Ontario is Canada’s most popular landing destination for immigrants from around the world.
As Canada’s most populous province, nearly 40 percent of Canadians call Ontario home. Ontario is also home to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, and its largest city, Toronto. In many ways, Ontario is the center of Canada’s economic, social, and political life.
Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program is called the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), formerly known as the Opportunities Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OOPNP). Through this program, prospective immigrants with the skills and experience targeted by the province may receive an Ontario Provincial Nomination Certificate, which will allow that foreign national to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence with processing times that are faster than other Canadian immigration classes.
The OINP accepts applications under the following immigration categories:
- Ontario Express Entry
- Ontario Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream
- Ontario Express Entry: French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
- General Category (sometimes referred to as Employer Category)
- Foreign Workers with a Job Offer Stream
- International Student Category
- International Students with a Job Offer Stream
- International Students - Masters Graduate Stream
- International Students - PhD Graduate Stream
- Business Category
- Entrepreneur Stream
- Corporate Stream
- Investors Category (discontinued)
Current Status of OINP Immigration Streams
In May 2016, Ontario announced its decision to temporarily pause the intake of applications for select, high-volume OINP streams. Potential applicants should note that lower-volume OINP streams remain open and continue to accept applications.
The following table provides details on the current status of each OINP immigration stream.
|OINP Stream||Status||Additional Notes|
|Human Capital Priorities||Temporary pause on Notifications of Interest (NOIs) being sent as of February 16, 2016.||Aligned with federal Express Entry system.|
|French-Speaking Skilled Worker||Open — OINP continues to accept and process applications.||Aligned with federal Express Entry system.|
|Foreign Worker||Open to eligible candidates whose job offer has been approved through the Employer Pre-screen application process.||Job offer must meet the prevailing wage level in Ontario for that occupation.|
|International Student with a Job Offer||Open to eligible candidates whose job offer has been approved through the Employer Pre-screen application process.||Previous education requirement is not Ontario-specific; graduates who studied in any province may be eligible.|
|International Student – Masters Graduate stream||Temporary pause in effect as of May 9, 2016.||Job offer not required.|
|International Student – PhD Graduate stream||Temporary pause in effect as of May 9, 2016.||Job offer not required.|
|Entrepreneur||Open — OINP continues to accept Expressions of Interest.||Successful applicants obtain Temporary Work Permits before Permanent Resident status may be obtained.|
|Corporate||Open — OINP continues to accept and process applications.||Successful applicants obtain Temporary Work Permits before Permanent Resident status may be obtained.|
Ontario Express Entry
Ontario Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream
There is a temporary pause on Notifications of Interest (NOIs) being sent under the Human Capital Priorities Stream as of February 16, 2016.
This stream enables the OINP to nominate individuals who are eligibile to enter the federal Express Entry pool and who have the required education, skilled work experience, language ability, and other characteristics to help them successfully establish and integrate into Ontario’s labour market and communities.
Ontario Express Entry: French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
The Ontario French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream is for French-Speaking skilled workers who have strong English language abilities and who want to live and work permanently in Ontario. This stream enables the OINP to nominate individuals in the Express Entry pool and who have the required education, skilled work experience, language ability, and other characteristics to help them successfully establish and integrate into Ontario’s labour market and communities.
As of May 9, 2016, there is a temporary pause on the intake of applications to the Employer Pre-screen application process. Foreign skilled workers with job offers that have already been approved by the OINP may continue to submit a Nominee Application.
Through this category, Ontario employers are able to recruit foreign workers for approved skilled positions (classified by the Government of Canada as NOC Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B). These employees may be living abroad or in Canada at the time of application.
International Student Category
As of May 9, 2016, there is a temporary pause in effect on new applications to the Masters Graduate and PhD Graduate streams. The International Student with a Job Offer Stream remains open to eligible candidates whose job offer has already been approved through the Employer Pre-screen application process.
This category is for students from abroad. The International Students category accepts applications under the following three streams:
International Student with a Job Offer Stream
This stream was created to help employers recruit international students. It is open to Ontario employers and students with job offers in the province.
International Masters Graduate Stream
This stream targets individuals who have graduated with a Master’s degree from one of Ontario’s publicly funded universities. A job offer is not required.
International PhD Graduate Stream
This stream targets individuals who have graduated from a PhD program at one of Ontario’s publicly funded universities. A job offer is not required.
This stream is designed to attract individuals who are looking to implement a new business initiative or buy an existing business in Ontario. Successful applicants will obtain a temporary work permit support letter – based on a performance agreement – to establish the business in Ontario. If the investment and job creation agreements outlined in the performance agreement are adhered to, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to be nominated for Canadian permanent resident status.
This stream aims to help and support established international corporations looking to expand into Ontario or buy an existing business. Once the business has been successfully established, key staff are eligible to apply for a provincial nomination certificate, allowing them to eventually become permanent residents of Canada.