Innovations-2021 in the Owner Operator pathway of business immigration to Canada

The famous Owner/Operator pathway of business immigration to Canada will receive qualitative changes compared to earlier conditions. What innovations will allow you to immigrate to Canada in 2021?

In this article, you will learn about the Owner/Operator pathway of business immigration to Canada and you’ll get to know about what changes are undergoing in 2021 and how to take advantage of the opportunity.

First, let’s talk about what this pathway is.

In short and in simple terms, the Owner/Operator pathway (this is not a separate program) allows you to immigrate to Canada by opening your own company and inviting yourself to work.

When you open your business in Canada, you get the status of Owner/Operator.

In this case, along the way, you can be:

  • a business manager

  • a business owner

  • a business director

  • a professional in a particular field (from a psychologist to a nail service master)

Categories of entrepreneurs who can walk along the pathway:

  • foreign entrepreneurs who possess means to buy a business in Canada

  • foreign entrepreneurs with the funds to launch a startup in Canada

  • foreign entrepreneurs with the means to expand their business outside of Canada into Canada

Moreover, if you want to incorporate into an existing business in Canada, you can do it remotely from the country which you live in.

In this case, you will need to submit a competently drawn up, deeply worked out business plan. In our practice, businessmen more often order a ready-made business plan than draw it up themselves. If such a service is relevant for you, you can order it from us.

There is a certain nuance: if you went this way, then at the border when entering Canada, you will have to give visa officers a detailed interview, describing the whole situation in detail.

When you find yourself in Canada with a work permit, you are strongly encouraged to improve your English (or French) proficiency as much as possible.

The pathway allows you to obtain status of a permanent resident in Canada.

What programs you can use to immigrate:

  • federal

  • provincial


pathway advantage:

  • most often this pathway is cheaper than passing on the basis of education

  • you do not have to take compulsory language courses

  • you will not need to pay for accommodation during the preparatory stage

Requirements for passing along the pathway

In order to follow the pathway, you must:

  • create your own or purchase a ready-made business in Canada

  • get a work permit to run a business

  • obtain an evidence from the Canadian administration that your business can make a positive impact on the labor market

  • own at least 51.1% of all company shares

  • own the funds necessary to pay for the work of a company director

  • meet the requirements of one of the programs of business immigration to Canada

Stages of the passage along the pathway:





If you prefer to trust the professionals, then at the beginning you will go through the peer review of your company. The optimal immigration strategy will be selected for you. And, perhaps, it turns out that the pathway of the Owner/Operator of the business is really optimal for you.

The result is that the optimal business will be selected for you: profitable, suitable and in demand.

Setting up or buying your own business

At this stage, you become an official owner of a business in Canada.

You own at least 50.1% of the business.

Applying for LMIA

Service of employment and social development of Canada evaluates your potential labor market impact (LMIA).

At the end of the procedure, you will receive a positive or neutral LMIA, which will be an evidence that your business is not a threat to the Canadian labor market. You will now be able to act as a business owner or manager.

Applying for a work permit

At this stage, you can apply for a work permit in Canada. You can also hire yourself as a business director. In our practice, such applications are most often approved by issuing a permit for a period of up to 2 years.

Based on the documents received, you can apply for a permit for a permanent residence in Canada, not only for yourself, but also for your family.

Choosing an immigration strategy

We are now ready to determine the optimal strategy of business immigration to Canada for you. Whether it will be implemented within the framework of provincial or federal programs, a detailed analysis of the situation and our many years of experience will prompt.

Once a decision is made, if a federal program is selected, the application will be submitted through the “electronic window” of the Express Entry system. And in the case of choosing provincial business immigration to Canada, we will submit an application for provincial immigration, followed by an application for a permanent residence in Canada.

Applying for permanent residence in Canada

This is the final stage where our joint efforts are required. Our experts prepare all the necessary documentation*. It goes to the Ministry of immigration of Canada.

Terms** for consideration are different.

Obtaining a permanent residence in Canada

After verification of the application, you will be asked to send the passports of all applicants for visa purposes. Submission of photocopies is also acceptable.

Permanent resident status will be obtained within a month.

*A list of documents required for applying for a permanent residence in Canada, which are provided by both the applicant and all members of his family:

  • biometric data

  • certificate of good conduct

  • results of medical examinations

  • diplomas, certificates and certificates of education

  • language certificates

and other types of documents that are not mandatory, however, may be needed depending on the situation

**Terms of consideration of an application for a permanent residence in Canada:

  • processing an application through the Express Entry system takes about six months

  • application processing through provincial programs takes 1 to 2 years

Can a work permit be renewed while your application for a permanent residence in Canada is being considered? Undoubtedly.

Innovations in 2021

At a meeting of representatives of the federal government with representatives of the Canadian legal community, a consensus was reached as a result of rather lengthy negotiations and meetings.

At the moment, the exact scheme for introducing innovations has not been finalized. But their essence has already been precisely defined.

Now the company cannot automatically hire you for a management position. As in many other areas and programs, now the company must first conduct an open tender (a mini advertising campaign on sites authorized to search for work in Canada) to fill a vacancy among people already living in the country. The aim is to show that the search for a suitable specialist within the country has been indeed carried out in an optimal and open way.

If there are no candidates fully suitable for your position, the company now has the right to consider your candidacy.

A quite reasonable question may arise: but why should you look for a manager if you already really own/operate a business? So far, the answer to this question is vague to us and representatives of many immigration agencies.

Another innovation is a stricter procedure for checking whether your business has really been fully operating at all possible turnovers in the current situation for the last 6-12 months.

What does it mean? It is understood that an independent audit will be conducted for the business, during which key business indicators will be verified. Some third parties will be interviewed (eg. suppliers, customers), mystery shopping techniques, etc. may be used. At least, these are the methods of verification that were told to us by insiders. Practice will show how the check will be carried out in reality.

It should be noted that the Owner/Operator pathway has so far enjoyed tremendous popularity due to the opportunities it provides.

The number of rejections was also really low. In our practice, there are no cases when provided documents were submitted correctly, insurmountable difficulties arose.

Let’s work together to identify the stumbling blocks to avoid from the start. Be vigilant about the following:

  • you must be extremely careful when shaping your image. Take care of your business reputation: all your previous experience will undoubtedly be scrutinized, cross-checked and must be provable and impressive

  • you should also be extremely careful about the business you intend to acquire if you decide to follow the buying pathway. Regardless of its focus

  • if you are going to launch a startup in Canada, you also need to carefully study the market, the experience of similar startups, work out a high-quality plan for launching and developing a business, etc.

Interestingly, under the constraints of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Owner/Operator pathway yielded much better results. That is, passing through it significantly increased your chances of successful business immigration to Canada.

Today, the pathway of the Owner/Operator, as before, gives you 200 points in the internal rating system, within which, reaching the desired grade, you can get the passing score necessary for business immigration to Canada.

What is the most controversial and difficult part of the program?

Challenge №1

LMIA Application. This moment is sure to be a cornerstone in the process of business immigration to Canada along the way for business owners and managers in Canada. To be successful, try to argue as clearly as possible that you can truly benefit the Canadian economy. Also highlight your potential benefits to the Canadian society. Also show why you will be the most successful in running the company (besides the fact that it belongs to you, because not every owner is the best manager). We know examples where the Department of Immigration has recognized that the owner can indeed manage the company in a wonderful way… but remotely, and does not necessarily need to immigrate to Canada to perform well in his day-to-day operational management responsibilities.

Challenge №2

Interview. Why do you need to move to Canada? Why exactly will you be successful? Do you really have the trump cards to effectively integrate into Canadian society? These and other questions should be worked out by you as deeply as possible. To prepare for the interview, we do in-depth training and then, in a regulated stress test, we do a mock interview: get the ball rolling thanks to us, not in real field conditions!

The preparation process can take months. But you have to be on top! Why rely on chance in such a serious process as business immigration to Canada?

Challenge №3

Permanent residence application. The quality of document submission becomes a very important point. The package should be really complete. The collection process usually takes months. Competence in filling out an application for permanent residence in Canada is a guarantee of a final decision in your favor.

Are there many pitfalls here? Yes, because all documents should not only be collected with high quality, but also drawn up taking into account the understanding of a huge number of details.

The very process of considering your application is pretty fast.

Canadian Citizenship


The whole process is a direct pathway to obtaining Canadian citizenship. To obtain the coveted citizen status, you must have lived in Canada for 3 out of 5 years following the receipt of a permanent residence in Canada.

Good news: the time you have lived in Canada as a resident will also be counted (but no more than 365 days)! However, 1 day is counted as half a day.

Accordingly, a business owner/operator can become eligible for Canadian citizenship sooner if he has lived in Canada for two or more years as a temporary resident.

Do you have any questions? Contact us for a free consultation!

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