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ONTARIO ENTREPRENEUR STREAM: BUSINESS IMMIGRATION LAWYER

This category is designed for business owners from foreign countries who wish to initiate a new enterprise or acquire an existing one in Ontario. It provides entrepreneurs, along with one business partner who is also a foreign national, the chance to receive a nomination for permanent residency once their business is successfully established in Ontario. Subsequently, if nominated, the subsequent procedure involves submitting an application to the federal government via Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), where the ultimate decision regarding permanent residency is made.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

To be eligible for nomination as a permanent resident through the Entrepreneur Stream, it is necessary to show that your business will be viable and likely to contribute significant economic benefits to either the entire economy of Ontario or the local Ontario economy where the business is situated. Both you and, if applicable, your foreign national business partner must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Upon receiving an invitation to submit an application, it is imperative to furnish supporting documentation validating your eligibility. This encompasses providing evidence that substantiates the qualifications declared when registering your expression of interest. Additionally, the application must be submitted within 90 days of receiving the invitation.

STAGE 1: REQUIREMENTS:

  • ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
    • Have a minimum of 24 months of full-time business experience within the last 60 months.
    • The experience should be either as a business owner or a senior manager in business management.
    • If a business owner, active participation and ownership of at least one-third of the business are required.
    • For senior managers, responsibilities include senior decision-making and management of day-to-day operations, either wholly or partially.
  • FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS:
    • Minimum personal net worth: $800,000 CAD for Greater Toronto Area (GTA), $400,000 CAD outside GTA
    • Minimum personal investment funds and equity: $600,000 CAD for Greater Toronto Area (GTA), $200,000 CAD outside GTA
    • Should your intended business fall within the information and communications technology/digital communications sector, a minimum personal investment of $200,000 Canadian is obligatory, with the condition of controlling at least one-third of the equity.
  • ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT AND BUSINESS PURPOSE:
    • Actively involved in ongoing business management
    • Capital investment’s primary purpose is to make a profit, not derive interest or dividends
  • JOB CREATION REQUIREMENTS:
    • Greater Toronto Area: Create at least two permanent full-time jobs for a Canadian citizens/PR.
    • Outside Greater Toronto Area or in the information and communications technology sector: Create at least one permanent full-time job for a Canadian citizens/PR.
  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR PURCHASING AN EXISTING BUSINESS:
    • A business-related visit to Ontario within 12 months from the expression of interest registration is mandatory.
    • The business being purchased should have been continuously operated by the same owner(s) for the past 60 months, and proof of ownership, along with a letter of intent or sale agreement, is required..
    • Full ownership transfer to the applicant or any business partner is mandatory.
    • Previous owners cannot retain any shares in the business.
    • A minimum of 10% of your personal investment must be utilized for enhancing or expanding the business in Ontario..
    • All permanent, full-time jobs in the business must be maintained before the ownership transfer.
    • The proposed business should not have been previously owned or operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees, including those with a certificate of nomination under the Entrepreneur Stream or the Opportunities Ontario Investor Component.
  • GENERAL BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS:
    • Business purpose must be to make a profit from active income through goods and/or services sale.
    • Compliance with all applicable federal, provincial, or municipal legal, regulatory, and licensing requirements is mandatory.
    • Business must operate on a permanent basis in Ontario, ineligible for project-based or seasonal businesses.
    • Maintain a place of business in Ontario at all times
  • QUALIFYING THIRD-PARTY INVESTORS:
    • Third-party investors must be a Schedule I or Schedule II bank or an institutional investor
  • INELIGIBLE TYPES OF BUSINESS:
    • Automated car wash business, holding companies, laundromats, pawnbrokers, payday loan and related businesses, scrap metal recycling, tire recycling
    • Businesses involved in producing, distributing, or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services
    • Businesses previously owned/operated by current or former OINP Entrepreneur Stream nominees
  • ADDITIONAL INELIGIBILITY IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA:
    • Existing franchises (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario permitted), gas stations, bed and breakfasts

STAGE 2: REQUIREMENTS

  • LANGUAGE PROFICIEINCY:
    You are required to demonstrate proficiency in English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4, encompassing listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills. For English assessments, the OINP accepts either the International English Language Testing (IELTS) General Training test or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General test. For French assessments, the OINP accepts either the Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF) or the Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada).
  • RESIDENCY:
    During the business establishment period, you must physically reside in Ontario for at least 75% of the time. Upon receiving Stage 1 approval, you must obtain a temporary work permit, arrive in Ontario within 12 months, and promptly inform the program of your arrival within seven days.
  • ACTIVE MANAGEMENT:
    Active involvement in the day-to-day management activities of your business is a prerequisite.
  • COMMITMENT TO PERFORMANCE AGREEMENT:
    Adherence to all commitments outlined in your performance agreement, which is based on the information provided in your Expression of Interest (EOI) and business plan, is essential.

GET LEGAL HELP

Seeking legal representation when applying for the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream business immigration is crucial due to the complex nature of immigration laws and the intricate requirements of the application process. Legal professionals specializing in immigration law offer tailored guidance, ensuring that applications align with specific criteria and are free of errors that could lead to delays or refusals. Their expertise is invaluable in navigating intricate cases, providing personalized advice, and addressing unique challenges associated with business immigration. By enlisting legal help, applicants can minimize risks, enhance the likelihood of a successful application, and, in the event of refusals, receive support in reviewing decisions and preparing appeals. The legal guidance streamlines the application process, offering a strategic and informed approach to meeting the legal requirements for business immigration in Ontario.

CONCLUSION

The Ontario Entrepreneur Stream Business Immigration provides a unique opportunity for foreign business owners to establish or acquire a business in Ontario, with the prospect of permanent residency. The eligibility criteria encompass viability, economic contribution, and adherence to specific financial, managerial, and job creation requirements. From establishing a minimum net worth to creating permanent jobs, the criteria are comprehensive, including additional conditions for purchasing existing businesses.

In the second stage, language proficiency, residency, active management, and commitment to performance agreements become crucial. Given the intricacies involved, seeking legal representation is paramount, ensuring compliance with immigration laws and meticulous application preparation.

Kozyrev Law is dedicated to providing unparalleled legal representation for individuals navigating the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream Business Immigration process. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers specializes in guiding clients through the intricate requirements of the application, ensuring meticulous compliance with immigration laws. We offer personalized assistance, addressing unique challenges associated with business immigration, minimizing risks of the application. From comprehensive legal advice to support in reviewing decisions and preparing appeals, Kozyrev Law is committed to offering strategic and informed guidance, streamlining the application process for a seamless and successful business immigration experience in Ontario.

Note: The information presented in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice. It is recommended to refer to official government publications and guidelines for accurate and up-to-date information. For obtaining legal advice tailored to the specific circumstances of your case, it is advised to consult with a qualified professional.

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