Ontario Entrepreneur Stream

The Entrepreneur Stream of the OINP (Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program) is designed for immigrants who have a business idea to start a new or purchase an existing business in Ontario. Experienced business owners and senior business managers who want to live in Ontario can apply to this entrepreneur stream.

The OINP Entrepreneur Stream gives you a pathway for Canadian PR. However, you receive the PR only after certain qualifying conditions are met. Eligible candidates have to first receive an Invitation to Apply before they make an application. The invitations are issued on the basis of a specific points-based system.

What is the eligibility for Ontario Entrepreneur Stream?

The candidates may apply to the OINP Entrepreneur Stream alone or with a business partner. In a condition of multiple business partners, all parties must fulfill criteria for each factor. In order to be eligible to make an Expression of Interest (EOI), the minimum requirement for each factor is listed below:

Minimum eligibility requirements for applicants

  • Business Experience: The candidate must have 2 years of full-time business experience in the last 5 years as a business owner or a senior manager. The business owner should have been actively involved in the management of business activities and should have owned one-third of the business. As a senior manager, the candidate should have been a part of senior management's decision-making responsibilities. 
  • Net Worth: If the proposed business is to be located within Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the candidate must have a minimum net worth of $800,000. If the business is located outside the GTA, the candidate should have a net worth of $400,000. The net worth assessment verification report should be conducted by a third-party service provider. 
  • Investment: The minimum investment required also depends on the area of the proposed business. If the business is to be located within the GTA, a minimum personal investment of $600,000 is to be made. If the proposed business is situated outside GTA, a minimum of $200,000 is to be invested. The personal investments must cover expenditures of the operations of the business. If the business shall be in the Digital Communications or ICT sector, a minimum of $200,000 should be made. 
  • Equity ownership: the applicant should have a minimum of 33.3% (one-third) of equity ownership. 
  • Job Creation: If the proposed business is located within GTA, the candidate must create at least two full-time permanent positions for a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident. In case the business is to be located outside GTA, one full-permanent position shall be generated for a Canadian citizen or a Permanent resident of Canada. 

Minimum eligibility requirements for establishing a new business

  • The primary sources of income should be made from actively earned income. 
  • The proposed business should comply with Canadian legal requirements, a regulatory industry that govern its legitimate operations.
  • The business should comply with Ontario labor laws. 
  • The business should be considered a permanent business in Ontario.
  • Any third-party investors should be a Schedule I or Schedule II institutional/ Bank investor.
  • The applicant should submit a business concept plan.

Requirements for purchasing an existing business

  • The existing business should have been in operation by the same owner for the last 60 months prior to the applicant’s submission of purchase of the business. Proof of ownership and a sale agreement is required at the time of application.
  • The ownership of the business must be completely transferred to the applicant and the business partner or third-party investor (if applicable). 
  • The existing business intended to be purchased must not have been previously owned by any current or former OINP business stream nominee.
  • The applicant should preserve all permanent existing full-time jobs.  
  • If the purchasing business is located within GTA, the applicant must create two full-time permanent positions. In case the purchasing business is located outside GTA, the applicant should create one full-time permanent job for a Canadian citizen or Permanent resident of Canada. The applicant shall also maintain current wage levels and employment terms for the staff. 
  • A minimum of 10% of the minimum investment should be allocated towards expanding the business in Ontario.

Minimum requirements for obtaining a nomination

Successfully receiving a nomination from Ontario, allows the candidate to apply for a permanent residence in Canada. Following are the requirements to obtain a nomination from OINP:

(Please note that the following criteria are when the candidate has already established the business and is applying to the Government of Ontario nomination to make an application for Permanent Residence of Canada) 

  • The candidate must demonstrate language proficiency of Canadian Language Benchmark Level 4 or above in either English or French. There are 4 components of the test, Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking. 
  • The applicant must be residing in Ontario for 9 months (75 percent) out of the year in which they are establishing their business, in order to be meet the residency requirements. 
  • The applicant should be actively involved in the management activities of the business. 
  • The Nominees should meet the conditions of the Performance Agreement along with the information provided in the business plan and Expression of Interest, within 20 months of arriving in Ontario


What are the ineligible businesses to avoid? 

Certain proposed businesses are considered to have a risk of no-long term benefit to the province of Ontario. The application for these business plans shall not be processed by the province of Ontario. The candidates should avoid the following list of ineligible businesses: 

Ineligible Businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

  • Already existing business franchises in Ontario (any new foreign franchise 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 that have been previously owned or operated by any current or former OINP business stream nominees
  • Any businesses related to producing, distributing, or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing any sexually oriented services

Ineligible Businesses outside the GTA

  • Tire Recycling
  • Scrap Metal Recycling
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Holding Companies
  • Laundromats
  • Automated Car Wash Operations
  • Payday loan and related businesses
  • Businesses that have been previously owned/operated by any current or former OINP business stream nominees.
  • Any business that is related to producing, distributing, or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing any sexually oriented services.

What is the process of applying to the Entrepreneur Stream?

Step 1: Register online with OINP and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).

Step 2: Once the candidates are invited to apply, they should prepare and submit the application to Entrepreneur Stream with all the required necessary documents and application fees.

Step 3: The candidate then should appear for an interview as part of an assessment of the application process. 

Step 4: After the application is approved, the applicant then signs a Performance Agreement with the OINP stating the investment made and the number of jobs created.

Step 5: The next step is to obtain a temporary work permit support letter with the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) from OINP. 

Step 6: Next step is to arrive in Ontario and establish the proposed business in accordance with the business plan. The entrepreneurs should do this within 20 months of arriving in Ontario.

Step 7: Then the candidate receives a nomination from the Government of Ontario if all the conditions in the Performance Agreement are met.

Step 8: The final step is to apply for a Canadian Permanent Residence to IRCC within 6 months of obtaining the nomination from the province of Ontario.

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