Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program now open

23 Dec 15



What is the change? The new Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is open for applications in its corporate and entrepreneur streams.

What does the change mean? Companies meeting eligibility criteria may now submit their applications for the corporate stream, and individuals seeking to apply through the entrepreneur stream may now submit an expression of interest.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits, permanent residency.
  • Who is affected: Companies and entrepreneurs seeking to expand, purchase or start a business in Ontario.  
  • Impact on processing: Individuals who are successfully nominated must apply for permanent residency within six months of the nomination.
  • Business impact: New and existing businesses that will make significant contributions to Ontario’s economy based on investment and job-creation criteria will be eligible to apply and seek provincial nominations for key foreign employees.

Background: The new programs were announced in October and replace the former Ontario Investor Component program. On Dec. 18, Ontario announced the criteria for applicants under the Corporate Stream and the Entrepreneur Stream.

The Corporate Stream allows a company to expand or buy a business in Ontario and apply for up to five key staff to be nominated for permanent residency. To be eligible, a company must fulfill all of the following:

  • A minimum of 5 million Canadian dollars (about U.S. $3.6 million) must be invested in a new or existing business.
  • Five full-time permanent positions for Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents must be created for each foreign key staff member.
  • Key staff nominations must be currently employed in a role “essential to the establishment, continued operation and success of the business in Ontario.”
  • Key staff must have a minimum language level of Canadian Language Benchmark Level 5 or equivalent after establishment of the business in Ontario.

The company must complete an application package that includes the application form, a business plan, applications for key staff and supporting documents. If the application is approved, the company must execute an agreement committing to investment and job creation in Ontario. Key staff members would then be issued support letters to apply for temporary work permits. If the business meets its commitments under the agreement, the key staff members may be eligible to be nominated for Ontario permanent residency.

The Entrepreneur Stream requires that an entrepreneur and any business partners:

  • Invest a minimum of CA$500,000 depending on the location and industry.
  • Create at least two full-time permanent jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Meet a Level 5 language requirement.

Entrepreneurs must first apply for an expression of interest and, if approved, may be invited to apply through the stream.

BAL Analysis: The two new programs provide opportunities for international companies placing key staff in Ontario and for start-ups setting up business in Ontario.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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