Hey there. You’re visiting our new site. Click here to go back to the previous version of our website.

Entrepreneur

The Ontario Entrepreneur stream is one of the Business Streams of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), operated by the province of Ontario. This stream is designed to target experienced business owners or senior business managers who want to live in Ontario. Successful applicants must start a new business or buy an existing business in which they participate in the day-to-day management duties.

Get Started

After operating an Ontario business for a minimum of 18 months, the entrepreneur may be nominated for permanent resident status. This program is by invitation only. Interested candidates must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the OINP e-Filing Portal. After registering a profile the candidate will be assigned a score based on the Ontario Entrepreneur Ranking System. The candidates with the most competitive scores will be invited to submit an official application to the program.

Program Requirements

Requirement 
Express Entry ProfileNo
Connection to ProvinceNo
Job OfferNo
Language ProficiencyCLB 4
Level of EducationNo minimum
Work ExperienceBusiness owner or senior manager (business management) for at least 24 months of the last 60 months.
Investment RequirementInvestment: $200,000 CAD
Personal Net Worth: $400,000 CAD

In order to qualify to submit an EOI for the Ontario Entrepreneur stream, a candidate must be able to prove they have the interest, ability, and financial resources to own and actively manage an Ontario business. For this reason, the program requires a high level of business management experience as well as a significant financial net worth.

 

Investment Requirement

This stream requires a significant net worth and investment on the part of the applicant. The exact amount varies depending on the location of the proposed business and the type of business:

  1. Inside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) If the proposed business is located within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) the applicant must have a minimum net worth of at least $800,000 CAD. As well, the applicant must make a minimum personal investment of at least $600,000 CAD and control at least one-third of the equity in the business.
  2. Outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) If the proposed business is located outside of the GTA, the applicant must have a minimum net worth of at least $400,000 CAD and must invest at least $200,000 CAD and control at least one-third of the equity in the business.
  3. In the Information and Communications Technology (ICT)/Digital Communications Sector If the proposed business is in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT)/Digital Communications sector then the applicant must have a net worth of at least $400,000 CAD and must invest at least $200,000 CAD.

Additionally, the proposed business cannot be on the list of ineligible businesses.

 

Work Experience

In order to qualify, the applicant must have at least 24 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months. This work must be in an active role, meaning that the applicant participated in day-to-day operations rather than as a passive business investor. The applicant will also have to maintain an active role with their proposed business in Ontario and must control at least one-third of the equity in the proposed business.

 

Business Plan

Interested applicants will have to provide an in-depth proposal for their business plan in Ontario. The proposed business must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

 

Language Proficiency

Candidates for this stream must have valid language test scores showing proficiency equivalent to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4 or higher in English. This is not required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) but is required as part of the official application to OINP.

 

Residency Requirement

While in Ontario, applicants will be required to reside in the province for at least 75% of the time establishing their business.

 

Business Partner

An applicant may be able to submit an application with a business partner, but both parties must meet all minimum requirements. Only one business partner is permitted.

Ineligible Types of Businesses

The following types of businesses are not eligible to apply for the Ontario Entrepreneur stream:  

List of ineligible types of business 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
Pay dar loan and related businesses
Businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees
 
List of ineligible types of business outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
Tire recycling
Scrap metal recycling
Pawnbrokers
Holding companies
Laundromats
Automated car wash operations
Pay day loan and related businesses
Businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees

Application Procedure

The Ontario Entrepreneur stream operates on an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Candidates who meet the minimum stream requirements can register a profile and submit an EOI by creating a ONe-key account with the OINP e-Filing Portal. Once the profile has been submitted, candidates will be assigned a score and ranked against one another using the Ontario Entrepreneur Ranking system. The highest ranking candidates will be invited to apply to the stream.

Candidates who receive an invitation to apply have 90 days to submit all required information and documents, including a business plan and a review of personal net worth. This verification of personal net worth must be completed by a qualified third party. The Ontario Entrepreneur stream charges a $3,500 CAD application fee per applicant. Note that if an application is complete, the next stage of the application requires the applicant to attend a mandatory in-person interview at the OINP offices in Ontario. Travel and accommodations for this interview are at the applicant’s expense.

If the application is approved, the applicant will have to sign a Performance Agreement with the OINP. After this, the OINP will issue a work permit support letter, enabling the applicant to gain authorization to Canada. Select business categories of immigration allow foreign nationals to apply for temporary work permits allowing them to work in Canada while establishing their business practice. These work permits do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), meaning they are LMIA-exempt. To apply for such a work permit, an applicant must include a work permit support letter issued by the province and submit their applications to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Once arriving in Canada, the applicant has a maximum of 20 months to implement their business plan. Between 18 to 20 months, the applicant must submit a final report to OINP which acts as a request for nomination. If an applicant’s final report is approved by the OINP, they will receive an official provincial nomination.

With a provincial nomination in hand, the applicant may apply for Canadian permanent residence. Applicants in this program must complete and submit a paper-based application for permanent residence and submit it by mail to the appropriate application centre. Paper-based PNP applications for permanent residence are generally processed within 18 months.

Ontario Entrepreneur Ranking System

The Ontario Entrepreneur stream uses the following points-grid to rank candidates who have submitted EOIs. Only those candidates with the most competitive scores will be invited to apply to the program.

Overview of Factors

Scoring SectionsPoints
Experience Factors50
Investment Factors100
Human Capital Factors20
Total Points Available 170

Experience Duration

Experience Total DurationPoints
Business Owner
Less than 24 monthsNot eligible
24 - 47 months13
48 – 59 months19
60 months25
Senior Manager (Business Management)
Less than 24 monthsNot eligible
48 - 59 months19
60 months25
Total Points Available25

Specific Experience

Past Specific Experience Points
No 0
Yes: 1 past specific experience 15
Yes: 2 past specific experience25
Yes: 3 past specific experience35
Total Points Available 35

Personal Net Worth

Personal Net Worth Points
If your proposed business will be within the GTA
Less than $800,000 Not eligible
$800,000 to $2,499,9995
$2,500,000 or more10
If your proposed business will be outside the GTA OR If your proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of location)
Less than $400,000 Not eligible
$400,000 to $999,999 10
$1,000,000 or more15
Total Points Available 15

Investment Amount

Investment Amount Points
If your proposed business will be within the GTA
Less than $600,000 Not eligible
$600,000 to $1,499,999 10
$1,500,000 to $2,999,999 15
$3,000,000 or more20
If your proposed business will be outside the GTA OR if your proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of location)
Less than $200,000 Not eligible
$200,000 to $499,999 15
$500,000 to $799,99920
$800,000 or more25
Total Points Available 25

Job Creation

Job Creation Points
1 for outside GTA or ICT/Digital Communications sector
2 for inside GTA
3
3-4 jobs5
5 or more jobs7
Total Points Available 7

Business Visits

Business-Related 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

Targeted Key Sector

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

Business Location

Business Location Points
CMA with a population of 175,000 or more 0
CMA or CA with a population greater than 100,000 but less than 175,0005
Other location with a population of 100,000 or below 10
Total Points Available 10

Job Creation NOC Level

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

Education

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

Language Ability

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

Ontario Entrepreneur - Recent Draws & Invitation History

Below is the information regarding recent Ontario Entrepreneur stream draws and the historic information about issuance of invitations to apply.

DateNumber of InvitationsMinimum Score
5 April 201922112
17 January 201913115
23 November 201815112
23 October 201818110
21 September 201816117
24 August 201821110
17 July 201820120
13 June 201813124
14 May 201810127
16 April 201813132
14 March 201810135
6 February 201813137

Ready to
start?

Free Immigration Assessment

Discover your Canadian immigration options! Complete our free assessment today and a member of the Canadim Team will contact you to discuss your immigration to Canada.

Get Started

Related Links

Free assessment

Discover your Canadian immigration options. Get your free assessment now!