As a bountiful destination that draws a lot of interest, Ontario has decided to continue to diversify in immigration matters.

As such, it has designed a strategy to identify and keep talented, hard working individuals truly capable of building Ontario’s future, which is the ultimate goal of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).


The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

Ontario’s responsibility through the OINP is to nominate qualified individuals and their families for permanent resident status based on their potential to contribute to the province’s labour market.

The OINP has three main areas of focus:

  • Human Capital

Finding talent and finding a job are tasks that even though they occur on different ends, their goal is the same: to match an individual with the proper activity.

  • Business

Ontario is well aware of the importance of constantly bringing new business and has created three streams to tend to for this need.

  • Employer/Job offer

The OINP helps employers meet the challenge of properly satisfying their human by enabling them to recruit candidates (from a larger pool) through various streams.


How does the Employer/Job offer work?

The opportunity to apply to the OINP arises when an employer has decided to recruit foreign workers or when an individual identifies an employer willing to offer him/her a position.

Employers and investors must apply for a pre-screen application to have the position they are trying to fill approved. Once it is approved, the employer can proceed to find or contact candidates.

The recruitment can be done in several ways, including recruiting foreign workers abroad or in Canada with legal status. Another option is through the International Student With Job Offer stream, to recruit international students.

Once a person is nominated, they must then submit an application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) which will review the applications and grant or deny permanent residence to applicants.



Student Streams: Masters and PhD Graduates, International Students with Job Offer

How does it work?

Applicants with this profile may use one of the three streams available to past and current students. Ontario PhD and Master’s Degree Graduates can even apply without a job offer.

These Masters and PhD Graduates must have graduated from a program lasting at least one academic year in an eligible Ontario university (two years for PhDs).

Also, they must apply within two years of the date on which their degree was granted; have resided in Ontario for a minimum of 12 cumulative months; language proficiency and funds are also considered.

PhD applicants can apply outside of Canada as long as they meet the other requirements.



Express entry

Express Entry is an application management system, where individuals complete a profile-like application and get scored based on the country’s requirements; the highest scores receive an invitation to apply for the permanent residence.

To be considered for nomination by Ontario, candidates must qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker/Trades Program or the Canadian Experience Class.

Human Capital Priorities Stream

With this stream, Ontario intends to identify candidates who have the best qualities to successfully incorporate into the province’s labour market and, therefore integrate faster into the community.

Considerations include education, skilled work experience and language ability.

To receive a PT Notification of Interest from Ontario candidates must score at least 400 points in the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS); have a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree or a validated equivalent*.

Their work experience must be according to the above mentioned Federal Programs’ requirements; and they have to demonstrate a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 or above in all language competencies.

In addition, candidates must be able to prove that they have enough available funds to support themselves and their dependents. They must also show ties or formally declare their intention to settle in Ontario.

How does it work?

  1. Register for Express Entry and indicate your interest in immigrating to Ontario or All Provinces and Territories. An Express Entry Profile Number and a Job Seeker Validation Code will be assigned to you.
  2. OINP searches the Express Entry pool to identify potential candidates.
  3. OINP sends the identified candidates a PT Notification of Interest from Ontario through the MyCIC account. This is an invitation to apply to the nominee program.
  4. Once the notification is received candidates have 45 days to apply to the program by filling out the Nominee Application Form and providing the required supporting documents.

Candidates can choose to be assessed against the FSWP, FSTP or CEC in addition to this stream’s criteria.

  1. Candidates with approved applications, now Nominees, will be notified of their nomination through their MyCIC account, and will have 30 days to approve it in the Express Entry System.
  2. The nominations grants 600 additional points on the CRS so CIC will issue an an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream

In order to provide better services for the francophone population and assist its growth, Ontario has recently opened the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream.

This stream aims for French-speaking skilled workers who also have strong English language abilities.

How does it work?

Education, skilled work experience, funds and intention to settle in Ontario requirements are the same as in the Human Capital Priorities Stream.

Language proficiency requirements are the only aspect that differ. Candidates need a minimum CLB level of 7 in French, while in English the minimum CLB level is 6.


Corporate and Entrepreneur streams

To acquire an existing business in Canada or to expand a viable business activity that has the potential to bring significant economic benefit to the province.

The success of the business can lead to permanent resident status for business owners and key staff.

Corporations must invest a minimum of $5 million CDN, open five full-time, permanent positions for Canadians (citizens or permanent residents) per nominee position.

Key staff seeking nomination must essential to the operation of the business in Ontario; they will have two years to demonstrate the minimum language proficiency level required, prior permanent residence nomination.

Entrepreneurs must invest a minimum of $500,000 CDN for each potential nominee, a minimum net worth of $800,000 CDN for each potential nominee is required, depending on location and sector.

If required, a business partner can be identified for nomination and both the entrepreneur and/or business partner will have two years to meet minimum requirements prior to permanent residence nomination.

At least two full-time, permanent jobs for Canadians must be created.

How does it work?

  1. Referral.

Companies interested in investing in Ontario and want to recruit or relocate key foreign nationals, must first complete the Investment Referral Form.

The Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade (MCIIT) will refer investment proposals that may meet program guidelines to the appropriate Ontario ministry to follow up on the case.

The appointed Ontario ministry will determine if the investment proposal merits an application or not.

  1. Investment Application.

The appointed Ontario ministry will determine if the investment proposal merits an application or not. If it does the ministry will advise the investing company about the requirements and procedures to assess their investment proposal and nominee positions.

The Deputy Minister of the Ontario ministry will endorse investments and nominee position requests to MCIIT and the MCITT will issue a nominee application package for each eligible position.

Once endorsed, companies can then recruit foreign workers.

  1. Nominee Application.

Prospective investment nominee applicants have 60 days from the date of package issuance to submit a completed application package and pay the $3,500 non-refundable application fee to OINP for assessment.

Nominees are assessed by MCIIT to ensure that they are qualified, meet program guidelines, and comply with federal legislation; eligibility criteria is the same as the same for foreign workers; if met then a Provincial Nomination Certificate is issued.

Approved nominees then have 6 months to apply to CIC for permanent resident status; they can request a temporary work permit while their permanent resident application is being processed.

On 2014 95, 814 people became permanent residents in Ontario, the largest amount in the country. You could be one of them.

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