OINP Entrepreneur Stream

Overview

The Entrepreneur Stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) was designed to help the Ontario government to nominate the right interested candidates for Permanent Residence in Canada. Such interested candidates, should have the intention to set up a business or purchase a running business in Ontario. Once nominated, applicants can proceed to apply for their PR with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The Entrepreneur Stream application is a two-stage process.

Stage 1

  • Register an online expression of interest
  • If invited, submit an online application
  • You and your business partner (if applicable) attend a mandatory in-person interview at the OINP office in Toronto
  • If your stage 1 application is successful, you must sign a performance agreement

Stage 2


Before you register an expression of interest

  • Make sure you meet the mandatory requirements
  • Check the list of ineligible types of businesses
  • Understand the expression of interest process
  • Read the registration instructions

Mandatory requirements

To qualify under the Entrepreneur Stream, you must have a viable business activity that will bring significant economic benefit to Ontario. You and one business partner (if applicable) must both meet the eligibility requirements.

If you are invited to submit an application, you must provide supporting documentation to demonstrate you meet the requirements.

Please refer section 13 of Ontario Regulation 422/17 and the Entrepreneur Stream Program Guide for more details on each requirement.

1. Business experience

You must have at least 36 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months.

Your experience must be as a business owner or as a senior manager (business management). As a business owner you must have had an active role in the business and owned at least one-third of the business. As a senior manager you must have had senior decision-making responsibilities in the business.

2. Net worth

If your proposed business will be located:

  • within the Greater Toronto Area (City of Toronto and Durham, Halton, York and Peel regions) you must have a minimum net worth of $1,500,000 CDN.
  • outside of the Greater Toronto Area you must have a minimum net worth of $800,000 CDN.

3. Personal investment funds and minimum equity

If your proposed business will be located:

  • within the Greater Toronto Area, you must make a minimum personal investment of $1,000,000 CDN and control at least one-third of the equity in the business
  • outside of the Greater Toronto Area, you must make a minimum personal investment of $500,000 CDN and control at least one-third of the equity in the business

If your proposed business is in the information and communications technology/digital communications sector then regardless of location, you must have a minimum net worth of $800,000 CDN.

4. Active involvement

You must be actively involved, on an ongoing basis, in the management of the business.

5. Capital investment purpose

The primary purpose of investing capital in the business must be to make a profit. It must not be to derive interest, dividends or capital gains.

6. Job creation

You must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents within the first 20 months of establishing or acquiring the business and they must be paid at the median wage level for the position.

7. Additional requirements if purchasing an existing business

If you plan to purchase an existing business:

you must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario within 12 months from the date of registering an Expression of Interest

the business being purchased must have been in continuous operation by the same owner(s) for the previous 60 months

ownership of the business must be completely transferred to the applicant or any business partner

you must use a portion of your personal investment towards improving or expanding the business in Ontario

you must keep all permanent full-time employees that worked in the business prior to the transfer of ownership


General business requirements

In addition to meeting the minimum requirements listed above, you must also meet the general business requirements listed below.

1. Business purpose

The business purpose must be to make a profit from active income through the sale of goods and/or services.

2. Canadian and Ontario legal requirements

Your business must comply with all relevant federal, provincial or municipal legal, regulatory and l icensing requirements. This includes compliance with Ontario’s labour and employment standards laws.

3. Permanent business

Your business must be permanent. Project-based and seasonal businesses are not eligible.

4. Business in Ontario

You must maintain a place of business in Ontario at all times.

Refer to the Entrepreneur Stream Program Guide for more detailed information.


Ineligible types of businesses

Before you start the process of applying you need to ensure that your proposed business is not one of the ineligible types listed below.

  • automated car wash business
  • holding companies
  • laundromats
  • pawnbrokers
  • pay day loan and related businesses
  • scrap metal recycling
  • tire recycling
  • businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees

If your proposed business will be located in the Greater Toronto Area, the following types are also ineligible.

  • existing franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted)
  • gas stations
  • bed and breakfasts

After you apply

  • if your stage 1 application is successful you will be asked to sign a performance agreement
  • if your stage 1 application is unsuccessful and you think we made an error in our decision that led to your application being refused, you may ask for an internal review

Withdrawing your application

To withdraw your application, click on the “Withdraw” button next to your file number on your main page of the OINP e-Filing Portal.

Please note:

  • we will only refund the application fee if you withdraw your application before we start processing it
  • to apply again, you will need to register a new Expression of Interest

Changes in personal information

You must notify us if there are any changes to the information provided in your EOI or your application including (but not limited to) changes in:

  • contact information
  • immigration status (expiration or change in work permit)
  • family composition due to:
    • marriage or common-law relationship
    • birth of a child
    • change of custody of a child
    • divorce/separation
    • death

You can make changes to your telephone number, email address and country of residence by logging into the OINP e-Filing Portal and clicking on “My Profile” on your main page. After the change has been made, click “Save”.

For all other changes, or to correct a data entry error (for example, you misspelled your name):

  • complete and save a Change of personal information form
  • use the subject line “Application Change Notice – [File number]”
  • if you are requesting a correction to your name or date of birth, please also include a copy of the personal details page of your passport to validate your request

Please note: We will not accept requests to completely change a name or date of birth.


Sign a performance agreement

If your stage 1 application (including your interview) is successful, you will be asked to sign a performance agreement with the Government of Ontario.

The performance agreement will outline the commitments that must be met in order to be nominated for permanent residence. The document will include, but may not be limited to:

  • a description of your business
  • investment amounts and timelines
  • number and types of jobs to be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • mandatory business milestones and achievements
  • timeframes for commitments

If your stage 1 application is unsuccessful

If your application is unsuccessful, we will let you know by email. If you think we made an error in our decision that led to your application being refused, you may ask for an internal review.

To request an internal review:

  • 30 calendar days of receiving your notice of refusal if you live in Canada
  • 60 calendar days of receiving your notice of refusal if you live outside of Canada

In your email, explain how:

  • on the date you submitted your application, you met all requirements
  • an error we made resulted in your application being unsuccessful

Do not include any new information that you did not include in your original application, unless that information was not reasonably available to you at the time you submitted your application.

New information that you did not include in your application because of an oversight will not be considered.

Internal review requests must be sent by email. We will not accept requests by mail, fax or in-person.


Get a temporary work permit

After you sign the performance agreement, we will issue a letter of confirmation enabling you and your business partner (if applicable) to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a temporary work permit. This letter constitutes Ontario’s support for you and your family to move to Ontario to start the business.

IRCC is responsible for issuing all work permits in Canada.


Establish your business

During the time you are establishing your business you must check in with us on a regular basis. Refer to the Entrepreneur Stream Program Guide to learn more about these requirements.

1. Arrive in Ontario

You must arrive in Ontario with your valid temporary work permit within 12 months from the date you received your letter of confirmation from the OINP.

You must tell us you have arrived in Ontario within seven days of getting here.

2. Build your business

Once you get to Ontario, you have 20 months from the date you arrive to implement your business and meet all commitments under your performance agreement.

You must ensure that the required permanent full-time jobs are continuously filled for at least 10 months, up to the day you submit your final report.

OINP officers will monitor your business to make sure you stay on track to meeting your obligations under your performance agreement. You will also be required to provide quarterly reports and a final report to OINP.

3. Submit a final report

You must submit your final report to us between 18 and 20 months after you arrive in Ontario.


Get nominated for permanent residence

After we confirm that your new business has met the commitments outlined in the performance agreement, we will ask you for supporting documentation (please refer to the Entrepreneur Stream Application Guide) to ensure you (and your business partner) meet the nomination requirements listed below.

1. Language

You must be able to listen, read, write and speak English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4.

For English tests, the OINP accepts:

  • International English Language Testing (IELTS) (General Training test only)
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) (General test only)

For French tests, the OINP accepts:

  • Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF)
  • Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada)

2. Residency

You must be physically living in Ontario for 75 per cent of the time during which you are establishing your business.

3. Active management

You must be actively involved in the day-to-day management activities of your business.

Refer to the Entrepreneur Stream Program Guide for more details on these requirements.

If you are nominated

If your application for nomination is successful you will receive a Letter of Nomination and an OINP Certificate of Nomination.

Your next step is to apply within six months for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

You will need to include your Letter of Nomination and the OINP Certificate of Nomination.

If you are nominated

If your application is unsuccessful, we will let you know by email. If you think we made an error in our decision that led to your application being refused, you may ask for an internal review.

To request an internal review:

  • 30 calendar days of receiving your notice of refusal if you live in Canada
  • 60 calendar days of receiving your notice of refusal if you live outside of Canada

In your email, explain how:

  • on the date you submitted your application, you met all requirements
  • an error we made resulted in your application being unsuccessful

You cannot include any new information that you did not include in your original application, unless that information was not reasonably available to you at the time you submitted your application.

New information that you did not include in your application because of an oversight will not be considered.

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