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The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) Entrepreneur Stream is a program designed to attract individuals who want to start a new business or buy an existing business in Ontario. This program is an immigration stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). It allows an entrepreneur to be nominated for permanent residence once their business has been established in Ontario. It requires meeting specific criteria and following a detailed application process.


Eligibility Criteria for OINP Entrepreneur Stream:

To qualify for nomination as a permanent resident under the OINP Entrepreneur Stream, you must meet the following mandatory minimum requirements. The mandatory minimum requirements are defined into two categories; such as- (a) stage- 01 and (b) stage- 02

Mandatory minimum requirements: Stage 1:

  1. Business Experience:
    • Have at least 24 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months.
    • Experience must be as a business owner or senior manager with senior decision-making responsibilities.
  1. Net Worth:
    • Have a minimum personal net worth, lawfully obtained and verifiable.
    • Greater Toronto Area (GTA): Minimum personal net worth of $800,000 CAD.
    • Outside of the GTA: Minimum personal net worth of $400,000 CAD.
  1. Personal Investment Funds and Minimum Equity
    • Make minimum investments in the business from personal net worth.
    • GTA: Minimum personal investment of $600,000 CAD.
    • Outside of the GTA: Minimum personal investment of $200,000 CAD.
    • Control at least one-third of the equity in the business.
  1. Actively involved on an ongoing basis in the management of the business.
  2. The primary purpose of investing capital in the business must be to make a profit.
  3. Job Creation:
    • GTA: Create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
    • Outside of the GTA or in the information and communications technology/digital communications sector: Create at least one permanent full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
    • Jobs must be paid at the median wage level, filled continuously for at least 10 months prior to submitting the final report, and continue to exist at the time of the last depiction and nomination.

      7. Additional Requirements if Purchasing an Existing Business:

    • Make at least one business-related visit to Ontario within 12 months of registering an expression of interest.
    • The business being purchased must have been operated continuously by the same owner(s) for the previous 60 months.
    • Ownership of the business must be transferred entirely to the applicant or any business partner.
    • Use at least 10% of personal investment towards improving or expanding the business in Ontario.
    • Keep all permanent, full-time jobs in the business prior to the transfer of ownership.
    • The proposed business must not have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees.
  1. General Business Requirements:
    • The business purpose must be to make a profit from active income through the sale of goods and/or services.
    • Comply with all applicable federal, provincial, or municipal legal, regulatory, and licensing requirements.
    • Businesses must operate permanently in Ontario.
    • Maintain a place of business in Ontario at all times.


Ineligible Types of Businesses:

Before applying for the OINP Entrepreneur Stream, it is essential to ensure that the proposed business is not one of the ineligible types listed below:

  • Automated car wash business
  • Holding companies
  • Laundromats
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Payday loans and related businesses
  • Scrap metal recycling
  • Tire recycling
  • A business involved in producing, distributing or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services or providing sexually oriented services
  • Businesses previously owned or operated by a current or former OINP Entrepreneur Stream nominee or a nominee under the former investor component of the Opportunities Ontario program.

If the proposed business will be located in the Greater Toronto Area, the following types are also ineligible:

  • Existing franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted)
  • Gas stations
  • Bed and breakfasts

It is important to note that the OINP will not accept applications if the proposed business falls into any of the above categories.


Mandatory minimum requirements: Stage 2:

Eligibility criteria based on language for a specific program in Canada are as follows:

  1. Language Proficiency: Must be proficient in four English or French criteria (reading, writing, listening and speaking) at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4.

For English tests, the program accepts either:

  • International English Language Testing (IELTS) (General Training test only)
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) (General test only).


For French tests, the program accepts either:

  • Test d’Evaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF)
  • Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada).
  1. Residency: The applicant must physically live in Ontario for 75% of the time while establishing your business.
  2. Temporary Work Permit: The applicant must receive a temporary work permit and arrive in Ontario within 12 months of approval at Stage 1. Also, inform the program of arrival within seven days.
  3. Active Management: Actively involved in the day-to-day management activities of the business.
  4. Performance Agreement: The applicant must meet all the commitments agreed to in the performance agreement based on the information provided in the Expression of Interest (EOI) and business plan.

These are the minimum eligibility requirements and additional criteria may apply.


Expression of Interest (EOI):

An Expression of Interest (EOI) is a registration process for the Entrepreneur Stream of permanent residence in Canada. It is not an application, and there is no fee to register. The EOI has two components with a maximum EOI score of 200 points:

  • A self-declared score (maximum 126 points); a self-declared score are consisting of two factors, such as- Human Capital (80 score)’, and Investment (46 scores); and
  • A business concept score (maximum 74 points)

OINP will assess the business concept, which must score at least 50% to be placed in the selection pool. Only the top-ranked candidates are invited to apply. If selected, you must provide supporting documentation and meet the commitments set out in your Performance Agreement. Failing to do so may result in refusal of your application or ineligibility for nomination for permanent residence.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) registration is valid for up to 12 months or until an invitation to apply is received or the registration is withdrawn. After 12 months, the EOI is automatically deleted, and a new one must be registered if still interested in applying to the program in the OINPs system.


  • The entrepreneur applicant (and business partner) must attend a mandatory in-person interview at the OINP’s offices.
  • The interview helps the OINP better understand the business plan and the applicant’s and business partner’s experience.
  • The applicant and business partner are responsible for transportation arrangements and costs for the interview.

Performance Agreement:

  • If the application is approved, the applicant (and business partner, if applicable) must sign a Performance Agreement with the Government of Ontario.
  • The agreement outlines the commitments required for nomination for permanent resident status, including business description, investment amounts and timelines, job creation, mandatory milestones, and timeframes.
  • Performance Agreements are unique to each applicant and based on information provided in the application, business plan, and interview.
  • Failure to meet the commitments outlined in the agreement will result in ineligibility for nomination for permanent resident status.
  • After signing the agreement, the OINP will issue a Letter of Confirmation, allowing the applicant to apply for a temporary work permit from IRCC.

Business Establishment:

  • After signing the Performance Agreement, successful applicants must arrive in Ontario with a valid temporary work permit from IRCC within one year of receiving the Letter of Confirmation.
  • Applicants have up to 20 months to implement the business plan and meet all commitments under the Performance Agreement.
  • The required permanent full-time jobs must be filled within 10 months of arrival in Canada and remain filled for at least 10 months until the Final Report is submitted to the OINP.
  • Successful applicants must submit a Final Report, with supporting documentation, to the OINP between 18 and 20 months after arrival in Ontario.
  • The Final Report should demonstrate that all objectives set out in the Performance Agreement have been met and must be submitted to initiate the nomination process.


Nomination Requirements:

  • Successful nominees must apply to IRCC for permanent resident status within six months of being nominated by the OINP.
  • In addition to meeting all obligations of the Performance Agreement, applicants (and their business partners, if applicable) must be actively involved in the day-to-day management of the business, physically reside in Ontario for 75% of the year, and demonstrate CLB 4 or higher in English or French.
  • Federal admissibility requirements, including security and medical background checks, also apply.
  • Post-nomination monitoring ensures that nominees meet the Entrepreneur Stream criteria until permanent residence is granted. After permanent residence is granted, monitoring continues to collect information for evaluating the Entrepreneur Stream.

Required Supporting Documents:

When applying to the OINP- Entrepreneur Stream, applicants must scan and upload copies of several mandatory documents with the application. These documents include-

If the Expression of Interest (EOI) is successful and invited to apply to the Entrepreneur Stream, the applicant must provide the following documents to support the information in the EOI and online application:

  1. Work experience documents, including a resume
  2. Investment documents
  3. Documents to support your human capital
  4. Identity documents

It is important to note that all documents are mandatory unless otherwise stated.

  1. Work experience documents:
  1. A resume
  2. Documents required if you are a senior manager
    • Employment reference letters
    • Organizational chart
    • Work/employment contracts
    • Pay slips
  1. Documents required if you are a business owner
  • Employment reference letters
  • Business registration licence
  • Registration with taxation authorities
  • Proof of shareholding
  • List of employees
  • Business income tax returns
  • Financial statements
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Specific work experience
  1. Investment documents:
  • Net worth report
  • Business-related visits documents
  • Business plan documents
  • Proof of business ownership
  • T4 statements reports
  1. Documents to support your human capital:
  • Education documents
  • Language test results
  • d) Identity documents:
  • The scan copies of the photograph and the personal details page of the passport as well as if any family member is included, then a scanned copy of their passport’s personal details page as proof of identity;
  • Other optional documents (if applicable);


It is important to note that, during the application assessment, the OINP system may request additional documents to verify that program criteria are met.


Application Process:

The Entrepreneur Stream application is a two-stage process. The first stage is to register an expression of interest. If invited, can submit an online application. The second stage is to submit a complete application. The application process is detailed and requires meeting specific criteria established under the regulations.

Phase I:

  • Prepare to submit an online Expression of Interest (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 application fee.
  • Attend a mandatory interview as part of the application assessment process.
  • Sign a Performance Agreement outlining investment and job creation conditions with the OINP (if the application is approved).


Phase II:

  • Obtain a temporary work permit support letter to apply for a work permit with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) from OINP.
  • Arrive in Ontario on a temporary work permit to establish the business and carry out the business plan. Entrepreneurs will have 20 months to establish the business in Ontario.
  • Receive a nomination from the Government of Ontario if the conditions of the signed Performance Agreement are met.
  • Apply for Canadian permanent residence with IRCC within six (6) months of nomination. The OINP performs post-nomination monitoring for a period of 36 months following the issuance of permanent resident status.


Processing Times and Fees:

Candidates invited to apply for the Ontario Entrepreneur stream have 90 days to submit all required information and documents. This includes a business plan and a review of personal net worth, which a qualified third party must complete. The application fee for the Ontario Entrepreneur stream is $3,500 CAD per applicant.


It is an excellent stream for business enthusiasts to start their long-awaited dream business in Ontario under the OINP Business Immigration program.

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I’m Rashid Ali, a Licensed Canadian Immigration Consultant, having a designation of RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant) from the College of Citizenship & Immigration Consultants of Canada or CICC (Previously known as ICCRC). CICC is the official regulator of immigration consultants in Canada. I’m also a member of the Canadian Association for Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC).

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