Toronto: Ontario has revealed additional information on a new Canada immigration project designed to recruit 100 international entrepreneurs willing to invest $200,000 each to launch or acquire businesses outside the Greater Toronto Area.
The province had said earlier that it had selected the Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC) to create and launch the Entrepreneur Pilot in collaboration with the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).
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The TBDC was chosen through an open bidding process.
According to an OINP release, the jobs and investments generated by these enterprises would promote the recovery of regions soon to be designated as having the greatest need for assistance in the wake of COVID19.
Initial announcement of the two-year experiment was made in December 2021.
Under the existing Entrepreneur Stream of the OINP, the province intends to attract $20 million in investment to support pandemic-ravaged regions.
The Ontario government expects the pilot programme to generate employment opportunities in industries such as information technology, life sciences, and tourism.
Applicants will be considered for permanent residence after 18 to 20 months of commercial operation in Ontario.
Since its introduction in 2015, only two nominations have been made through the OINP Entrepreneur Stream, according to a news release issued by the provincial government of Ontario in December.
According to the press release, “this project will provide applicants with greater assistance and help them identify the most suited business opportunities.”
The new entrepreneur programme is one of the measures undertaken by Ontario to recruit more immigrants.
Under a proposed new provincial rule, it was stated in October that foreign-trained lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, electricians, and plumbers will no longer need Canadian work experience to practise their professions in Ontario.
The province proposes the following:
- Eliminate the Canadian work experience requirements for professional registration and licensure, unless an exemption is granted due to a demonstrated risk to public health and safety.
- Reduce the redundancy of official language-proficiency testing so that individuals with foreign credentials in certain occupations are not required to take numerous examinations for immigration and professional licencing purposes.
- Accelerate the licencing procedure, which can currently take up to 18 months, so that immigrants with foreign training can begin working in occupations that match their skill set.
Ontario Entrepreneur Stream
The Ontario Entrepreneur Stream is geared toward non-Canadians who wish to start a business or acquire an existing one in Ontario.
The existing funding needs are outlined below. Unknown at this time is whether the new entrepreneur project will lessen certain conditions to attract more people.
Ontario Entrepreneur Stream: Financial Requirements
1) Net value
- Minimum net worth of $800,000 if the planned business will be located within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The minimum net worth is $400,000 for those living Outside of the Greater Toronto metropolitan area.
- Minimum net worth of $400,000 is required for any proposed ICT or digital communications enterprise, regardless of location in the province.
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2) Investing and Property
- Invest a minimum of $600,000 in an Ontario firm and own at least 33% if the business is in the Greater Toronto Area.
- Outside of the Greater Toronto Area, invest at least $200,000 and own at least 33%.
- Applicants must propose a firm in ICT or digital communications, invest a minimum of $200,000, and hold at least 33 percent of the business in any province.