Starting a business here will ensure that your employees come backed with some serious qualifications. For this reason, and many others, two of Ontario’s biggest cities, Toronto and Ottawa, rank among the best places to live and work in the world. Starting, investing or purchasing a business in Ontario, you will have two visa options
- Ontario Corporate Stream
- Ontario Entrepreneur Stream
Ontario Corporate Stream
|Business applicant requirements|
The applicant business must:
- have been established at least three years before the application is submitted;
- be of a qualifying structure (public corporation, sole proprietorship or partnership);
- invest at least $5 million CAD in expanding into Ontario or buy a business that already exists in the province.
|Job creation requirements|
The business must create 5 full-time positions for permanent residents or citizens of Canada per key staff position. The positions must:
- be permanent, full-time positions; and
- be paid above or at the average wage level for the type of work.
The new business must:
- be clearly linked to the parent company as a subsidiary, branch or affiliate;
- be a for-profit business through the sale of goods and services;
- have a primary income source from active, earned income;
- meet the legal standards and regulations of the area; and
- be considered as a permanent business in the province.
|Key staff requirements|
Your business may request a maximum of five key staff members to start the business and these staff members may be considered for Canadian permanent residence if they meet the requirements. The key staff must:
- play an essential role in starting the business;
- all be in a senior, executive, management or specialized knowledge position in your company;
- have a minimum of three years of experience in the intended occupation in your company within the last five years;
- have been working in that position continuously for a year immediately before you submitted your application;
- not have a family connection with anyone who has more than 10% equity in the company;
- not hold any equity in your company unless it is less than 10% and part of the remuneration package of their employment contract; and
- have full-time, permanent jobs that follow the wage standard of Ontario.
Ontario Entrepreneur Stream
You must have 3 years of business experience within the last 5 years.
Your business experience must be as a senior manager or business owner with an active role in the business.
If your proposed business is:
- in the Greater Toronto Area, you must have a net worth of at least $1,500,000 CAD;
- anywhere else in Ontario, you must have a net worth of at least $800,000 CAD; or
- in the information and communications sector, you must have a net worth of at least $800,000 CAD regardless of its location.
If your proposed business is:
- in the Greater Toronto Area, you must control at least a third of the company and you need to invest a minimum of $1,000,000 CAD in it;
- anywhere else in Ontario, you must control at least a third of the company and you need to invest a minimum of $500,000 CAD in it; or
- the information and communications sector, you must control at least a third of the company and you need to invest a minimum of $500,000 CAD in it regardless of its location.
|Involvement||You must be actively involved in the daily management of the business.|
Your business must:
- be a for-profit business that generates income through the sale of goods and services;
- meet all the legal requirements of Canada and Ontario;
- be a permanent business;
- be located in the province at all times; and
- create a minimum of two permanent full-time jobs for permanent residents or citizens of Canada within its first 20 months and they must be paid according to wage standards of Ontario.
|Additional requirements for buying an existing business|
If you want to buy an existing business in the province, you must:
- make a business visit to the province within a year of submitting your expression of interest;
- buy a business that has been owned by the same owner(s) for the past five years;
- ensure that the business is completely transferred to you or any other business partner;
- use some of your personal investment in improving and expanding your business in the province; and
- continue to employ all the employees who worked in the business before you bought it.