Ontario Entrepreneur Immigration

The Ontario Entrepreneur Immigration attracts foreign entrepreneurs interested in buying and managing a business in the province and becoming permanent residents of Canada. Through this PNP program, skilled immigrants with the experience required may receive a provincial nomination from Ontario to apply to IRCC for their Canadian PR status.

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Ontario Entrepreneur Immigration

Ontario Entrepreneur Immigration

The Ontario Entrepreneur Immigration (OINP) is created to facilitate immigration to the province by allowing skilled foreigners to live in Ontario and become canadian permanent residents. Foreigners wanting to run a business in the province, may apply under the Ontario Entrepreneur Immigration stream to successfully run a business and if meeting the criteria, receive a provincial nomination to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Ontario Entrepreneur Immigration

The Ontario PNP entrepreneur immigration program makes sure newcomers can settle and integrate well into the province. Successful applicants under the entrepreneur stream must demonstrate to have a viable business to provide economic benefit to Ontario and then they will be able to run their own Canadian business and apply for permanent residency.Over the years Ontario has welcomed several immigrants to start their new life and operate successful businesses. Ontario is home to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, and its largest city, Toronto. This province is the center of Canada’s economic, social, and political life and every year nominates around 8,000 newcomers to become permanent residents.Once you are invited to apply, you must provide documentation to demonstrate that you meet the requirements. If a document is not in English or French, you must have the original with a translated copy.

Application process Entrepreneur immigration

  • Register an expression of interest online (EOI).
  • Register an online EOI with the OINP.
  • Prepare an application to the Entrepreneur Stream (if invited to apply).
  • Submit a complete online OINP Entrepreneur Stream application. Upload all the supporting documents and pay the required fee.
  • Attend a mandatory interview as part of the application assessment process.
  • If the application is approved, you must sign a Performance Agreement outlining investment and job creation conditions with the OINP.
  • Obtain a temporary work permit support letter to apply for a work permit with IRCC.
  • Arrive in Ontario on a temporary work permit .
  • Establish your business. You have 20 months to implement your business plan.
  •  If the conditions of the signed Performance Agreement are met after running your business, you may receive a nomination from the Government of Ontario.
  • Apply for Canadian permanent residence with IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) within six (6) months of nomination.

Applicants requirements for Ontario entrepreneur immigration stream :

The applicant should have at least 24 months work experience

  • CAD 800,000 (business in GTA)
  • CAD 400.000 (business outside GTA)
  • ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of where it will be located), applicants must have a minimum net worth of $400,000.

Prepared by an authorized service provider, in order to demonstrate their net worth.

Personal investments must be made towards expenditures that are essential to the establishment operation of the business, excluding cash, cash equivalents, working capital, or wages paid to the entrepreneur applicant or a family member.

  • Inside GTA: CAD 600,000
  • Outside the GTA: 200,000
  • Business In the ICT/Digital Communications sector: CAD 200,000

The applicant must control at least one-third of the equity in the company.

Must be actively involved in the management of the business
The primary purpose must be to make a profit through the sale of goods or services

Purpose of the business:

  • Business in GTA: Must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Business outside GTA: Create one permanent full-time job
  • Business in the information and communications sector or digital communications sector:  Only one full-time job is required, regardless of location.
  • For businesses located within the GTA, the applicant must create two new full-time permanent positions in addition to the current staff.
  • For businesses located outside the GTA, the applicant must create one new full-time permanent position in addition to the current staff.

Make at least one business-related visit to Ontario 12 months before submitting the Expression of Interest, if purchasing an existing business.

Not invest the capital in the proposed business for the primary purpose of deriving interest, dividends or capital gains.

Business requirements for the Ontario entrepreneur immigration:

The main objective of the business is to make profits through the sale of goods or services.

Demonstrate your business will help to increase the economy of Ontario.

Primary income sources must be from earned income, not passive income.

The business would be permanently in Ontario. Seasonal business are not eligible for this program.

Additional requirements for existing businesses:

If you want to purchase an existing business, there are some additional requirements:


  • The business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner or group of owners for the last 60 months before the purchase.

Purchase and ownership:

  • You must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario within 12 months from the date of registering an expression of interest.
  • The purchase must completely transfer ownership from the previous owner(s) to the applicant. Previous owner(s) cannot retain any shares of the business.
  • The proposed business must not have been owned by former OINP business stream nominees.
  • You must use at least 10% of your personal investment improving or expanding the business in Ontario.

Jobs creation:

  • The applicant must preserve all existing permanent full-time jobs and must maintain, at minimum, the current wage levels and employment terms of existing staff.
  • Businesses located within the GTA: The applicant must create two new full-time permanent positions.
  • Businesses located outside the GTA: The applicant must create one new full-time permanent position in addition to the current staff.

Requirements for Nominations under the Ontario entrepreneur program

Entrepreneurs must meet the following requirements to be nominated once they have established the business and met the performance agreement.

Obtaining a nomination certificate allows applicants to make an application for Canadian permanent residence.

  • Entrepreneurs must demonstrate official proficiency at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 level or equivalent: English or French.
  • Applicants must be residing in Ontario for 75 percent (nine months out of the year) of the period.
  • Entrepreneurs must be involved in the daily management of business activities.

Frequently asked questions

If you want to invest and run your own business in Ontario, you must verify you meet all the criteria needed to apply and then upload your Expression of Interest to start the process for the PNP –  Entrepreneur immigration program of Ontario.
Successful applicants  will receive a Nomination Approval Letter, a work permit support letter and a nomination certificate by email. This guarantees you will be invited to apply for permanent residence in an Express Entry draw.

For the PNP entrepreneur immigration category, you will have to submit an Expression of Interest to the OINP by email and ask them for the registration form. Complete the form and email it back.
Once that is done, you will be placed in a pool and will be ranked against other candidates. Highest-ranked candidates are invited to submit an application to the PNP Entrepreneur category.

There are several streams to choose from when deciding to immigrate to Ontario through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (PNP). Ontario is one of the most popular provinces to run a business, that’s why the entrepreneur stream is an excellent option to immigrate and apply for Canadian permanent residency.

For the entrepreneur immigration program, the Expression of Interest (EOI) takes less than one month to process. However,  the processing time for the application depends on each case.

If you’re looking to start a business in Ontario, or purchase an existing business, then you may consider the Business Category under the Entrepreneur immigration stream. It is important that you first check if you are eligible before applying.

The province’s capital, Toronto, is one of the most diverse cities in the world. In fact, over half of the population were born outside of Canada. Also, there are many jobs in Canada, specifically in Toronto and neighbouring cities. Key industries include finance, technology, film and media, and tourism and Ontarios has some of the best universities worldwide.

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