Work Permit

There are 2 types of work permits:

  • Open work permits and
  • Employer-specific work permits.

The type of work permit you will be eligible for depends on your application. Owner/ Operator LMIA-Based Work Permit: To be eligible for an Owner-Operator Work Permit, an entrepreneur must be a sole proprietor or hold at least 50.1% of the shares of a Canadian company. The higher the stake and ownership, the higher are the chances of the application to be accepted sooner. It is possible to apply for a work permit under this category to grow the existing business as well. Any Canadian employer who wishes to employ a temporary foreign worker must first go through the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. Through this process, an employer obtains an authorization from the Government to bring a foreign worker to Canada.


The Owner Operator LMIA pathway is most suitable for three types of individuals looking to become permanent residents of Canada.

  • Foreign nationals that have an established business in their home country or in several countries and are looking to launch their business in Canada by obtaining an Owner Operator LMIA;
  • Foreign nationals who have the financial assets to launch a new business in Canada and be approved for an Owner Operator LMIA; and or
  • Foreign nationals who have the financial assets to purchase an existing business in Canada to become the Owner Operator and be approved for an Owner Operator LMIA.

Steps to pursue in the process:

  1. Structure the Company framework in Canada
  2. Submit Owner Operator LMIA application to the Government
  3. Apply for and receive Work Permit- Run your company 
  4. Apply for Express Entry Federal Skilled Worker
  5. Apply for Permanent Residence


An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer:

  • Who is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions; or
  • Who regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you:

  • Are an international student who graduated from a designated learning institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program;
  • Are a student who’s no longer able to meet the costs of your studies (destitute student);
  • Have an employer-specific work permit and are being abused or at risk of being abused in relation to your job in Canada;
  • Applied for permanent residence in Canada;
  • Are a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence;
  • Are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student;
  • Are the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program;
  • Are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member;
  • Are under an unenforceable removal order;
  • Are a temporary resident permit holder; and
  • Are a young worker participating in special programs.

In each of these situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on the page is as of December 2020. This policies are subject to change by immigration refugee citizenship Canada and or the provincial government of Canada without a notice. Viapply and it's agent do not guarantee the validity and effectiveness of federal or provincial policy before the date of when retainer comes into force.

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