Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

A Comprehensive Guide On The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Canada welcomes skilled workers with different skill set, work experience, and education so that they can help boost the economy of Canada and start a new life here with their family. 

While many aspiring immigrants go for the Express Entry system to settle in Canada as permanent residents (PR), there are other immigration programs that make more sense for you and at the same time make it easy for you to get  your Canada PR. 

One of those immigration programs is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Canada has a total of 13 provinces and territories. 11 of these 13 currently offer Provincial Nominee Program to help immigrants move to Canada and settle in their particular province and contribute to their economy. 

Each PNP has different eligibility criteria and a separate application process. 

In this article, we will cover:

Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) is perfect for foreign workers who:

  • Possess the skill set, have relevant education and work experience to contribute to the economy of the province or territory they have applied for. 
  • Intend to settle in that province or territory permanently, and  
  • Want to gain permanent residence status in Canada.

The political and  economic centre of Canada, Ontario is one of the most sought after Provincial Nominee Program. Toronto and Ottawa are popular for plenty of job opportunities, fine dining, entertainment, and leisure. So, if Ontario is a province you want to go for, here is a comprehensive guide which has everything you need to know about the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

Overview of Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP)

Ontario  Immigrant Nominee Program or OINP nominates foreign nationals who have the skills, relevant education and work experience needed to boost Ontario’s  economy for the permanent residence status. 

There are three ways foreign workers may qualify for OINP:

  1. Employer job offer category: This category is for the skilled workers who have a permanent job offer from an Ontario employer.
  2. Human capital category: This category is for the international graduates and skilled workers who possess valuable work experience, relevant education, language skills, and a profile in Canada’s Express Entry system.

There are two sub-categories under this category:

  • International graduate stream. 
  • Ontario’s Express Entry streams, which includes:

  1. French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream
  2. Human Capital priorities stream
  3. Skilled Trades stream

3. Business category: This category is for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to either buy an existing business or start a new business in Ontario.




Eligibility criteria to qualify for an Ontario PR nomination through Ontario PNP

As discussed above, there are multiple streams available under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. 

French- Speaking Skilled Worker stream

Criteria – French-speaking skilled workers having relevant work experience, education and language proficiency in both French and English.

Mandatory Requirements

  • Valid Express Entry profile and notification of interest from Ontario immigration.
  • Relevant work experience in the skill set they have provided in their application.
  • Canadian bachelor’s, master’s or PhD degree or equivalent from another country.
  • CLB level 7 or higher in French language. 
  • CLB level 6 or higher in English language.
  • Proof of Settlement funds.
  • Intention to permanently live in Ontario.
  • Meet requirements of either Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
  • If applying for the FSWP, the score should be at least 67 on six selection factors.

Human Capital Priorities stream

Criteria – For skilled workers having relevant work experience, education and language proficiency in French or English.

Mandatory Requirements

  • Valid Express Entry profile and notification of interest from Ontario
  • Relevant work experience in the skill set they have provided in their application
  • Canadian bachelor’s, master’s or PhD degree or equivalent from another country
  • CLB level 7 or higher in French or English 
  • Intention to permanently live in Ontario
  • Meet requirements of FSWP or CEC
  • If applying for the FSWP, score should be at least 67 on six selection factors

Skilled Trades stream

Criteria – For workers having relevant work experience in an eligible trade occupation in Ontario.

Mandatory Requirements

  • Valid Express Entry profile and notification of interest from Ontario
  • Relevant work experience in the skill set they have provided in their application
  • Valid certificate or licence 
  • Currently residing in Ontario & have legal status in Canada
  • CLB level 5 or higher in French or English
  • Proof of Settlement funds
  • Intention to permanently live in Ontario

Entrepreneur stream

Criteria – For entrepreneurs looking to start a new business or buying an existing business in Ontario. 

Mandatory Requirements

  • Demonstrate the viability of your business and how it will benefit Ontario’s economy
  • Show at least 24 months of business experience in last 60 months
  • Have to meet minimum net worth and share proof of personal investment funds
  • Active involvement in business
  • Job creation 
  • CLB level 4 or higher in French or English
  • Need to be physically present at least 75 percent of time in Ontario 
  • Meet additional requirements if purchasing an existing business
  • Meet general business requirements

Please note, you need to have a valid profile in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Express Entry system and a Notification of Interest from Ontario for the French-Speaking Skilled Workers stream, Human Capital Priorities stream, and Skilled Trades stream. Only then, you will be qualified to apply for permanent residence.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) uses an expression of interest system to manage its applications for the following streams:

Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker stream

Foreign workers having a valid job offer in a skilled occupation at Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) can apply under this category.

  • Job offer – Permanent full-time job by the employer based in Ontario
  • Applicants require – Mandatory licence (if applicable), relevant work experience in the same occupation as the job offer, and at least two years of full-time, paid work experience.
  • Employer requirements – Job offer needs to be rolled out by a
    – business based in Ontario,     
    – active for at least three years, 
    – demonstrate effort to recruit a Canadian citizen or permanent resident prior to offering the position to a foreign national.
    – meet revenue and full-time employee requirements.

Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills stream

This category is for skilled workers having a job offer in an in-demand occupation in Ontario such as agriculture, trucking, construction,  and personal support work. 

  • Job offer – Full-time, permanent position by an employer based in Ontario in an occupation that falls under NOC Skill Level C or D. The position needs to be urgent to business and offers at least median wage. 
  • Applicant requirements – Minimum nine months of relevant full-time work experience, valid licence (if required), CLB level 4 or higher in French or English, Canadian high school diploma or equivalent from another country, intention to permanently live in Ontario.
  • Employer requirements – Job offer needs to be rolled out by a
    – business based in Ontario,     
    – active for at least three years, 
    – demonstrate effort to recruit a Canadian citizen or permanent resident prior to offering the position to a foreign national.    
    – meet revenue and full-time employee requirements.

Masters Graduate stream

This category is for international graduates holding a master’s degree from a University in Ontario.

  • Expression of interest and ITA (Invitation to Apply).
  • Master’s degree with at least one year study at eligible Ontario university. 
  • CLB level 7 or higher in French OR English. 
  • Legally lived in Ontario for minimum one year in the past 2 years. 
  • Proof of Settlement funds.
  • Intention to permanently live in Ontario.
  • Submit application within two years of completing master’s degree.

PhD Graduate stream

This category is for international graduates holding a PhD degree from Ontario University.

  • Expression of interest and ITA (Invitation to Apply).
  • PhD degree with minimum two year study at eligible Ontario university. 
  • CLB level 7 or higher in French or English. 
  • Legally lived in Ontario for a minimum one year in the past 2 years. 
  • Proof of Settlement funds.
  • Intention to permanently live in Ontario
  • Submit application within two years of completing a PHD degree.




Step-by-step application process for OINP

There are four key steps involved in the OINP application process:

Step 1 – Confirm you qualify to apply under any of the OINP streams

Thoroughly go through all the streams under OINP. Once you have identified which stream is best suited to you, the next step is to make sure you meet all the mandatory requirements before you start working on your application. 

Step 2 – Create a profile

Before being nominated under OINP, you need to create an Express Entry profile. Your profile will be ranked according to a Comprehensive Ranking System which is a point based system that scores your profile based on a few factors.

  • Submit your Express Entry profile online through IRCC to qualify under Express Entry streams. 
  • Register an expression of interest by email for the Entrepreneur stream. Once invited, submit an online application and attend a mandatory interview.  
  • Register an expression of interest for all other streams under OINP.

How to register an expression of interest?

Complete your Attestation Form on the same day you register your EOI. There is no fee to register. You can make changes through OINP e-filing portal at any time till the time you receive an ITA. 

You will also be required to upload this form as part of your application after you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

Please note, you can only register one expression of interest per OINP stream. It will remain valid for up to 12 months. After 12 months, register afresh if you are still interested in applying to the immigration program.

3. Apply to be nominated under OINP

Once you are invited to apply or receive a notification of interest, apply online through the OINP e-Filing Portal. 

  • For Express Entry streams – Apply online within 45 days.
  • Employer job offer and international student – Apply online within 14 days.

You will need to pay a processing fee ranging from $1,500 CAD to $3,500 CAD, depending on the program you select.

4. Apply for permanent residence

Once your application is successfully processed, the final step is to apply for permanent residence status in Canada through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

Please note, it is totally up to the Government of Canada to grant you permanent residency.


How does the OINP draw and point scoring system work?

Unlike the Express Entry draw system that depends solely on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, the OINP draws takes into account: 

  • The score,
  • Target industries or the skill set the province wants people for, 
  • Or a combination of both. 




What happens after I get an OINP nomination?

In case you are applying for Permanent Residence through an Express Entry OINP stream, you can gain 600 additional points in your CRS score if you secure a PNP nomination. This guarantees an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Who can help me file an OINP application? 

Our team of expert Licensed Canadian Immigration Consultants can help you figure out everything on OINP. Our streamlined immigration services will take care of your immigration process from the day you decide to change your life until settling in Canada. 

Schedule your call today, and let’s make your Canada dream a reality.

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