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Canada Ontario Investor Program

The Entrepreneur stream within the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) offers a business-focused pathway for individuals looking to participate in the program. It is open to foreign nationals, and potentially one foreign national business partner, who aim to establish a new permanent business or purchase an existing one in Ontario, with the goal of generating profit through the sale of goods or services. Successful entrepreneurs who meet the requirements have the opportunity to be nominated for permanent resident status once their business is established in Ontario.

The eligibility requirements for the Entrepreneur stream are as follows:

For New Business:

Experience: A minimum of 2 years of full-time business experience as an owner or senior manager within the past 5 years.

Minimum Net Worth: The required net worth ranges from CAD $400,000 to $800,000, depending on the location and type of business.

Minimum Investment: The investment amount varies from $200,000 to $600,000, depending on the location and type of business, with a minimum ownership stake of 33.3%.

Job Creation: Create at least 1-2 full-time permanent jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents, depending on the location and type of business.

Language Proficiency: Meet a minimum language requirement of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 or its equivalent in English or French.

Active Involvement: Actively manage the business and physically reside in Ontario for at least 75% of the time during the establishment of the business.

For Purchasing an Existing Business:

Meet all the requirements listed above under the New Business section.

Continuous Operation: The existing business must have been under the same ownership or group of owners for the previous 60 months before the purchase.

Ownership Transfer: The purchase must result in a complete transfer of ownership from the previous owner(s) to you, your business partner (if applicable), and/or third-party investor(s) (if applicable).

Previous OINP Business Stream: The proposed business must not have been previously owned or operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees.

Job Preservation: Ensure that all existing permanent full-time jobs in the business are maintained.

Business Growth: The proposed business plan must demonstrate an intention to grow the business, as buy-and-hold plans without growth intent are not permitted in the Entrepreneur Stream.

Exploratory Visit: Make an exploratory visit to Ontario within 12 months after registering an expression of interest.

The OINP Entrepreneur Stream application process can be summed up as a two-phase process:

Phase I:

  1. Prepare to submit an online Expression of Interest (EOI).
  2. Register an online EOI with the OINP.
  3. Prepare an application to the Entrepreneur Stream (if invited to apply).
  4. Submit a complete online OINP Entrepreneur Stream application, upload all the necessary supporting documents and pay the required application fee.
  5. Attend a mandatory interview as part of the application assessment process. 
  6. Sign a Performance Agreement outlining investment and job creation conditions with the OINP (if the application is approved).

Phase II:

  1. Obtain a temporary work permit support letter to apply for a work permit with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) from OINP.
  2. Arrive in Ontario on a temporary work permit to establish the business and carry out the business plan. Entrepreneurs will have 20 months to establish the business in Ontario.
  3. Receive a nomination from the Government of Ontario if the conditions of the signed Performance Agreement are met.
  4. Apply for Canadian permanent residence with IRCC within six (6) months of nomination. The OINP performs post-nomination monitoring for a period of 36 months following the issuance of permanent resident status.  



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