Ontario is seeking 100 immigrant entrepreneurs over the next two years to start or grow a business in regions outside of the Greater Toronto Area.
Interested business owners and developers can apply through the existing Entrepreneur Stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Each entrepreneur who is selected will be required to invest a minimum of $200,000 into their business.
Applicants may get a provincial nomination once their business has been operating for 18 to 20 months in Ontario. They can use the nomination to apply to the federal government for Canadian immigration.
The recruitment project is intended to create more local jobs, and support regions that have been hard-hit by pandemic job losses, according to a government media release. It will cost the provincial government and estimated $6 million, which Ontario’s labour minister Monte McNaughton told reporters it will be repaid by immigrants who come to the province to start or buy a business. These newcomer entrepreneurs will generate an estimated $20 million in business investment to the province, and will create jobs.
“As we continue to build back better, we want people across Ontario—no matter where they live—to find rewarding, well-paying careers in their communities,” McNaughton said in the release. “Our government is working for workers and spreading the jobs and opportunities that entrepreneurs bring to every corner of our province, not just our big cities.”
The province has only issued two nominations through the Entrepreneur Stream since it was launched in 2015. To address this, the province says this new project will help connect entrepreneurs with business opportunities that best fit them.
This project builds on the government’s efforts to attract more immigrants to Ontario. So far this year, the province has taken up such initiatives as introducing a more streamlined provincial nomination application system, and made it easier for internationally trained workers to practice in certain regulated professions.
The Ontario government has been pushing for more immigration. Minister McNaughton has called on the federal government to double Ontario’s allocation in 2022 up from the 8,600 immigrants that the province was allowed to nominate in 2021.
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