Important Considerations in Corporate Immigration to Leap the LMO Hurdle

March 28, 2013

This posting was authored by Haidah Amirzadeh and Kit McGuinness,
Miller Thomson LLP.

With a hot provincial economy, young work force, and comparatively low corporate and personal tax rates, Saskatchewan has become a very popular province for foreign investment. While foreign investors looking to start a business in Saskatchewan must consider the various effects that corporate structuring can have upon their business, they should also consider how it can impact their immigration status.

One of the biggest hurdles in gaining a Work Permit in Canada is the requirement of a positive Labour Market Opinion (“LMO”) to be issued by Service Canada. This requires the employer to make a detailed application regarding their unfruitful recruitment efforts in Canada. It’s a process which can be lengthy and cumbersome, particularly if Service Canada has no prior relationship with the employer.

However, investors in Canada can bypass this hurdle if they apply as an Intra-Company Transferee, which is provided for under R205(a), C-12 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as applications made under this provision are LMO-exempt.

This type of Work Permit application is for executives, senior management, and those employees possessing specialized knowledge. It requires an existing foreign corporation to register a Canadian entity using either the Canadian Business Corporations Act, or a provincial equivalent. In addition to the foreign ownership requirement, there are important corporate structuring requirements to consider when making this type of application.

However, the LMO-exemption provided for in R205(a) is very much worth the extra effort as it can assist in creating stability for your company by allowing senior personnel or those with specialized knowledge to supervise in new Canadian entity’s formative stages.

If you would like more information on this topic, please contact the authors of this posting, Haidah Amirzadeh at 306.667.5608 or and Kit McGuinness at 306.667.5614 or


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