How to Qualify for The OINP
December 6, 2023
One of the most popular provinces to immigrate to in Canada, Ontario offers plenty of opportunities to find work, affordable housing, and a fairly agreeable climate. For 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) set immigration targets at 485,000 newcomers. Embarking on a journey to qualify for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is a significant step towards realizing your Canadian dream. Understanding the key qualifiers becomes paramount as you navigate the intricate process. Have a look at the essential elements that pave the way for a successful OINP application that will allow you to work in Canada and settle in Ontario.
Immigrate to Canada Via Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
Eleven of Canada's twelve provinces and territories participate in the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Provinces have the authority to establish immigration streams that will address their economic requirements by allowing them to attract and retain global talent, from business owners to students to skilled and semi-skilled workers. Ontario's Nominee Program, the OINP, is one of the most comprehensive PNPs because of the many immigrants who settle in the province yearly.
To help ensure an equal intake of foreigners of all skill levels, the OINP is set up with various immigration programs to be able to handle the intake accordingly, allow people of all backgrounds to become permanent residents, and address the province's labor requirements To confirm your eligibility for Canadian immigration and start your application process, follow the link below, or read on to learn more about the OINP.
Expression of Interest Streams
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has an Expression of Interest (EOI) system to manage its applications for several streams. We take a look at each stream.
In-demand Skills Stream
The Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills stream provides foreign workers holding job offers in specific high-demand fields such as agriculture, construction, and other designated occupations the opportunity to seek Canadian permanent residency in Ontario. This avenue is accessible to foreign workers residing in Canada or abroad.
To initiate the process, you must enroll in the OINP's Expression of Interest System and await an invitation to apply. Only after receiving this invitation can you submit an online application to be nominated by the Ontario government for permanent residence.
Upon nomination, the subsequent step involves applying to the federal government through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The final determination of Canadian permanent residency status rests with the IRCC, solidifying its role in shaping the future of those seeking to become permanent residents.
Job Requirements for the In-Demand Skills stream:
- A Full-Time and Permanent Position - The job in Canada must be full-time and permanent, consisting of a minimum of 1,560 hours annually, equating to at least 30 hours per week. Seasonal or contract-based offers are not eligible.
- An Eligible Occupation - The offered position falls within specific in-demand occupations, categorized under National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER category 4 or 5.
- A Median Wage Level - The wages offered must meet or exceed the median wage level for the specific Ontario region where you will work.
- Urgently Necessary to Employer's Business - The offered position must be urgently necessary to your employer's business, aligning with existing business activities and contributing to ongoing business growth.
- Work Based in Ontario - Your work under the job offer must predominantly occur in Ontario. Equity in your employer's business held by you or your family members should be less than 10%.
Foreign Worker Stream
In the realm of career aspirations and global opportunities, the Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker stream in Ontario stands as a gateway for foreign workers to turn their dreams into reality. Foreign workers with an offer of a job in Canada, within a skilled occupation find a welcoming avenue through this stream, offering a job and a chance to live and work in Ontario permanently.
Job offer requirements:
- A Full-Time and Permanent Position - This entails a commitment of a minimum of 1,560 hours annually, equating to at least 30 hours of paid work per week. Seasonal or contract-based positions are ineligible.
- An Eligible Occupation at TEER Categories - The offered position must fall within TEER categories 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the NOC.
- Meet or Exceed Median Wage Level - The salary for the job offered must meet or surpass the median wage level for the specific Ontario region where you will be working.
- Urgently Necessary to Employer's Business - The offered position must be urgently necessary for your employer's business, aligning with existing activities and contributing to ongoing business growth or maintenance.
- An Expression of Interest and Invitation to Apply (ITA)
- Work Experience or Authorization
- Intention to Live in Ontario
- Have legal status in Canada if applying from within Canada
- Work in Ontario
Ph.D. Graduate Stream
If you are an international student with an Ontario PhD degree, the PhD Graduate stream is a great opportunity to apply to live and work in Canada, in Ontario, permanently. You will first have to register in the OINP's Expression of Interest System and receive an invitation to apply before you can apply online to be nominated by the Ontario government for permanent residence.
Ph.D. Graduate Stream requirements:
- You must have a Ph.D. at a designated learning institution in Ontario
- You must submit your application within two years of completing the requirements necessary to obtain your Ph.D.
- You must not have any commitments in your home country (such as a bursary obligation) and have the required settlement funds.
- You must be able to show an intention to live in Ontario and must have legally lived in.
- Ontario for a minimum of one year in the past two years before you apply. This is vital, so make sure you maintain legal status in Canada, even if it means applying for a visitor visa while your permanent residency application is being processed.
Masters Graduate Stream
The Masters Graduate stream offers international graduates holding an Ontario master's degree the chance to seek permanent residence and employment in Ontario. To initiate the process, you must enroll in the OINP's Expression of Interest System and await an invitation to apply. Once invited, you can submit your online application to be considered for nomination by the Ontario government for permanent residency.
Masters Graduate Stream requirements:
- You must have an Expression of Interest and Invitation to Apply
- You must apply within the specified deadline after receiving an invitation.
- You must validate the qualifications declared in your Expression of Interest to the OINP.
- You must fulfill the requirements for a master's degree.
- You must ensure a minimum of one full-time academic year of study, with the degree obtained from an eligible Ontario university.
- You must demonstrate proficiency in English or French at CLB level 7 or higher.
- Take an approved language test within two years of the application.
- Accumulate at least one year of legal residency in Ontario within the past two years before applying.
- Possess ample funds to support yourself and dependents.
- Meet the requirement through bank statements, annual earnings, or an Ontario job offer.
- Exhibit a clear intention to reside in Ontario post-permanent residency through various ties and affiliations.
- Apply within two years of completing the master's degree requirements.
Express Entry Streams
The OINP utilizes the federal government's Express Entry System to oversee applications for the following streams:
- French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream
- Human Capital Priorities stream
- Skilled Trades stream
Application to these streams is by invitation only. Registering a profile in the Express Entry System differs from applying to the OINP or seeking permanent residency.
Human Capital Priorities Stream
If you meet the requirements of the Express Entry System's Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or the Canada Experience Class (CEC) Program, you can be eligible for this stream by creating an Express Entry profile and an Expression of Interest (EOI) in Ontario.
Human Capital Priorities stream requirements:
- At least one year of continuous paid full-time work experience (or the equivalent in paid part-time work) in TEER 0 or 1 or 2 of the NOC.
- Work experience obtained within the last five years from submitting your application to the OINP in the same primary occupation you identified in your Express Entry profile.
- Gained your work experience in Canada of at least 1,560 hours over one year
Requirements Under the Canadian Experience Class:
- A minimum of one year's continuous paid full-time work experience (or the equivalent in paid part-time work) in Canada in TEER 0, 1 or 2 of the NOC
- Your work experience must have been obtained within the last three years from the date of submitting your application to the OINP in one or more of the occupations that you identified in your Express Entry profile
- Your work experience must have been in Canada while maintaining legal status in Canada
- You must be proficient in understanding, reading, writing, and speaking either English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 or higher. To prove your proficiency, you must take an approved English or French language test before submitting your application to this stream.
- You should have a Canadian bachelor's, master's, PhD, or equivalent.
- If you have completed your studies outside of Canada, you need to get an Educational Credential Assessment report that proves your education is equivalent to a Canadian degree
- You must have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents when you settle in Canada
Skilled Trades Stream
Ontario's Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) grants foreign nationals with relevant Ontario work experience in eligible skilled trades the chance to apply to live and work in Ontario permanently.
Skilled Trades Stream Requirements:
- A valid profile in the Express Entry system
- A Notification of Interest from Ontario before applying online for a Canadian permanent residency nomination from the Ontario government.
- An offer of employment in your field in Ontario OR certification in your field from a relevant provincial body.
- A minimum of one year's continuous paid full-time work experience (or the equivalent in paid part-time work) in Ontario in a skilled trade that is listed in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
- Live in Ontario and hold a valid work permit at the time you apply.
- Be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking in English, French, or both at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 5 or higher.
- Have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family.
French Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
The French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream is a specialized immigration pathway designed to attract individuals with proficiency in the French language and valuable skills. This stream is part of Canada's broader immigration system and serves as a unique opportunity for those who excel in French to enhance their professional prospects.
If you meet the requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or the Canada Experience Class (CEC) Program, you can be eligible for this stream by creating an Express Entry profile and an EOI in Ontario.
Language Requirements for the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream:
The language requirement is where you will need to differentiate yourself from other candidates in the FSWP or CEC pool to earn your provincial nomination and permanent residency. You must score a minimum of 7 on one of the French CLB tests:
- Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF) or
- Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada)
You must also have a minimum of 6 on one of the English CLB tests:
- International English Language Testing (IELTS) – Only the General Training test is accepted
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) – Only the General test is accepted
What are Settlement Funds?
If your Ontario Immigration application has been a success, you must ensure that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family. These funds would be the money shown on bank statements, investments, annual remuneration from a job in Ontario, or proof of what you'll earn in a new job in Ontario.
What Education Should I Have to Apply for Express Entry?
You must have a Canadian bachelor's, master's, or PhD degree or the equivalent in your own or another country. If you graduated outside of Canada, you must get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report to prove that your credentials match a Canadian degree.