such as employment or a unique service;
3. He/she has a viable business plan that will benefit Canada and the Canadian population;
4. He/she is the best candidate for the job, and has a skill set or experience that will improve the feasibility of the business;
5. He/she has taken measures to put the business plan in place from every prospect prior to entering Canada such as financing, leasing office space, and business number, contacting parallel businesses, signing agreements with Canadian suppliers, etc.;
6. He/she has filed an Offer of Employer (Employer Compliance) application from his behalf with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Immigration Canada) through employer Portal and received an Employment Number.
Tip for preparing a business plan
“To have a successful application, a business plan must address all the following matters:
– Must demonstrate that it is a well-researched and detailed business plan by including proper market research, staffing plan to recruit Canadians or permanent residents of Canada, financial matters, local issues…
– Must show the business plan significantly contributes to the Canadian economy. While it does not have to be millions of dollars investment, it must show the combination of the investment and their expertise could create opportunities for other Canadian companies and individuals. Nevertheless, there is no minimum investment under this program.
– Must contain the applicant’s resume to prove the immigration officer who reviews the applicant’s experience and education make him/her the best person for the job. A rich history of business ownership or management could be beneficial.
– Must demonstrate that the applicant owns at least 50% of the Canadian business. The ownership can be either through purchase an existing business in Canada or establish a new one.”
What must be done prior to applying for Work Permit
Before applying for a work permit, the applicant needs to take serious steps toward running the Canadian company that includes the following steps; which is neither inclusive nor exclusive:
1. preparing a detailed business plan by professionals;
2. registering the business in Canada, preferably incorporated with having a Canadian director by professionals;
3. conducting an exploratory visit to Canada, the applicant may need to obtain a multiple entry visitor visa to do it either as a tourist, family visit, or business visitor;
4. signing memorandums of understanding with other Canadian companies;
5. leasing an office even a virtual or shared office;
6. publishing a very detail website that it has a homepage, about us, our services or goods, our customers, associates, testimonial, our contact information;
7. updating LinkedIn and other professional web platforms
8. transferring funds to Canada, or showing international secured funds in overseas banks available to be transferred to Canada through an attestation letter from an accountant or lawyer in Canada;
9. hiring Canadians or permanent residents of Canada, or at least having a director who is Canadian or PR.
10. demonstration that the profits of the business remain predominantly in Canada or proof that other significant benefits have accrued to Canada;
11. proof that all appropriate federal, provincial or territorial and local tax returns have been filed; and
12. proof that they meet the temporary requirement of subsection A22(2), that they will leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for their stay.
13. Providing the evidence of English or French language;
14. Providing the evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves while in Canada.
How to apply for Owner-Operator work Permit
To be eligible, a foreign national must
• have received either
• an offer of employment number, or
• authorization by the Immigration Program Guidance Branch (IPG) to submit the “Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)” form [IMM 5802] (see Employer-specific work permits with Labour Market Impact Assessment exemptions for details);
• have paid the employer compliance fee (self-employed persons are considered their own employer and must therefore pay the employer compliance fee); and
• have submitted an application for a work permit.
Work permit issuance
The work permit will be issued under the authority of paragraph 205(a) and will be coded as follows:
• Employer name: foreign national’s name or business name as per the offer of employment
• Employment location: as per the IMM 5802 form and work permit application
• LMIA-exemption code: C-11
• NOC: 8888
• Intended occupation: entrepreneur
• Case type: 52
• LMIA-exempt (offer of employment) number: required
• Employer compliance fee: required
• Duration: the work permit is to be valid as per the applicant’s request and officer’s judgement
What if the applicant of work permit also is seeking eventual permanent residence
There are two categories of potential permanent residence applicants who may apply for a work permit under this category:
1. Actual or potential provincial nominees undertaking business activities;
2. Quebec-destined entrepreneurs or self-employed persons issued a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ).
Applicants in these categories have demonstrated that their admission to Canada to begin establishing or operating their business may generate significant economic, social or cultural benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents pursuant to paragraph R205(a).
What types of businesses structure in Canada is suitable for Owner-Operator Work Permit
Although there are several business structure in Canada such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership, professional corporation, and incorporation, but when it comes to immigration or work permit the only recommended option is Incorporation. A corporation can be federal or provincial in Canada. A corporation consist of shareholders or incorporators and a board of directors. Shareholders are the owners of the company. The board of directors of a corporation is the governing body of the business. They are the policy makers of the business. They, for example, hire and fire the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the business and oversee her or his management. They also monitor the financial health of the business and more. A member of the board of directors is called a director of the business. Directors may or may not be shareholders. It is, however, customary for a director to be a shareholder.
Both the federal government and many of Canadian provinces including Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland/Labrador expect a 25% of directors of a company to be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon and Quebec doesn’t not have this restriction.
How to get an Employment Number for LMIA Exemption Code 11
It has to be done online through Employer Portal by completing the IMM 5802. When completing the Offer of Employment to Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (IMM 5802).
2. To become more familiar with the concept read online https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/foreign-workers/variations.html
3. To search the wages see online https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/trend-analysis/search-wages