Entrepreneur ImmigrationOINPOntario EntrepreneurOntario Immigrant Nominee Program

Ontario Reveals Details of Entrepreneur Immigration Pilot

Published on: April 21st, 2022

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has released details on its new two-year immigration pilot for entrepreneurs. The program will recruit a total of 100 foreign entrepreneurs that can invest a minimum of $200,000 CAD each to start or buy a business outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

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The pilot will operate under the existing OINP Entrepreneur Stream and target select Ontario regions hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Candidates who have successfully operated their company for at least 20 months in Ontario will be nominated for Canadian permanent residency.

Ontario’s Labour Minister, Monte McNaughton announced the province’s intention to reinvigorate the Entrepreneur program back in December 2021. At the time, just two foreign entrepreneurs have been nominated for permanent residency through the program since it began in 2015. McNaughton revealed the province’s intention to invest $6 million CAD in the Entrepreneur program and focus more on attracting entrepreneurs to regions outside of the GTA.

How to apply: Eligibility requirements and process

The new pilot will operate within Ontario’s existing Entrepreneur program. The OINP has not yet revealed whether the eligibility requirements for candidates applying through the pilot will be reduced.

At present, the eligibility requirements for the Entrepreneur program are as follows.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must:

  • Have a net worth of at least $800,000 CAD if within the GTA, or at least $400,000 if outside the GTA;
  • Intend to establish or purchase a business in Ontario;
  • Invest at least $200,000 CAD in a business outside of the GTA, or $600,000 CAD if the business is within the GTA;
  • Possess at least two years of experience in senior management or ownership of a business in the last 60 months;
  • Meet all other program requirements

The application process consists of two stages. In the first stage, applicants must submit an expression of interest (EOI). If the EOI is approved, the applicant will then be invited to submit a full application.

In the second stage, successful applicants will be issued a temporary work permit that will enable them to establish their business in Ontario. After successfully running the business for at least 20 months, candidates may apply for nomination and eventually permanent resident status.

TBDC Selected to Deliver Program

The OINP recently announced that it selected the Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC) to manage the Entrepreneur Pilot for two years.

The TBDC is a start-up accelerator located in Toronto. According to their website, the centre help grows start-up companies in Toronto through the federal Start-Up Visa Program.

The TBDC was selected following the OINP’s publicly posted competitive requests for bids. The centre will work closely with the OINP to develop and launch the new Entrepreneur pilot program.

Further updates on the pilot will be revealed at a later date.


Interested in starting up a business in Ontario?  Simply complete our free assessment for business immigration and a business associate of Attorney Dery will review your eligibility and contact you to discuss your options.

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