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An Owner Operator LMIA (OO LMIA) is a unique program that allows foreign business owners to secure work authorization within their own company while actively participating in its operations. To qualify for an OO LMIA, applicants must meet stringent requirements set by Service Canada. This program is particularly tailored for entrepreneurs who aspire to own and manage their businesses in Canada.

Benefits of the OO LMIA Program

The OO LMIA program is exceptionally beneficial for business immigrants aiming to meet the Express Entry requirements. It can enhance your Comprehensive Score Rating (CRS) by up to 200 points, significantly increasing your chances of obtaining permanent residency in Canada.

The difference between LMIA and OO LMIA is that while an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) is generally an authorization granted by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to Canadian employers to hire foreign workers, an OO LMIA is uniquely designed for foreign business owners.

Qualifications for OO LMIA

To qualify for an OO LMIA, you must:

  1. Own a Business Located in Canada: You should have a registered business within Canada.

  2. Hold 50% or More Ownership: You must own at least 50% or more of the business interest.

  3. Demonstrate Job Creation and Skills Transfer: Provide proof that your business will create employment opportunities and/or transfer skills and knowledge to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

  4. Active Involvement in Business: Hold a position in your business that cannot be easily dismissed and is answerable to a senior member of the organization.

  5. Comprehensive Business Plan: Create a detailed business plan that outlines funding, financial projections, timelines, and strategies for creating and maintaining employment within the company.

  6. Active Management: Actively engage in managing the business, demonstrating that you possess the qualifications and experience required for your intended position, with a salary equal to or greater than the median wage for that role.

  7. Hire Canadian Workers: Commit to employing at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident within the first year of your business’s operation. This requirement should be included in your business plan.


The processing time for an OO LMIA application is generally reasonable, averaging approximately 4 weeks. However, the processing time for a work permit depends on your country of residence, typically taking 8 to 12 weeks.


In conclusion, the Owner-Operator LMIA (OO LMIA) is a tailored pathway for foreign business owners seeking to establish and manage their own enterprises in Canada. This program not only provides an opportunity for these entrepreneurs to work in their own companies but also contributes significantly to Canada’s economy by creating job opportunities and transferring valuable skills and knowledge to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The OO LMIA is particularly advantageous for Business Immigrants who aspire to meet Express Entry requirements, as it can boost their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score by 200 points, making the path to permanent residency more accessible.

With its distinct eligibility criteria and an emphasis on active involvement in business operations, the OO LMIA is a valuable avenue for those looking to make a meaningful impact on Canada’s business landscape while securing their own work authorization.

If you’re considering the OO LMIA program, we encourage you to reach out to Global Migration Network for expert guidance and support. Our team is dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of these programs and assisting you in achieving your dream of owning and operating a successful business in Canada.

For more information and personalized assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact GMN today. We’re here to help you every step of the way.