Ontario Provincial Nominee Program / PNP

Criteria to get into the Ontario PNP

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The most popular destination for immigrants around the world, Ontario is the economic, social, and political centre of Canada. It is the most populated province in Canada and home to Ottawa, the capital of Canada and Toronto, the largest city in Canada. If you are a desiring immigrant, Ontario PNP is your key to live and permanently work in Canada. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) chooses prospective immigrants on the basis of their skills and experience who may receive an Ontario Provincial Nomination Certificate which will let them apply for permanent residency.

As per the competitors, OINP has a faster application process as compared to other Canadian immigration classes.

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

Ontario PNP Eligibility and Criteria

Before you can apply for any of the above programs, you should fulfill all the eligibility criteria and requirements to get permanent residency in Ontario:

  • You should have a permanent, full-time job offer in a skilled occupation (NOC level 0, A, or B) from the employer who is also submitting the application.
  • You should have minimum qualification certification/diploma which makes you eligible to apply for the job.
  • You should have a professional experience in the applied field as per the requirement of program.
  • You should have an Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System Score of 400 points or greater and this score should maintain throughout provincial and federal processing.
  • You must have an intention to live 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. Those candidates are considered to be potential whose skills, experience, and qualifications related to the occupation are in demand in the province of Ontario.

It 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:

For those who want to permanently live and work in Ontario and have required skills, qualifications, and other characteristics to help them establish and integrate into Ontario's labour market and communities can apply through Human Capital Priorities Stream.

As per the competitors, the seats in this program are very limited. OINP only nominates those potential candidates who have qualified Citizenship and Immigration's (CIC) Express Entry Pool.

Once your application is picked from Express Entry Pool, you will be sent a Notification of Interest (NOI) after which you will have only 45 days to apply under OINP Human Capital Priorities Stream.


There are certain eligibility criteria one must fulfil to apply under the program:

  • Candidates must have at least 400 points on CRS. Higher the score, higher are the chances of getting a nomination.
  • Candidates must have sufficient work experience in their desired field of occupation.
  • Candidates should hold a Bachelor's degree, Master’s Degree, PhD 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 candidate's education credentials match with the Canadian Education System or not.
  • 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 French Speaking Skilled Worker Stream enables prospective French-speaking candidates to move to Ontario.

The potential immigrants will receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program after which they will have to apply within 30 days under this program.

Eligibility criteria for this program:

  • A candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, PhD 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 past 5 years.
  • A candidate must have sufficient funds required to sustain in the province of Ontario.
  • A candidate must have an intention to stay in Canada.

2. International Students Category

This program has been designed for the foreign students who have been studying in Canada to apply for permanent residency in Ontario. It is further categorized into 3 streams

  • International students with Job Offer Stream
  • International Students Master Graduate System
  • International Students PhD Graduate System

International students with Job Offer Stream

This 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 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 full-time basis.
  • They must have 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 PhD Stream

Students who have been granted PhD 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 PhD.
  • The applicant must have a legal living status in Canada.
  • They should have been graduated from an existing PhD 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 till the time 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 Joint Verification form and pre-screen position form from his employer.

3. Ontario Corporate Stream

Established in fall 2015, this program was launched to help and support international corporates to start or buy a business in the province. The important employees of the foreign corporation will be nominated for permanent residency through OINP Corporate Stream once the business is fully set-up in the province. There are key requirements that international corporate must fulfill in order to participate. Before being nominated for OINP, the key employees can obtain a two-year work permit through CIC (Citizen and Immigration Canada)

4. Ontario Entrepreneur Stream

Launched in 2015, this stream has been devised to help foreign entrepreneurs to buy or create a brand new company in the Ontario province. The entrepreneurs can be nominated through OINP Entrepreneur Stream once their business has been established.

The entrepreneur must hold and control 33.3% of equity share in the endeavour to be applicable for OINP Entrepreneur Stream. The viability of the business plan will be assessed by the Immigration Ontario officials as part of the applicant process. There are other various eligibility requirements which need to be fulfilled by the desiring candidate.

At Signature Visa, we are experienced immigration consultants providing full support to candidates who wish to apply for Ontario PNP. With an extensive knowledge of immigration laws, regulations and policies for immigrating to Canada, we guide you properly right from the start of your journey so that you do not make mistakes which may bring an unfortunate outcome such as refusal or rejection.

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