Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Ontario is Canada’s most popular landing destination for immigrants from around the world.

As Canada’s most populous province, nearly 40 percent of Canadians call Ontario home. Ontario is also home to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, and its largest city, Toronto. In many ways, Ontario is the center of Canada’s economic, social, and political life.

Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program is called the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

Through this program, prospective immigrants with the skills and experience targeted by the province may receive an Ontario Provincial Nomination Certificate, which will allow that foreign national to apply for Canadian Permanent Residence with processing times that are faster than other Canadian immigration classes.

The OINP accepts applications under the following immigration categories:

 

Ontario Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream

This stream enables the OINP to nominate individuals who are eligible to enter the federal Express Entry (Express Entry is a completely electronic process involving the federal government, provincial governments, and Canadian employers. In order to best serve your needs, please choose whether you are a potential candidate for Canadian immigration or a Canadian employer interested in hiring skilled workers.)  Pool and who have the required education, skilled work experience, language ability, and other characteristics to help them successfully establish and integrate into Ontario’s labour market and communities.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for the OINP Human Capital Priorities stream.

Ontario Express Entry: French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream

The Ontario French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream is for French-Speaking skilled workers who have strong English language abilities and who want to live and work permanently in Ontario. This stream enables the OINP to nominate individuals in the Express Entry pool and who have the required education, skilled work experience, language ability, and other characteristics to help them successfully establish and integrate into Ontario’s labour market and communities.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for the OINP French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream.

Ontario Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream

The Ontario Express Entry Skilled Trades stream targets tradespersons with ongoing or recent experience of working in Ontario.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for the OINP Express Entry Skilled Trades stream.

 

Employer Job Offer Category

Through this category, Ontario employers are able to recruit foreign workers for approved skilled positions (classified by the Government of Canada as NOC Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B). These employees may be living abroad or in Canada at the time of application.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for the OINP Employer Job Offer Stream for foreign workers.

Ontario has also launched the Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream, which targets workers in certain agriculture and construction occupations. Learn more about the Ontario Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream.

 

International Student Category

 

This category is for students from abroad. The International Students category accepts applications under the following three streams:

International Student with a Job Offer Stream

This stream was created to help employers recruit international students. It is open to Ontario employers and students with job offers in the province.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for the OINP International Student with a Job Offer Stream.

International Masters Graduate Stream

This stream targets individuals who have graduated with a Master’s degree from one of Ontario’s publicly funded universities. A job offer is not required.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for the OINP International Masters Graduate Stream.

International PhD Graduate Stream

This stream targets individuals who have graduated from a PhD program at one of Ontario’s publicly funded universities. A job offer is not required.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for the OINP International PhD Graduate Stream.

 

Business Category

Entrepreneur Stream

This stream is designed to attract individuals who are looking to implement a new business initiative or buy an existing business in Ontario. Successful applicants will obtain a temporary work permit support letter – based on a performance agreement – to establish the business in Ontario. If the investment and job creation agreements outlined in the performance agreement are adhered to, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to be nominated for Canadian permanent resident status.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for the OINP Entrepreneur Stream.

Corporate Stream

This stream aims to help and support established international corporations looking to expand into Ontario or buy an existing business. Once the business has been successfully established, key staff are eligible to apply for a provincial nomination certificate, allowing them to eventually become permanent residents of Canada.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) Corporate Stream helps and supports established international corporations looking to expand into Ontario or buy an existing business.

Once the business has been successfully established, key staff are eligible to apply for a provincial nomination certificate, allowing them to eventually become permanent residents of Canada. The principal applicant under this stream is the corporation's signing officer.

Take the opportunity to learn more about the OINP Corporate Stream through the following sections:

 

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Corporate Requirements

In order to be eligible, international corporations must:

  • Have been established for at least 36 months at the time of application;
  • Currently employ key staff seeking nominations, and these key staff must be essential to the business operation in Ontario;
  • Create five full-time permanent positions for Canadian citizens or permanent residents for each nominee position being sought;
  • Key staff nominees will have two years to demonstrate a minimum language requirement prior to permanent residence nomination; and
  • Create five new full-time permanent jobs for Canadians or permanent residents per key staff member.
    • Positions must be paid at or above the associated prevailing wage level.
    • The positions must be continuously filled for at least 10 months prior to the submission of the Final Report (see Nomination). 

In the case of business succession, the following additional criteria apply:

  • Any existing business must have been in continuous operation by the same owner for the previous 60 months (five years);
  • The purchase must completely transfer ownership from the previous owner(s) to the corporation;
  • The business must not have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees;
  • The proposed business plan must grow the business; 
  • The corporation must maintain, at minimum, the current wage levels and employment terms of existing staff;
  • The corporation must meet the job creation commitment; and
  • The corporation must preserve all existing permanent full-time jobs.

If the business to be established in Ontario is a land development or leasehold company, the following additional criteria apply:

  • Limit of three projects per year;
  • The proposed activity must be a permanent, ongoing business that seeks to expand or improve the current status of the land site, as well as ensure that the investing company has an ongoing and active management role in the proposed business;
  • Eligible leasehold companies must produce the proposed good or deliver a service of their own and not just set-up to manage the operations of other companies to make a profit;
  • Eligible land development companies have to demonstrate that the proposed business is a long-term and non-speculative investment and that the associated land development will be an integral part of the core ongoing business enterprise;
  • Corporations must provide local site certification documents and/or related local planning authority approval; and 
  • In the two-year monitoring period, the corporation must demonstrate that all of the commitments outlined in the Performance Agreement are met to setup the proposed operations and support the ongoing business in order to be eligible for nomination.

Investment Requirements

Under the OINP Corporate Stream, investments must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • The corporation must make a minimum investment of $5 million CAD to expand into Ontario or purchase an existing business in the province;
  • The investment funds must have been obtained from legal sources;
  • The proposed investment activity must be of significant economic benefit to Ontario, as determined by an assessment of the corporation's business plan;
  • If the business to be established in Ontario is a land development or a leasehold company, the following additional requirements apply:
    • The investment must be a minimum of $10 million CAD;
    • The proposed investment amount must cover more than the purchase price of the land and construction costs;

Proposed Business Requirements

In addition to the above, the proposed business in Ontario must:

  • Have a clear structural linkage to the Parent Corporation (e.g. a subsidiary, branch or affiliate of the corporation);
  • Intend to make a profit through the sale of goods and/or services;
  • Derive its primary income sources from active (earned) income, not passive (unearned) income;
  • Comply with Canadian legal requirements and all regulatory industry and licensing requirements which govern its legitimate operation;
  • Comply with all provincial labour laws, including but not limited to employment standards, health and safety, and labour relations legislation;
  • Be considered a permanent business in Ontario; and
  • Submit a business plan. A Business Plan is a written document that describes the proposed business in detail, including:
    • Purpose and objectives of the proposed business, including products, target markets, and operational strategies;
    • Operational and financial goals;
    • Challenges that lie between the execution of the business plan and the achievement of its purpose, objectives, and goals; and 
    • Strategies for overcoming challenges.

Key Staff and Position Requirements

Applicant corporations may request up to five key staff members who will establish the business in Ontario and who are seeking nomination to permanently relocate to the province. To apply with the corporation under the OINP Corporate Stream, these key staff must:

  • Be essential to the establishment and operation of the proposed business;
  • Be in a senior, executive, management or specialized knowledge capacity (National Occupation Classification 0 or A) in the applicant corporation's existing business;
    • Only one key staff in a NOC A position can be proposed. 
  • Have at least 36 months of experience in the last 60 months in the intended occupation (the position they will hold in the proposed business in Ontario) with the applicant corporation;
  • Be continuously working for the applicant corporation in that position in the immediate 12 months prior to the submission of the application;
  • Not have an immediate family relationship with any member of the corporation’s Executive Board or Board of Directors or shareholders with more than 10 percent equity in the applicant corporation;
    • Immediate family members include spouses, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and spouse’s immediate family members.
  • Not hold equity in the company, except in the case where that equity has been obtained as part of the remuneration package as part of the employee contract, in which case the equity held by the key staff must be less than 10 percent of the corporate applicant’s business; and
  • Be taking on permanent full-time positions in the proposed business in Ontario that meet the prevailing wage levels.

Additionally, in order to be nominated for permanent resident status, key staff must: 

  • Be in the position for which they were approved by the OINP and must be carrying out the approved job duties;
  • Physically reside in Ontario for at least 75 percent of each year (nine months out of the year) that they are in Ontario under a temporary work permit to support the business; and
  • Have a language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 in English and/or French.
    • Language proficiency must be demonstrated through the following International English Language Testing (IELTS) General Test Scores and Test d'Évaluation de Français scores in each language proficiency:
      • Listening: IELTS 5 or TEF 181-216
      • Reading: IELTS 4 or TEF 151-180
      • Writing: IELTS 5 or TEF 226-270
      • Speaking: IELTS 5 or TEF 226-270

 

Ineligible Businesses

Ontario will not process applications where there is a risk of little to no long-term economic benefit to the province. Consequently, the proposed business cannot be included in the list of ineligible businesses.

Ineligible Businesses in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA):

  • Existing Franchises in Ontario (new foreign franchises expanding into Ontario are permitted)
  • Gas Stations
  • Tire Recycling
  • Scrap Metal Recycling
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Bed and Breakfasts
  • Holding Companies
  • Laundromats
  • Automated Car Wash Operations
  • Payday loan and related businesses
  • Businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees

Ineligible Businesses outside the GTA:

  • Tire Recycling
  • Scrap Metal Recycling
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Holding Companies
  • Laundromats
  • Automated Car Wash Operations
  • Payday loan and related businesses
  • Businesses which have been previously owned/operated by current or former OINP business stream nominees

 

Interview

The principal applicant (the company signing officer) and all proposed key staff may be required to attend an in-person interview at the OINP offices in Ontario shortly after submitting the application. This interview serves to get a better understanding of the proposed business plan and the key staff members’ levels of experience. The applicant corporation is responsible for all transportation arrangements and costs incurred associated with the interview. 

 

Performance Agreement

If the application is approved, the corporation will be required to sign a Performance Agreement with the OINP, which outlines the commitments that the corporation must achieve for the key staff to be eligible for nomination for permanent resident status. This document will include, but may not be limited to:

  • A description of the business (including industry and its location);
  • The investment amounts and timelines;
  • The number and type of positions to be created for Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
  • Mandatory business milestones and achievements (depending on the specific business); and
  • Timeframes for any commitments.

Performance Agreements are unique to each corporation and are based on the information provided in the corporate application, the business plan, and the interview, if applicable. If the OINP is not satisfied that the business has successfully met the commitments outlined in the Performance Agreement, the key staff members will not be eligible to be nominated for permanent resident status.

 

Temporary Work Permit

Once the corporation has signed the Performance Agreement, the OINP will issue a Letter of Confirmation, which enables the key staff to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a temporary work permit. The temporary work permit will allow key staff and their families to move to Ontario on a temporary basis.

NOTE: Temporary work permits are not issued by the OINP; the key staff must apply through IRCC. A temporary work permit is the official document issued by the government of Canada that allows a foreign national to legally work on a temporary basis in Canada. 

 

Nomination

The corporation is responsible for submitting a Final Report, for which a template will be provided, between 18 and 20 months after the key staff arrive in Ontario with their valid temporary work permits. The report is required to initiate the nomination process and, therefore, can only be submitted after the OINP has completed the required monitoring of the business. In the Final Report, it is the corporation's responsibility to demonstrate that it has met all commitments outlined in the Performance Agreement.

It is important to note that each key staff member is responsible for his/her own nomination eligibility (as outlined in the above Minimum Eligibility Requirements section). If one key staff does not meet all of the general nomination requirements, other key staff may still be eligible for nomination.

Nominees who are successful in meeting all Performance Agreement obligations must apply to IRCC for permanent resident status within six months of being nominated by the OINP. The key staff’s application to IRCC must include a copy of the Letter of Nomination and a copy of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Confirmation of Nomination document in addition to the application for permanent residence.

If key staff are nominated for permanent resident status by OINP, the government of Canada reserves the right to deny their application for permanent resident status, based on inadmissibility to Canada (e.g. health, security, criminal or other inadmissibility). IRCC has the final decision-making authority for all permanent resident status applications.

Investors Stream

As of October 29, 2015, the OINP Investors Stream is closed and no longer accepting applications.

 

Below are the detailed eligibility requirements for the various categories of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

Under the OINP, candidates may qualify under one of the following categories:

 

Ontario Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream

This stream targets foreign skilled workers with the necessary education, work experience, language proficiency, and other characteristics to establish economically and settle in the province of Ontario. 

To be considered under this stream, candidates must qualify for the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) federal Express Entry pool through either the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Canadian Experience Class. Candidates may not apply directly to this stream. Instead, they must first receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the OINP based on their Express Entry profile. 

The OINP searches the Express Entry pool and identifies potential candidates who:

  • Have a minimum score of 400 under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), and
  • Meet the criteria of Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream (see below).

Candidates identified by the OINP will receive an NOI, which will invite them to apply to the OINP for nomination under the Human Capital Priorities Stream. From this point, selected candidates have 45 days to apply to the OINP under this stream. If their application is approved, candidates will be notified of their nomination by the OINP, which they can accept and use to apply to IRCC for permanent residence. 

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible under the Ontario Human Capital Priorities Stream, candidates must:

  • Score a minimum of 400 points under the CRS. The score must remain at or above 400 during both the Ontario nomination processing stage and at the federal application for permanent residence processing stage;
  • Have a minimum level of work experience;
    • Candidates who choose to be assessed against the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) criteria must have at least one year of continuous and full-time employment experience, or part-time equivalent, in a National Occupation Classification (NOC) level 0, A, or B occupation in the five years prior to the date of the NOI from the OINP.
    • Candidates who choose to be assessed against the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) criteria must have at least one year of cumulative and full-time employment experience, or part-time equivalent, in a NOC 0, A, or B occupation in Canada in the three years prior to the date of the NOI from the OINP.
  • Have a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree OR an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report produced by a designated organization indicating that their foreign education credential is equivalent to a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD;
  • Demonstrate a language proficiency level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or above in all four competencies (speaking, reading, writing, and listening);
    • Language proficiency must be proved by test results from one of the following designated testing agencies:
      • IELTS (General Training Test only) for english;
      • CELPIP (General test only) for english; or
      • TEF for french;
  • Intend to reside in Ontario, as demonstrated by a statement of intent and indication of ties to Ontario;
  • Possess sufficient funds to cover settlement costs in Ontario. This must be supported by bank statements; and
  • Meet the additional criteria under either the FSWP or CEC. 

 

To learn more about this Province, please contact our Experts at SALAMAS LAW FIRM

 

--------

 

 

Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream has issued 380 new invitations to apply for provincial nomination to immigration candidates in the federal Express Entry pool.

 

This is the second announcement this week of new Notifications of Interests, or NOIs, issued through the Human Capital Priorities Stream, which allows Ontario to search the federal Express Entry pool for eligible immigration candidates.

Express Entry candidates who receive an NOI can apply for a provincial nomination by Ontario. If successful, they get an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, putting an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence well within reach.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) said the NOIs issued in the latest round went to candidates with CRS scores between 433 and 444 and who submitted their profiles to the Express Entry pool between January 1 and January 25, 2018.

The minimum CRS score in this latest round, 433, was seven points lower than the minimum CRS score in the NOI round that took place January 23, in which 340 invitations were issued.

In order to be eligible for Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream, Express Entry candidates must have a CRS score of at least 400 points, among other eligibility criteria.

The latest Ontario draw follows an Express Entry round of invitations that took place an January 24 in which 2,750 candidates with a minimum CRS score of 444 were issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

The Human Capital Priorities Stream was one of the OINP’s most active in 2017, opening on numerous occasions over the course of the year. The OINP said it will continue to issue NOIs on a regular basis.

“It’s exciting to see such a busy week in the province of Ontario. In two rounds, we’ve seen more than 700 Express Entry candidates receive NOIs and a CRS minimum that dropped by seven points,” said Attorney David Cohen, senior partner with the Canadian immigration law firm Campbell, Cohen. “Added to that is the level of detail that Ontario is now providing about its invitation rounds. All in all, it’s been an important week for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program and its Human Capital Priorities Stream.”