Ontario E & I


If you are a foreign entrepreneur with a great business idea

Apply to the Entrepreneur stream as your opportunity to come to Ontario to establish a new business or buy and grow an existing business in the province. This stream operates through an Expression of Interest system. To qualify, you must register an expression of interest and receive an invitation to apply.

Minimum Requirements:

  • You must have at least 24 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months.
  • Net Worth: Do not include spouse’s personal net worth
    • within the Greater Toronto Area (City of Toronto and Durham, Halton, York and Peel regions) you must have a minimum personal net worth of $800,000 Canadian
    • outside of the Greater Toronto Area, you must have a minimum personal net worth of $400,000 Canadian
  • Personal investment funds and minimum equity
    • within the Greater Toronto Area, you must make a minimum personal investment of $600,000 Canadian
    • outside of the Greater Toronto Area, you must make a minimum personal investment of $200,000 Canadian
    • Information and Communications technology/digital, regardless of location is minimum $200,000
    • Must control ⅓ of the equity in the business
  • Active involvement
  • The primary purpose of investing capital in the business must be to make a profit. It must not be to derive interest, dividends or capital gains.
  • Job Creation
    • If the business is to be located inside the Greater Toronto Area you must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
    • If the business is to be located outside the Greater Toronto Area or in the information and communications technology or digital communications sector, regardless of location you must create at least one permanent full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Language should be at a level 4 benchmark
  • Must plan to physically live in Ontario for 75% of your time
  • Be actively involved in the day to day operations

Additional requirements if purchasing an existing business

If you plan to purchase an existing business:

  • you must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario within 12 months from the date of registering an expression of interest
  • the business being purchased must have been in continuous operation by the same owner(s) for the previous 60 months (proof of ownership and either a letter of intent to purchase the business or sale agreement is required)
  • ownership of the business must be completely transferred to the applicant or any business partner
  • the previous owner(s) cannot retain any shares of the business
  • you must use at least 10% of your personal investment towards improving or expanding the business in Ontario
  • you must keep all permanent, full-time jobs in the business prior to the transfer of ownership
  • the proposed business must not have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees, including anyone who has received a certificate of nomination under the Entrepreneur Stream or the Opportunities Ontario Investor Component

Stage 1

  • Register an expression of interest.
  • If invited, submit an online application.
  • You and your business partner (if applicable) attend a mandatory interview.
  • If your stage 1 application is successful, you must sign a performance agreement.

Stage 2

  • We issue a temporary work permit support letter so that you can apply to IRCC for a temporary work permit.
  • Establish your business - you have 20 months from the date you arrive in Ontario to implement your business plan and submit a final report.
  • If your business meets all requirements, we ask you for documentation to make sure you are eligible for nomination for permanent residence.

Ineligible types of business

Before you start the process of applying you need to ensure that your proposed business is not one of the ineligible types listed below:

  • automated car wash business
  • holding companies
  • laundromats
  • pawnbrokers
  • pay day loan and related businesses
  • scrap metal recycling
  • tire recycling
  • a business involved in producing, distributing or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing sexually oriented services
  • businesses which have been previously owned or operated by a current or former OINP Entrepreneur Stream nominee or a nominee under the former investor component of the Opportunities Ontario program

If your proposed business will be located in the Greater Toronto Area, the following types are also ineligible:

  • existing franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted)
  • gas stations
  • bed and breakfasts


For assistance please complete a generic Pre-Qualification (Assessment) or navigate to our home page and you can choose which country you are immigrating from in the drop down.