416.481.5689

Ontario

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is used to facilitate the province’s immigration needs. The program is set up to enable Ontario to nominate individuals and their families for permanent residence in Ontario, which entitles applications to certain advantages from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Each year IRCC puts quotas on the number of nominations each province can make. For 2018, IRCC allocated 6,850 spots for Ontario’s PNP and Express Entry programs. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) accepts applicants under three immigration categories, the Employer Job Offer, Human Capital, and Business Categories, which each are each divided into several streams. All three categories require applicants to demonstrate that they intend on settling in Ontario and hold valid temporary resident status if they are applying from inside Canada.

Employer Job Offer Category

One of the purposes of the PNP program is to assist employers who are having difficulty recruiting qualified, skilled workers in Ontario. The Employer Job Offer category includes three streams, which are the Foreign Worker Stream, International Student Stream, and the In-Demand Skills Stream. In each stream, applicants must ensure they meet the relevant requirements and their employer must also make an application for approval of the offered position by completing the required Employer Form.

In all streams, the job offer must be for a full-time, permanent position that is necessary to the employer business and is primarily located in Ontario. The applicant’s employer must also have been in active business for at least three years, meet certain revenue, ownership and staff requirements, and have no outstanding orders made against them under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 or the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Foreign Worker Stream

  • The job offered must be in a skilled occupation at Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupation Classification (NOC).
  • The salary offered must meet or be higher than the median wage level, for that occupation and in the specific region of Ontario where you will be working.
  • You must have at least two years of paid full-time work experience in the same occupation as your job offer within five years of your application.

International Student Stream

  • The job offered must be in a skilled occupation at a NOC Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B.
  • The salary of the position being offered must meet or be higher than the low wage level for that occupation in the region of Ontario where you will be working.
  • You must have graduated from an eligible publicly-funded Canadian college or university with either a two (2) year degree or diploma on a full-time basis, or a one (1) year post-graduate degree or certificate program, at least half of which must have been completed in Canada.
  • You must submit your application within two years of the date of your degree, diploma or certificate.

In-Demand Skills Stream

  • The position offered must be in one of the following occupations in NOC Skill Level C or D:
    • NOC 7441 – residential and commercial installers and servicers
    • NOC 7521 – heavy equipment operators (except crane)
    • NOC 7611 – construction trades helpers and labourers
    • NOC 8431 – general farm workers
    • NOC 8432 – nursery and greenhouse workers
    • NOC 8611 – harvesting labourers
    • NOC 9462 – industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
  • The salary offered must meet or be higher than the median wage level, for that occupation and in the specific region of Ontario where you will be working.
  • You must have at least one year of full-time (or equivalent part-time) paid work experience in Ontario, in the same in-demand occupation.
  • You must be able to understand, read, write, and speak either English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 or higher, and you must take an approved language test before you submit your application to this stream.
  • You must have a secondary school (high school) diploma or credential.
  • You must have enough money to support yourself and your dependent family members when you settle in Canada.

Human Capital Category

The human capital category has two sub-categories, the International Graduate streams and Ontario’s Express Entry streams. In the International Graduate sub-category there are two streams, the Masters Graduate Stream and the PhD Graduate Stream. Likewise, under Ontario’s Express Entry sub-category, there are three streams, including the French-Speaking Skilled Worker, Human Capital Priorities, and Skilled Trades Stream.

International Graduates

In the International Graduate streams, applicants must apply within two (2) years of completing their degree requirements, and students with CIDA grants or home country scholarships must satisfy their obligations to return home before they are eligible to apply. Applicants must also demonstrate that they have legally resided in Ontario for at least one (1) year in the past two (2) years, and that they can financially support themselves and any dependents.

Masters Graduate Stream

  • The student must have completed the requirements necessary to get a master’s degree following at least a one (1) full-time academic year from an eligible program at a publically funded Ontario University.
  • The student must not currently be enrolled as a student, unless the program is necessary to become licensed in a regulated profession in Ontario, or the student is also working full-time in Ontario.
  • The application must be submitted within two (2) years of the completion of the student’s Master’s degree.
  • The student must demonstrate a high language proficiency (CLB 7 for each language skill area).

PhD Graduate Stream

The student must have successfully completed the requirements necessary to graduate from an existing PhD program at an eligible publically funded university in Ontario, of which at least two (2) years must have been completed in Ontario.

Ontario’s Express Entry

Unlike the other OINP streams, these three require applicants to first create and post a profile in the federal government’s Express Entry system. Selected applicants will then receive a Notification of Interest from Ontario, at which point they have 45 calendar days to apply to the OINP in their designated stream. Thus, in this category, applicants must been the requirements for both the Express Entry system and their OINP stream.

To qualify for Express Entry you must:

  • Take an accepted official language test,
  • Get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) if you completed your education outside Canada,
  • Determine the NOC code for your past work experience, and
  • Meet the requirements for one of the three federal immigration programs, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) (discussed under Canadian Federal Immigration).

French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream

To qualify under this stream, you must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s, master’s, PhD, or an equivalent degree.
  • Be able to understand, read, write, and speak French at a CLB level 7 or higher; you must also be able to understand, read, write, and speak English at a CLB 6 level or higher.
  • Score at least 67 points on the six selection factors if you choose to be assessed in the Federal Skilled Worker Program (education, language skills, work experience, age, arranged employment in Canada and adaptability).

Human Capital Priorities Stream

To qualify under this stream, you must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s, master’s, PhD, or an equivalent degree.
  • Be able to understand, read, write, and speak English or French at a CLB level 7 or higher.
  • Score at least 67 points on the six selection factors if you choose to be assessed in the Federal Skilled Worker Program (education, language skills, work experience, age, arranged employment in Canada and adaptability).

Skilled Trades Stream

To qualify under this stream, you must:

  • Have one or more years of cumulative paid full-time work experience (or the equivalent in paid part-time work) in Ontario that was obtained in the last two years as of the date of your NOI from Ontario, in a skilled trade listed in NOC Minor Group 633 or NOC Major Groups 72, 73 or 82.
  • Hold a valid certificate or license at the time you apply if you are claiming work experience in a compulsory trade, even if you are no longer working in the trade.
  • Be currently living in Ontario and hold a valid work permit at the time you apply.
  • Be able to understand, read, write, and speak English or French at a CLB level 5 or higher.

Business Category

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)’s Investor Component has been replaced by the Corporate and Entrepreneur Stream, bringing Ontario in line with the provincial nominee programs available for entrepreneurs in other provinces such as British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. As these programs are still very new, it is not clear what business sectors OINP will be targeting, but they will most likely target Ontario’s key sectors: aerospace, automotive, financial services, food and beverage manufacturing, IT, life sciences, mining, tourism investment, water technologies.

Corporate Stream

OINP’s Corporate Stream is intended for established foreign corporations looking to expand their business into Ontario or buy an existing Ontario business. It may allow key managerial staff or staff with specialized knowledge staff that are essential to the business to obtain nominations from Ontario for Permanent Resident status.

The following requirements apply to applicants under this stream:

  • The OINP Corporate Stream has a two-step application process.
  • A foreign corporation must first apply to OINP with a business plan and supporting documents outlining how they will meet performance requirements and attend an in-person interview. Successful applicants in stage 1 must sign a performance agreement with OINP.
  • Next, during stage 2, the OINP will issue temporary work permit support letters for key staff applicants so they can apply for work permits from IRCC. Once in Canada, the key staff have 20 months to build the business and implement the business plan, and if the company meets its performance agreement commitments, the key staff may be eligible for nomination by the OINP.
  • The foreign corporation must have an eligible corporate structure and have been established outside Canada for at least 3 years.
  • The corporation must either make an investment of at least $5,000,000 to expand in Ontario or purchase an existing Ontario business.
  • The corporation must create 5 net new jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents per key staff member.
  • Up to 5 key staff may be nominated, who must be working in a senior, executive, management or specialized knowledge capacity in the existing business, must have at least three (3) years of work experience in a NOC A or 0 occupation in the last five (5) years, and must have been working continuously in that position for the 12 months prior to the application being made.

Entrepreneur Stream

OINP’s Entrepreneur Stream is intended for individuals with high human capital looking to implement a new business idea or buy an existing business in Ontario. It may allow an Entrepreneur and up to one business partner to obtain nominations from Ontario for Permanent Resident status.

The following requirements apply to applicants under this stream:

  • The OINP Entrepreneur Stream has a two-step application process.
  • The entrepreneur (and their business partner, if applicable) must register an online expression of interest and then, if invited, must submit an application with a business plan outlining how they will meet performance requirements and attend an in-person interview. Successful applicants in stage 1 must sign a performance agreement with OINP.
  • Next, during stage 2, the OINP will issue temporary work permit support letters so the applicants can apply for work permits from IRCC. Once in Canada, the applicants have 20 months to implement the business plan and submit a final report. If the business meets all the requirements, the applicants then submit documentation to demonstrate their eligibility for nomination.
  • Applicants must have three (3) years of business owner/senior manager experience in the last five (5) years.
  • The applicants’ individual net worth must be at least $1,500,000 if the business will be within the Greater Toronto Area, or at least $800,000 if the business will be outside of the Greater Toronto Area or in the information/communication technology or digital media sectors.
  • Both the entrepreneur and business partner must hold at least one-third equity in the business and personally invest at least $1,000,000 if the business will be within the Greater Toronto Area, or at least $500,000 if their business will be outside of the Greater Toronto Area or in the information/communication technology or digital media sectors.
  • If purchasing an existing Ontario business, additional requirements apply, including that the applicants must make at least one business-related visit to Ontario within 12 months of registering their Expression of Interest and must keep all permanent full-time employees who worked in the business prior to the transfer of ownership.
  • Applicants must be involved in active and ongoing management of the business.
  • At least 2 net new jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents must be created.

Reconsideration

If a candidate’s PNP application is denied, they can seek review of the denial decision of their application. Written request must be submitted within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the denial notification. For applicants outside of Canada, the written request must be received within 30 business days of receiving the denial. Reconsideration decisions are based on the circumstances at the time of the application, and not based on a change of circumstances. Reconsideration decisions are final.

The Links on the right hand column offer a brief overview of the Provincial immigration categories available for permanent immigration to Canada.