Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) for Business
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) for Business is an economic immigration program designed by the Province of Ontario which is focused on the economic priorities of the province.
Under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) for business nominations for permanent residence are made to candidates that have valuable managerial skills and business experience. Currently there are currently two Streams to apply under the program :
The OINP Entrepreneur Stream
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s (OINP) Entrepreneur Stream, nominates business people and entrepreneurs that have proved managerial skills. The program is aimed to attract candidates that will establish a new business idea or buy an existing one. It also offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to be nominated for permanent resident status once their business has been successfully established in Ontario.
The following steps are required to participate in the Entrepreneur Stream:
- Register an online Expression of Interest (EOI).
- This online EOI is entered into the selection pool and ranked by score. Periodically, the ministry will draw registrants from the EOI selection pool and invite them to apply to the OINP Entrepreneur Stream.
- Candidates who are invited to apply, can submit a complete application and application fee to the OINP.
- If the application is approved, candidates are required to sign a Performance Agreement outlining the commitments they have made in their EOI to invest and create jobs in Ontario. They will be issued a temporary work permit support letter to apply for a temporary work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in order to establish their business in Ontario. IRCC retains the authority to issue temporary work permits.
- If a candidate meets the commitments of their Performance Agreement, they may be eligible to be nominated by the OINP for permanent resident status.
- Successful nominees must apply to IRCC for permanent resident status within six months of being nominated by OINP.
Candidates may be eligible for this program if they have a viable business activity that will bring significant economic benefit to Ontario. If approved, a candidates and their business partner (if applicable) may apply for a temporary work permit in order to establish the business. Once this business has been successfully established, both the candidate and the business partner (if applicable) may be eligible for nomination by the OINP. They must meet all eligibility criteria in order to apply to the Entrepreneur Stream. If they are applying with a business partner, the business partner must also meet the eligibility criteria.
To be eligible, both the candidates and the business partner must meet the following requirements:
- At least 36 months of full-time business experience as owner or senior manager in the last 60 months.
- Net Worth, depending on location: If the business will be located (1) within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) : a minimum of $1,500,000 CDN ; (2) outside of the GTA: a minimum net worth of $800,000 CDN.
- Net Worth, depending on type of business: If the proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of the proposed business location): minimum net worth of $800,000 CDN.
- Personal Investment Funds: If the proposed business will be located (1) within the GTA: a minimum personal investment of $1,000,000 CDN and a minimum equity ownership of 33.3 per cent; (2) outside of the GTA: a minimum personal investment of $500,000 CDN and a minimum equity ownership of 33.3 per cent.
- If the proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications sector: a minimum personal investment of $500,000 CDN and a minimum equity ownership of 33.3 per cent.
- Job Creation: the business must create at least 2 permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens/ permanent residents.
- Exploratory Visit: If the applicant is planning to purchase an existing business, then at least 1 business-related visit to Ontario has to be done 12 months prior to the date of submitting the application.
The OINP Business Category Corporate Stream
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s Corporate Stream helps and supports established international corporations looking to expand into Ontario or buy an existing business. Once the Ontario business has been successfully established, key staff is eligible to apply for nomination that could lead to permanent resident status.
The corporation and their key staff must meet all eligibility criteria in order to apply:
- Invest a minimum of $5 million CDN in a new or existing business
- Create 5 full-time, permanent positions for Canadian citizens or permanent residents per key staff.
- Key staff seeking nomination must be currently employed with the corporation and be essential to the establishment, continued operation and success of the business in Ontario.
- Key staff must meet a minimum language requirement of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB 5) level or equivalent in order to be nominated after the business has been established in Ontario