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Each year, Ontario welcomes more foreign nationals than any other Canadian province or territory. And it’s no wonder. Ontario is a vibrant community, home of the Canadian parliament, the country’s largest city, with unparalleled natural beauty; Ontario offers the best of both economic opportunity and high-quality living.
The labour market in Ontario is one of the most active and diverse in Canada, ranging from many opportunities in the technology and financial sectors to in-demand jobs in agriculture, construction, trucking,and personal support work.
Like other provinces, Ontario administers its own Provincial Nomination Program, known as the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). This employer-driven program allows companies who cannot fill vacant positions the opportunity to recruit skilled foreign workers.
In 2020, Ontario welcomed over 8,000 foreign nationals through the OINP, and with Canada recently announcing increased target immigration levels, that number is likely to grow over the next three years.
How Does Provincial Nomination Ontario Work?
Application to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) must be filed online. The OINP is employer-driven, which means most applicants must have a qualifying full-time job offer to apply directly to the program. Otherwise, interested candidates must qualify for and set up an Express Entry profile through IRCC and either apply for actively recruiting positions or indicate on their profile a desire on the profile to live in Ontario. If the candidate’s skills align with an employer’s needs, a Notification of Interest may be issued.
International Graduate Students who have obtained a Masters or Ph.D. degree are eligible to apply to the OINP without a job offer. Other immigration conditions must still be met, and the candidate must indicate that they intend to live in Ontario.
Employment Job Offer Stream
This stream of the OINP is open to foreign nationals who have either obtained a qualifying full-time, permanent job offer or have skills and experience in in-demand occupations.
In addition to the job offer requirement, applicants in this category must also have a minimum of 2years of qualifying work experience and meet the minimum language and education conditions.
Ontario recently transitioned applicants from foreign workers, international students, and in-demand skills categories to a new Expression of Interest system. Interest candidates are now required to create a profile and register an expression of interest through the system.
OINP Express Entry Allied Steams
Certain streams within the OINP are linked with the federal Express Entry System. If you do not currently have a job offer from an employer in Ontario, you can begin with a candidate profile on the IRCC Express Entry pool. Candidates whose skills and experience are needed to fill employment vacancies in Ontario may be issued a Notification of interest, allowing them to apply for Ontario Provincial Nomination.
There are three categories that the OINP typically focuses on:
• The Human Capital Priorities Steam for individuals with specific skills, education, and work experience.
• French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream gives French-speaking foreign nationals who also have English language skills the ability to live and work in Ontario, helping the province meet increased Francophone targets.
• Skilled Trades Stream for foreign nationals with a minimum of 12 months experience in a skilled trade.
The OINP also accepts investors and business people through the Corporate and Entrepreneur Streams. There are several experience, financial, and business-related criteria that must be met to qualify.
If you need help navigating the OINP application process or have any other Canadian Immigration questions, the immigration consultants at Five Stone Immigration are here to help.