January 25, 2016

OINP: Open for Business

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has re-designed their Business stream options.  They now have two streams open for business, Entrepreneur and Corporate.  Both streams are explained in more detail below.

Entrepreneur Stream

The Entrepreneur stream is open to foreign nationals who wish to implement a new business or buy an existing business in Ontario. Under this program, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to be nominated for permanent resident status once their business has been successfully established in Ontario.

The following are the eligibility requirements:

New Businesses:

  1.  Minimum Investment: $500,000 – $1,000,000, depending on the location and type of business. A minimum ownership of 33.3% is also required;
  2. Minimum Net Worth: $800,000 – $1,500,000, depending on the location and type of business;
  3. Experience: At least 3 years of full-time business experience (as an owner or senior manager) within the last 5 years;
  4. Create at least two full-time, permanent jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents; and
  5. Meet a minimum language requirement of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 or equivalent in English or French.


Purchasing an Existing Business:

  1.  All the requirements listed above under the New Business section;
  2. The existing business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner or group of owners for the last 5 months before you buy the business;
  3. The purchase must completely transfer ownership from the previous owner(s) to you, your Business Partner (if applicable) and/or your third party investor(s), if applicable;
  4. The proposed business must not have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees;
  5. You must preserve all existing permanent full-time jobs and create two (2) additional permanent full-time jobs. You must maintain at a minimum the current wage levels and employment terms of existing staff;
  6. The proposed business plan must demonstrate that you intend to grow the business. Buy and hold business plans with no intent to grow the business are not permitted in the Entrepreneur Stream; and
  7. Make an exploratory visit to Ontario in the 12 months prior to submitting an application.

Corporate Stream

The OINP Corporate stream assists established international corporations to expand into Ontario or buy an existing business. Key corporation staff are eligible to apply for nomination and then permanent residence under this stream.

The following are the eligibility requirements for this stream:

  • Corporations must invest a minimum of $5,000,000 in a new or existing business;
  • Key staff seeking nomination must be currently employed with the corporation and be essential to the operation of the business in Ontario.  They must also meet a minimum CLB 5 level or equivalent in either English or French;
  • Creation of five full-time, permanent positions for Canadian citizens or permanent residents per nominee position must be made;
  • Key staff nominees will have two years to demonstrate a minimum language requirement prior to permanent residence nomination
  • Other criteria will apply

For more information on Ontario’s business nomination streams, please contact our office.