LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment and is an application that is assessed by Employment and Social Development Canada department.

Owner-Operator LMIA is an application specifically catered for foreign entrepreneurs who intend to own and operate a business in Canada.

Key selection criteria for this LMIA is as follows, but not limited to:

  • Applicant has qualifying business experience in a qualifying business;
  • Intention and ability to create jobs in Canada; and
  • Be an active shareholder with 51% or more shareholding in the Canadian business.

Additional information:

  • The applicant must prove they have the net worth to invest in Canada and be able to operate the business acquired.
  • It is recommended that the applicant must establish or purchase Canadian business that is relevant to their prior experience as an entrepreneur.


  • One of the key requirements is a business plan. A well-defined business plan is imperative for the success of this application.
  • The applicant may have to invest in the business before this LMIA application is submitted.
  • The applicant must provide documentary proof of their verifiable net worth.


The applicant will be allowed to apply for a work permit subsequent to Owner-Operator LMIA approval. Usually the LMIA is approved for 2 years and the work permit is also approved for the same duration.

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