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Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (Ontario PNP) / Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (Ontario PNP) / Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

The Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OPNP), or Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), offers a wide range of job opportunities to skilled workers, graduates from foreign universities, entrepreneurs, businessmen and professionals from various domains to immigrate to Ontario province in Canada. Read on to know more about OINP/Ontario PNP, including eligibility criteria, different immigration streams, processing time and so on.

Key Highlights: Ontario PNP

  • Achieve minimum point score as “determined by director”
  • Four categories –
    • Ontario Express Entry
    • Ontario General category
    • International Student Category
    • Business Category
  • Minimum language score required is 7 bands


Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Considered as Canada’s financial, cultural, political and social nerve centre, Ontario is one of the popular destinations among immigration seekers from across the world. This Canadian province is home to people from different countries, backgrounds and culture, thus it is considered immigrant-friendly region that welcomes people from diverse backgrounds. Approximately 40 per cent of Canadians live in Ontario, which is famous for several business and financial institutes and establishments.

The Ontario PNP or OINP is best suited to candidates having specific skill set and work experience in particular domain. The program offers excellent opportunities to those foreign skilled workers who fulfil eligibility criteria and requirement of different industries based in Ontario. It is considered as one of the easiest route for Canada Immigration. Ontario Provincial Nominee Program program is managed by the government with the help of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The government aims to help province in meeting its requirement of labour market and economic development.

There are four major categories through which Ontario PNP accepts immigration applications:

  1. Ontario Express Entry
  2. Ontario General Category
  3. International Student Category
  4. Business Category

Eligibility for Ontario PNP

Candidates should fulfil eligibility criteria and requirements to apply for Ontario PNP as well as secure permanent residency in Ontario. Here is the list of eligibility criteria for Ontario PNP (Provincial Nominee Program) or OINP:

Eligibility Requirements for Ontario PNP

  • Candidates should have a permanent, full-time job offer in a skilled occupation (NOC Levels 0, A, or B) from Ontario based employer. The employer must also submit an application approved by Opportunities Ontario. Please note that the offer should remain valid at the time of approval/processing of employee's (candidates) application.
  • Candidates should have a minimum qualification certification/diploma which makes them eligible to apply for the specific job.
  • Candidates should have professional experience in the applied field as per the requirement of the program.
  • Candidates should have an Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System Score of 400 points or greater and this score should maintain throughout provincial and federal processing.
  • Candidates must be willing to work and stay in Ontario.

1] Ontario Express Entry

Ontario Express Entry Program aligns with the federal government's Express Entry System and aims at nominating potential candidates who can contribute to the economy of Canada. Candidates having desired skills, qualification and work experience relevant to the listed occupation are in huge demand in Ontario.

Immigration aspirants can start the process by creating an Express Entry profile and register their interest in Ontario province within the system. The Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) authorities can contact the person through Express Entry after assessing their credentials. Candidates are later invited by Ontario officials to apply for immigration. After receiving Ontario PNP, the nomination certificate helps candidate to increase their score under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) by 600 points under Express Entry. Candidates having good score in Express Entry Canada CRS points receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in next Express Entry draw which takes place regularly.

Ontario Express Entry is further divided into two categories:

  • Ontario Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream
  • Ontario Express Entry: French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream

👉 Human Capital Priorities Stream

Candidates having required skills, qualification, and work experience can apply under this program. This stream helps candidates work and be in sync with Ontario's labor market. Since this program has limited seats, OINP only nominates potential candidates having qualified Citizenship and Immigration's (CIC) Express Entry Pool.

Once applications of candidates are picked from Express Entry Pool, they receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) and are advised to apply under OINP Human Capital Priorities Stream within 45 days.

Eligibility criteria for Human Capital Priorities Stream:

  • Candidates must have at least 400 points on CRS. Higher score maximises chances of candidates’ nomination
  • Candidates must have sufficient work experience in their desired field of occupation
  • Candidates should hold a Bachelors degree, Masters Degree, Ph.D. or any other equivalent certificate. Along with that, candidates should also have an Educational Credential Assessment report prepared by the experts who can assess whether the candidate's education credentials are equivalent to the Canadian Education System
  • A score of 7 in all four categories (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) of CLB is a must
  • A candidate must meet the required criteria under either FSWP or CEC

👉 French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream

Aligned with Canada's Express Entry System, OINP (Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program) French Speaking Skilled Worker Stream enables prospective French-speaking candidates to immigrate to Ontario. The potential immigrants will receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program and are supposed to apply for this program within 30 days.

Eligibility criteria for French-speaking Skilled Worker Stream:

  • A candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, Ph.D. degree or an equivalent along with an ECS Report (Education Credential Assessment)
  • A candidate must score a CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) score of 7 or above in French and, 6 and above in English in all the four categories (listening, speaking, reading, and writing)
  • Candidates applying through FSWP must have at least 1 year of paid work experience in a NOC level O, A, or B occupation in the past 5 years
  • A candidate must have sufficient funds in order to sustain in Ontario
  • A candidate must be willing to stay in Ontario

2] International Students Category

This program has been designed for foreign students, who are studying in Canadian universities, willing to apply for permanent residency in Ontario. It is further categorized into three streams:

  • International students with Job Offer Stream
  • International Students Master Graduate System
  • International Students Ph.D. Graduate System

This stream is popular among graduates from University of Western Ontario (UWO), Brock University, University of Toronto (UofT), University of Ottawa, York University, Ryerson University, University of Waterloo (UofW), University of Windsor, McMaster University, University of Guelph, Wilfred Laurier University (WLU), Queen's University and Carleton University.

👉 International students with Job Offer Stream

This Ontario PNP program has been designed to assist Ontario employers to offer international students with employment opportunities in the province. There are certain requirements need to be fulfilled to apply through this program:

  • A candidate must have already graduated or will be graduating soon from a publicly-funded college or university in Canada.
  • A candidate must have completed a 2-year degree or diploma on a full-time basis or must have completed a post-graduate degree or certificate program. In the latter case, the previous degree may be earned from Canada or abroad.
  • A candidate must have a permanent full-time job offer under NOC levels O, A, or B. The employer is also required to submit an application to Opportunities Ontario.
  • Application submitted by the candidate should be no later than two years after the date he received their Canadian degree or diploma. It can be submitted as early as the last semester of candidate’s studies.
  • A candidate should have legal status if living in Canada which requires a ‘Joint Verification Form and a ‘Pre-Screen Position’ form from the employer.

👉 International Master Graduate Stream

OINP Master Graduate Stream is a pilot program which only accepts 1000 applications at the moment. Students who seek to apply through this program may not need a job offer but they should meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • They must be graduated with a master’s degree from a publicly-funded college or university in Canada
  • They should have completed one academic year in Canada on a full-time basis.
  • They must have a high level of proficiency in French and English.
  • They cannot apply 2 years later from the date on which they received their master’s degree.
  • They must have sufficient funds to sustain in Canada.
  • They should have an intention to live in Ontario.
  • They should have a legal living status in Canada. Refugee claimants and asylum seekers are not eligible under this program.

👉 International Ph.D. Stream

Students who have been granted Ph.D. degrees from any of the publicly funded universities in Ontario can apply through this program. They may not need a job offer but they should meet certain requirements and eligibility criteria:

  • The submitted application should be no later than 2 years from when they received their Ph.D.
  • The applicant must have a legal living status in Canada.
  • They should have been graduated from an existing Ph.D. program from one of the publicly funded universities in Ontario.

👉 International Student With A Job Offer Stream

This program has been launched to provide international students with employment opportunities in Ontario. There are certain requirements which need to be fulfilled to apply under this stream:

  • The applicant should complete at least half of the studies from Canada.
  • The applicant must have graduated or soon to be graduating from a publicly-funded college or university in Canada.
  • The applicant must have a full-time job offer mentioned under skilled occupation. The employer must also submit all the documents at his respective end. The job offer should remain valid until the time the student’s application is approved.
  • The submitted application should be no later than 2 years from when they received their degree.
  • The applicant must have a legal living status in Canada and should be able to produce a Joint Verification form and pre-screen position form from his employer.

3] Ontario Corporate Stream

Introduced in 2015, the Ontario Corporate Stream helps in establishing and supporting global entities interested in expanding business in Ontario. This stream allows key employees of foreign establishments to be nominated for Canadian permanent resident status under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Corporate Stream after successfully setting up business model in Ontario. Before being nominated for Canada PR status, such key employees can obtain two-year Temporary Work Permits from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The Ontario PNP works with business firms and organisations that specify performance commitments and time-frames for enterprises in Ontario. Successful provincial nominations for key staff members depend on fulfilling these commitments. A maximum of five employees can be nominated under this stream.

Eligibility criteria for Ontario Corporate Stream:

  • The business entity must invest $5 million or more in existing or new business in Ontario
  • Five permanent or full-time jobs must be created for Canadian citizens or five nominations for Canada PR under this category
  • Nominated employees will be given two years to clear English language test as per the nomination criteria
  • The business establishment should have a proven track record in last three years

4] Ontario Entrepreneur Stream

Started in 2015, this stream was introduced to help young foreign entrepreneurs to scale up old business or set a start up in Ontario. Entrepreneurs can be nominated for Canadian permanent residency under this stream after successfully establishing the business.

The entrepreneur/candidate must own and control at least 33.3% equity share in business plan in order to qualify under this stream. Immigration Ontario officials will screen all applications to assess the viability of proposed business plans. Candidates have to submit a performance agreement mentioning key investment and job creation commitments that need to be fulfilled within 24 months. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program considers start ups and businesses to be located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) if they are in the City of Toronto, Halton, Durham, York or Peel regions.

Eligibility criteria for Ontario Entrepreneur Stream:

  • Candidate must make minimum investment of $500,000 in Ontario 
  • Candidate must have minimum net worth of $800,000. If the business is located in the Greater Toronto Area the minimum net worth should be $1,500,000 barring business related to Digital Media or ICT.
  • Creation of two permanent or full-time job vacancies for Canadian permanent residents or citizens
  • The entrepreneur along with his or her business partner (if applicable) should fulfil all requirements within 24 months in order to secure Canada PR nomination from the Province of Ontario
  • he prospective nominee must have an experience of three or more years in senior management or business ownership in last five years

Also Check - Ontario Points Calculator

Ontario Nominee Program Processing Time

The Ontario Nominee Program processing time depends on the stream opted by applicant for Canada immigration. If the candidate opts to immigrate through Ontario Express Entry linked Human Capital Priorities Stream, then processing of application takes two to three months. However, faster processing of application depends on accuracy of submitted documents as well as other credentials. Ontario PNP Express Entry candidates can even monitor their PR status application online through the federal system.

There is no fixed deadline for Ontario PNP since the applications are accepted and assessed throughout the year. Please note that criteria for Ontario Express Entry and Ontario Nominee Program may change any time without notice. It is helpful to work in tandem with accredited immigration consultant to remain updated about criteria for Ontario PNP and increase chances of securing Canadian visa.

Please note that the processing time is subject to change depending on the nature of application.

Also Read: Provincial Nominee Program

Signature Visas, a leading Canada immigration service provider, offers full support to Ontario PNP aspirants. Armed with an extensive knowledge of laws, regulations and policies on Canada immigration, Signature Visas facilitates holistic perspective and guidance to prospective candidates to make informed decisions and secure bright future in Canada. A comprehensive approach helps immigration seekers to avoid mistakes which may bring an unfortunate outcome such as refusal or rejection of visa applications. Feel free to contact us at +91-9911659888

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