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, this article will focus solely on the Ontario PNP program.
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.
PNP Process for Entrepreneurs
- Have a business proposal
- Wait to be selected by the province. This is a point-based system.
- When selected, assess your net worth by an accounting firm
- Submit a complete application package
- Come to Ontario and manage the business for at least 18 months
- Apply for permanent residence
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.
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?
- Your spouse
- Dependents below 22 years old
Can You Apply With Another Business Partner?
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
- 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.
- 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.
Get More Advice on Entrepreneur Visas and General Assistance on Immigration matters for Canada
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