Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

The province of Ontario has a population exceeding 13 million. The largest city in Canada is Toronto, which happens to be located in Ontario. Toronto has a population of 6 million people and has been traditionally recognized as one of the most desirable places to settle in Canada. The key factors for the Ontario’s popularity are its diverse economy with all its segments represented equally (production, finance, commerce, and the arts), mild climate compared to the rest of Canada, and its multiculturalism, which allows people of different nationalities and backgrounds to maintain their cultural identity. If you are thinking of immigrating to Ontario, you should consider the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

You can apply for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) through one of these categories:

General Category  

To comply with the requirements, you must:

  • Live outside Canada
  • Live in Canada with legal status
  • Have a job offer in Ontario with Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC)
  • Have an employer that is pre-screened and approved by Opportunities Ontario. The position requirements are also strictly regulated

For this category, the employer must nominate the candidate, and the candidate cannot apply on their own.

International Students Category

The international Students Category of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is a broader category that includes:

International Student with a Job Offer Stream

To comply with the requirements, you must:

  • Show a valid job offer from a Canadian employer (who also must this job offer to Opportunities Ontario for approval, and the offer must remain valid during the application process)
    • The job offer does not need to be in the same field as the degree or diploma
  • Have already graduated, or are graduating soon from an accredited college or university in Ontario (Must have completed at least half of their education in Canada)
  • Apply within 2 years of graduating

International Ph.D. Graduate Stream

To comply with the requirements, you must:

  • Completed a Ph.D. program at an accredited Canadian university
  • Have legal status in Canada
  • Have a high proficiency in English or French
  • Apply within 2 years of graduating

Individuals applying in this stream do not need to present a job offer to be eligible.  

International Masters Graduate Stream

To comply with the requirements, you must:

  • Show intention to live and work in Ontario
  • Complete at least one year of full-time education in a Masters program at an accredited university in Ontario
  • Be currently residing in Ontario with a legal status
  • Have a high proficiency in English or French
  • Meet a minimum level of income

This program has a limited annual quota. Students who apply do not need to present a job offer.

Business Category  

The Business Category of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) was created with the goal to boost the economy, create new business opportunities for companies already operating in Ontario, and create more jobs in the province as well as encourage international corporations to start or increase business operation in Ontario. It includes Ontario Corporate Stream and Ontario Entrepreneur Stream.  

Ontario Corporate Stream

The Ontario Corporate Stream of OINP was introduced in 2015 to support international corporations in increasing their operations, establishing operating branches, and investing in businesses in Ontario. Through this program, essential employees are nominated for permanent residence status once the company is set up.

The corporation is required to:

  • Invest $5,000,000+ in the new or existing Ontario based businesses
  • Have a minimum of 5 full-time jobs, and employ Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Employees seeking OINP nomination under this category must be employed by the corporation and be essential to company operation in Ontario.
  • The nominated employees have to pass the English/French proficiency test within 2 years.
  • The business has to be established and operate successfully within 3 years.

The employees may obtain two-year Temporary Work Status from CIC Canada allowing them to establish a business in Ontario, before being nominated for permanent resident status. The corporation will be subject to the Performance Agreement established by OINP that outlines performance commitments and time-frames for the Ontario branch. There is a limit to a maximum of 5 people who can be nominated under this OINP stream for each business purchased or created by a foreign corporation in Ontario.

Ontario Entrepreneur Stream

In 2015 the investor class program with Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program was closed and the new category Ontario Entrepreneur Stream was officially introduced. It was designed to help foreign investors to look for new business opportunities in Ontario and create new businesses. Once the business is established and has a proven success track record, the entrepreneurs can be nominated under OINP for Ontario permanent residency.   

The OINP Entrepreneur stream qualification for PR nomination:

  • Each nominee must invest minimum 500,000 CAD in business in Ontario, with the minimum of 1 million CAD if the business is located in GTA with the exception of the businesses involved in digital media or information and communications technology.  
  • Each potential nominee must have an 800,000 CAD minimum net with the required minimum of 1,500,000 for GTA unless the business is involved in digital media or ICT industry.
  • The minimum requirement for job creation is 2 full – time employment positions for Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • The entrepreneur must have a minimum of 3 years of senior management or business ownership experience in the past 5 years to be eligible for the program
  • The entrepreneur must own or control at least 33% of equity share in the business created.
  • The viability of the business will be accessed by Immigration Ontario officials based on preliminarily drafted performance agreement.
  • The candidate has 2 years within which he has to complete the program.

Human Capital Priorities Stream

It is a new OINP category that allows the province of Ontario to select potential candidates for PR status from the Express Entry Pool that meet the requirements in work training and experience, language, and other skills considered to be able to add value to Ontario Labor market. The candidates for the program are selected by OINP through Express Entry Profiles that have indicated Ontario as a preferred province for immigration and have a minimum CRS score of at least 400 points. The candidates that fully match the criteria will receive Notification of Interest. In their turn, they will have 45 days to apply for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.   

Human Capital Priorities Stream qualification requirements for OINP:

  • Work experience – minimum of 12 months of full-time employment in NOC level 0, A or B, or equivalent amount of part-time work;
  • Education – Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. or equivalent confirmed by ECA report;
  • Language proficiency – Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 confirmed by standardized language test recognized by the Government of Ontario;
  • Intention to Live in Ontario;
  • Must have a sufficient amount funds confirmed by bank statements.

French-Speaking Skilled Worker Category

This program has been designed to attract to settle in Ontario more French-speaking skilled workers with strong English abilities.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) can nominate those candidates who have a valid profile in the Federal Express Entry pool, and meet the requirements of skilled work experience, education, and settlement funds.  

Contact our experts at Green Light Canada Global Mobility Solutions Ltd. if you are interested to work and immigrate to Ontario.