The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is part of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program that allows potential immigrants who want to come to Canada in order to contribute to the economy of Ontario to apply to immigrate to Ontario. In 2020,  the program brought a total of 15,303 new immigrants to Ontario. The program works in partnership with the Government of Canada through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Just last week, the provincial government announced upcoming changes intended to help the program better respond to market needs, which we’ll discuss below.

The Basics of Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program

There are three ways you can qualify for a nomination under the OINP:

1. Employer Job Offer Category

This category is for workers who already have a permanent job offer from an Ontario employer. There are three streams in the employer job offer category. In order to qualify you must a full-time and permanent job offer from an Ontario employer. The streams under this category are:

2. Human Capital Category

This category is for workers who have valuable work experience, education, language skills, and a profile in Canada’s Express Entry system; or for graduate students. There are two sub-categories in this category, which are the International Graduates category and the Ontario Express Entry category.

International Graduates

To qualify under the Masters Graduate or PhD Graduate streams, you must have a graduate degree from an eligible Ontario university and apply within two years of getting your degree.

Ontario Express Entry

To qualify under Ontario’s Express Entry streams, you must have received a notification of interest from Ontario and have an up-to-date profile with your most current work experience, language tests and education in the federal government’s Express Entry system. There are three different streams under this sub-category. The streams are for French Speaking workers, Human Capital Priorities and skilled trades.

3. Business Category

This category is for entrepreneurs looking to start a new or buy an existing business in Ontario. This category has one stream. You must an entrepreneur from outside of Canada who is looking to implement a new business idea or buy and grow an existing business in Ontario.

Application process

There are three steps to the application process. Firstly, you have to make sure you qualify with the mandatory requirements for that stream. Next, you have to apply to be nominated by the Ontario government, through the OINP e-Filing Portal. The process of completing the application takes roughly 2-3 hours and costs range from $1,500-3,500 depending on which stream you are applying under. The final step, if your application is successful, is applying to the Government of Canada for Permanent Residence status, as the Government of Canada has the final say on who is ultimately accepted to become a permanent resident of Canada.

Province Introducing Expression of Interest System

On March 15, some changes to the program were announced, as regulatory amendments were made in order to introduce an Expression of Interest (EOI) system for the OINP program.

Ontario expects implementing the EOI system will bring some benefits, such as helping to manage strategic intake, increasing the OINP’s labour market responsiveness and helping to better respond to regional labour market meets.

OINP applicants are divided into different streams, and the EOI system will apply to three of these streams. The streams that EOI applies to are:

Although these streams have been closed to new applicants, and remain so, the Ontario government has indicated that they will be open for new applicants in the “coming weeks”.

The EOI system is a points based registration system that will help Ontario select skilled immigrants to meet the province’s labour needs. The system changes the OINP application process for the above streams by making it so applications are not filled on a first-come-first-served basis, as they were before the change. This change bodes well for workers with impressive resumes, as they will become more likely to be selected under the program.

Contact Garson Immigration Law in Toronto

Garson Immigration Law is a firm exclusively dedicated to the practice of immigration law. We are experts in successfully guiding clients through the immigration process. We will work to find an effective solution for your individual immigration needs and ensure you are positioned for success with respect to your application. 

The immigration lawyers at Garson Immigration Law are continuing to monitor the immigration fallout in relation to COVID-19 on both sides of the border and will provide updates as the situation develops. If you have any questions about your potential classification as essential or about how you should comply with the changing regulations, do not hesitate to reach out to us online or by calling us at 416-321-2860.

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