Candidates for a key business stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) can now apply through the province’s online application system.
The move – for applicants to the Ontario Corporate Stream (OCS) – is aimed at reducing processing times.
The OCS business program is aimed at established international corporations that want to expand into Ontario or buy an existing Ontario business. Business applicants should also consider the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream.
If an international corporation establishes itself in Ontario and abides by the rules of the program, five key members of the corporation that are essential to the establishment, operation and success of the business may be nominated by the Ontario government for permanent residence. Once nominated, an applicant qualifies to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Ontario Corporate Stream: Application Steps
Step 1: Make Sure You Satisfy all the Criteria and Requirements of the OCS
- Must have been established for at least 36 months.
- Can be a public corporation, sole ownership or partnership.
- Minimum $5 million to expand into Ontario or purchase an existing business.
- Funds must be legally acquired.
- Activity must be of significant economic benefit to Ontario.
Local Job Creation Requirements
- Create five new permanent and full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents per key staff applicant.
- Positions must be paid at or above the prevailing wage level.
- Clear link between parent corporation and proposed new business in Ontario.
- Proposed business must intend to make a profit through sale of goods and services.
- Primary income sources must be from active (earned) income.
- Business must comply with Canadian legal requirements and all regulatory industry and licensing requirements.
- If purchasing an existing business, it must be incorporated in Ontario.
- Business must comply with Ontario labour laws, including but not limited to employment standards, health and safety, and labour relations legislation.
- Business must be considered a permanent in Ontario. Project-based/seasonal businesses are not eligible.
- Third party investors must be a Schedule I or Schedule II bank or an institutional investor.
- Proposed business must not be involved in an immigration-linked investment scheme.
- You must submit a business plan.
Step 2: Submit Application
If a corporation and key staff members fulfill all the above requirements an application can be submitted. All necessary documents must be completed truthfully. A business plan must also be submitted. The business plan will include details explaining:
- The purpose and objectives of the business.
- What the business will be selling.
- How the business will operate.
- Who the customers will be.
- How the business will achieve its objectives.
- Challenges the business may face.
- A description of how the challenges will be overcome.
There is an application fee of $3,500 per key staff member.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Step 3: Application Assessment
After all required documents and fees are received, the application will be assessed. Key staff members may be required to attend a mandatory interview.
Step 4: Sign Performance Agreement
If the application is approved, the corporation will be asked to sign a Performance Agreement. The Performance Agreement will outline the rules that must be followed in order for the key staff members to be nominated for permanent residence.
Step 5: Temporary Work Permit
Once the Performance Agreement is signed, the key staff members will be sent a Letter of Confirmation. This letter will allow the key staff members to apply for a Temporary Work Permit from the Canadian government. If the key staff members meet all the relevant criteria of the Canadian federal government, they will receive a Temporary Work Permit.
Step 6: Arrival and Business Establishment
Once the key staff members obtain temporary work permits, they should move to Ontario and begin implementing the business plan as soon as possible. One key staff member must inform immigration processing office of the corporation’s arrival in Ontario within 7 days of arrival. Within 18 months of arriving in Ontario, the corporation must submit a report showing that it is abiding by all the rules of the OCS and the terms of the Performance Agreement.
Step 7: Nomination and Application for Permanent Residence
If the report is approved, the key staff members will be nominated for permanent residence by the Ontario government. The holder of a nomination certificate may submit an application for Canadian permanent residence to the federal government as long as the nominee continues to abide by the performance agreement and the requirements of the OCS mentioned above.
Step 8: Monitoring
If the key staff members obtain permanent residence, they will be monitored for an additional period of 36 months to make sure that the corporation continues to abide by all the rules of the OCS and the terms of the performance agreement.