The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (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. The principal applicant under this stream is the corporation's signing officer.

Take the opportunity to learn more about the OINP Corporate Stream through the following sections:

 

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Corporate Requirements

In order to be eligible, international corporations must:

  • Have been established for at least 36 months at the time of application;
  • Currently employ key staff seeking nominations, and these key staff must be essential to the business operation in Ontario;
  • Create five full-time permanent positions for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for each nominee position being sought;
  • Key staff nominees will have two years to demonstrate a minimum language requirement prior to permanent residence nomination; and
  • Create five new full-time permanent jobs for Canadians or permanent residents per key staff member.
    • Positions must be paid at or above the associated prevailing wage level.
    • The positions must be continuously filled for at least 10 months prior to the submission of the Final Report (see Nomination). 

In the case of business succession, the following additional criteria apply:

  • Any existing business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the previous 60 months (five years);
  • The purchase must completely transfer ownership from the previous owner(s) to the corporation;
  • The business must not have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees;
  • The proposed business plan must grow the business; 
  • The corporation must maintain, at minimum, the current wage levels and employment terms of existing staff;
  • The corporation must meet the job creation commitment; and
  • The corporation must preserve all existing permanent full-time jobs.

If the business to be established in Ontario is a land development or leasehold company, the following additional criteria apply:

  • Limit of three projects per year;
  • The proposed activity must be a permanent, ongoing business that seeks to expand or improve the current status of the land site, as well as ensure that the investing company has an ongoing and active management role in the proposed business;
  • Eligible leasehold companies must produce the proposed good or deliver a service of their own and not just set-up to manage the operations of other companies to make a profit;
  • Eligible land development companies have to demonstrate that the proposed business is a long-term and non-speculative investment and that the associated land development will be an integral part of the core ongoing business enterprise;
  • Corporations must provide local site certification documents and/or related local planning authority approval; and 
  • In the two-year monitoring period, the corporation must demonstrate that all of the commitments outlined in the Performance Agreement are met to setup the proposed operations and support the ongoing business in order to be eligible for nomination.

Investment Requirements

Under the OINP Corporate Stream, investments must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • The corporation must make a minimum investment of $5 million CAD to expand into Ontario or purchase an existing business in the province;
  • The investment funds must have been obtained from legal sources;
  • The proposed investment activity must be of significant economic benefit to Ontario, as determined by an assessment of the corporation's business plan;
  • If the business to be established in Ontario is a land development or a leasehold company, the following additional requirements apply:
    • The investment must be a minimum of $10 million CAD;
    • The proposed investment amount must cover more than the purchase price of the land and construction costs;

Proposed Business Requirements

In addition to the above, the proposed business in Ontario must:

  • Have a clear structural linkage to the Parent Corporation (e.g. a subsidiary, branch or affiliate of the corporation);
  • Intend to make a profit through the sale of goods and/or services;
  • Derive its primary income sources from active (earned) income, not passive (unearned) income;
  • Comply with Canadian legal requirements and all regulatory industry and licensing requirements which govern its legitimate operation;
  • Comply with all provincial labour laws, including but not limited to employment standards, health and safety, and labour relations legislation;
  • Be considered a permanent business in Ontario; and
  • Submit a business plan. A Business Plan is a written document that describes the proposed business in detail, including:
    • Purpose and objectives of the proposed business, including products, target markets, and operational strategies;
    • Operational and financial goals;
    • Challenges that lie between the execution of the business plan and the achievement of its purpose, objectives, and goals; and 
    • Strategies for overcoming challenges.

Key Staff and Position Requirements

Applicant corporations may request up to five key staff members who will establish the business in Ontario and who are seeking nomination to permanently relocate to the province. To apply with the corporation under the OINP Corporate Stream, these key staff must:

  • Be essential to the establishment and operation of the proposed business;
  • Be in a senior, executive, management or specialized knowledge capacity (National Occupation Classification 0 or A) in the applicant corporation's existing business;
    • Only one key staff in a NOC A position can be proposed. 
  • Have at least 36 months of experience in the last 60 months in the intended occupation (the position they will hold in the proposed business in Ontario) with the applicant corporation;
  • Be continuously working for the applicant corporation in that position in the immediate 12 months prior to the submission of the application;
  • Not have an immediate family relationship with any member of the corporation’s Executive Board or Board of Directors or shareholders with more than 10 percent equity in the applicant corporation;
    • Immediate family members include spouses, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and spouse’s immediate family members.
  • Not hold equity in the company, except in the case where that equity has been obtained as part of the remuneration package as part of the employee contract, in which case the equity held by the key staff must be less than 10 percent of the corporate applicant’s business; and
  • Be taking on permanent full-time positions in the proposed business in Ontario that meet the prevailing wage levels.

Additionally, in order to be nominated for permanent resident status, key staff must: 

  • Be in the position for which they were approved by the OINP and must be carrying out the approved job duties;
  • Physically reside in Ontario for at least 75 percent of each year (nine months out of the year) that they are in Ontario under a temporary work permit to support the business; and
  • Have a language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in English and/or French.
    • Language proficiency must be demonstrated through the following International English Language Testing (IELTS) General Test Scores and Test d'Évaluation de Français scores in each language proficiency:
      • Listening: IELTS 5 or TEF 181-216
      • Reading: IELTS 4 or TEF 151-180
      • Writing: IELTS 5 or TEF 226-270
      • Speaking: IELTS 5 or TEF 226-270

 

Ineligible Businesses

Ontario will not process applications where there is a risk of little to no long-term economic benefit to the province. Consequently, the proposed business cannot be included in the list of ineligible businesses.

Ineligible Businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA):

  • Existing Franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted)
  • Gas Stations
  • Tire Recycling
  • Scrap Metal Recycling
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Bed and Breakfasts
  • Holding Companies
  • Laundromats
  • Automated Car Wash Operations
  • Payday loan and related businesses
  • Businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees

Ineligible Businesses outside the GTA:

  • Tire Recycling
  • Scrap Metal Recycling
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Holding Companies
  • Laundromats
  • Automated Car Wash Operations
  • Payday loan and related businesses
  • Businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees

 

Interview

The principal applicant (the company signing officer) and all proposed key staff may be required to attend an in-person interview at the OINP offices in Ontario shortly after submitting the application. This interview serves to get a better understanding of the proposed business plan and the key staff members’ levels of experience. The applicant corporation is responsible for all transportation arrangements and costs incurred associated with the interview. 

 

Performance Agreement

If the application is approved, the corporation will be required to sign a Performance Agreement with the OINP, which outlines the commitments that the corporation must achieve for the key staff to be eligible for nomination for permanent resident status. This document will include, but may not be limited to:

  • A description of the business (including industry and its location);
  • The investment amounts and timelines;
  • The number and type of positions to be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  • Mandatory business milestones and achievements (depending on the specific business); and
  • Timeframes for any commitments.

Performance Agreements are unique to each corporation and are based on the information provided in the corporate application, the business plan, and the interview, if applicable. If the OINP is not satisfied that the business has successfully met the commitments outlined in the Performance Agreement, the key staff members will not be eligible to be nominated for permanent resident status.

 

Temporary Work Permit

Once the corporation has signed the Performance Agreement, the OINP will issue a Letter of Confirmation, which enables the key staff to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a temporary work permit. The temporary work permit will allow key staff and their families to move to Ontario on a temporary basis.

NOTE: Temporary work permits are not issued by the OINP; the key staff must apply through IRCC. A temporary work permit is the official document issued by the government of Canada that allows a foreign national to legally work on a temporary basis in Canada. 

 

Nomination

The corporation is responsible for submitting a Final Report, for which a template will be provided, between 18 and 20 months after the key staff arrive in Ontario with their valid temporary work permits. The report is required to initiate the nomination process and, therefore, can only be submitted after the OINP has completed the required monitoring of the business. In the Final Report, it is the corporation's responsibility to demonstrate that it has met all commitments outlined in the Performance Agreement.

It is important to note that each key staff member is responsible for his/her own nomination eligibility (as outlined in the above Minimum Eligibility Requirements section). If one key staff does not meet all of the general nomination requirements, other key staff may still be eligible for nomination.

Nominees who are successful in meeting all Performance Agreement obligations must apply to IRCC for permanent resident status within six months of being nominated by the OINP. The key staff’s application to IRCC must include a copy of the Letter of Nomination and a copy of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Confirmation of Nomination document in addition to the application for permanent residence.

If key staff are nominated for permanent resident status by OINP, the government of Canada reserves the right to deny their application for permanent resident status, based on inadmissibility to Canada (e.g. health, security, criminal or other inadmissibility). IRCC has the final decision-making authority for all permanent resident status applications.

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