Bring Your Employee to Ontario – OINP Corporate Stream

If your corporation has an investment and/or business in the province of Ontario this stream is a way of getting temporary work permits for key corporate staff. This will help you transfer skills and knowhow to Ontario in order to get your planned business up and running. You must, however, meet several sets of requirements to be eligible for this stream.

In the first place, your business in Ontario must be viable and must be seen to provide significant economic benefits to the province. You must also meet the following sets of requirements:

Corporate Requirements

  • Your corporation must have been established in Ontario for a minimum of 36 months (3 years) at the time of your application to the OINP Corporate Stream.
  • Your business in Ontario can be:
    • A public corporation
    • A sole proprietorship
    • A partnership.

Investment Requirements

  • Your business must make a minimum investment of CAD$5 million by either:
    • expanding into Ontario through the creation of a new business, OR
    • buying an existing business in Ontario.
  • Your source of funds for the investment must come from legal sources.
  • Your proposed investment activity must be of significant economic benefit to Ontario.

Local Job Creation Requirements

  • For each key staff member for whom you are seeking a work permit, your business activity in Ontario must create at least 5 permanent, full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • All jobs created must be paid wages at or above the prevailing wage.
  • The jobs must involve a minimum of 1,560 paid hours per year.
  • The jobs must be continuously filled for at least 10 months prior to your business filing its Final Report (see below).

General Requirements

  • Your business in Ontario must be clearly linked to the parent corporation, including:
    • A subsidiary of the corporation, OR
    • A branch of the corporation, OR
    • An affiliate of the corporation.
  • Your proposed business must be for the purpose of making a profit from the sale of goods and services in the province.
  • Your proposed business’s primary income sources must be from:
    • Active (earned) income,
    • NOT passive (unearned) income.
  • Your proposed business must comply with all legal, regulatory, and licensing requirements in Canada and Ontario.
  • If you are purchasing a business in Ontario, the business must be one that is incorporated in Ontario.
  • Your proposed business must comply with Ontario’s labour laws, including:
    • Employment standards
    • Health & Safety standards
    • Labour relations legislation.
  • Project-based or seasonal businesses are not eligible. Your proposed business must be permanent and ongoing.
  • Your proposed investors (see below) must be:
    • Schedule I Bank: This is one that may NOT be wholly owned by non-residents of Canada and has restrictions on the amount of equity ownership any single owner can have. These are Canada’s domestic banks. Go here for a list. OR
    • Schedule II Bank: These are subsidiaries of foreign banks operating in Canada. Go here for a list. OR
    • An Institutional Investor.
  • Your proposed business may NOT be involved in any immigration-linked investment scheme.
  • You must submit a business plan for your proposed business.

If your proposed business is within the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) the following businesses are NOT eligible:

  • Existing Franchises in Ontario. New franchises that are expanding into the province are permitted.
  • Gas Stations
  • Tire recycling
  • Scrap metal recycling
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Bed & Breakfasts
  • Holding companies
  • Laundromats
  • Automated Car Wash Operations
  • Payday loan and related businesses
  • Businesses previously owned by current or former OINP Business Stream nominees.

If your proposed business is outside the GTA, the following businesses are NOT eligible:

  • Tire Recycling
  • Scrap metal recycling
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Holding companies
  • Laundromats
  • Automated Car Wash Operations
  • Payday loan and related businesses
  • Businesses previously owned by current or former OINP Business Stream nominees.

Additional Requirements when the proposed business involves the purchase of an existing business in Ontario

  • The business must have been in operation for at least the past 5 years and with the same owner who is selling their business to your company. You must provide:
    • Proof of ownership papers, AND
    • Letter of intent to purchase, OR
    • Sale agreement.
  • The business must be incorporated in Ontario.
  • The transfer must be for 100% of the business, with the previous owners retaining NO ownership in the new business.
  • The previous business can NOT have been operated by previous or current OINP Business Stream nominees.
  • You must preserve all existing, full-time jobs and create 5 new additional full-time, permanent jobs for each key staff member. You must also maintain current employment terms and wage levels.
  • Your business plan must demonstrate how you intend to grow the business. Buy-and-hold business strategies are NOT permitted.

Additional Criteria for Land Development and Leasehold Companies

  • You can only engage in a maximum of 3 projects a year.
  • Your company must make a minimum investment of CAD$10 million.
  • The proposed business activity must be continuous and ongoing and seek to improve and expand the status of the land site. The company must have an active and ongoing role in the management of the proposed business.
  • You must show your investment is a long-term plan and not a speculative investment.
  • The proposed investment must involve more than just purchasing land and covering construction costs.
  • You must provide site certification documents and any necessary planning authority approvals.
  • You must demonstrate that all the commitments in the Performance Agreement (see below) have been met.

Key Staff Requirements

Your business may appoint up to 5 key staff members who will establish the business in Ontario and will apply for nomination in order to apply for permanent residence in Ontario, Canada. There are 2 stages to staff requirements: stage 1 which they must fulfill at the time of application, and stage 2 which must be fulfilled once they are in Ontario working in their jobs at the proposed business.

Stage 1 Requirements to be fulfilled at the time of application:

  • Key staff must be essential to the establishment and operation of the proposed business.
  • Key staff must occupy NOC skill type 0 or skill level A positions already in your company before coming to Ontario. These are senior, executive, management, or specialized knowledge positions.
  • Only 1 key staff member can be in a NOC skill level A position. These are professional occupations requiring a university degree and/or specialized knowledge usually. The rest must be Skill type 0, which are managerial positions.
  • The key staff must have at least 3 years experience at the same type of position at your company within the last 5 years. They also must have been continuously working for your company in that position for at least 1 year prior to the application.
  • Key staff members must not be directly related to any board member of your company or to any shareholder with more than 10% of the company’s equity.
  •  Key staff members must not hold equity in your company unless it has been paid as part of their compensation package and the total of equity held is less than 10% of the total outstanding.
  • All key staff positions in the proposed business in Ontario must be permanent and full-time and be at a wage equal to or greater than the prevailing wage in Ontario.

Stage 2: Key Staff Nomination Requirements

  • Position requirements: key staff must be in the job they were nominated for, carrying out the duties described, and earning the prevailing wage in the proposed business in Ontario.
  • Residency requirements: key staff must reside in Ontario at least 9 months of the year while on a work permit before gaining permanent residence.
  • Language requirements: key staff must have a CLB 4 or higher in English and/or French.

How to Apply to the OINP

Step 1: Register at OINP

Go here and scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the red-outlined box Submit an application for the Corporate Stream. You will be redirected to a page where you must:

  • Complete the CAPTCHA
  • Select:
    • returning user
    • new applicant; or
    • new representative.
  • From the OINP e-Filing Landing page, select the applicable stream (Corporate Stream).
  • Complete pre-registration questions by entering your name and date of birth.
  • Click on Sign-up Now! Link to create a ONe-Key account.
  • Log in to your ONe-key account and register a profile by carefully and accurately entering the information requested.
  • Once you’ve completed your online profile click Finish and you will be re-directed to OINP’s main page where you can begin completing your online application.

Step 2: Completing your application online

Log in to OINP e-Filing Portal and click on the alpha-numeric under File Number in order to start completing your application.

Use the tabs on the LHS of each application page to navigate the application form. You will need to provide information on each key staff applicant and each key staff applicant will have to apply for and receive both temporary work permits and then permanent resident visas at a later stage in the process.

You can save your work by one of 3 ways:

  • Click Save at bottom right corner of each page, OR
  • Click Next or Previous at bottom of each page, OR
  • Click Check for Errors at bottom right corner of each page.

In addition to completing the online application form you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Business Plan
  • Financial Analysis: Income Statements; Balance Sheets; Cash Flow Statements
  • Organizational Chart
  • Registration with Tax Authorities
  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Corporate & Legal Structure documents
  • Financial and Bank Business statements
  • Articles of incorporation for the parent company .

If you are purchasing an existing business, you must provide:

  • Business license/certificate
  • Tax registration certificate
  • Financial Statements
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Tax statements for all employees.

For each Key staff member, you must provide:

  • Fully completed and signed copy of Key Staff application form
  • Photograph
  • Copy of entire passport
  • Copy of personal details page of passports of Key Staff family members
  • Any applicable status documents issued by IRCC or CBSA
  • Copies of documents proving key staff work experience with the company including: employment contracts; proof of compensation.
  • Copy of each key staff member’s current resume (CV).

Step 3: Pay the fee and submit the application

Before you can submit your online application, you must first pay the processing fee of CAD$3,500 per key staff member. So, for example:

  • If you have 4 key staff members your fee will be 4 x $3,500 = $14,000
  • If you have 5 key staff members your fee will be 5 x $3,500 = $17,500.

Once you have paid your fees your application cannot be modified and will be sent to OINP for processing.

You will then receive a confirmation email and a receipt for payment of fees.

Step 4: After the application has been submitted

If your application is found to be complete with no missing information or documents, then each key staff member will have to attend an obligatory interview with OINP officials. The interview will be about your proposed business, your business plan, key staff members’ work experience, and any other matter relevant to your proposed business.

Please refer to our other OINP blogs to see how to inform the OINP of changes in personal information for your key staff (it is the same procedure as with any other applicant to OINP) and how to withdraw an application.

You may request a review of any OINP decision on your application by emailing to Internalreview-revisioninterne@ontario.ca within:

  • 30 days of receiving the OINP decision if in Canada, OR
  • 60 days if not residing in Canada.

Step 5: Performance Agreement

If your application is approved you will have to sign a Performance Agreement with the government of Ontario that will detail, among other things:

  • A description of your business
  • Investment amounts and timelines
  • Number and type of positions created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Mandatory business milestones and achievements
  • Timeframes for any commitments.

Each performance agreement will be unique to your particular business proposal and if you fail to meet your performance agreement your key staff members will not be eligible for nomination for permanent residence in Ontario, Canada.

Step 6: Temporary Work Permits

Once you have signed the Performance Agreement, you will receive a Letter of Confirmation from OINP in support of your key staff members applications which they will have to make to IRCC for temporary work permits. You will have 12 months from the date of the Letter of Confirmation to arrive in Ontario with your temporary work permits.

Step 7: Arrival in Ontario

If your key staff do not arrive in Ontario within 12 months of receiving the Letter of Confirmation, your application will be withdrawn. You must designate a key staff member as the contact person for all OINP matters. They must inform the OINP of the arrival of all key staff members within 7 days of their date of arrival in Ontario. Please note that the commitments outlined in the Performance Agreement you signed will start on the date of arrival of your primary key staff member.

Step 8: Building your Business

Once your key staff has arrived in Ontario, you then have 20 months to implement your business plan and to meet your Performance Agreement and its commitments. All required permanent, full-time jobs must be continuously filled for a minimum of 10 months prior to filing your Final Report.

Step 9: Monitoring your Business

OINP officers will monitor your business during this time, including paying visits to your place of business. You will have to file quarterly reports in addition to your Final Report, that indicate the progress of your business and how you are putting into place your business plan.

Step 10: Final Report

The OINP will provide you with a template for your Final Report once you reach this stage of the process. You will be able to file it 18 to 20 months after arriving in Ontario and starting to build your business. You cannot submit it before 18 months have elapsed. Your report must prove that your new business has met the commitments outlined in your Performance Agreement. You may have to provide additional information if requested by the OINP and OINP officers may visit your work site as well.

Step 11: Nomination

Once the Final Report has been submitted and OINP has determined that the commitments of the Performance Agreement have been met, the key staff member will be contacted in order to request submission of supporting documentation to prove that key staff have met the following nomination criteria (listed above as well):

  • Key staff are in the positions they were approved for by the OINP and carrying out the duties associated with those jobs and earning a wage in line with Ontario’s job market.
  • Key staff have resided in Ontario at least 9 months out of each year they worked in Ontario on a temporary work permit.
  • Key staff have tested for CLB 4 or higher in English or French.

Step 12: Applying for Permanent Residence

The key staff member will, if approved, receive a Letter of Nomination and a Nomination Certificate from the OINP. Each key staff member is then responsible for applying to IRCC for permanent residence based on the OINP nomination. They must submit an application to the IRCC for permanent residence within 6 months of being nominated by the OINP. Extensions to the OINP Confirmation of Nomination documents will only be granted in cases where applicants can prove extenuating circumstances.

Step 13: After Nomination

You new business will be monitored by the OINP for 36 months (3 years) after you receive your nomination documents in order to collect information on the process and provide improvements to the nomination process.