The capital of Canada – the wonderfully vibrant city of Ottawa – and the largest city, Toronto, are both in the most heavily populated province of Ontario.
This is the powerhouse of the Canadian economy and a popular target for foreigners looking to take up permanent residence in Canada.
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) targets foreign workers whom the Government of Ontario believes have skills that will be of benefit to the economy and community of the province.
Those deemed of interest will be issued a provincial nomination and may be eligible to apply for permanent residence. Ontario runs three immigration plans as follows:
- Human Capital Category
- Employer Job Offer Category
- Business Category
Human Capital Category
The Ontario Human Capital Category runs across five pathways. Three are in the Express Entry Stream and two in the International Graduates Streams.
The three Express Entry pathways are aligned with the federal government-run Express Entry scheme. To be eligible, candidates must have a valid profile in the Express Entry pool and have been invited by OINP to apply for provincial nomination.
Express Entry is a fast-track process run by the federal government of Canada that applies to applicants using the Ontario Express Entry programs. The applicant is required to submit an online profile. This will include details of their age, marital status, work experience, education, and other details. A rank will be determined using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
Those who score highly on the CRS, which is a pass or fail assessment, will be put into the Express Entry Pool. From the pool, a draw is made regularly and those who are successful are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA). At this stage, they can begin applying for permanent residence in Ontario.
As with all pathways, there are strict criteria that must be met.
Human Capital Priorities Stream – this pathway is aimed at persons who are deemed by OINP to have the required skills and experience, as well as suitable language proficiency and other criteria, to perform a skilled job that will benefit the province and community.
French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream – individuals with French as a first language and a strong command of English are invited to apply through this pathway. They will be required to prove relevant skilled work experience and education, as well as the ability to settle into the community.
Skilled Trades Stream – this category is for persons with trades deemed important to the province who have experience of working in Ontario either currently or recently.
International Graduates Streams
International students who have graduated from one of Ontario’s recognized educational establishments may apply via either of the two streams – one for Masters students the other for Ph.D. graduates – even without a present job offer.
Employer Job Offer Category
Individuals who have a valid permanent job offer from an Ontario employer may apply for permanent residence using one of the following streams:
Foreign Worker Stream – for foreigners who have a current job offer with an Ontario employer in a skilled position.
International Student Stream – international students with a current job offer in Ontario may apply via this route.
In-Demand Skills Stream – Ontario needs workers from abroad or currently in Canada for jobs in high-demand areas such as agriculture and construction.
Entrepreneur Stream – individuals who wish to set up or buy and run a business in Ontario are invited to apply via this stream. If successful, they will be issued a temporary work permit and run the business for one year while meeting set investment and performance levels, before being able to apply for permanent residence.