Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) – How It Works

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program - Toronto City skyline

Discover the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) which that targets skilled workers who can contribute to the labor market in the province. The most successful candidates become nominees and can get a Canadian permanent residence. It has strictly defined criteria and pathways to apply. Ontario is one of the eleven provinces and territories that take part in the Provincial Nominee Program. 

Why Ontario?

Ontario, the most populous province of Canada, probably does not require a special introduction. It’s home to Canada’s capital – Ottawa, as well as Toronto, the provincial capital and largest city by population. 

The pristine greenery cannot go unmentioned, but when it comes to the abundance, water surfaces take the throne. Ontario is famous for the most majestic water landmarks in the world, from the Niagara Falls and Great Lakes to the famous St. Lawrence River.

Although English is formally the official language of the province, Ontario has the biggest number of bilingual residents who identify with both English and French as their first languages. Three major sectors that drive the economy are technology, automotive, and pharmaceutical industries.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP): All You Need to Know

Being the economic hub of the country, it’s no wonder that the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is heavily oriented toward boosting its prospects. Hence, all of its streams are geared towards bolstering the economy of the province. There are six OINP streams:

Skilled Worker OINP Streams

Streams that are grouped under the skilled worker category are related to the labor market. Finding a job is usually its most challenging aspect, even when you have the necessary qualifications and skills. However, there are numerous ways to improve the prospects of getting a job offer.

#1 – Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream

If you are qualified in an in-demand occupation in Ontario and have a full-time job offer, you can apply under this stream. Furthermore, the employer has to guarantee that you’re the best candidate for the vacancy. Most requested occupations in the province are primarily in the agriculture and construction sectors. 

#2 – PhD Graduate Stream

You can apply under this stream If you’ve earned a PhD degree awarded by a university in Ontario without a job offer. However, you have to prove that you have lived in Ontario for at least a year prior to the application and that you have enough settlement funds. Additionally, you ought to have ties that connect you to the province (besides education). These can be job interviews, volunteering, family relationships, or previous work experience.

Express Entry OINP Streams

Next, there’s the Express Entry category of OINP streams. Individuals who wish to apply under one of the three streams explained below need to fulfill the requirements of the Canadian Express Entry. There are 5 basic things to know about the Express Entry program to get started. 

1 – French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream

Although this stream is called French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream, candidates need to possess strong language skills for both English (CLB 6) and French (CLB 7). Next, they need a year of relevant working experience and a degree from a Canadian post-secondary institution or equivalent. Although a job offer isn’t required, getting on can boost your chances.

2 – Human Capital Priorities Stream

The main requirements of the next Express Entry Stream are the following:

  • One year of work experience in one of the in-demand NOC occupations (e.g. financial managers, health practitioners, dietitians, etc.)
  • Comprehensive ranking system score (CRS, Express Entry score) between 466 and 475
  • A Canadian post-secondary degree or equivalent
  • Either English or French proficiency at CLB level 7 or above
  • Proof of sufficient settlement funds

#3 – Skill Trades Stream

Candidates with relatively lower CRS compared to other OINP Streams (between 400 and 436) may find their fortune in the Skilled Trades Stream. They require work experience in the province in a skilled trade from the appropriate NOC occupations. The acceptable trades are listed in Minor Groups 72, 73, and 82, or Minor Group 633. Also, you require an English or French proficiency at level 5 of CLB.

Entrepreneur OINP Stream

Finally, experienced business people who want to start up or purchase an existing business in Ontario can move under the Entrepreneur category. Firstly, they need to determine whether they fulfill the minimum criteria.

These are:

  • A minimum of one year of experience as a business owner or a senior manager.
  • A net worth of $CAD 800,000 if you want to establish your business within the Greater Toronto Area, or $CAD 400,000 outside the area.
  • Finally, make an investment of $CAD 600,000 for a business in the Greater Toronto Area, or $CAD 200,000 elsewhere.

Are you eligible? If so, you can apply, create a business plan, and conduct a mandatory visit to Toronto to sign the Performance Agreement. It will state the goals of your business, such as creating job opportunities for Ontario residents. You then have 20 months to establish your business and reach the proposed goal. If you succeed, you’ll become an OINP nominee.

Final Words on the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), summarized above, has clearly defined requirements. If you have the skills, experience, or qualifications sought in Ontario, you can apply and earn the status of a permanent Canadian resident.

Familiarizing yourself with the mandatory requirements is an important first step. In case you’re eligible under one of the streams, you can proceed with obtaining the necessary documentation and apply. Good luck!