Canada’s most populated province, Ontario, has provided details on two new business immigration programs that are now open to eligible candidates wishing to invest in the Canadian economy. As the leader in attracting foreign direct investment of any province or state in North America, Ontario’s new business streams are likely to prove popular.
The Entrepreneur Stream and the Corporate Stream both operate under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), a Provincial Nominee Program that allows Ontario to nominate individuals deemed to have credentials that would benefit the local labour market. Ontario is home to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, and Canada’s largest city, Toronto, which is located close to other major North American markets.
The OINP Entrepreneur Stream
The OINP Entrepreneur Stream is designed to attract individuals who are looking to implement a new business initiative or buy an existing business in Ontario. The OINP Entrepreneur Stream operates on an ‘Expression of Interest’ model, whereby eligible participants must be invited to apply before they may submit a complete application.
Successful applicants will obtain a temporary work permit support letter, based on a performance agreement, to establish the business in Ontario. If the investment and job creation agreements outlined in the performance agreement are adhered to, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to be nominated for Canadian permanent resident status through the OINP. To learn more about the OINP Entrepreneur Stream, click here.
The OINP Corporate Stream
The OINP Corporate Stream helps and supports established international corporations looking to expand into Ontario or buy an existing business. Once the business has been successfully established, key staff are eligible to apply for a provincial nomination certificate, allowing them to eventually become permanent residents of Canada.
There are a range of requirements for this stream, with criteria covering the corporation, the investment, local job creation, key staff and employment. To learn more about eligibility requirements and processes for the OINP Corporate Stream, click here.
How are the new business streams different from the old Investor category?
Ontario closed its OINP Investor category on October 29, 2015, and announced that details of the new business streams would be provided in due course. Now that these details are in the public domain, stakeholders are wondering how these options differ from each other, as well as how they compare with the now-defunct Investor category.
“The two new business immigration streams for Ontario really are a breath of fresh air. It looks like the government of Ontario has done its homework and noted what works in other regions of the world,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“The Entrepreneur Stream is not too dissimilar to the EB-5 program in the United States, the main difference being that the Ontario version, like many new Canadian immigration programs, operates under an Expression of Interest system. The main benefit of this to the province and candidates alike is that it is demand-driven; this should allow for quick program delivery processes, and applicants will know that they have actually been chosen by the government based on their strong profile.
“Meanwhile, the Corporate Stream is all about either taking a successful business operation and expanding it into one of the most open, diverse, and stable markets in the world, or identifying an existing business in Ontario and taking it to the next level. Successful applicants to either of these streams will be developing their careers and portfolios in a beautiful and thriving region of North America.”