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Immigrant Nominee Program for Entrepreneurs Ontario


 

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) Entrepreneur Stream is designed to attract individuals who are looking to

implement a new business initiative or buy an existing business 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 th

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Entrepreneurs OINP

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Entrepreneurs

e performance agreement are adhered to, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to be nominated for Canadian permanent resident status. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Entrepreneur Stream operates on an ‘Expression of Interest’ model, whereby eligible participants must be invited to apply before they may submit a complete application.

Take the opportunity to learn more about the OINP Entrepreneur Stream through the following sections:

  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Ineligible Businesses
  • Expression of Interest Points System
  • Expression of Interest (EOI) Scoring, Draws, and Processing Periods
  • After Submitting
  • Performance Agreement
  • Business Establishment
  • Nomination Requirements

Eligibility Requirements for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

Applicant requirements

In order to make an Expression of Interest (EOI), applicants must meet the following minimum eligibility criteria:

Experience

  • Applicants must have at least 36 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months, with the last 12 months in either active general business administration or in an area of expertise related to the proposed business opportunity.
  • This experience must be as a business owner OR as a senior manager.
  • If the applicant has experience as a business owner and as a senior manager, he or she must choose only ONE to use for the EOI and for the application (if he or she is invited to apply). Applicants may choose either experience (i.e. whichever is the most recent or has more relevance to the proposed business).

Net Worth

Applicants require a minimum net worth of CAD$800,000.00 to $1,500,000.00, depending on where the business will be located. Applicants must provide a third party verification report, prepared by an authorized service provider, in order to demonstrate their net worth.

  • If the proposed business will be located within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), applicants must have a minimum net worth of $1,500,000.
  • If the proposed business will be located outside the GTA, applicants must have a minimum net worth of $800,000.
  • If the proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of where you set up the business), applicants must have a minimum net worth of $800,000.

Personal Investment Funds

  • If the proposed business will be located within the GTA, applicants must make a minimum personal investment of $1,000,000 and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3%.
  • If the proposed business will be located outside the GTA, applicants must make a minimum personal investment of $500,000 and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3%.
  • If the proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of where you set up the business), applicants must make a minimum personal investment of $500,000 and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3%.

Job Creation

Applicants must commit to creating at least two permanent, full-time jobs for Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents. If purchasing an existing business, the applicant must create two new full-time permanent positions in addition to the current staff.

Exploratory Visit

Applicants who purchase an existing business must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario in the 12 months prior to submitting the Expression of Interest.

Applicants must meet the minimum requirements for all of the above factors in order to be eligible to apply for the OINP Entrepreneur Stream. If the applicant is applying with a Business Partner who is also seeking nomination, the partner must also meet all the minimum requirements for each factor. For example, if the applicant and his or her Business Partner’s proposed business is located in the GTA, each individual you must meet the Experience and Net Worth requirements, must each invest $1,000,000 (total of $2,000,000), and each create at least two permanent full-time jobs (total of four). If purchasing an existing business, both the applicant and his or her Business Partner must make an Exploratory Visit.

 

Business Requirements

The proposed business must meet the following general requirements to participate in the Entrepreneur Stream:

  • The proposed business’ purpose must intend to make a profit through the sale of goods and/or services.
  • Primary income sources must be from active (earned) income, not passive (unearned) income.
  • The proposed business must comply with Canadian legal requirements and all regulatory industry and licensing requirements which govern its legitimate operation.
  • The proposed business must comply with all Ontario labour laws, including but not limited to employment standards, health and safety and labour relations legislation.
  • The proposed business must be considered a permanent business in Ontario.
  • Third party investors must be a Schedule I or Schedule II bank or an institutional investor.

If purchasing an existing business in Ontario, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the business meets all the minimum eligibility requirements. If the business is purchased up to 12 months prior to the date that the application is submitted, the minimum requirements of the Entrepreneur Stream will be retroactively applied and assessed based on the date that on which the business was purchased (i.e. the applicant must have the minimum net worth at the time that he or she purchased the business). In addition, the applicant must also meet the current requirements of the program at the time of application (if he or she is invited to apply).

Other requirements specific for purchasing an existing business:

  • Any existing business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner or group of owners for the last 60 months before the applicant buys the business. Proof of ownership and either a letter of intent to purchase the business or sale agreement is required.
  • The purchase must completely transfer ownership from the previous owner(s) to the applicant, his or her Business Partner, if applicable, and/or any third party investor(s), if applicable.
  • The proposed business must not have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees.
  • The applicant must preserve all existing permanent full-time jobs and create two additional permanent full-time jobs. The applicant must maintain at a minimum the current wage levels and employment terms of existing staff.
  • The proposed business plan must demonstrate that the applicant intends to grow the business. Buy and hold business plans with no intent to grow the business are not permitted.

 

Nomination Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to be nominated once they have established the business and met the performance agreement. Successfully obtaining a nomination certificate allows applicants to make an application for Canadian permanent residence.

Applicants do not need to meet these criteria when applying to the Entrepreneur Stream.

However, they must meet these criteria when they apply for nomination after the business has been established.

Language Requirement

Official language proficiency at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 level or equivalent.

Residency Requirement

To meet the active management requirements of the program, applicants must be physically residing in Ontario for 75% (9 months out of the year) for the period in which they are in Ontario establishing the business (i.e. the performance agreement period).

 

Ineligible businesses

Ontario will not process applications where there is a risk of little to no long-term economic benefit to the province. Consequently, the proposed business cannot be included in the list of ineligible businesses.

List of ineligible types of businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA):

  • Existing Franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted)
  • Gas Stations
  • Tire Recycling
  • Scrap Metal Recycling
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Bed and Breakfasts
  • Holding Companies
  • Laundromats
  • Automated Car Wash Operations
  • Payday loan and related businesses
  • Businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees

List of ineligible types of businesses outside the GTA:

  • Tire Recycling
  • Scrap Metal Recycling
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Holding Companies
  • Laundromats
  • Automated Car Wash Operations
  • Payday loan and related businesses
  • Businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees

 

Expression of Interest (EOI)

An EOI is not an application. It is an expression of interest in participating in the OINP Entrepreneur Stream. The EOI is a first step. If an individuals is invited based on his or her EOI, he or she may submit a complete application to the Entrepreneur Stream. There is no fee to submit an EOI. As it is a self-declared points-based system, applicants may claim a score based on the information provided. The total score will determine whether the applicant may receive an Invitation to Apply under the OINP Entrepreneur Stream.

Scoring Factors and Breakdown of Points

Applicants can claim points in three categories: Experience, Investment and Human Capital. The maximum score available is 160 points.

Scoring Sections Points
Experience Factors 50
Investment Factors 90
Human Capital Factors 20
Total Points Available 160

 

Experience Factors

Individuals may claim points based on business experience. The number of points is based on the individual’s past business ownership experience OR senior management experience in the last 60 months. If the individual has both business ownership and senior management experience in 36 of the past 60 months, he or she must use only one of these experiences in the EOI. There is a minimum requirement (equivalent of 36 months) to be eligible for the Entrepreneur Stream.

The experience must total, at minimum, the equivalent of 36 months within the last 60 months in either active general business administration or in an area of expertise related to the business opportunity.

If the applicant has a Business Partner, the partner must also have a minimum of 36 months of experience in the last 60 months.

Business Owner

The maximum number of points for this experience factor is 25 points.

Individuals claiming points under this factor must have owned at least 33.3% of the business during the period claimed as the length of experience. It must also be demonstrated that the role was an active role, meaning that the individual was personally involved in the day-to-day operations of the business and had direct involvement indecision-making.

Individuals invited to apply to the Entrepreneur Stream will be required to provide evidence of reported business and past experience as a business owner. Examples of acceptable evidence include financial statements as well as reference letters from investors, financial institutions, vendors, suppliers or customers.

Senior Manager

The maximum number of points for this experience factor is 20 points.

The Senior Manager role must have included senior decision-making responsibilities in areas such as Operations, Sales, Finance, Marketing, Distribution, Human Resources, Research and Development, etc.

Individuals invited to apply will be required to provide evidence of their past experience as a senior manager. If claiming points for this factor, individuals must include (at least):

  • Organizational charts providing details of the position and reporting structure. Information about the size of the organization and the position therein should be highlighted. Employer documents are preferred; and
  • Official employer reference letter(s) containing details about the position, reporting structure, role, and length of employment.

 

Experience Total Duration Points
Business Owner Less than 36 months Not eligible
36 – 47 months 13
48 – 59 months 19
60 months 25
OR
Senior Manager Less than 36 months Not eligible
36 – 47 months 8
48 – 59 months 14
60 months 20
Total Points Available 25

 

Specific Experience

Individuals may claim points based on your past specific experience in a high growth business and/or in an export trade business.

  • High Growth Business Experience:experience in a business that experienced at least 20% increase in revenue in two consecutive years. Submission of supporting documentation (e.g. financial statements) is mandatory if the individual is invited to apply.
  • Export Trade Business Experience:experience in a business exporting at least 20% of total goods/services to a foreign market. Submission of supporting documentation (e.g. financial statements with export declarations, purchase orders, invoices) is mandatory if the individual is invited to apply.

Individuals who were a business owner and who can provide supporting documentation verifying that the business was a high growth business or an export-trade business may claim these points.

Individuals who were a senior manager and who can provide a reference letter from the employer and/or other supporting documentation indicating that the role had a direct decision-making authority or a direct impact on the high growth activity/activities of the business may claim these points.

Past Specific Experience Points
None 0
Yes: 1 past specific experience 15
Yes: 2 past specific experiences 25
Total Points Available 25

 

Investment Factors

Net Worth

Individuals may claim points based on their total net worth. The maximum number of points for this factor is 15 points.

Personal net worth must be legally obtained and verifiable (e.g. proof of title to any real estate holdings and business ownership). Personal net worth includes all assets and those of the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner, less any liabilities including mortgages and personal debts. Net worth must be in the applicant’s and his or her spouse/common-law partner’s name, for example:

  • cash;
  • assets in bank accounts;
  • fixed (term) deposits;
  • real property;
  • investments in bonds, stocks and mutual funds;
  • investments in one or more businesses; and/or
  • pensions and other assets.

 

Personal Net Worth Points
If the proposed business
will be within the GTA
Less than $1,500,000 Not eligible
$1,500,000 to $1,999,999 2
$2,000,000 to $2,499,999 5
$2,500,000 to $2,999,000 8
$3,000,000 to $3,499,999 11
More than $3,500,000 15
OR
If the proposed business
will be outside the GTA
OR
if the proposed business
will be in the ICT/Digital
Communications Sector
(regardless of location)
Less than $800,000 Not eligible
$800,000 to $1,299,999 2
$1,300,000 to $1,799,999 5
$1,800,000 to $2,299,999 8
$2,300,000 to $2,799,999 11
More than $2,800,000 15
Total Points Available 15

 

Investment Amount

The minimum eligible personal investment must be derived from the applicant’s personal net worth. The maximum number of points for this factor is 20 points.

In addition to the investment, the applicant must own at least 33.33% of the business. If the applicant has a Business Partner, the Business Partner is also required to own at least 33.3% of the business.

Third parties are permitted to provide external financing (i.e. loans and / or own shares of your business) beyond the minimum investment amount. However, the third party must be a Schedule I or Schedule II bank or an institutional investor. Third-party personal investments are not permitted. If the applicant requires external financing, he or she will be required to provide details on he or she will obtain the financing and how the money will be used for the business. Applicants cannot claim points for investments that will be made by a third-party.

Individuals invited to apply will be required to provide evidence of how they plan to allocate the investment funds (e.g. business plan). As a condition of nomination for permanent resident status, applicants will be required to provide evidence, including supporting documentation (e.g. invoices, bank and financial statements) to prove that the entire investment fund was allocated, and to provide information as to how the investment funds were allocated.

In order to be considered an eligible investment, the expenditure must be essential to the establishment and operation of a new business or to purchase, improve and operate an existing business.

If the applicant is purchasing an existing business, he or she must:

  • invest some funds towards improvement / expansion of the business; and
  • note that improvement/expansion does not include regular operating expenses such as recurring inventory, wages, rent, utilities, or maintaining the same levels of marketing or advertising expenses, legal or professional fees, business licenses, etc.

Ineligible Investments

The following are not considered eligible investments:

  • Cash, cash equivalents or working capital.
  • Wage payments made to yourself and your family members.

 

Investment Amount Points
If the proposed business
will be within the GTA
Less than $1,500,000 Not eligible
$1,000,000 to $1,499,999 2
$1,500,000 to $1,999,999 6
$2,000,000 to $2,499,000 10
$2,500,000 to $2,999,999 14
More than $3,000,000 20
OR
If the proposed business
will be outside the GTA
OR
if the proposed business
will be in the ICT/Digital
Communications Sector
(regardless of location)
Less than $500,000 Not eligible
$500,000 to $999,999 3
$1,000,000 to $1,499,999 8
$1,500,000 to $1,999,999 13
$2,000,000 to $2,499,999 18
More than $2,500,000 25
Total Points Available 25

 

Job Creation

Applicants may claim points based on the total number of permanent full-time jobs they will create for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. The maximum number of points for this factor is 20 points.

Applicants must demonstrate that they will create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada in the proposed business. These jobs must be paid at the prevailing wage rate. A permanent full-time job means a position that consists of a minimum of 1,560 hours of paid employment in a 12-month period.

Job Creation Points
Less than 2 jobs Not eligible
2 jobs 5
3 – 4 jobs 12
5 – 6 jobs 19
7 or more jobs 20
Total Points Available 20

 

Exploratory Visits

Applicants may claim points based on any business-related visits to Ontario within the last year from the date that your EOI is submitted. There is no mandatory requirement for exploratory visits, unless the applicant is purchasing an existing business. The maximum number of points for this factor is 5 points.

Exploratory Visits to Ontario Points
No 0
Yes: 1 visit in the last year 2
Yes: 2 or more visits in the last year 5
Total Points Available 5

 

Key Sector Targeted

Applicants may claim points depending on whether the business will be in a key sector, as determined by the government of Ontario.

These key sectors have been defined as economic priorities for Ontario:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Financial services
  • Food and Beverage Manufacturing
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Mining
  • Tourism Investment
  • Water Technology

 

Key Sector Targeted Points
No 0
Yes 10
Total Points Available 10

 

National Occupation Classification (NOC) 0, A or B jobs

Applicants may claim points based on the NOC 0, NOC A or NOC B jobs your proposed business will create for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. The maximum number of points for this factor is 15 points.

Creation of N0C 0, A or B Jobs Points
Yes: NOC 0 or A job(s) 15
Yes: NOC B job(s) 10
No: Only NOC C and/or NOC D jobs 0
Total Points Available 15

 

Human Capital Factors

The maximum number of points for the human capital factors section is 20 points.

 

Level of Education

Applicants invited to apply who are claiming to have completed six months or more of post-secondary education will be required to provide evidence of this education, including Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) results.

Level of Education Points
No post-secondary education 0
Bwetween 6 months and 2 years of post-secondary education 2
More than 2 years of post-secondary education 5
Total Points Available 5

 

Official Language Ability

While not a mandatory requirement to be considered for the Entrepreneur Stream at the time of submitting your EOI, language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 is required at the time of nomination by OINP. The maximum number of points for this factor is 15 points.

You must demonstrate your language proficiency with either the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Test scores or Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF). Applicants invited to apply who have indicated a certain CLB level of language proficiency will be required to provide evidence of that language proficiency.

Official Language Ability Points
None or minimal (CLB 3 or below) 3
Basic understanding (CLB 4) 10
Intermediate and advanced (CLB 5 or higher) 15
Total Points Available 15

Click here to learn more about CLBs and language ability.

 

Expression of Interest (EOI) Scoring, Draws, and Processing Periods

Meeting all the minimum requirements does not guarantee that an applicant will be invited to apply to the Entrepreneur Stream. The maximum score available is 160 points. There is no minimum score, as EOIs will be ranked against each other and only top candidates will be invited to apply. If an applicant is applying with a business partner, the final score will be calculated using the lowest submitted score. For example, if the applicant’s score is 154 and the Business Partner’s score is 152, the score that will be included in the selection pool is 152. This final score will be used to rank the EOI against other EOI scores received.

At the beginning of each Processing Period, a draw will occur, with only the top scoring EOI’s being selected for processing. Draws occur approximately every 120 days. The final “cut-off” score may vary between Processing Periods due to differences in scores submitted during respective months.

EOIs not selected within 12 months from the date of receipt will be removed from the selection pool. Individuals will be able to re-apply to enter the selection pool after an EOI has been removed.

 

After Submitting

The applicant (and 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 the business plan and past experience. The applicant (and Business Partner, if applicable) is responsible for all transportation arrangements and costs incurred associated with the interview.

 

Performance Agreement

If the application is approved, the applicant will be required to sign a Performance Agreement with the province of Ontario. The principal applicant (and Business Partner, if applicable) must sign the Performance Agreement, which outlines 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 the 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 the specific business); and
  • Timeframes for any commitments.

Performance Agreements are unique to each applicant and are based on the information provided in the application (including the EOI), the business plan, and the interview, if applicable. Applicants who fail to satisfy the business commitments outlined in the Performance Agreement will not be eligible for nomination for permanent resident status.

 

Business Establishment

After the Performance Agreement is signed, successful applicants must arrive in Ontario with your valid temporary work permit issued by IRCC within 12 months from the date of the Letter of Confirmation.

After arrival in Ontario, individuals have up to 20 months to implement the business plan and meet all commitments under the Performance Agreement.

Successful applicants are responsible for submitting a Final Report to OINP between 18 and 20 months after their arrival in Ontario with a valid temporary work permit.

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.

 

Nomination Requirements

Successful nominees must apply to IRCC for permanent resident status within six months of being nominated by OINP. General nomination requirements include:

  • The applicant must be actively involved in the day-to-day management activities of the business.
  • The applicant (and Business Partner, if applicable) must physically reside in Ontario for 75% of the year (9 months out of the year) to support the business during the performance agreement period.
  • CLB 5 or equivalent language ability is required.

Federal admissibility requirements, including security and medical background checks, also apply.

Success Stories

  • As a result of the way our case has been handled we are actually ahead of schedule with our plans to move to Canada. Mike and the team at Alghoul Law Firm have created a new reality for us. Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to have made this all possible.

    John D.
  • Thank you for the help and advice you have given us. It has made what is a very stressful experience a lot less so and we have an end to our dreams of immigrating to Canada now in sight.

    Wendy Penner
  • The lawyer at Alghoul and Associates Law office got my wife Canadian permanent resident to bring my wife to Canada from China through the Canada Immigration Spousal sponsorship program. They also got my mother super visa so my mom to be here with me and my wife when we are having our first baby girl. The office staff completed the forms and helped gather documents. The law office also communicate directly with Citizenship and Immigration Canada CIC on my behalf and my mother behalf on several occasions to replay and follow up on my application. The lawyer was knowledgeable and staff very friendly and helpful. Thank you for everything

    Kay
  • I had a very nice meeting with an immigration consultant at Alghoul Law and Associates. They explained to me the international study program leading to permanent residency through the Manitoba MPNP. Also I received advice on the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Business program. Consultation was FREE and Alghoul team was very friendly and knowledgeable.

    Cat
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Entrepreneurs

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