Sas & Ing, Barristers & Solicitors, Immigration Law Centre

Immigration Lawyers in Vancouver Discuss Changes Coming to Owner/Operator LMIA Program


Vancouver, BC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/12/2021 --As a firm of Immigration lawyers in Vancouver, the team at Sas & Ing Owner/Operator ("O/O") Labour Market Impact Assessment ("LMIA") is a popular path for business persons looking to come to Canada. Changes to the immigration program, to be implemented on April 1, 202, will remove some of the more beneficial aspects of the O/O LMIA application process. For more, go to

The O/O program allows business persons who want to purchase or establish a business to apply to Service Canada for an LMIA, which entitles them to apply for a work permit of up to two years. At the introduction of Canada's Express Entry ("EE") immigration selection program in January of 2015, the O/O LMIA became a popular immigration strategy for many business persons as it would qualify as Arranged Employment and garner 600 points, often leading to permanent residence for the O/O LMIA work permit holder.

In November of 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reduced the arranged employment points to 200 for a Senior Manager (NOC 00) and 50 for all other NOC codes. However, O/O LMIA applications remained popular, given the scarcity of other business immigration options in Canada's economic immigration program. For several years, prospective business immigrants used the O/O LMIA as a means to either purchase or establish a business in Canada.

Changes Being Made

As in most immigration programs, changes are often implemented to reduce intake. In recent months Service Canada has clarified that it will not approve an O/O LMIA for a business that is not established and running. This means that start-ups or franchises for new operations will not be considered for an O/O LMIA. Also, applicants will only be eligible to apply as a Senior Manager in a NOC 00 occupation, if there is already someone in the business employed in this capacity.

One of the most beneficial aspects of the O/O LMIA application process was an exemption from the minimum advertising requirements. As of April 1, 2021, this will no longer apply. A prospective O/O applicant will need to demonstrate reasonable and documented efforts to hire a Canadian or permanent resident for the position which they themselves intend to perform. Also, the recruitment efforts will need to post the prevailing wage for the position and, if there are no Canadians to fill the position, will have to actually pay themselves this wage once they assume the position in Canada.

As in all compliance requirements with Service Canada and IRCC, detailed record-keeping of all advertising efforts, payroll, and accounting records need to be maintained for six years. Finally, to be eligible for the O/O LMIA, the business needs to be both active and operating for one year before the submission of the application.

The recent string of changes that are being implemented to the immigration program, means the O/O LMIA program is no longer a secure pathway to permanent residence. To learn more about the new Hong Kong initiatives, please call 1-604-689-5444 and connect with one of the Canadian Immigration lawyers at Sas & Ing.

About Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre
Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre has over 30 years of continued in-depth and comprehensive expertise in most aspects of Canadian Immigration practice. Sas & Ing have facilitated applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), Service Canada and Canada Border Services Agency. Catherine & Victor work closely with other lawyers specializing in Business, Employment, Tax, and Real Estate to provide comprehensive legal advice to companies and individuals as they navigate the regulatory requirements necessary for temporary or permanent establishment in Canada.

For additional information, please visit or call (604) 689-5444

Sas & Ing Immigration Law Centre
Catherine Sas
(604) 689-5444
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