Tue | Jun 19, 2018

Immigration Corner | Do I qualify as an investor?

Published:Tuesday | January 30, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I am a 50-year-old businessman and I would like my family to move to Canada. I was wondering how I could qualify as an entrepreneur or investor. I have a brother living in Ontario and I would like to move there. He said he may even be able to help me to get a job offer if I don't qualify as an investor. Please tell me how I could get to live in Ontario with my wife and two children as citizens.

- AM

Dear AM,

If you are interested in implementing a new business idea or buying an existing business in Ontario, you could be eligible under The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Programme's (OINP) entrepreneur stream. Under this programme, qualified individuals now have an opportunity to be nominated by the province of Ontario for permanent residence in Canada, once the business has been successfully established.

The application process can be quite challenging and lengthy. However with the proper guidance and plan, you and your family could live permanently in Canada after you have proven that your business can be successful in Ontario. To find out if you qualify, I recommend that you contact an immigration lawyer to review your credentials and guide you in the application process.

The process of becoming a citizen of Canada via this programme is a multiple-step procedure. The first step involves ensuring that you are qualified. The next step would be to get a work permit to establish your business and prove its viability. Once you have proven yourself and your business acumen, then you could be nominated for permanent residence. After you have been granted permanent residence and are able to satisfy the residency and tax requirements, you and your family could be granted Canadian citizenship.


Prepare business plan


Before undertaking this process, you will need to do some research and have a business plan ready for evaluation. Some of the things to consider and provide documentary proof are:

Information on your years of experience either managing or owning a business. You must be able to prove that you have at least three years of full-time business experience within the last five years. If you have a business partner, you partner must also prove this.

- Ensure that the type of business is one that qualifies under the programme. Is your business in any of the target sectors as outlined by the province?

- Provide information on whether you have experience in a high growth or export business.

Where in Ontario you are planning to establish your business?

- Proof of your personal net worth is required. If your proposed business will be located within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) you must have a minimum net worth of CDN$1,500,000 CDN. If it is outside of the GTA f your proposed business will be located outside of the GTA, you must have a minimum net worth of CDN$800,000.

- The amount that you are willing to invest and the source of your funding. For the GTA, your proposed business must make a minimum personal investment of CDN$1,000,000 and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3 per cent. If outside of the GTA the minimum personal investment of CDN $500,000 and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3 per cent. If your business falls within the ICT/Digital Communications sector will be required to make a minimum personal investment of CDN$500,000 and have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3 per cent.

The number and type of new jobs your business will generate for permanent residence and Canadian citizen must be detailed. The minimum requirement is at least two permanent, full time jobs.

You are required to do an exploratory visit to the province to assess the viability of your business venture.

You must meet all eligibility criteria in order to apply to the entrepreneur stream by submitting an electronic expression of interest to the province. If you are applying with a business partner, your business partner must also meet the eligibility criteria. Your application must be submitted via the OINP e-filing portal. Your application will be admitted into a pool of applicants and if you qualify, you could be invited to apply. The application fee is CDN $3,500.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada Bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, commercial, real estate, family and administration of estates. She is on the roster of mediators for Ottawa, Toronto and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration Twitter: deidrespowell Facebook: jamaicanlawyer. Tel: 613.695.8777