An Ultimate Guide to the Ontario PNP Program

When envisioning a life in Canada, Ontario emerges as the preferred destination, celebrated for its prosperity, diversity, and abundant career possibilities. The Ontario PNP Program, officially known as the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is the gateway to economic immigration. Collaborating with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Ontario PNP Program enables foreign employees, international students, and skilled workers to seek nominations for permanent residency.
Here is the ultimate guide that outlines the criteria and processes that will help you with a promising journey to the horizons of Ontario.

Why Ontario PNP ( OINP)?

The Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP) stands out as an exceptional choice for immigration due to Ontario’s status as a leading and advanced province in Canada. Renowned for its substantial job prospects with the highest remuneration in the country, OINP attracts a significant number of global immigrants annually. Ontario’s appeal extends beyond its economic offerings, boasting a diverse population that comprises nearly 40 percent of Canada’s total. The province also boasts top-tier educational institutions, making it an optimal destination for those seeking quality education.

What is the Ontario PNP Program?

The Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is a government initiative that allows the province of Ontario to select immigrants with the skills, experience, and qualifications required to meet the province’s economic and labor market needs. Through this program, Ontario can nominate individuals for Canadian permanent residency.

Some Ontario immigration streams are base streams and others are enhanced streams.

Enhanced Streams:
Aligned with the Express Entry system, a cornerstone of Canada’s federal immigration process, Enhanced Streams offer a fast-track route to permanent residency. Through this system, candidates are assessed based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), which awards points for factors such as age, education, work experience, and language proficiency. Individuals nominated through Enhanced Streams gain an additional 600 CRS points, essentially ensuring an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. This elevated ranking significantly enhances their chances of receiving an ITA. Moreover, their provincial nomination is seamlessly integrated into their Express Entry profile.

Base Streams:
On the other hand, Base Streams operate independently from the Express Entry system. Candidates who receive a provincial nomination through these streams need to apply directly to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residency. While not directly connected to the CRS scoring system, Base Streams still offer a valuable route for those who do not meet the criteria of the Express Entry system.

Who is eligible for the Ontario PNP Program?

Eligibility criteria vary depending on the specific streams within the Ontario PNP Program. Generally, candidates must have a full-time, permanent job offer from an Ontario employer, meet the minimum work experience, license, or other authorization that is required to perform the job, possess the necessary language proficiency, and have sufficient funds to support themselves and their families.

How does the Ontario PNP Program work?

The OINP is designed to contribute to job creation, job retention, and economic development by attracting new investment, and by helping employers in targeted sectors to attract and retain qualified employees for jobs for which there are currently labor-market needs. The program operates through various streams, each targeting different categories of candidates, such as skilled workers, international graduates, and entrepreneurs. Once nominated by Ontario, candidates can then apply for permanent residency through the federal immigration system.

How to Apply for the Ontario PNP Program?

Applying for the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) involves a structured process with distinct steps to follow. Here’s a concise breakdown of the application journey:

Step 1: Confirm Eligibility

  • Identify the specific stream under which you intend to apply and ensure you meet all mandatory requirements before proceeding.

Step 2: Create a Profile

  • For Express Entry Streams: Submit your profile online via IRCC. Your profile will be evaluated using a point-scoring system.
  • Entrepreneur Stream: Register an expression of interest via email. If invited, submit an online application and attend an interview.
  • Other Streams: Register an expression of interest as per your chosen stream.

Step 3: Apply for OINP Nomination

  • If invited or upon receiving a notification of interest:
    • Express Entry Streams: Apply online within 45 calendar days.
    • Employer Job Offer and International Student: Apply online within 14 calendar days.
  • Pay the application fees, ranging from $1,500 CAD to $3,500 CAD, depending on your chosen program.

Step 4: Apply for Permanent Residence

Once your OINP application is successful, proceed to apply for permanent residence through IRCC. The final decision on your permanent residency will be made by the Government of Canada.

Note: The OINP e-Filing Portal application typically takes 2 to 3 hours to complete.

By following this streamlined process, you can navigate the application process for the Ontario PNP Program with clarity and confidence, taking you one step closer to making Ontario your new home.

What is the CRS score for the Ontario PNP Program?

The minimum Ontario PNP CRS requirement to be considered is 400 CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) Points.

Is the Ontario PNP difficult to get into?

Because of Ontario’s large immigration quotas, the province organizes frequent draws, making it one of the easiest provinces in Canada to obtain PR for qualified candidates.

What are the different Ontario PNP streams?

Ontario extends invitations to eligible candidates through 4 primary immigration categories, each comprising various sub-streams.

1) Human Capital Priority Steams

OINP Human Capital Priorities Stream is the most popular stream for foreign skilled workers with enough experience, education, and language abilities. The Human Capital Priorities Stream is designed for skilled workers who want to live and work permanently in Ontario.

  • Ontario Tech Pilot
    • The Ontario Tech Pilot, a substream within this category, was created to address skill shortages and attract skilled foreign individuals for recruitment and retention in the software industry. Encompassing 29 distinct professions, the Ontario Tech Pilot aims to fulfill the industry’s workforce needs.
  • OINP French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
    • This category is for French-speaking foreign workers with strong English language abilities who want to live and work permanently in Ontario.
  • OINP Skilled Trades Stream
    • The OINP Skilled Trades Stream caters to foreign workers possessing Ontario work experience in a qualifying skilled trade, offering them an avenue to establish permanent residency and employment within Ontario. Certain cases might require skilled trades certification.

To qualify for the pilot, it’s essential to meet the prerequisites of the Human Capital Priorities program and possess at least one year of verified professional experience in the relevant technology field.

2) Masters and Ph.D. Categories

The OINP International Student Category is specifically designed for international students in Ontario under the following sub-categories:

  • OINP International Student Stream
    • The OINP International Student Stream caters to recent graduates with a job offer in Ontario. To be eligible, international students must have completed a full-time degree, diploma program, or a one-year post-graduate certificate program of at least two years in duration at an eligible publicly-funded Canadian college or university. A requirement is that at least half of their studies must have been undertaken in Canada, and they must apply within two years of their graduation.
  • OINP Masters Graduate Stream
    • The OINP Masters Graduate Stream is designed for individuals who hold a master’s degree from an Ontario university. It is available to students who have successfully completed a Master’s degree at an eligible publicly funded university in Ontario, without the necessity of having a job offer.
  • OINP Ph.D. Graduate Stream
    • The OINP Ph.D. Graduate Stream is tailored for individuals who possess a Ph.D. degree from an Ontario university. It caters to students who have completed their Ph.D. studies at an eligible publicly funded university in Ontario, and it does not mandate a job offer as a requirement for eligibility.

3) The Employer Job Offer Category

This program consists of two streams:

  • OINP Foreign Worker Stream
    • The OINP Foreign Worker Stream is designed for skilled workers who hold a job offer within Ontario. This stream of the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OPNP) serves the purpose of assisting employers in fulfilling their human resource requirements by facilitating the recruitment of foreign workers and international students. Ontario-based employers have the opportunity to hire foreign workers for approved skilled positions under this category. These individuals can either be residing abroad or in Canada when applying.
  • OINP In-Demand Skills Stream
    • The OINP In-Demand Skills Stream is tailored for skilled workers employed in in-demand occupations who possess a job offer within Ontario. This stream focuses on individuals working in specific sectors such as agriculture and construction.

4) Entrepreneur Category

The OINP Entrepreneur Stream is designed for individuals aiming to establish a new business venture or acquire an existing one in Ontario. Those who are approved will receive a temporary work permit support letter through a performance agreement, facilitating their business establishment in the province. By fulfilling the investment and job creation commitments specified in the agreement, entrepreneurs become eligible for nomination towards obtaining Canadian permanent resident status.

What are the requirements for each Ontario PNP stream?

The Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) offers various streams for immigration, each with its own specific requirements.

Human Capital Category:

  • No job offer required.
  • Aligned with the Express Entry system for enhanced streams.
  • Includes:
    • Human Capital Priorities Stream: Requires a valid Express Entry profile, one year of work experience, a bachelor’s, masters, or PhD degree, and language proficiency.
    • French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream: Requires a valid Express Entry profile, one year of work experience, a bachelor’s, masters, or PhD degree, strong French and English skills.
    • Skilled Trades Stream: Requires a valid Express Entry profile, one year of work experience, a valid certificate or license, current Ontario residency, and language proficiency.

Masters or PhD Category:

  • Not aligned with Express Entry.
    Includes:
    • Masters Graduate Stream: Requires a Masters degree from an Ontario university, one year of legal residence in Ontario, and language proficiency.
    • PhD Graduate Stream: Requires a PhD degree from an Ontario university and one year of legal residence in Ontario.

Employer Job Offer Category:

  • Requires a job offer in Ontario.
    Includes:
    • Foreign Worker Stream: Requires a full-time, permanent job offer, relevant work experience, intent to live in Ontario, and meeting additional employer-specific criteria.
    • In-Demand Skills Stream: Requires a job offer in an in-demand occupation, relevant work experience, intent to live in Ontario, and language proficiency.
      International Student Stream: Requires a job offer in an occupation related to your Ontario degree, relevant work experience, intent to live in Ontario, and meeting additional employer-specific criteria

Business Category:

This is for those who are starting or buying a business in Ontario.

  • Entrepreneur Stream: Requires 24 months of business experience, a net worth of CAD $800,000 (GTA) or CAD $400,000 (outside GTA), personal investment of CAD $600,000 (GTA) or CAD $200,000 (outside GTA), active business management, profit-oriented investment, job creation, and additional criteria for purchasing an existing business.
How long does it take to get a decision on my Ontario PNP application?

Processing times vary depending on the stream and individual circumstances. Generally, processing times can range from 70 to 120 days. It’s important to check the current processing times and be patient during the evaluation process.

How to Stay Updated on Ontario PNP Rules and Policies?

To stay informed about Ontario PNP rules and policies, regularly visit the official Ontario government website or subscribe to their newsletters. You can also follow IMM Consults, the best immigration experts for timely advice.

How to Seek Help for Your Ontario PNP Application?

When seeking help for your Ontario PNP application, consider immigration consultants and lawyers. Immigration consultants provide advice and assistance throughout the application process, while immigration lawyers can provide legal expertise. To select a trustworthy professional:

  1. Check their credentials and membership in relevant professional organizations.
  2. Read reviews and seek recommendations from others who have used their services.
  3. Inquire about their experience with Ontario PNP cases.
  4. Discuss the costs involved upfront and ensure transparency.

Cost implications and considerations: Seeking professional assistance for your Ontario PNP application comes with associated costs. These costs can vary based on the complexity of your case and the services provided by the consultant or lawyer. Weigh the potential benefits of professional assistance against the fees. A well-prepared application can increase your chances of success and save time. Seeking professional assistance can also enhance your chances of a successful application.

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