Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has recently clarified their policies regarding Owner/Operator LMIAs. Under the current updated policy, applicants must demonstrate a controlling interest in the business (e.g. being the business’s majority shareholder). Additionally, applicants must not be able to be dismissed from their employment as owner/operators. Previously, applicants needed to prove “active involvement” in a business’s processes or service delivery in Canada. This vague requirement could often, but not always, be satisfied by proving an applicant was the largest shareholder in a business with at least a 33% stake. Though ESDC’s recent policy change has established more onerous ownership requirements, it has provided much-needed clarity regarding exactly what applicants must establish to satisfy the requirements of this LMIA.

The owner/operator LMIA is an attractive option to applicants looking to enter Canada to actively control and manage a business, as these LMIAs are exempt from the lengthy and cumbersome advertising requirements that apply to most LMIAs. However, it is still necessary for all applicants to satisfy ESDC that their employment will benefit the Canadian labour market.

Our team of lawyers has extensive experience with all types of LMIAs, and can help ensure your application satisfies ESDC’s challenging and ever-changing requirements. To learn more about the LMIA process and working in Canada, please contact our office.


Borders Law firm

Michael Freeman

The team at Borders - specifically Devika and Jenny - were an extraordinary support in navigating the Permanent Residency process. They were responsive and easily available, and incredibly detailed and thorough in their work. I strongly recommend them for anyone navigating the immigration process, and feel so grateful for their expertise and kindness that made a tricky process feel smooth.

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Borders Law firm is one of the best immigration consultants & lawyers in Ontario, Canada. Their way of service is outstanding & Ms.Devika’s service is really appreciable. She will clearly tell the best option that suits you. Special thanks to Jenny, she helped the documentation part in a professional way. I will 100 percentage suggests borders law firm for immigration-related services. Thank you so much for your service.

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We wanted to write sincere thanks to John, Devika and Borders Law firm for the help throughout the process. John was extremely kind and thorough and he counselled with suitable options available for me on migration to Canada, documentation submissions, query resolutions, visa processing and continued personal support and follow up until the last step I am beyond grateful for their kindness and service. I will be using them for any changes to our companies immigration needs going forward. Would recommend this firm for anybody blindly looking for immigration help. They would guide you with complete transparency and professionalism. Thank you once again.

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