Canada To Abolish Temporary Foreign Worker Program Processing For Owner/Operators

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are moving to cancel the special Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) processing made for candidates in the owner/operator category.

As of April 1, 2021, owner/operator candidates will be assessed on the same basis as other Temporary Foreign Worker Program applicants.

Presently, candidates in the category are exempted from the advertising and recruitment requirement for obtaining a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

But this exemption is being canceled “as part of regular policy reviews to ensure that the TFWP continues to work within its intended purposes and is only used by employers to fill a position when eligible Canadians or permanent residents are not available,” says Employment and Social Developments Canada (ESDC).

Owner/operators are candidates who are eligible for a work permit by buying into a business and moving to Canada. They must have a controlling interest in the business venture by being the sole proprietor or majority shareholder.

Buy a Business and Move to Canada

Who Is Eligible?

  • A foreign businessman/investor with verifiable, transferable management experience.
  • Sufficient assets to buy, or start the said business in Canada.
  • Sufficient language abilities in either French or English to actively work as a manager in the business.

What is the process?

  • The foreign businessman/investor identifies a Canadian business to purchase.
  • A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is lodged along with a suitable business plan.
  • Once a positive LMIA opinion is sent out, the foreign businessman/investor applies for a 12-24 months, renewable temporary work permit.

How long does this process take?

Once a suitable business is found, it will take about three months to complete the LMIA application process. It will take less than three (3) months in most jurisdictions, to obtain a work permit. This processing time may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

When can the work permit holder apply for permanent residence?

There is no minimum wait time. Eligible candidates may apply for Canadian permanent residence with their families, soon after they land in Canada.

Is this a formal government program?

No. The above process relies on the rules governing owner/operator policies, and other immigration programs to achieve the above-described outcome.

Who is the right candidate for a “buy a business and work in Canada visa”?

Opportunities under formal investment-based immigration programs are very limited in Canada. Most provincial investment-based programs are usually run by an invitation to apply scheme. That overall process takes between 12-36 months and often takes longer to conclude.

A foreign investor businessman, motivated to live in a particular area of Canada, can buy a suitable business and move to that area of choice. This is far better than trying to meet provincial immigration programs.

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