Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program - Entrepreneur Stream
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program - Entrepreneur Stream
Ontario is working to attract foreign corporations and entrepreneurs – and their new business ideas, talent and investment – to the province. Under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), entrepreneurs looking to implement a new business idea/initiative or buy an existing business in Ontario can be nominated by the Province for permanent residence.
The Entrepreneur Stream operate under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), a Provincial Nominee Program that allows Ontario to nominate individuals deemed to have credentials that would benefit the local labour market. Ontario is home to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, and Canada’s largest city, Toronto, which is located close to other major North American markets.
The program offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to be nominated for permanent resident status once their new business has been successfully established in Ontario. Successful applicants will obtain a temporary work permit support letter, based on a performance agreement, to establish the business in Ontario. If the investment and job creation agreements outlined in the performance agreement are adhered to, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to be nominated for Canadian permanent resident status through the OINP. OINP is now accepting Expression of Interest (EOI) submissions to the Entrepreneur Stream.
You must meet all eligibility criteria in order to apply to the Entrepreneur Stream. If you are applying with a business partner, your business partner must also meet the eligibility criteria. The eligibility criteria include the following:
- You and your business partner (if applicable) must each make a minimum investment of $200,000 depending on the location and sector of your proposed business
- You and your business partner (if applicable) must each create at least two full-time permanent jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- You and your business partner (if applicable) must both meet a minimum language requirement of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 or equivalent in order to be nominated after your business has been established in Ontario
In order to apply to the Entrepreneur Stream, you must first submit an EOI. Based on your EOI score, you may be invited to apply to the Entrepreneur Stream. If you are invited to apply to the Entrepreneur Stream, you must send a payment of $3,500 that will be used to process your application. If you have a Business Partner, the partner must also send a payment of $3,500. Fees are non-refundable.
Once you successfully receive an ITA from OINP, it only takes 90 days to process your application once received by them.
You (and your Business Partner, if applicable) may be required to attend a mandatory in-person interview at OINP’s offices. The purpose of the mandatory interview is to get a better understanding of your business plan and your past experience. If you are unable to attend the interview, your application may be denied and your Entrepreneur stream processing fee will not be returned.
To review the criteria briefly, you must:
- invest a minimum of CDN $200,000 in proposed business to be located outside GTA;
- have a minimum verifiable personal net worth of CDN $400,000 if outside GTA;
- *** NO maximum age limit; Minimum High School Education level;
- have scored a minimum band score of 5.0 on the IELTS at time of nomination*;
- must have 24 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months;
- must commit to create at least 1 permanent full-time job for local residents
Overview of Process (Steps)
- Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).
- If you are invited to apply, you can submit a complete application to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).
- If your application is approved, you will sign a Performance Agreement outlining the commitments you have made to invest and create jobs in the province. You will be issued a temporary work permit support letter to apply for a temporary work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)1 in order to establish your business in Ontario.
- If you meet the commitments of your Performance Agreement, you may be eligible to be nominated by Ontario for permanent resident status.
- Successful nominees must apply to IRCC for permanent resident status within six (6) months of being nominated by OINP.
If your application is approved, you will be required to sign a Performance Agreement with the Province of Ontario. The Principal Applicant (and your Business Partner, if applicable) must sign the Performance Agreement. The Performance Agreement will outline the commitments required in order to be nominated for permanent resident status. This document will include, but may not be limited to:
- A description of your business (including industry and its location)
- The investment amounts and timelines
- The number and type of jobs to be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- Mandatory business milestones and achievements (depending on your specific business)
- Timeframes for any commitments
Performance Agreements are unique to each applicant and are based on the information provided in your application (including your EOI), your business plan, and your interview.
If you fail to satisfy the business commitments outlined in the Performance Agreement, you will not be eligible for nomination for permanent resident status.
Temporary Work Permit
Once you (and your Business Partner, if applicable) have signed your Performance Agreement, OINP will issue you (and your Business Partner, if applicable) a Letter of Confirmation so that you can apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a temporary work permit. This constitutes Ontario’s support for you and your family to move to Ontario to start your business.
You are responsible for submitting a Final Report to OINP between 18 and 20 months after you arrive in Ontario with your valid temporary work permit. A template for the Final Report will be provided. Please note that a Final Report to initiate the nomination process cannot be submitted earlier than one year from arrival and only after OINP has completed the required monitoring.
The Final Report along supporting documentation must be submitted to OINP in order to initiate the nomination process.
In your Final Report, it is your responsibility to demonstrate that you have met your Performance Agreement objectives.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. Immigration rules are constantly evolving and we do our best to keep you informed. MBC specialist advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstances. Email your comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org