OINP Entrepreneur Stream

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program  (OINP) Entrepreneur Stream

Nature of the Program

This program has been designed by the Government of Ontario for applicants who wish to establish a new business or to acquire an existing business in Ontario.

Generally speaking this program consists of two separate stages.

Stage 1

In the first stage you will need to prepare and register an Expression of Interest (EOI). You will need to meet all of the Minimum Requirements set out below in order to be able to register your EOI. Your EOI will then be scored on the basis of a self-declared points-based system. The score that you receive on your EOI will be used to rank your EOI against the EOIs registered by other applicants. Upon registration of the EOI depending on your total score you may receive an invitation to apply to the program at which point you will need to prepare and submit the application material and pay the application fee of $3,500 within 90 days of receiving the invitation to apply. As part of your application you will need to provide your business plan and supporting documentation showing that you meet all of the requirements of the program and to substantiate the points claimed in the EOI.

After you apply, your application material will be reviewed and if the application is found to be complete a mandatory interview will be scheduled. If your application is approved a Performance Agreement will be prepared to be signed by you and the Government of Ontario which will contain the commitments you need to make to invest and create jobs in the province. The Performance Agreement will be based on the investment and job creation outlined in the EOI and the business plan. Your business plan must be aligned with the points claimed in the EOI.

At the end of Stage 1 a decision is made by the OINP and if you are approved in Stage 1, you will move onto Stage 2.

Stage 2

After signing the Performance Agreement and before you arrive in Ontario a letter of confirmation will be issued by the OINP so you can apply for a temporary work permit from IRCC. You must arrive in Ontario with a valid work permit within 12 months of the date of the letter of confirmation. Once you arrive in Ontario, you will have 20 months to build your business and implement your business plan. You must submit a final report between 18 to 20 months after you arrive in Ontario with your valid work permit. The final report must demonstrate that all the requirements in the Performance Agreement have been met. After the OINP has confirmed that the commitments in the Performance Agreement have been met, you must demonstrate that you meet the nomination requirements set out below: 1) Language Proficiency, 2) Residency Requirement 3) Active Management. If the application is successful you will receive a Letter of Nomination and the OINP Confirmation of Nomination document. You will have to apply for permanent residence within 6 months of being nominated. You will need to continue to meet the program criteria until the granting of permanent residence.

If you meet the commitments in the Performance Agreement you may be eligible for nomination for Permanent Residence. Once nominated, you will have to apply to IRCC for permanent residence within six months of being nominated.

Requirements for Qualification

Minimum Requirements

In order to qualify the following minimum requirements must be met by the entrepreneur:

  • Management Experience – You need to have at least 36 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months as a business owner or a senior manager
  • Net Worth – If the proposed business will be located within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) you will need to have a minimum net worth of $800,000. If the business will be located outside of the GTA, you will need to have a minimum net worth of $400,000. If the proposed business will be in the (ICT)/Digital Communications sector, regardless of the location, you must have a minimum net worth of $400,000.
  • Personal Investment Funds – If the business will be located in the GTA, you will need to make a minimum personal investment of $600,000. If the proposed business will be located outside of the GTA, you will need to make a personal investment of $200,000. If the proposed business will be in the (ICT)/Digital Communications sector, regardless of the location, you must make a personal investment of $200,000.
  • Active Involvement – You must be actively involved on an ongoing basis in the management of the proposed business.
  • Minimum Equity – You must own at least 1/3 of the equity in the business.
  • Capital Investment Purpose – Your primary purpose for investing in the business cannot be deriving interest, dividends or capital gains.
  • Job Creation – You must commit to create at least 2 permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Business Related Visit – You must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario in the last 12 months from the date of registering en EOI.
  • Business Partners – You can have a maximum of one business partner who will also have to meet all of the above criteria independently.

General Requirements

In addition to the minimum requirements, the following general requirements must be met:

  • Active Income – Purpose of the business must be to make active income and not passive income
  • Legal Business – Business must comply with all federal, provincial and municipal laws, rules and regulations.
  • Permanence of Business in Ontario – The proposed business must be considered a permanent business in Ontario
  • Ontario Place of Business – The proposed business must at all times have a place of business in Ontario
  • Third Party Investors – If the business has any third party investors, such investors must be approved banks or institutional investors
  • Business Plan – A business plan must be submitted
  • Purchasing a Business – If you are purchasing a business
    1. The business must have been in continuous operation by the same person or same group of people for at least 60 months
    2. You and your partner (if any) will have to buy 100% of the business
    3. The proposed business must not have been previously owned or operated by current or former OINP Nominees
    4. You must preserve all Canadian full-time jobs and create two additional full-time jobs for Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents
    5. The proposed business plan must show that you intend to grow the business. You cannot simply buy the business with the intention to hold it without growing it.

Nomination Requirements

The following requirements do not need to be met at the time of application but they will need to be met after the business has been established and prior to nomination for permanent residence:

  • Language Proficiency – Language proficiency of CLB 4 or equivalent which can be demonstrated through either of
    1. IELTS
    2. CELPIP
    3. TEF Canada
    4. TCF Canada
  • Residency Requirement – During the period of establishing the business you must be physically residing in Canada for at least 9 months out of the year
  • Active Management – You must be actively involved in the day-to-day management of the business.

Status gained upon successful completion

Once the business is successfully established the program will offer the entrepreneur with an opportunity to be nominated for permanent residence. After the nomination is received from Ontario, the applicant must apply to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence.

Service provided by Lexpand

As you can appreciate, the OINP Entrepreneur Stream is an involved process with numerous requirements and deadlines. As part of our services to you, we will complete an initial assessment to ensure that you meet the minimum requirements to apply for the program. We will assist you with preparing, compiling and submitting your application material and supporting documents to ensure there are no deficiencies in the documentation provided to the OINP. We will keep track of your deadlines and will keep you informed of the requirements throughout the process as they arise from time to time.

Links to Government Resources

For more information on this program please visit the following link to the Government of Ontario’s website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/oinp-entrepreneur-stream

Application & Government Fees

The government application fee for the OINP Entrepreneur Stream is $3,500 per application. Additional government fees apply to candidates who apply for Permanent Resident status. To learn about our legal fees for processing an OINP Entrepreneur Stream application, contact us and book a consultation.