Ontario is one of the most desirable locations to live in Canada, with a vibrant economy, excellent services and support networks, a growing population of diverse cultures and backgrounds, and world-class higher education institutions. The province is the most populous of Canada and home to the country’s financial capital, Toronto, as well as its political capital, Ottawa. Ontario admits a large number of immigrants each year through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) – a unique and attractive immigration program that allows immigrants to settle in the province. In this blog, we will guide you through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) and its immigration streams.
Immigration to Canada through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
The OINP is an economic immigration program that nominates individuals for permanent residence in Ontario. The OINP is specifically designed to bring in immigrants that will positively impact the province, including skilled workers, skilled tradespeople, Francophones, international graduates, foreign workers in in-demand occupations, and entrepreneurs.
Ontario Immigration Streams
Ontario has nine immigration streams, which can be divided into three categories: Express Entry Streams, Expression of Interest Streams, and Entrepreneur Stream.
- Human Capital Priorities Stream
- French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
- Skilled Trades Stream
- Employer Job Offer Foreign Worker Stream
- Employer Job Offer International Student Stream
- Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream
- Masters Graduate Stream
- D. Graduate Stream
- Entrepreneur Stream
Express Entry Streams
The Express Entry streams are linked to the federal Express Entry selection system, providing applicants with an additional 600 points and the opportunity to apply for permanent residency through one of the federal programs via Express Entry. Nonetheless, you cannot apply for these streams independently; instead, the Ontario government must extend an invitation to you via your Express Entry profile. There are three Express Entry Streams available under the OINP:
- French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream: The French-Speaking Skilled Worker program seeks candidates from the Express Entry pool who can speak French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 or higher and English at CLB level 6 or above. In addition, applicants must have a post-secondary degree and at least one year of work experience in the past five years in an eligible occupation in NOC TEER category 0, 1, 2, or 3.
- Human Capital Priorities Stream: This stream selects skilled workers from the federal Express Entry pool who will contribute to Ontario’s workforce for a long time. The Human Capital Stream prioritizes skills, abilities, or experience, which would make it easy for a foreign national to join and contribute to the workforce. This stream also includes targeted OINP Tech Draws aimed at nine IT occupations.
- Skilled Trades Stream: This stream administers provincial nominations to skilled tradespeople who already reside in Ontario and have worked in a skilled trade in the province for at least one year. Applicants must have worked in an occupation whose NOC codes start with 72 (excluding occupations under transportation officers), 73, 82, 83, 93 (excluding aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors) or 6320 (excluding cooks) obtained in the last two years in the province while maintaining legal status in Canada.
Expression of Interest Streams
Ontario’s Expression of Interest (EOI) system administers the Expression of Interest Streams and assesses applicants based on different factors, assigning them scores accordingly. Applicants can register in the system and wait for an invitation. Individuals with the highest EOI scores are invited a few times a year to apply for nomination.
After obtaining the nomination, candidates can apply for permanent residency through the non-Express Entry portal with the IRCC. The five OINP Expression of Interest (EOI) Streams can be categorized into three employer-driven and two education-driven streams.
Employer-Driven Expression of Interest Streams
To qualify for the Employer Job Offer Streams, Ontario employers must be in active business for at least three years in Ontario; prove that the company attempted to recruit a Canadian citizen or permanent resident before offering the position to the applicant; have a minimum of $1,000,000 total gross annual revenue in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or $500,000 total gross annual revenue at a location outside the GTA in the last fiscal year; possess at least five full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the GTA or at least three full-time employees if the company locates outside the GTA; and make an application for approval of an employment position.
- Employer Job Offer Foreign Worker Stream: This stream enables immigrants with a current job offer from an Ontario employer to apply for a nomination. The job offer must be for a full-time and permanent position in NOC TEER category 0, 1, 2, or 3, offering a wage equal to or greater than the median wage level for that occupation in the province. The offered position must be based in Ontario.
- Employer Job Offer International Student Stream: This stream enables international students who have graduated from a designated learning institution in Canada within the last two years and have obtained a valid job offer from an Ontario employer. To be eligible, applicants must complete a degree or diploma that takes at least two years on a full-time basis or one year if the degree requires a completed degree as an admission requirement. The job offer must be for a full-time and permanent position in NOC TEER category 0, 1, 2, or 3, offering a wage equal to or greater than the median wage level for that occupation in the province. The offered position must be based in Ontario.
- Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream: This stream enables immigrants with a current job offer from an Ontario employer in specific in-demand occupations in a specific sector such as agriculture, construction, trucking or personal support workers. Applicants must have language proficiency at CLB level 4 and possess a secondary school diploma. The job offer may be only in the specific occupations in NOC TEER category 4 or 5. The list of eligible occupations is updated from time to time. The offered position must be based in Ontario.
Education-Driven Expression of Interest Streams
To qualify for those streams, international students must have graduated from a designated Ontario University. At the moment, there are 30 eligible universities offering Master’s Degrees and 25 eligible universities offering Ph.D. Degrees.
- Masters Graduate Stream: This stream is designed for those who have recently obtained their master’s degree from an eligible Ontario university and wish to live and work in the province. Candidates must have a CLB level 7 or higher, and a master’s degree that was at least one academic year of full-time study within the last two years. They also have to legally reside in Ontario for at least 12 of the 24 months before applying.
- Ph.D. Graduate Stream: This stream is for recent graduates with a Ph.D. from an eligible Ontario university. Qualified candidates must have completed their Ph.D. degree within the last two years. The stream requires applicants to complete at least two years of studies while legally living and studying in Ontario. Applicants must also demonstrate legal residency in Ontario for at least 12 of the 24 months before applying.
Ontario Entrepreneur Stream is intended for entrepreneurs who want to start or purchase a business in Ontario. The business must create jobs, increase investment capital, and contribute to the economy. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate sufficient experience in managing or owning a business and the skills, knowledge and financial resources needed to establish a business in their field.
The Government of Ontario requires applicants to have at least two years of full-time experience as a business owner or senior manager within the past five years. Meanwhile, those wishing to reside in the GTA must possess a net worth of at least C$800,000 with an accompanying minimum investment of C$600,000 or C$400,000 for net worth with a minimum investment of C$200,000 outside the GTA.
In addition, entrepreneurs must hold a minimum of one-third equity in the venture and actively engage in its management. Furthermore, they are obligated to create two perpetual full-time positions for Canadian nationals or permanent citizens in GTA or at least one position if outside GTA.
How can Schindler Visa Services help with the OINP?
Navigating the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program can be a complex and daunting process, which is where Schindler Visa Services comes in. We have extensive experience helping clients successfully navigate the OINP and other Canadian immigration programs. Our team of experts will guide you through every step of the process, from determining your eligibility to submitting your application. We will work tirelessly to ensure your application is complete, accurate, and meets all the program requirements. Schindler Visa Services can help you navigate this complex program and guide you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your Canadian immigration goals.
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