Ontario to accept 100 immigrants who invest $200K in local businesses
Ontario plans to welcome 100 immigrants over the next two years under a program for foreign entrepreneurs.
Candidates who apply under the the Entrepreneur Stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) will be eligible for nomination for permanent residence once their business has been operating in Ontario for 18 to 20 months.
The condition is that they must invest a minimum of $200,000 in the province's economy either by starting or expanding a business.
The Ontario government is looking more specifically to attract international entrepreneurs to communities outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
"As we continue to build back better, we want people across Ontario – no matter where they live – to find rewarding, well-paying careers in their communities," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
"Our government is working for workers and spreading the jobs and opportunities that entrepreneurs bring to every corner of our province, not just our big cities."
The new initiative is projected to cost the government $6 million, but to be largely funded by fees paid by immigrants who start or buy businesses, according to McNaughton.
With this immigration program, the province expects to generate a minimum of $20 million in business investment.
"Communities across Ontario are looking for investment, and immigrants are looking for opportunities. Through Build Ontario, our government is working to bridge the gap between the two, " said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ontario's finance minister, in an press release.
The OINP Entrepreneur Stream is designed to attract individuals from abroad who are looking to start a new business or buy an existing business in Ontario.
Because it operates on an Expression of Interest (EOI) system, interested entrepreneurs cannot apply directly to the stream but have to be invited by the OINP. Invitations are based on a candidate's EOI score, which is determined by factors including education, net worth and business experience.
Successful applicants obtain a temporary work permit support letter — based on a performance agreement — to establish the business in Ontario. Those who adhere to the performance agreement will have the opportunity to be nominated by the OINP for Canadian permanent residence.
Ontario holds invitations rounds under the Entrepreneur stream several times a year.