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Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program: Business

Under Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), entrepreneurs looking to implement a new business or expand operations in Ontario can gain nomination by the province for Permanent Residence, under the Business category in one of the following two streams:

  • Corporate stream
  • Entrepreneur stream

Corporate Stream
If you have a viable business activity that could bring significant economic benefits to Ontario then you would be eligible to apply under this stream. If your proposal is approved by the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), your key staff may apply for a temporary work permit to establish the business.

The corporation and all key staff members must meet all the eligibility criteria to qualify under this stream, and this includes:

  • Corporation Requirements: established for at least 3 years at the time the application is submitted and must follow one of the following structures: public corporation, sole proprietorship or partnership
  • Investment Requirements: The corporation must make a minimum investment of $5 million to expand into the province or purchase an existing business in the province.
  • Local Job Creation Requirements:
    • Your Corporation must create five new permanent and full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents excluding your key staff or relatives
    • Positions must be paid at or above the minimum wage level
    • Full time jobs are equivalent to a minimum of 1,560 hours of paid employment in one year
    • The position must be continuously filled for at least 10 months prior to the submission of your final report.
  • General Requirements:
    • The proposed business must make profit through the sale of goods and services.
    • If purchasing an existing business, it must be incorporated in Ontario and considered a permanent business
    • The proposed business must comply with all Ontario labour laws
    • The proposed business must not be involved in an immigration-linked investment scheme
    • Business and/or work experience
    • You must submit a business plan.

    Entrepreneur Stream

    You could be eligible for this program if you have a business activity that could bring significant benefit to Ontario. Once you have been approved, you could apply for a temporary work permit to establish your business, and after successfully establishing the business, you would be eligible to be nominated by the OINP. You must meet all eligibility criteria in order to apply under the Entrepreneur Stream.

    If you are applying with a business partner, your business partner must also meet the eligibility criteria. Which include:

    • Experience: At least three years of full-time business experience in the last five years and the experience must be as a senior manager or business owner
    • Net Worth
      • A minimum net worth of $1,500,000 if the business is established within the greater Toronto area; Toronto, Durham, Halton, York and Peel
      • A minimum of $800,000 if the business is located outside the GTA
      • Minimum of $800,000 if the business is in the ICT or Digital Communications sector
    • Personal Investment Funds
      • If the business is located within the GTA, then a personal investment of $1,000,000 and a minimum equity ownership of 33.3% would need to be made
      • If located outside the GTA then a minimum personal investment of $500,000, with a 33.3% equity ownership would need to be made
      • If the business is in the ICT/Digital Communications sector, a minimum personal investment of $500,000 and equity ownership of 33.3 per cent must be met.
    •  Job Creation: You must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens/ permanent residents.
    •  Business-Related Visit: if purchasing an existing business, then you must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario one year prior to submitting your expression of interest (EOI)

    Steps to apply:

    • Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
    • If you are invited to apply, you can submit a complete application and application fee to the OINP.
    • If your application is approved, you will sign a Performance Agreement with your commitments to invest and create jobs in Ontario.
    • The IRCC will issue a temporary work permit support letter to apply for a temporary work permit, so that you would be able to set up your business in Ontario.
    • If all commitments of the performance agreement are met, then you could be eligible to be nominated for permanent residence. If nominated, then you must apply for permanent residence within six months of the nomination being made.

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