Last Updated on July 10, 2019
Please note: The Ontario Corporate Stream (OCS) was permanently closed as of July 2019. Business immigration candidates to Ontario should consider the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream.
The Ontario Corporate Stream (OCS) is aimed at established international corporations that want to expand into Ontario or buy an existing Ontario business.
If an international corporation establishes itself in Ontario and abides by the rules of the program, five key members of the corporation that are essential to the establishment, operation and success of the business may be nominated by the Ontario government for permanent residence.
Once nominated, an applicant qualifies to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Ontario Corporate Stream: Application Steps
Step 1: Make sure you satisfy all the criteria and requirements of the OCS
- Must have been established for at least 36 months.
- Can be a public corporation, sole ownership or partnership.
- Minimum $5 million to expand into Ontario or purchase an existing business.
- Funds must be legally acquired.
- Activity must be of significant economic benefit to Ontario.
Local Job Creation Requirements
- Create five new permanent and full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents per key staff applicant.
- Positions must be paid at or above the prevailing wage level.
- Clear link between parent corporation and proposed new business in Ontario.
- Proposed business must intend to make a profit through sale of goods and services.
- Primary income sources must be from active (earned) income.
- Business must comply with Canadian legal requirements and all regulatory industry and licensing requirements.
- If purchasing an existing business, it must be incorporated in Ontario.
- Business must comply with Ontario labour laws, including but not limited to employment standards, health and safety, and labour relations legislation.
- Business must be considered a permanent in Ontario. Project-based/seasonal businesses are not eligible.
- Third party investors must be a Schedule I or Schedule II bank or an institutional investor.
- Proposed business must not be involved in an immigration-linked investment scheme.
- You must submit a business plan.
- The proposed business must not be on the OINP list of ineligible businesses.
Key Staff and Position Requirements
- Must be essential to the business.
- Must be in NOC skill level 0 or skill type A.
- Only one NOC A can be proposed
- All other staff must be in NOC 0
- Minimum 3 years of work experience in the past 5 years, in the intended occupation.
- Positions must be permanent and full-time and meet the prevailing wage levels.
- Must not hold equity in the corporation, or be closely related to any member of the Corporation’s executive board, board of directors or shareholders with more than 10% equity.
- At the nomination stage, the staff must also meet the following requirements:
- Must be in the position for which they have been approved, actively involved on daily management of the business
- Must have resided in Ontario for 75% of each year
- Minimum CLB 4 in English or French.
If purchasing an existing business in Ontario:
- Business must have been operated by the same owner for the previous 5 years.
- Business must be incorporated in Ontario.
- Ownership transfer must be 100%.
- All existing permanent and full-time job positions must be maintained.
- The business plan must demonstrate intention to grow the business.
If purchasing Land Development and Leasehold company:
- Maximum of 3 projects/year.
- Minimum investment of $10 million.
- Investment cannot be used solely to buy the land and cover construction costs.
- Local site certification documents and approvals required.
- Leasehold companies must produce goods or deliver services of their own.
- Land development companies must demonstrate long-term business.
Step 2: Submit Application
If a corporation and key staff members fulfill all the above requirements an application can be submitted. All necessary forms must be completed truthfully. The supporting documents must be included.
A business plan must also be submitted. The business plan will include details explaining:
- The purpose and objectives of the business.
- What the business will be selling.
- How the business will operate.
- Who the customers will be.
- How the business will achieve its objectives.
- Challenges the business may face.
- A description of how the challenges will be overcome.
The application is to be completed and submitted online, through ONIP e-Filing Portal.
There is an application fee of $3,500 per key staff member.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Step 3: Application Assessment
After all required documents and fees are received, the application will be assessed.
Key staff members are required to attend a mandatory in-person interview at the OINP office.
Step 4: Sign Performance Agreement
If the application is approved, the corporation will be asked to sign a Performance Agreement outlining the rules that must be followed in order for the key staff members to be nominated for permanent residence.
Step 5: Temporary Work Permit
Once the Performance Agreement is signed, the key staff members will be sent a Letter of Confirmation.
This letter will allow the key staff members to apply for a temporary Work Permit (WP) from the Canadian government. If the key staff members meet all the relevant criteria of the Canadian federal government, they will receive the WP.
Step 6: Arrival and Business Establishment
Once the key staff members obtain temporary work permits, they should move to Ontario and begin implementing the business plan as soon as possible, within 12 months from the date of their Letter of Confirmation.
One key staff member must inform immigration processing office of the corporation’s arrival in Ontario within 7 days of arrival.
Within 18-20 months of arriving in Ontario, the corporation must submit a final report showing that it is abiding by all the rules of the OCS and the terms of the Performance Agreement.
Step 7: Nomination and Application for Permanent Residence
If the report is approved, the key staff members will be nominated for permanent residence by the Ontario government. The holder of a nomination certificate may submit an application for Canadian permanent residence to the federal government as long as the nominee continues to abide by the Performance Agreement and the requirements of the OCS mentioned above.
Step 8: Monitoring
If the key staff members obtain permanent residence, they will be monitored for an additional period of 36 months to make sure that the corporation continues to abide by all the rules of the OCS and the terms of the performance agreement.
The following dependants of key staff members can be included in an application of Ontario Corporate Stream Business program:
- Spouse or Common Law Partner
- Dependent children who are:
- Younger than 22 and do not have a spouse or common law partner OR
- Older that 22 and are dependent on their parents due to physical or mental illness.
- Dependent children of dependent children.
- Existing Franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted)
- Gas Stations
- Tire Recycling*
- Scrap Metal Recycling*
- Bed and Breakfasts
- Holding Companies*
- Automated Car Wash Operations*
- Payday loan and related businesses*
- Businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees *
Note: *indicates businesses that are also ineligible outside of the GTA
Interested employers: Kindly contact us to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.