Ontario is Canada’s most populous province, home to the nation’s capital, Ottawa, and its largest city, Toronto. It is Canada’s leading manufacturing province and abounds in natural resources. However, the largest part of its economy is the services sector, which employs 79% of the province and includes business, financial, professional and technical services, as well as culture and arts.
Ontario’s varied landscape ranges from the rocky and mineral-rich Canadian Shield to more than 250,000 lakes which form one-fifth of the world’s fresh water reserves. Moreover, about 60% of the province’s land is classified as forested land, representing 2% of the world’s forests.
Multiculturalism is highly celebrated in Ontario, Toronto being called the most multicultural city in the world. Indeed, more than one hundred languages and dialects are spoken here, including several Algonquian-speaking and Iroquoian-speaking Aboriginal peoples.
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) supports employers by facilitating the immigration of managerial, professional and skilled foreign workers and international students required to meet their human resources needs.
The province of Ontario operates the OINP in partnership with the federal immigration department, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Interested candidates must follow a two-stage process: apply for nomination to the provincial government, and then, if nominated, apply for permanent residence to the federal government.
The OINP manages three immigration categories: Human Capital, Employer Job Offer and Business Immigration. Each category is further divided into several streams.
This category enables OINP to nominate candidates who have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to Ontario’s economy and labour market. It is comprised of three Express Entry streams and two international student streams:
- Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
- Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream
- Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream
- Masters Graduate Stream
- PhD Graduate Stream
Interested individuals may apply under this category only if they have the support of an Ontario employer who has extended to them a full-time indeterminate job offer.
- Foreign Worker Stream
- International Student Stream
- In-Demand Skills Stream
The Ontario Business Immigration program has one immigration stream directed to applicants with a successful business background.
- Entrepreneur Stream
There are five streams under which candidates can apply directly for Ontario nomination: Employer Job Offer (all three streams) and International Student (Masters and PhD Graduates).
The province also operates three Express Entry streams targeting applicants who have the requisite qualifications, including education, experience, language proficiency and ability to successfully establish in Ontario and contribute to the province’s economic development.
The Entrepreneur Stream has a special status among Ontario’s programs, as it accepts only expressions of interest. Interested candidates cannot apply directly for nomination, they must wait to be selected and invited to apply. However, they do not require a valid Express Entry profile, so they do not need to meet the requirements of any federal program.
Canada announced that a temporary public policy will be implemented to offer a pathway to permanent residence for eligible, out-of-status construction workers in the Greater Toronto Area.
The OINP issues periodic Notifications of Interest (NOI) to candidates in the Express Entry pool and invites them to apply for nomination under one of OINP’s Express Entry streams. The details and methodology used for each search are published after the draws are done.
History of Ontario’s NOIs
Status of OINP Streams
|Human Capital Priorities||Open||Linked to the federal Express Entry system|
|French-Speaking Skilled Worker||Open||Linked to the federal Express Entry system|
|Skilled Trades||Open||Linked to the federal Express Entry system|
|Employer Job Offer||Open||Job offer required under all three sub-streams|
|International Student (Masters Graduate)||Closed||Stream opens and closes throughout the year|
|International Student (PhD Graduate)||Open||Stream opens and closes throughout the year|
|Business Immigration (Entrepreneur)||Open||Eligible candidates submit an EOI and must wait for an invitation to apply|
Processing times are divided into two periods: how long it takes for the province to issue the nomination and then how long it takes for the permanent resident visa to be processed and issued.
Ontario currently estimates their processing times between 60-90 days for most streams.
The Express Entry Skilled Trades applications are being processed within 30-60 days. The Business applications’ processing times depend on the complexity of each file.
At the federal level, IRCC currently processes provincial non-Express Entry nominee applications within 15-19 months. For the Express Entry streams, the general average of 6 months applies.