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Category Archives: residency requirements

Canada to Expand Transitions to Permanent Residency

Honorable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, has proposed expanding options to permanent residence for international students and temporary foreign employees. The new five-pillar approach intends to increase the number of foreign workers and international students who transition to permanent residence and have substantial work experience in fields where there is a persistent labor shortage.

The strategy was developed in response to Motion 44 proposed by Randeep Sarai, Liberal Member of Parliament for Surrey Centre in May of 2022. The motion requested that the government develop and publicly release a plan to expand economic immigration to meet labor needs with workers of all skill levels.

Temporary foreign workers and international students are essential contributors to the Canadian economy, which is why the government is working to create more avenues to permanent residency. Foreign workers contribute to economic recovery and growth by addressing immediate labor needs, providing a diverse variety of skill levels and educational backgrounds, and supporting company expansion, innovation, and productivity. International students are an important source of talent, helping to expand Canada’s labor force, enhance productivity, and offset the impact of the country’s ageing population.

Five Pillar Strategy

Pillar 1

The enhanced immigration levels targets set in the Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024 are intended to give Canada with a larger, permanent labor supply. This strategy expands chances for more temporary workers to become permanent residents, thereby addressing labor market shortages and fueling our post-pandemic economic growth.

Pillar 2

Through recent changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Express Entry system will be reformed, including increased flexibility in immigration selection tools under Express Entry. The Department will also review the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System criteria, specifically the points awarded for Canadian work experience and education, language proficiency, and a job offer. These revisions set the stage for the upcoming version of Express Entry, which will include more options for workers of all skill levels to transfer to permanent residence.

Pillar 3

This includes implementing changes to permanent economic immigration plans to aid in the transition of workers in high-demand occupations from temporary to permanent residence. On November 16, IRCC plans to adopt the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021. This new occupation classification system will make 16 new occupations eligible for Express Entry while eliminating three previously eligible occupations. The government also intends to improve newcomers’ access to information to ensure that they meet the necessary qualifications and connect them to federal, provincial, or territorial immigration programs; remove barriers for physicians and other high-demand workers; and improve pilot programs to support permanent residency pathways for caregivers and agri-food workers.

Pillar 4

IRCC will support communities in attracting and retaining newcomers, including through Francophone immigration. The government aids Francophone minority groups outside of Quebec with initiatives targeted at attaining the 4.4% French-speaking immigration objective by 2023. A new Municipal Nominee Program is also being developed to assist municipalities in attracting and retaining newcomers to meet their local labor needs. In addition, the government is continuing to collaborate with provinces, territories, and Canadian employers on pathways to permanent residencies, such as the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Pillar 5

IRCC has reporting a decrease in its August 31 inventory. Still, Canadian immigration backlog is at 2.6 million. The government plans to “modernize the immigration system through technology advances”.  The government is expanding processing capacity, improving client experience, and modernizing the immigration system. These measures are aimed at ensuring that newcomers are welcomed as permanent residents as soon as feasible.

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Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) at CAN X IMMIGRATION can help you with your Visa and permit with a free assessment and consultation.

Ontario issued 24 invitations to apply (ITAs) under the Entrepreneur Stream

Ontario invited 24 entrepreneurs in new immigration draw under entrepreneur stream. Candidates with scores of at least 134 were invited in draw conducted on June 24, 2020. Candidates with Expressions of Interest (EOI) received by the OINP between November 22, 2019 and June 19, 2020 were eligible. This is the fifth draw since the minimum eligibility requirements for the program underwent significant change.  A total of 70 entrepreneurs has been invited this year so far.

The required net worth for the proposed business within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was lowered from $1.5 million CAD to $800,000 CAD and outside the GTA from $800,000 CAD to $400,000 CAD. The minimum investment for the proposed business in the GTA was lowered from $1 million CAD to $600,000 CAD and outside the GTA from $500,000 CAD to $200,000 CAD. The required business experience of a candidate as an Owner or a Senior Manager had also changed. It is now required that a candidate has 24 months of experience within the last 60 months. Previously, a candidate was required to have 36 months of experience within the same time frame.

Entrepreneur Stream 

The Entrepreneur Stream is an immigration stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). This stream is for entrepreneurs from outside of Canada interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario. It gives an entrepreneur (and up to one foreign national business partner) the opportunity to be nominated for permanent residence once their business has been established in Ontario.

The Entrepreneur Stream application is a two-stage process: 

Stage 1

  1. Registration: Register an expression of interest with OINP by email
  2. Application Submission: If invited, submit an online application
  3. Personal Interview: Entrepreneur and the business partner (if applicable) attend a mandatory in-person interview at the OINP office in Toronto. The purpose of the interview is to get a better understanding of the business plan and past experience.
  4. Performance Agreement: If stage 1 of the application (including the interview) is successful, the entrepreneur is asked to sign a performance agreement with the Government of Ontario. The performance agreement will outline the commitments that must be met in order to be nominated for permanent residence. The document will include, but may not be limited to:
    • a description of the business
    • investment amounts and timelines
    • number and types of jobs to be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents
    • mandatory business milestones and achievements
    • time frames for commitments

Stage 2

  1. Work Permit: After signing performance agreement, the OINP office issues a temporary work permit support letter (WPSL) so that applicant and business partner (if applicable) can apply to IRCC for a temporary work permit
  2. Business Establishment: The entrepreneur has 20 months from the arrival date in Ontario to implement the business plan and meet all commitments under the performance agreement. OINP officers monitor the business to make sure the applicant stay on track to meeting the obligations under performance agreement. The applicant is also required to provide quarterly reports and a final report to OINP.
  3. Provincial Nomination: Based on final report, the OINP office confirm that the new business has met the commitments outlined in the performance agreement. Post confirmation, OINP office will ask for supporting documents to ensure that applicant and business partner (if applicable) meet the nomination requirements
    • Language: The applicant must be able to listen, read, write and speak English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4.
    • Residency: The applicant must be physically living in Ontario for 75 per cent of the time during which they are establishing their business.
    • Active Management: The applicant must be actively involved, on an ongoing basis, in the management of the business.
  4. Permanent Residency: The applicant can submit permanent residency (PR) application with IRCC within six months of nomination. The OINP performs post-nomination monitoring for a period of 36 months following the issuance of permanent resident status.

Program Requirements

To qualify under the Entrepreneur Stream, the applicant must have a viable business that is likely to provide material economic benefit to the economy of Ontario as a whole or to the local Ontario economy where the business will be located. The applicant and one business partner (if applicable) must both meet the eligibility requirements.

Business experience

The applicant must have at least 24 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months. The experience must be as a business owner or as a senior manager (business management). As a business owner the applicant must have had an active role in the business and owned at least one-third of the business. As a senior manager the applicant must have had senior decision-making responsibilities in the business.

Net Worth

  • $800,000 CAD  – if the proposed business will be located within the GTA
  • $400,000 CAD  – if the proposed business will be located outside the GTA
  • $400,000 CAD – if the proposed business will be in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT)/Digital Communications sector (regardless of the proposed business location)

Personal investment funds and minimum equity

  • Within the Greater Toronto Area – The applicant must make a minimum personal investment of $600,000 CAD and control at least one-third of the equity in the business
  • Outside of the Greater Toronto Area – The applicant must make a minimum personal investment of $200,000 CAD and control at least one-third of the equity in the business
  • If the proposed business is in the information and communications technology/digital communications sector then regardless of location, the applicant must make a minimum personal investment of $200,000 CAD and control at least of one-third of the equity in the business.

Active involvement

The entrepreneur must be actively involved, on an ongoing basis, in the management of the business.

Capital investment purpose

The primary purpose of investing capital in the business must be to make a profit. It must not be to derive interest, dividends or capital gains.

Job creation

If the business will be located inside the Greater Toronto Area, the applicant must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. If the business will be located outside the Greater Toronto Area or in the information and communications technology or digital communications sector, regardless of location, the applicant must create at least one permanent full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Jobs must be created within the first 20 months of establishing or acquiring the business, must be filled continuously for at least 10 months and must be paid at the median wage level for the position.

Additional requirements for purchasing an existing business

  • the entrepreneur must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario within 12 months from the date of registering an Expression of Interest
  • the business being purchased must have been in continuous operation by the same owner(s) for the previous 60 months
  • ownership of the business must be completely transferred to the applicant or any business partner
  • the applicant must use at least 10% of the personal investment towards improving or expanding the business in Ontario
  • the applicant must keep all permanent full-time employees that worked in the business prior to the transfer of ownership

General business requirements

In addition to meeting the minimum requirements, the proposed business must also meet the general requirements to participate in the Entrepreneur Stream:

Business purpose

The purpose of the proposed business must be to make a profit from active (earned) income not passive (unearned) income through the sale of goods and/or services.

Canadian and Ontario legal requirements

The proposed business must comply with any applicable federal, provincial or municipal legal, regulatory or licensing requirements that govern its operation. This includes Ontario labour laws, including but not limited to employment standards, health and safety and labour relations legislation.

Permanent business

The proposed business must be considered a permanent business in Ontario. Project-based/seasonal businesses are considered ineligible.

Business in Ontario

The proposed business must at all times have a place of business in Ontario.

Ineligible types of businesses 

The entrepreneur need to ensure that the proposed business is not one of the ineligible types listed below.

automated car wash business  ǀ holding companies  ǀ laundromats  ǀ pawnbrokers  ǀ pay day loan and related businesses  ǀ scrap metal recycling  ǀ tire recycling  ǀ a business involved in producing, distributing or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing sexually oriented services  ǀ businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees

If the proposed business will be located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the following types are also ineligible.

existing franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted)  ǀ gas stations  ǀ bed and breakfasts

Expression of interest

An expression of interest (EOI) is the first step and, its not an application. There is no fee to register an EOI. The EOI is comprised of two components, for a maximum EOI score of 200 points:

  1. Self-Declared Score (126 points)
  2. Business Concept Score (74 points)

OINP will assess and score the Business Concept.  The business concept will need to score at least 37 of the available 74 points (50%) to be placed in the EOI selection pool. Whether the entrepreneur candidate will be issued an invitation to apply is based on the EOI rank in the selection pool. Only the top ranked candidates are invited to apply.

Expression of interest (EOI) registration 

  1. contact the OINP by email ([email protected]) to express the interest in participating in the Entrepreneur stream and to request a copy of the EOI registration form
  2. once received, complete the EOI registration form
  3. submit the completed form by email to [email protected]

The OINP will then assess and score the business concept. If the entrepreneur candidate do not meet the minimum stream criteria, the business concept will not be reviewed.

If the business concept is accepted, the EOI will be placed in a pool and will be ranked against other entrepreneur candidates. If entrepreneur candidate is invited to apply, he/she will receive an email with instructions on how to submit an online application through the OINP e-Filing Portal. The candidate has 90 calendar days to submit the online application from the date of invitation to apply.

Contact us for consultation and assessment.

Canada – the best alternative after new immigration restrictions in United States

Canada – the best alternative after new immigration restrictions in United States

Despite the havoc the coronavirus has wreaked onto the global economy, Canada still recognizes that immigration supports the labour market and the country’s economic growth. The US president signed a new Executive Order to limit immigration to the United States for the rest of this year. The Executive Order takes effect on June 24, 2020 at 12:01 AM EDT and expires on December 31, 2020. America’s temporary ban on immigration and with the restrictions on permanent residency in the U.S., more people could eye Canada.

Immigration Matters: Growing Canada’s future

Thanks to immigration, Canada’s labour force continues to grow by a small amount every year. Immigrants help grow Canada’s future through their contribution to various industries. Because of its internationally recognized quality of life and post-secondary educational institutions, Canada attracts talent from around the world to help build the country’s economy and grow the science and technology sector. Immigrants account for 40% of computer programmers, 41% of engineers, 36% of all pharmacists and family physicians and more than 50% of all chemists.

Since 2015 to till date immigrants in Canada has increased by 26% whereas in US the immigration number has dropped by 7% from 2016 to 2018 and will continue to drop with new policies in place by the US government. According to the 2019-2021 multi-year levels plan released by IRCC, it plans to admit 341,000 new permanent residents in 2020 and another 350,000 in 2021.

Why Canada needs more immigration now?

Canada’s worker-to-retiree ratio is 4 to 1. By 2035, 5 million Canadians are set to retire, and some employers are already having trouble finding Canadian-born workers to fill jobs. Thus, Canada needs immigrants to stimulate Canada’s economy and support its fiscal standing.

Canada’s per capita immigration intake triple that of U.S.

Canada welcomes three times as many immigrants than the U.S. Canada has a population of about 38 million and is now welcoming around 340,000 immigrants per year (0.9% of its population) whereas the U.S. has a population of some 330 million and welcomes around 1.1 million immigrants per year (0.3% of its population). Nearly 60 per cent of Canada’s immigrants arrive under the economic class while U.S. admits about 10 per cent of its immigrants under this class.

Canada also offers Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) which allows international graduates to stay and work in Canada after completing their studies which further helps them to gain permanent residency in Canada. US on the other hand has a similar program Optional Practical Training program (OPT) allows graduates in the field of science, technology, engineering, and math to remain and work for up to 24 months in the U.S. after finishing their studies. However, US government has already imposed restrictions on H1B visa while restrictions on OPT program is also expected which may limit the pathway for both international students and skilled workers to permanent residency in US

Canada’s unwavering commitment to immigration during coronavirus pandemic

Though Canada has also enacted temporary restrictions on foreign travel as part of its efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus, Canada continues to demonstrate its commitment to the 2020-2022 Immigration Levels Plan that it announced in March 2020.

Canada is still allowing exempt immigrants, international students, and temporary foreign workers to enter the country. It has also announced more lenient measures to help accommodate immigration applicants who are not able to submit their complete documentation because of coronavirus-related disruptions.

The applications for permanent residence are still being approved and the federal and provincial governments are still holding immigration draws to invite more people to submit permanent residence applications.

Need help staying in Canada!

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenging times in Canada and around the world. Many people are under distress and anxiety. We understand! Can-X is here to help you figure it out, so you can have peace of mind. You could be an international student, worker, or visitor looking to extend your stay in Canada. You may be seeking a pathway to permanent immigration. Or you may be looking to reunite with a loved one. Whatever the reason, contact us to discuss your immigration needs, and we’ll provide our insights and help as much as we can during these difficult times.

We Care!

Ontario issued 26 invitations to apply (ITAs) under the Entrepreneur Stream

Ontario invited 26 entrepreneurs in new immigration draw under entrepreneur stream. Candidates with scores of at least 132 were invited in draw conducted on April 22, 2020. Candidates with Expressions of Interest (EOI) received by the OINP between 22 November 2019 and 17 April 2020 were eligible. This is the fourth draw since the minimum eligibility requirements for the program underwent significant change.

The required net worth for the proposed business within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was lowered from $1.5 million CAD to $800,000 CAD and outside the GTA from $800,000 CAD to $400,000 CAD. The minimum investment for the proposed business in the GTA was lowered from $1 million CAD to $600,000 CAD and outside the GTA from $500,000 CAD to $200,000 CAD. The required business experience of a candidate as an Owner or a Senior Manager had also changed. It is now required that a candidate has 24 months of experience within the last 60 months. Previously, a candidate was required to have 36 months of experience within the same time frame.

Entrepreneur Stream 

The Entrepreneur Stream is an immigration stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). This stream is for entrepreneurs from outside of Canada interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario. It gives an entrepreneur (and up to one foreign national business partner) the opportunity to be nominated for permanent residence once their business has been established in Ontario.

The Entrepreneur Stream application is a two-stage process: 

Stage 1

  1. Registration: Register an expression of interest with OINP by email
  2. Application Submission: If invited, submit an online application
  3. Personal Interview: Entrepreneur and the business partner (if applicable) attend a mandatory in-person interview at the OINP office in Toronto. The purpose of the interview is to get a better understanding of the business plan and past experience.
  4. Performance Agreement: If stage 1 of the application (including the interview) is successful, the entrepreneur is asked to sign a performance agreement with the Government of Ontario. The performance agreement will outline the commitments that must be met in order to be nominated for permanent residence. The document will include, but may not be limited to:
    • a description of the business
    • investment amounts and timelines
    • number and types of jobs to be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents
    • mandatory business milestones and achievements
    • time frames for commitments

Stage 2

  1. Work Permit: After signing performance agreement, the OINP office issues a temporary work permit support letter (WPSL) so that applicant and business partner (if applicable) can apply to IRCC for a temporary work permit
  2. Business Establishment: The entrepreneur has 20 months from the arrival date in Ontario to implement the business plan and meet all commitments under the performance agreement. OINP officers monitor the business to make sure the applicant stay on track to meeting the obligations under performance agreement. The applicant is also required to provide quarterly reports and a final report to OINP.
  3. Provincial Nomination: Based on final report, the OINP office confirm that the new business has met the commitments outlined in the performance agreement. Post confirmation, OINP office will ask for supporting documents to ensure that applicant and business partner (if applicable) meet the nomination requirements
    • Language: The applicant must be able to listen, read, write and speak English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 4.
    • Residency: The applicant must be physically living in Ontario for 75 per cent of the time during which they are establishing their business.
    • Active Management: The applicant must be actively involved, on an ongoing basis, in the management of the business.
  4. Permanent Residency: The applicant can submit permanent residency (PR) application with IRCC within six months of nomination. The OINP performs post-nomination monitoring for a period of 36 months following the issuance of permanent resident status.

Program Requirements

To qualify under the Entrepreneur Stream, the applicant must have a viable business that is likely to provide material economic benefit to the economy of Ontario as a whole or to the local Ontario economy where the business will be located. The applicant and one business partner (if applicable) must both meet the eligibility requirements.

Business experience

The applicant must have at least 24 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months. The experience must be as a business owner or as a senior manager (business management). As a business owner the applicant must have had an active role in the business and owned at least one-third of the business. As a senior manager the applicant must have had senior decision-making responsibilities in the business.

Net Worth

  • $800,000 CAD  – if the proposed business will be located within the GTA
  • $400,000 CAD  – if the proposed business will be located outside the GTA
  • $400,000 CAD – if the proposed business will be in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT)/Digital Communications sector (regardless of the proposed business location)

Personal investment funds and minimum equity

  • Within the Greater Toronto Area – The applicant must make a minimum personal investment of $600,000 CAD and control at least one-third of the equity in the business
  • Outside of the Greater Toronto Area – The applicant must make a minimum personal investment of $200,000 CAD and control at least one-third of the equity in the business
  • If the proposed business is in the information and communications technology/digital communications sector then regardless of location, the applicant must make a minimum personal investment of $200,000 CAD and control at least of one-third of the equity in the business.

Active involvement

The entrepreneur must be actively involved, on an ongoing basis, in the management of the business.

Capital investment purpose

The primary purpose of investing capital in the business must be to make a profit. It must not be to derive interest, dividends or capital gains.

Job creation

If the business will be located inside the Greater Toronto Area, the applicant must create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. If the business will be located outside the Greater Toronto Area or in the information and communications technology or digital communications sector, regardless of location, the applicant must create at least one permanent full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Jobs must be created within the first 20 months of establishing or acquiring the business, must be filled continuously for at least 10 months and must be paid at the median wage level for the position.

Additional requirements for purchasing an existing business

  • the entrepreneur must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario within 12 months from the date of registering an Expression of Interest
  • the business being purchased must have been in continuous operation by the same owner(s) for the previous 60 months
  • ownership of the business must be completely transferred to the applicant or any business partner
  • the applicant must use at least 10% of the personal investment towards improving or expanding the business in Ontario
  • the applicant must keep all permanent full-time employees that worked in the business prior to the transfer of ownership

General business requirements

In addition to meeting the minimum requirements, the proposed business must also meet the general requirements to participate in the Entrepreneur Stream:

Business purpose

The purpose of the proposed business must be to make a profit from active (earned) income not passive (unearned) income through the sale of goods and/or services.

Canadian and Ontario legal requirements

The proposed business must comply with any applicable federal, provincial or municipal legal, regulatory or licensing requirements that govern its operation. This includes Ontario labour laws, including but not limited to employment standards, health and safety and labour relations legislation.

Permanent business

The proposed business must be considered a permanent business in Ontario. Project-based/seasonal businesses are considered ineligible.

Business in Ontario

The proposed business must at all times have a place of business in Ontario.

Ineligible types of businesses 

The entrepreneur need to ensure that the proposed business is not one of the ineligible types listed below.

automated car wash business  ǀ holding companies  ǀ laundromats  ǀ pawnbrokers  ǀ pay day loan and related businesses  ǀ scrap metal recycling  ǀ tire recycling  ǀ a business involved in producing, distributing or selling pornography or sexually explicit products or services, or providing sexually oriented services  ǀ businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees

If the proposed business will be located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the following types are also ineligible.

existing franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted)  ǀ gas stations  ǀ bed and breakfasts

Expression of interest

An expression of interest (EOI) is the first step and, its not an application. There is no fee to register an EOI. The EOI is comprised of two components, for a maximum EOI score of 200 points:

  1. Self-Declared Score (126 points)
  2. Business Concept Score (74 points)

OINP will assess and score the Business Concept.  The business concept will need to score at least 37 of the available 74 points (50%) to be placed in the EOI selection pool. Whether the entrepreneur candidate will be issued an invitation to apply is based on the EOI rank in the selection pool. Only the top ranked candidates are invited to apply.

Expression of interest (EOI) registration 

  1. contact the OINP by email ([email protected]) to express the interest in participating in the Entrepreneur stream and to request a copy of the EOI registration form
  2. once received, complete the EOI registration form
  3. submit the completed form by email to [email protected]

The OINP will then assess and score the business concept. If the entrepreneur candidate do not meet the minimum stream criteria, the business concept will not be reviewed.

If the business concept is accepted, the EOI will be placed in a pool and will be ranked against other entrepreneur candidates. If entrepreneur candidate is invited to apply, he/she will receive an email with instructions on how to submit an online application through the OINP e-Filing Portal. The candidate has 90 calendar days to submit the online application from the date of invitation to apply.

Contact us for consultation and assessment.

New Entry/Exit Program Instructions from IRCC

The Entry/Exit Program allows for the collection and sharing of entry and exit information of travellers entering and departing from Canada. Access to entry and exit information in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) will be based on an employee’s security clearance and organizational requirements to carry out day-to-day work activities. IRCC will obtain accurate and objective entry and exit information from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to support the administration of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Citizenship Act and the Canadian Passport Order.

IRCC will be able to query the CBSA’s Entry/Exit Information System directly to

  • verify residency requirements to process an ongoing application to objectively verify the information provided by the client, such as applications for grants of citizenship (CIT) or permanent resident cards (PR cards)
  • verify if a temporary residence applicant may have previously overstayed their allowable period of admission in Canada
  • assist in an investigation into an individual’s entitlement to a Canadian travel document

In addition, IRCC will be able to use entry and exit information to

  • verify that sponsors are residing in Canada where required by law
  • verify relationships and compliance with conditions for spouses and partners applying or admitted under the family class
  • verify if a refugee claimant entered Canada using their travel documents
  • support investigations into possible fraud in relation to immigration, citizenship, and passport (PPT) and travel document programs
  • verify residency requirements to validate if a medical examination is required