April 17, 2019 – Ontario will cut the minimum investment and net worth thresholds for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s Entrepreneur Stream and terminate the Corporate Stream under new plans.
Canada’s largest province also plans to cut the business experience required under the popular Entrepreneur Stream.
A proposal published on Tuesday April 16, 2019, would see the following changes to the Entrepreneur Stream net worth requirements:
- Net worth requirement cut from $1.5 million to $800,000 for businesses located in the Greater Toronto Area.
- Net worth requirement cut from $800,000 to $400,000 for businesses located outside the GTA.
- Net worth requirement cut from $800,000 to $400,000 for technology or digital communications businesses, regardless of location.
The proposal would also see the following changes to investment requirements:
- Investment requirement cut from $1 million to $600,000 for businesses in the GTA.
- Investment requirement cut from $500,000 to $200,000 for businesses in the GTA.
- Investment requirement cut from $500,000 to $200,000 for technology or digital communications businesses, regardless of location.
A further Entrepreneur Stream change would see the required business experience cut from 36 months in the last 60 months, to 24 months in the last 60 months.
In the same proposal, Ontario also flagged its intention to terminate the unpopular Corporate Stream, aimed at established international corporations that want to expand into Ontario or buy an existing Ontario business.
The proposed changes are currently open to public consultation, with comments sought from stakeholders. The consultation period ends on Thursday May 30, 2019.
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A provincial statement said: “The Entrepreneur Stream is designed to support individuals from outside of Canada who are looking to implement a new business idea or buy an existing business in Ontario.
“The proposed amendments related to this stream will increase the quality of business proposals and bring minimum investment and net worth thresholds in line with other jurisdictions.
“The Corporate Stream will be terminated as it has not achieved its intended objective of bringing in international corporations to Ontario.”
An increase in the popularity of the Entrepreneur Stream can be expected as a result of the changes.
Lowering requirements for net worth, investment and business experience are all steps expected to make more people eligible for Ontario immigration through the stream.
Ontario has conducted two Entrepreneur Stream draws so far in 2019, issuing Notifications of Interest to 35 candidates. A total of 149 NOIs were issued through the stream in 2018.
The stream works on a two-stage basis, with approved candidates initially coming to Ontario on a work permit to establish their business.
A permanent residence nomination is only issued once the terms of a business performance agreement have been met.
The changes come following an announcement in the Ontario provincial government budget, released on Thursday April 11, 2019.
The budget also saw plans announced to create a dedicated provincial stream aimed at skilled technology workers, launch a pilot to help bring skilled worker immigrants to Ontario’s smaller communities and add truck drivers and personal support workers to the list of target jobs under the Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream.
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