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Ontario Immigration

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.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) offers various streams through which individuals can apply for permanent residency in the Canadian province of Ontario. These streams are specifically designed to address the labor market needs and economic priorities of the province. Let's discuss the different OINP streams in detail.

 

1. Employer Job Offer Category:
   - Foreign Worker Stream: This stream allows individuals with a permanent job offer in Ontario to apply for permanent residency. The job offer must be in a skilled occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B.
   - International Student Stream: Aimed at international students with a job offer from an Ontario employer, this stream grants them an opportunity to live and work permanently in Ontario.
   - In-Demand Skills Stream: This stream targets individuals who possess specified in-demand skills in Ontario's labor market. Candidates must have at least nine months of full-time work experience in one of the eligible occupations.

 

2. Masters Graduate Stream:
   - This stream is exclusively for international students who completed a Master’s degree at an eligible Ontario university. It allows them to apply for permanent residency in the province.

3. Ph.D. Graduate Stream:
   - Similar to the Masters Graduate Stream, this stream is for international students who completed a Ph.D. (Doctoral) degree from an eligible Ontario university. It allows them to apply for permanent residency in Ontario.

 

4. Ontario’s Express Entry Streams
   - Human Capital Priorities Stream: In collaboration with the federal government's Express Entry system, this stream allows Ontario to select candidates from the Express Entry pool who meet specific criteria. Candidates are required to have a strong language proficiency, relevant work experience, and meet the eligibility requirements of either the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Canadian Experience Class.
   - French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream: Targeted at French-speaking candidates with strong English language skills, this stream allows candidates to apply for permanent residency if they meet the eligibility criteria of either the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Canadian Experience Class.

 

These are the main streams under the OINP that cater to different categories of individuals, such as skilled workers, international students, and those with specific language skills. Each stream has unique eligibility requirements, and the application process involves submitting supporting documents, paying fees, and meeting other criteria set by the OINP. Successful candidates receive a provincial nomination, which significantly increases their chances of obtaining permanent residency in Ontario.

 Let's discuss the Employer Job Offer Category, which encompasses the Business Category and the Human Capital Category, in more detail:

1. Employer Job Offer Category:
   This category is designed for individuals who have a job offer from an employer in Ontario and want to apply for permanent residency. It consists of two sub-categories:

   a. Business Category:
      This sub-category targets individuals who have a permanent and full-time job offer from an eligible employer under the Entrepreneur Stream, the Corporate Stream, or the Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream. The purpose is to attract entrepreneurs, senior managers, and key staff to contribute to the economic development of Ontario.

 

2. Entrepreneur Stream: This stream is for individuals who want to establish a new business or buy an existing one in Ontario. Candidates must have a minimum net worth, invest a specified amount in their business, and create employment opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
      - Corporate Stream: Aimed at established international corporations, this stream allows them to expand their business into Ontario or buy an existing business. Key staff who are essential to the business' establishment, operations, or development can also apply for permanent residency.
      - Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream: This stream is for individuals who possess specific in-demand skills in the Ontario labor market and have a job offer from an eligible employer.

   b. Human Capital Category:
      This sub-category is designed for foreign workers and international students with job offers in Ontario and falls into three further streams:

      - Foreign Worker Stream: Intended for individuals with a permanent and full-time job offer from an eligible employer in a skilled occupation. The occupation must fall under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B.
      - International Student Stream: This stream is open to individuals who recently completed a qualification from an eligible post-secondary institution in Ontario and have a job offer for a skilled occupation, NOC skill level 0, A, or B.
      - In-Demand Skills Stream: This stream targets individuals with work experience in specific in-demand occupations in Ontario, with a job offer from an eligible employer.

These streams within the Employer Job Offer Category provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, skilled workers, and international students to obtain permanent residency in Ontario. Each stream has specific criteria and requirements, and the application process involves demonstrating eligibility, submitting supporting documents, and meeting the obligations set by the OINP.

The Business Category under the Employer Job Offer Category of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is divided into three streams. Let's explore each stream in detail:

1. Entrepreneur Stream:
   The Entrepreneur Stream is designed for individuals who want to establish a new business or buy an existing one in Ontario. It aims to attract entrepreneurs who can contribute to the economic development of the province. Here are some key details:
   - Net Worth Requirement: Candidates must have a minimum net worth that varies based on the location of the business. In the Greater Toronto Area, the net worth requirement is CAD $800,000, and outside the GTA, it is CAD $400,000.
   - Investment Requirement: Applicants are required to make a minimum investment of CAD $600,000 in their business within the Greater Toronto Area or CAD $200,000 outside the GTA.
   - Job Creation: As part of the commitment to job creation, entrepreneurs must create at least two permanent full-time positions for Canadian citizens or permanent residents within the business.
   - Business Performance Agreement: Successful applicants will receive a temporary Work Permit to establish and operate their business in Ontario. They must sign a Business Performance Agreement outlining their commitment to meeting the terms and conditions of the program.
 
2. Corporate Stream:
   The Corporate Stream targets established international corporations that want to expand their business operations into Ontario or acquire an existing business. Additionally, key staff members who are essential to the establishment, operations, or development of the business can also apply for permanent residency. Here are some key details:
   - Investment and Job Creation: Corporations are required to invest a minimum of CAD $5 million if locating within the Greater Toronto Area or CAD $3 million outside the GTA. They should also create at least five permanent full-time positions for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
   - Business Plan: Applicants must submit a comprehensive business plan that outlines the specifics of the proposed business in Ontario, including the investment and job creation plans.
   - Business Performance Agreement: Similar to the Entrepreneur Stream, successful applicants will sign a Business Performance Agreement detailing their commitment to meeting the program requirements.
 
3. Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream:
   The Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream caters to individuals with specific skills that are in high demand in the Ontario labor market. It allows employees in specified occupations to apply for permanent residency if they have a job offer from an eligible employer. Here are some key details:
   - Job Offer Requirement: Candidates must have a permanent and full-time job offer from an eligible employer in Ontario in one of the eligible occupations specified by the OINP.
   - Work Experience: Applicants are required to have at least 12 months of full-time work experience or equivalent part-time work experience in Ontario within the past three years in the same occupation as the job offer.
   - Education and Language Requirements: Individuals applying through this stream need at least a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent and meet the required levels of English or French language proficiency.
 
These streams within the Business Category of the OINP provide opportunities for individuals with entrepreneurial ambitions and
established corporations to contribute to Ontario's economy and obtain permanent residency. Each stream has specific criteria and requirements, and successful applicants are expected to meet their commitments as outlined in the Business Performance Agreement.

The Human Capital Category under the Employer Job Offer Category of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is divided into three streams. Let's explore each stream in detail:

1. Foreign Worker Stream:
   The Foreign Worker Stream is designed for individuals who have a permanent and full-time job offer from an eligible employer in Ontario. The job offer must be in a skilled occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B. Here are some key details:
   - Job Offer Requirement: Candidates must have a valid job offer that meets the criteria mentioned above from an employer in Ontario.
   - Work Experience: Applicants must have at least nine months of cumulative paid full-time work experience in the intended occupation within the past three years prior to the application.
   - Education: Individuals applying through this stream need at least a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent educational qualification.
   - Language Proficiency: Candidates must demonstrate language proficiency in either English or French at the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 4 or higher.

 

2. International Student Stream:
   The International Student Stream is aimed at international students who have recently completed a qualification from an eligible post-secondary institution in Ontario. The stream allows them to apply for permanent residency if they have a job offer for a skilled occupation, falling under the NOC skill level 0, A, or B. Here are some key details:
   - Job Offer Requirement: Candidates must have a valid job offer that meets the criteria mentioned above from an employer in Ontario.
   - Study Requirement: Applicants must have completed at least two years of full-time study (or equivalent) at an eligible publicly-funded post-secondary institution in Ontario.
   - Graduation Requirements: Students need to fulfill all graduation requirements from their institution and obtain either a degree, diploma, or certificate.
   - Language Proficiency: Like the Foreign Worker Stream, candidates must demonstrate language proficiency at the CLB 4 level or higher.

 

3. In-Demand Skills Stream:
   The In-Demand Skills Stream is designed for individuals with work experience in specific in-demand occupations in Ontario. It allows them to apply for permanent residency if they have a job offer from an eligible employer in Ontario. Here are some key details:
   - Job Offer Requirement: Candidates must have a valid job offer from an employer in Ontario in one of the eligible in-demand occupations specified by the OINP.
   - Work Experience: Applicants must have at least 12 months of cumulative paid full-time work experience (or the equivalent in part-time work) in Ontario in the intended occupation within the past three years.
   - Education: Individuals applying through this stream need at least a Canadian high school diploma or equivalent educational
qualification.
   - Language Proficiency: Candidates must demonstrate language proficiency in either English or French at the CLB 4 level or higher.

These streams within the Human Capital Category of the OINP provide opportunities for foreign workers and international students with job offers in Ontario to obtain permanent residency. Each stream has specific eligibility requirements and criteria that applicants must fulfill. Successful candidates are expected to meet the obligations set by the OINP and contribute to Ontario's labor market and economy.

Ontario operates an Expression of Interest system to manage the intake of five streams: 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. Find out more here.

 

OINP Draws

The OINP issues periodic Invitations to Apply (ITAs) through its Expression of Interest system and Notifications of Interest (NOIs) to candidates in the Express Entry pool, allowing them to apply for nomination under one of the targeted streams. The details and methodology used are published after the draws are done.

Processing Times

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.

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