Ontario, located in the heart of Canada, is Canada’s most popular destination for new immigrants. The province hosts Toronto – Canada’s economic hub, and Ottawa – the nation’s capital city. Ontario is a province with a strong economy and plenty of job opportunities. The province is also home to some of Canada’s top universities, making it a great place to live and work.
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is a great way to immigrate to Canada. The OINP allows you to nominate yourself for permanent residence in Ontario. You can do this by investing in an eligible business or by having a job offer from an eligible employer in Ontario. The OINP is a great way to get permanent residency in Canada and it is worth considering if you are looking to immigrate to Canada.
Immigration to Canada via the OINP.
What is the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)?
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is a group of immigration pathways that allow foreign nationals to become permanent residents of Canada with the support of the Ontario government. The OINP is strategically planned to attract immigrants who will contribute positively to the provincial economy: skilled workers, IT specialists, international graduates from Ontario colleges and universities, workers in sectors with labour shortages, as well as entrepreneurs, and investors.
OINP’s immigration streams.
As of October 2022, Ontario has nine immigration streams. All those streams can be divided into three categories:
- Express Entry Streams
- OINP Expression of Interest (EOI) Streams
- Entrepreneur Stream
Express Entry streams are connected to the federal Express Entry selection system and allow the nominees to obtain extra 600 CRS points and apply for PR under one of the federal programs via Express Entry. You cannot apply for those streams on your own. The Ontario government must first invite you through your Express Entry profile.
OINP EOI streams are managed by Ontario’s Expression of Interest (EOI) system which allocates points for various factors. Applicants can register in the system and wait for an invitation. Those with the highest EOI scores are invited a few times a year to apply for a nomination. Once you are nominated, you can apply for PR via the non-Express Entry pathway with the IRCC.
Entrepreneurs can apply for a nomination via Ontario’s Expression of Interest (EOI) system for Entrepreneurs. It has a separate points grid and requires meeting all the business requirements. After the nomination is issued, Entrepreneurs can apply for PR with the federal government.
Express Entry Streams.
There are three Express Entry Streams under the OINP:
- Human Capital Priorities Stream
- French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
- Skilled Trades Stream
Human Capital Priorities Stream.
Human Capital Priorities selects skilled workers from the federal Express Entry pool who will be able to contribute to Ontario’s workforce for a long time. Candidates who are nominated through the Ontario Human Capital Priorities Stream are getting invited to submit an official application for Canadian permanent residency. This stream is linked to the federal Express Entry immigration system, which means candidates must have an active profile in one of the two following Express Entry programs: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) or Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The Human Capital Stream prioritizes skills, abilities, or experience, which would make it easy for a foreign national to join and contribute to the workforce. This stream often targets specific occupations and even holds dedicated Tech Draws aimed at six IT occupations.
French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream.
The French-Speaking Skilled Worker program seeks candidates from the Express Entry pool who can speak French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 or higher and English at CLB level 6 or above. Candidates who have been successfully nominated under the Ontario French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream will be invited to submit an application for Canadian permanent residence. This stream is also linked to Canada’s Express Entry immigration system and requires candidates to possess an FSW or CEC profile.
Skilled Trades Stream.
The Ontario Skilled Trades administers provincial nominations to skilled tradespeople with active Express Entry profiles who already reside in Ontario and have worked in a skilled trade in the province for at least twelve months. The province nominates candidates who work only in a specific trade.
OINP Expression of Interest (EOI) Streams.
There are five OINP Expression of Interest (EOI) Streams which in turn can be divided into three employer-driven streams and two education-driven streams:
- Masters Graduate Stream
- PhD Graduate Stream
- Employer Job Offer Foreign Worker Stream
- Employer Job Offer International Student Stream
- Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream
Education streams are designed to retain international students from the advanced degree in the province and in that way to keep the highest skilled specialists in Ontario. These applicants must also meet certain criteria.
Employer Job Offer Streams enable immigrants with a current job offer from an Ontario employer to apply for a nomination. Both the employer and the position must fulfill certain criteria to be acknowledged as valid. Additionally, depending on which stream applicants want to apply, they must fulfill certain personal criteria.
The Master’s Graduate stream is designed for those who have recently obtained their master’s degree from an eligible Ontario institution and wish to live and work in the province. To qualify, candidates must demonstrate that they have resided in Ontario for at least 12 of the 24 months before applying. Furthermore, applicants must show that they completed their master’s degree in an eligible educational institution within the last two years.
The PhD Graduate Stream is for recent graduates with a doctoral degree from an Ontario institution. Only successfully nominated candidates are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Candidates must prove that they have lived in the province for at least one year and completed their degree within the last two years.
Employer Job Offer Foreign Worker.
The Foreign Worker stream is designed for foreign nationals with a valid, full-time job offer from an Ontario employer. The wages must be equal to or greater than the median wage level for that occupation in the province. The position must also fulfill National Occupational Classification requirements at TEER level 0, 1, 2 or 3 (former Skill Levels 0, A, or B).
Employer Job Offer International Student.
The International Student stream is intended for foreign nationals who have studied in Canada and obtained a job offer from an Ontario employer. Both the applicant and the company must meet certain criteria. The position must be full-time at National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER level 0, 1, 2 or 3 (former Skill Levels 0, A, or B) and paid at or above the low wage level for that occupation in Ontario.
Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills.
The In-Demand Skills Stream is the option for foreign nationals with a valid job offer from an Ontario employer in one of the in-demand occupations. The offer of employment must be for a full-time position paying at or above the Ontario median wage level for that profession. The position must also be in one of the OINP In-Demand Occupations. Ontario also often includes some in-demand occupations at NOC Skill Levels C or D.
The Entrepreneur Stream aims to reach out to prosperous entrepreneurs who are interested in making significant investments in company development in Ontario. Entrepreneurs with proven track records of achievement may apply for this program to start new business endeavors in Ontario. The candidates must establish or purchase a working Ontario business, meet the requirements of net worth and investment, and create a required number of jobs for Canadian citizens or PRs during a designated period.
Immigrate to Canada through the OINP streams
The OINP has multiple streams for immigrants with different qualifications and backgrounds. An LMIA is not mandatory to apply, which makes the process simpler. If you are unsure of which program you should apply for, our immigration consultants are more than happy to help guide you through the decision-making process and get your application started.
Contact us today for more information!