Ontario Provincial Nominee Program

Ontario, the wealthiest province in Canada, has a substantial share of the natural resources in the country, along with a diversified industrial economy.  

Currently, the province is primarily urban in nature, with more than four/fifths of its population living in cities, towns, and suburbs.

Area-wise, Ontario is the second-largest Canadian province, after Quebec. 

Ontario is bordered by the US on the south, Quebec on the east, and the province of Manitoba to the west. Hudson Bay and James Bay lie towards the north of Ontario.

Toronto, the largest city in Canada, is the provincial capital. Ottawa, the national capital of Canada, also finds its place within Ontario.

Other prominent cities in Ontario include – London, Windsor, Kitchener, Brampton, Vaughan, Hamilton, Markham, and Mississauga.

A part of the Provincial Nominee Program [PNP] of Canada, Ontario has its own program – the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program [OINP] – for the induction of immigrants into the province.

Ontario’s economic immigration program, also commonly referred to as Toronto PNP, works in partnership with the Canadian government through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada [IRCC].  

International students, foreign workers and others that possess the right skills, education and experience might apply to the OINP for a nomination.

The OINP recognizes and nominates those individuals for permanent residence in Canada that they find to possess the skills and experience required by the economy in Ontario.

While nominating individuals for Canadian immigration through the PNP route is the prerogative of the provincial/territorial government concerned, it is the federal government of Canada that makes the final decision as to the grant of Canada PR.

Ontario PNP streams available






Employer Job Offer

For workers that already have a permanent job offer from an Ontario employer.

Foreign Worker stream

International Student stream

In-Demand Skills stream

Human capital category

For workers that possess valuable work experience, language skills, education, and a profile in IRCC’s Express Entry system.

Express Entry

French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream [FSSW]

Human Capital Priorities [HCP] stream

Skilled Trades [ST] stream

For graduate students

International Graduate stream

Masters Graduate stream

PhD Graduate stream

Business category

For entrepreneurs [from outside Canada] that intend either starting a new business or buying and growing an existing business in Ontario.

Entrepreneur stream



An Express Entry candidate that is able to secure a PNP nomination through any of the 3 Ontario Express Entry streams – the HCP, the FSSW, or the ST – will automatically be allotted 600 additional points towards their ranking scores as per the Comprehensive Ranking System [CRS].

It is the CRS score that decides as to which Express Entry profiles receive an invitation from IRCC to apply for permanent residence in Canada. It is the highest-ranked that are issued invitations to apply in the federal draws that are held from the Express Entry pool of candidates.

With a PNP nomination fetching CRS 600 points for an Express Entry candidate, they are guaranteed to be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence in the subsequent federal draw to be held. 

OINP draws in 2021


[1] Human Capital Priorities [HCP] stream

[2] French-Speaking Skilled Worker [FSSW] stream

[3] Skilled Trades [ST] stream

[4] Employer Job Offer [EJO]


Date of round of invitations  


NOIs / ITAs issued  

January 13, 2021



January 13, 2021



February 2, 2021



February 16, 2021 



March 2, 2021



March 3, 2021



April 13, 2021



May 4, 2021



May 11, 2021

EJO: Foreign Worker stream


May 18, 2021

EJO: International Student stream


May 25, 2021

EJO: Foreign Worker stream


May 26, 2021

EJO: International Student stream



Ontario nominee program – Total invitations in 2021, month-wise


























Ontario immigration – Steps to Apply

There are 3 basic steps to follow when applying for Canada immigration through the OINP. These are –

STEP 1: Establishing eligibility.

After you have selected the OINP stream that you will be applying under, make sure to determine whether you successfully fulfil the eligibility criteria required for that particular stream.

STEP 2: Applying for a nomination by the OINP.

An online application is to be made, through the OINP e-Filing Portal.

STEP 3: Apply to the federal government of Canada for permanent residence

Candidates successful in securing a nomination through Ontario PNP can proceed to applying for their Canadian permanent residence through IRCC.

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What is the OINP?

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is a program in which prospective immigrants with the skills and expertise required by the province will obtain an Ontario Provincial Nomination Certificate, allowing them to apply for permanent residence in Canada with processing times that are quicker than other Canadian immigration groups.

What is the Human Capital Priorities [HCP] stream of the OINP?

The HCP stream of the Ontario provincial nominee program, aligned with the federal Express Entry system, is targeted at highly-qualified skilled workers that have the potential of making a positive contribution to the provincial labour market.

I am an Express Entry candidate. How will a PNP nomination by the Ontario PNP program help me?

An Express Entry candidate that is successful in securing a PNP nomination will have 600 ‘additional’ points added to their CRS score, thereby guaranteeing that they would be invited by IRCC in the next federal draw to be held.

Is a connection to Ontario needed to be eligible for the OINP’s Human Capital Priorities [HCP] stream?

No. A connection to Ontario is not mandatory in order to be eligible for the Express Entry-aligned HCP stream of the OINP.

Do I need a valid job offer to apply to the OINP’s HCP stream?

A job offer is not a pre-requisite to be eligible for the HCP stream of the OINP.

What are OINP Tech Draws?

Tech Draws are a new opportunity that come under the HCP stream of the OINP. The aim of the OINP Tech Draws is to identify people with technological skills in the IRCC Express Entry pool.

Are all tech occupations covered by the OINP Tech Draws?

6 tech occupations – NOC 2173, NOC 2174, NOC 2147, NOC 2175, NOC 2172, and NOC 0213 – are specifically targeted in the OINP Tech draws.

What is the main difference between the BC PNP Tech Pilot and the OINP Tech Pilot?

The BC PNP targets 29 key tech occupations. The OINP Tech Draws, on the other hand, have a list of 6 eligible tech occupations.

What is the processing time for OINP applications?

The processing times vary from stream to stream. Applications that require more information or further clarification might take comparatively longer to process. As on February 11, 2021, the processing time for Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities was from 60 to 90 days.

How to get Canada PR via PNP?

Acquiring Canadian permanent residence through the PNP is a 2-step process.

Firstly, a nomination would have to be secured from the relevant provincial/territorial government.

Following the PNP nomination, the provincial nominee can then proceed to applying to IRCC for their Canada PR.

What is the Regional Immigration Pilot of the OINP?

The OINP’s Regional Immigration Pilot is a 2-year pilot program that has the aim of spreading the benefits of economic immigration to the smaller communities in Ontario.

For Ontario pilot program, nominations under the OINP’s Job Offer category are set aside for applicants looking to settle in any of the pilot communities.

Which communities come under Ontario’s Regional Immigration Pilot?

Communities taking part in Ontario’s Regional Immigration Pilot are –

  • Chatham-Kent
  • City of Cornwall
  • Cities of Belleville and Quinte West

To be considered by the OINP for the Regional Immigration Pilot, a completed intake form would have to be submitted. CVs and resumes will not be accepted by the OINP.

For 2021, a total of 150 nomination spaces are available for the pilot.

What are the immigration categories under the OINP?

The OINP has the following immigration categories:

1.Human Capital Category has two categories – Ontario’s Express Entry streams and the International Graduates streams.

Eligibility requirements

Express entry stream- Candidate must have received notification of interest from Ontario and have an updated profile.

International graduate stream- To qualify in either of its two streams- Masters Graduate or PhD Graduate streams- the candidate must have a degree from an eligible Ontario university and apply within two years of getting the degree.

2. General category or Employer Job Offer Category- three streams

  1. Foreign Worker stream- for individuals in skilled positions
  2. International Student stream-for individuals who have recently graduated in Ontario
  3. In-Demand Skills stream- for skilled workers in specific sectors such as agriculture, construction, trucking and personal support workers

Eligibility requirements

Full-time and permanent job offer from an employer in Ontario,

3.Business Category

Eligibility requirements

Candidate must be an entrepreneur from outside Canada looking to implement a new business idea or buy an existing business in Ontario.

What are the steps to apply for the OINP?

1.Ensure that you qualify

After selecting the stream, you want to apply under, ensure you fulfill all the mandatory requirements for the stream.

2. Apply for nomination by the Ontario government

Apply online, through the OINP e-Filing Portal, this will take two to three hours.

3. Apply to the Government of Canada for permanent residence

If your application is successful and you are nominated by the province, you can apply for your permanent residence through IRCC.

What are the features of the Ontario Express Entry category?

There are two immigration streams aligned with the Federal Express Entry immigration selection system. These are the Ontario Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream and Ontario Express Entry: French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream.

Ontario Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream: This stream is for international skilled workers who have the requisite qualifications, job experience, language proficiency, and other characteristics to help them integrate into Ontario’s labor market and communities.

Candidates must be able to join the federal Express Entry pool through either the Federal Skilled Worker Class or the Canadian Experience Class to be considered for this stream.

This stream does not accept direct applications. Instead, they must wait for the OINP to send them a Notification of Interest (NOI) based on their Express Entry profile.

Ontario Express Entry: French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream: This stream is for French-speaking professional workers with good English language skills who want to live and work in Ontario permanently. Effective applicants have the requisite qualifications, job experience, language skills, and other characteristics to help them integrate effectively into Ontario’s labor market and communities. Candidates must be able to join the federal Express Entry pool through either the Federal Skilled Worker Class or the Canadian Experience Class to be considered for this stream.

This stream does not accept direct applications. Instead, they must wait for the OINP to send them a Notification of Interest (NOI) based on their Express Entry profile.

Candidates who receive an enhanced provincial nomination from one of these streams will receive an additional 600 CRS points, resulting in an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence at a later date from the Express Entry pool.

What is the OINP General Category?

The General Category, also known as the Employer Category or the International Skilled Workers with a Job Offer Stream, allows Ontario employers to hire foreign workers for skilled positions that have been approved (NOC Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B). These workers may be based in Canada or abroad at the time of application.

Both the employer and the foreign national must request an application in this category to demonstrate that the eligibility criteria have been met. To have the vacancy they want to fill accepted, employers must first send a Pre-screen Application to the OINP. If this application is accepted, the employer must then send a Nominee Application to the OINP for the foreign worker they choose to hire.

How does one qualify as a skilled worker under the General Category?

Applicants who choose to work as a foreign worker under the OINP General Category must meet the following requirements:

Have at least two years (24 months) of paid and verifiable work experience in their intended occupation, either in Canada or abroad, during the previous five years OR have the requisite Ontario registration if applying for a regulated occupation in the province.

Have a permanent, full-time employment offer from an employer who is also submitting an application in a professional occupation (NOC levels 0, A, or B); and Be living abroad OR residing, employed, or visiting Canada on a valid work permit, study permit, or visitor record.

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