Opportunities Ontario: Who can apply
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI) is the first point of contact and referral for companies or individual investors making an investment in Ontario who want to facilitate the permanent resident status of needed employees.
To qualify, investments must be of significant importance to Ontario and must create jobs for Ontarians. New investments and expansions to current operations are eligible. Investments need to meet the following eligibility guidelines:
- The investment must receive an official endorsement from another Ontario ministry at the Deputy Minister level for the investment and the number of key positions requested. For more information about the endorsement process, please visit the How to apply section.
- The amount of the investment is at least $3,000,000.
- The investment must create at least five net permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Ontario.
- The investment has to also comply with Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). This federal law excludes individuals from provincial nomination who:
- are nominated because of capital provision, or
- engage in an “immigration-linked investment scheme”.
To comply with these exclusions, individual investors seeking nomination need to meet added eligibility requirements (please see section called Eligibility Criteria for Individual Investors)
Investment Nominee Position Guidelines
Investment Nominee Positions being considered for approval by Opportunities Ontario must:
- Be necessary for the long-term success of the investment.
- Be in a skilled occupation (NOC 0, A, or B).
- Be permanent, full-time positions.
- Meet prevailing wage levels. Information about wages for a variety of professions can be found on the Service Canada Labour Market Information website.
- Not affect the settlement of any labour dispute or affect the employment of a person involved in such a dispute, or adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Ontario.
Requesting more than one position
Companies making an investment in Ontario can request multiple positions. For the first nominee position request, 5 net permanent, full-time jobs must be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents located in Ontario. For each subsequent nominee position request, one permanent, full-time job must be created for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident located in Ontario. The maximum number of nominee positions which can be requested is 25 nominee positions. “Net” refers to jobs created by the investment in Ontario minus jobs lost in the province, if any.
The following chart shows the number of nominee positions an investor may request.
|Number of net nominee positions investors can request||Number of net jobs created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Ontario||Number of net jobs created as a result of the investment|
Eligibility Criteria for Individual Investors
Although the investment component of Opportunities Ontario is geared towards corporate investments in the province, individual investors seeking nomination can also qualify for the program.
Ontario determines which economic immigrants it wishes to select (i.e. nominate) to the federal government for permanent resident status. However, Section 87 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPA), which governs all provincial nominee programs, limits that authority by excluding certain individuals from being nominated by any province.
To qualify for a provincial nomination, individual investors must meet all of the following four additional eligibility criteria as required by federal law:
- Be actively involved, on an ongoing basis, in the management of the business
- Control, or will control, at least 33.334% of the equity in the business, or make a minimum $1 million investment in the business
- Not have the option of redeeming the investment after a specified period
- Invest the capital in the business not for the primary purpose of deriving interest, dividends or capital gains
Learn more: How to apply