HOW TO IMMIGRATE TO ONTARIO AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?


WHERE IS ONTARIO?


Ontario is the province that welcomes most immigrants. It has a population of approximately 15 million and is the size of France + Spain.

The main city is Toronto, one of the most multicultural cities in the world where everything is moving fast.


Ontario is also close to the US and has Canada's largest major inland ports, which attracts numerous entrepreneurs and investors.


FEDERAL vs. PROVINCIAL PROGRAMS

Canada is divided in provinces and has immigration programs that apply to all Canada (federal programs) and immigration programs that are being developed, reviewed, and approved by the provinces (provincial programs).

The Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) for Entrepreneurs is a provincial immigration program. Although you can setup a business and immigrate to Ontario through federal programs (see our other LinkedIn articles), this article will focus solely on the Ontario PNP program.


PROCESS

  1. Have a business proposal.
  2. Wait to be selected by the province. This is a point-based system.
  3. When selected, assess your net worth by an accounting firm.
  4. Submit a complete application package.
  5. Interview.
  6. Come to Ontario and manage the business for at least 18 months.
  7. Apply for permanent residence.

CRITERIA

Immigration will look at everything: your age, years of experience, level of education, language level (IELTS GENERAL 4 minimum), net worth, investment and business idea.

If you are looking to invest as less as possible, then you must settle outside the Greater Toronto Area, have a net worth of at least $400,000 CAD and be ready to invest at least $200,000 CAD into the business within 20 months of arrival in Ontario. These amounts are the minimum required.


Please see table below for details.


WHAT TYPES OF BUSINESS CAN YOU OPEN?

You can open a new business or buy an existing business.

If you buy an existing business, you first need to come to Ontario to see the business. Business visitors are currently not allowed in Canada during the pandemic.


WHO CAN BE INCLUDED IN YOUR APPLICATION?

  • Yourself.
  • Your spouse.
  • Your children below 22 years old.

WHO CAN BE INCLUDED IN YOUR APPLICATION?

Yes, but the other partner must also meet the same requirements (same net worth, investment, etc).


WHAT WILL YOU GET?

  • You will obtain a work permit valid for 2 years.
  • Your spouse will obtain an open work permit valid for 2 years allowing him/her to work wherever and for who she/he wants.
  • Your children will obtain study permits or visitor records (depends on their age) for the same duration as your work permit.

ADVANTAGES

  • There is no real commitment until you are selected.
  • If selected, if you actually do what you say you will do in your business plan, your permanent residence is pretty much guaranteed.

DISADVANTAGES

  • You first need to wait to see if your business proposal will be accepted.
  • Once accepted, you must go through a net worth verifier, provide numerous financial documents to demonstrate your source of funds and total net worth (properties and spouse’s assets can be included in the net worth).
  • You are until scrutiny by the province during your immigration. The province wants to make sure that you are not only using this program to immigrate and then leave the business. It wants to ensure that your business plans are real and that you take action towards the creation of a successful business.

WHO IS THIS PROGRAM FOR?

This program is for entrepreneurs who have a solid business proposal and no other alternatives to reach permanent residency.


PROGRAM ONTARIO ENTREPRENEUR
GOAL OPEN A NEW BUSINESS OR BUY AN EXISTING BUSINESS
WHERE ONTARIO
WHAT YOU GET 2 YEARS WORK PERMIT
ACTIVE OR PASSIVE INVESTMENT ACTIVE
CONDITIONS

If you are buying an existing business (vs. creating a new business), you must have made a business visit to Ontario during the past 12 months.

2 years of experience as a business owner or senior manager. Be actively involved in the daily management of the business.

Create at least 1-2 jobs during the first 18 months.

MINIMUM INVESTMENT
  • $200,000 if business outside Toronto region or if IT related business.
  • $400,000 if business in Toronto region.
MINIMUM NET WORTH REQUIRED

(can be husband + wife)
  • $200,000 if business outside of Toronto region or if IT related business
  • $600,000 if business in Toronto region.
MINIMUM OWNERSHIP 33.33%
RENT OR BUY You can rent or buy.
FRANCHISE YES - New Franchises only.
PROCESS
  • You gather the documents and pass the IELTS test (CLB 4 minimum).
  • We help you find the location/business concept.
  • We do the business plan tailored to immigration requirements.
  • We submit the business proposal.
  • Be selected by the Province.
  • Have your net worth verified.
  • We submit an entire application package to the province.
  • Interview.
  • Approval.
  • Work permit.
  • Come to Canada.
  • Operate the business for at least 18 months.
  • Apply for permanent residence. It will take approximately 1.5 years to be processed.

  • After becoming a permanent resident of Canada, you can obtain Canadian citizenship (passport) after 3 years of residency in Canada. These 3 years do not need to be continuous.

DOCUMENTS

some may not apply to your case and some can be replaced/added
  • Passport.
  • National ID.
  • Military card/exemption.
  • Marriage certificate.
  • Education degrees.
  • Resume.
  • List of all your travels.
  • Proof of business ownership/activity back home (business licence, taxes, work contracts, balance sheets, income statements, payrolls).
  • Proof of net worth (cash, assets in the bank, properties, etc.).
TIME

6-12 months.

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

IELTS GENERAL 4.

MEDICAL COVERAGE IN CANADA

(after obtaining a visa)

YES

OPINION

This is a good program to consider if you meet the minimum net worth and investment requirements.


This program facilitates permanent residence with the support of the province.

We help entrepreneurs set up their business and immigration strategy and execute on it.

We believe immigration is more than just a visa. We accompany our entrepreneurs during their entire immigration journey: from business set up to the first work permit, then permanent residency and finally, citizenship.

  • Find the business to buy or rent.
  • Find the location.
  • Incorporate the business.
  • Write a business plan tailored to immigration requirements.
  • We put you in touch with our network to start finding clients, distributors, suppliers.
  • Find schools for your children.
  • Your spouse and children under 22 years old can be included in your application.

To book a consultation with a lawyer and explore your business immigration options, email us.

Contact

+1 647.979.7068 (WhatsApp available)


immigration@navaelmilawyer.com


75 Queens Wharf Rd., Toronto, Ontario, MV5 0J8, Canada


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