Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker’s Stream is for French speakers who also possess good English language skills. You must additionally qualify for IRCC’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) or Canadian Experience Class (CEC) streams as a precondition. If you are a skilled worker in either management or specialized skilled areas or professional jobs requiring a university education and you are a French speaker with good English skills, the OINP’s French-Speaking Skilled Workers Stream may be just what you need, giving you 600 additional CRS points which will guarantee you receive an Invitation to Apply or ITA from IRCC. The province of Ontario is looking to boost the portion of French-speaking immigrants to 5% of the province’s total so this is a great opportunity for bilingual francophones.
Who is Eligible?
The first step is to ensure you qualify for Express Entry and can be placed in a pool of candidates. You will then be selected by the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) if your language ability, work experience, and other factors suggest you can successfully contribute to Ontario’s economy. To qualify for IRCC’s Express Entry you must:
- Go to the Do You Want to Come to Canada as a Skilled Immigrant? page found here. You will be asked a set of questions which you must answer truthfully and completely. If you successfully pass this initial screening and are considered qualified for Express Entry, you will receive a reference number.
- Use your reference number to create an online profile at Express Entry. You will then receive an Express Entry Profile number and a Job Seeker Validation Code. You will need your profile number and validation code if you receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) and decide to apply to OINP’s French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream.
- You will also receive a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score which will be used to evaluate your application.
- You must also qualify under one of the following two Express Entry programs:
- Please remember when creating your profile at Express Entry to indicate Ontario or All provinces and territories from the drop-down menu that you use to identify where you intend to settle in Canada. If you indicate another province or territory you will not receive a NOI.
The OINP eligibility criteria will depend in part on what Express Entry stream you indicate in your application: FSWP or CEC. This is especially true of work experience. The criteria are similar to Express Entry’s ranking factors but are calibrated according to Ontario’s labour market needs at any given time:
This will depend on whether you choose FSW or CEC.
You must first find your National Occupational Classification or NOC code. Go here for tutorials on how to search the NOC website to find the code that matches your work experience. Also, please note that any work experience you gain after you receive your NOI will NOT count towards your work experience. Please remember that unpaid voluntary work or unpaid internships do NOT count as work experience.
- You must have 1 continuous year of full-time paid work experience during the past 5 years, which means no gaps between jobs.
- The work must be in jobs that are NOC type 0 (management jobs), or NOC skill level A (professionals requiring university degrees) or B (jobs requiring college diplomas or specialized skills/training).
- Full-time work can be defined as either 30 hours or more per week for a total of 1,560 hours worked over 1 year; or 15 hours a week over 2 years for a total of 1,560 hours; or 30 hours per week in several concurrent (at the same time) jobs that total 1,560 hours over 1 year. Your work experience can be in Canada or overseas.
You must have 1 year of cumulative work experience (full-time or part-time equivalent) in Canada, over the past 3 years. You are allowed to have gaps between jobs, unlike in the case of FSWP. Your work experience must be NOC skill type 0, or NOC skill level A, or B.
You must have the equivalent of a Canadian Bachelor’s Degree or a Masters, or PhD. If your degree was obtained abroad, you need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from one of the following designated organizations:
- Comparative Education Service
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Services
- International Credential Evaluation Service
- Medical Council of Canada
- Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
Remember to authorize whichever organization is providing your ECA to share the results with the OINP as well as the IRCC. If you don’t authorize them to share your results with the OINP and if you don’t provide a copy of your ECA report to the OINP, your application will be returned as incomplete.
You must have a Canadian Language Benchmark or CLB 7 or higher in French and a CLB 6 or higher in English. The tests must have been within the past 2 years. This means you must be functionally bilingual in order to qualify. The OINP only accepts the following tests for language proficiency:
- TEF Canada – for French language ability, OR,
- TCF Canada – for French language ability
- IELTS General Training – for English language ability, OR
- CELPIP General Test – for English language ability
The following chart shows the minimum test scores you need to qualify:
|Number of Family Members||Funds Required (in Canadian dollars)|
|For each additional family member||$3,414|
Please remember that these amounts are updated every year, so check IRCC's website to be sure you will have sufficient funds. The funds can be achieved through one or through a combination of the following:
- Funds readily converted to cash such as bank accounts or investment accounts or term deposits. You will need copies of statements proving this. Remember to black out with a magic marker any Credit Card numbers on the forms.
- Annual income/earnings from ongoing employment in Ontario
- A job offer, (with the salary indicated), in Ontario.
This means that if you have the equivalent of CAD$10,000 in a bank account and you have a job offer in Ontario that will pay you $36,000 a year, you have a total of $46,000 in settlement funds which is generally more than enough, unless you have an extremely large family to support.
Intention to Reside in Ontario
You will be required to submit proof of your intent to settle in Ontario. This can include the following:
- Proof of current or previous employment in Ontario
- Proof of job offers and/or job interviews in Ontario
- Proof of education in Ontario
- Proof of volunteer work in Ontario (remember this does not count towards work experience but does count towards proving your intent to reside and work in Ontario)
- Lease agreement for a residence in Ontario
- Proof of ownership of property in Ontario
- Professional networks and affiliations
- Family ties in Ontario
- Personal or social connections to Ontario
- Visits to Ontario
If you are already in Ontario or Canada, you must be on a valid work, study or visitor permit. If you have implied status, which is when you are in the process of renewing your temporary permit, you can also apply to the OINP.
FSW points (if applicable)
If you chose to be assessed under FSW, you will need a minimum of 67 points under the FSW points grid which is not the same as the CRS points system although it deals with similar assessment factors.
How to Apply
Once you have qualified for Express Entry and have uploaded your profile and it is placed in the candidate’s pool, your profile will be assessed and, if successful, you will receive a Notification of Interest from OINP. This will come through your IRCC online account. Your NOI will not tell you under which Express Entry stream (FSW or CEC) you qualify. It is your responsibility to ensure that whichever stream you choose to be evaluated under when you apply to the OINP, you ensure that you qualify for that stream.
Let’s review the steps so far and then continue with the following steps in your application under the French-Speaking Skilled Workers stream.
Create a profile at Express Entry and receive an Express Entry profile number and Job Seeker validation code.
The OINP selects workers from the Express Entry candidate pools and sends them a Notification of Interest or NOI.
Once you receive an NOI, you have 45 calendar days to submit an online application at OINP’s website. The process is as follows:
Go here to begin your online application at OINP’s website. Read the page carefully and click on the rectangle with blue letters in a red outline at the bottom of the page to start the online application process. The online form will take several hours to complete but you can save your work and return at a later time to finish it, if you wish.
There is a processing fee of CAD$1,500 which you must pay when you apply to OINP. The fee is paid online (electronically) and ONLY by:
- Visa Credit Card OR
- MasterCard Credit Card
- NO OTHER form of payment will be accepted.
You will need to upload copies of the following documents with your OINP application.
- Copy of NOI
- Copy of passport or visa photograph of high quality
- Copy of your entire valid passport
- Copy of personal details pages of passport of each dependent family member
- Copy of temporary work, study, or visitor permit issued by IRCC AND
- Copy of letter from IRCC acknowledging receipt of application to extend status if applicable
- Copy of Canadian university degree AND copy of transcript
- Copy of ECA report if degree from abroad
- Copies of language test results
- Copy of a full resume with work experience and education listed
- Copies of letters of reference from all employers listed in your application on company letterhead with full details of your duties and responsibilities
- Copies of work contracts from current and previous employers (optional)
- Copies of proof of compensation: including pay slips, bank statements, income tax receipts etc.
- Copies of CRA T4’s if you have worked in Canada
- Copies of any required licenses or authorisations if you work in a regulated occupation
- Copies of business registration and income tax returns if you are using self-employment as work experience under FSWP.
- Copies of 3 most recent months of bank statements as proof of settlement funds
- Copies of investment accounts or term deposit statements as proof of settlement funds
- Copies of employment contract or job offer letter if using job offer to meet settlement fund requirements
- Copies of current work permit if working in Ontario
- Copies of LMIA if applicable
- Copies of any status documents (temporary permits, visas etc.) of your spouse
- Copies of proof of education in Canada of your spouse
- Copies of letters of reference of your spouse’s work experience in Canada
- Copies of T4 or other statements proving payment for work in Canada for your spouse
- Copies of language test results of your spouse
- Copies of birth certificates, citizenship cards and proof of residency of any and all family members in Canada.
Remember to have any document not in English and/or French translated into English by a certified translator and notarized as well.
Representative (if applicable)
You must notify OINP of any individual who advices or assists you in your application process, even if they are not an authorized representative. If you authorize a representative to handle your application:
- If you are NOT already registered at the OINP e-Filing Portal, your representative must:
- Go here on OINP’s site to find instructions on how to register and log in and submit an application on your behalf.
- Once your authorized representative has registered a profile for you at OINP you will receive two emails from OINP with your enrolment number and your PIN number.
- Sign in to your ONe-key account with your PIN and enrolment numbers and appoint your authorized representative to manage your application.
- Once appointed, your authorized representative can then complete your online application to OINP.
- If you have already registered at the OINP e-Filing Portal, your representative must:
- Your representative will have to log in to their own ONe-key account and on the main page select Add an Existing Application.
- Find the application number on the main page of your e-Filing Portal and give it to your authorized representative. They will enter your application number along with your email address when they click on Add an Existing Application.
- Your representative then clicks on Add This Application once your file number appears.
- Once this is done, you will receive an email notification asking you to log in to your ONe-key account where you will then click on Appoint in the My Representative section of the webpage.
- Once you have appointed them, your authorized representative will be able to log back in to their ONe-key account and continue with your application. Any fields you have already filled out before appointing your representative will be read-only meaning they cannot be modified.
To cancel a representative, log in to your ONe-key account and select Cancel in the My Representative section of the page.
Step 4: Accept Nomination from OINP and Apply for Permanent Residence with IRCC
Once you receive your ITA from IRCC you will then have 60 days to submit your application for Permanent Residence to IRCC.
Please remember that any change to your personal information should be communicated to OINP. If the changes involve your primary telephone number, your contact email address, or your country of residence you can make these changes at My Profile in the main page of your OINP e-Filing Portal. Remember to click Save to save the changes. Any other personal information which has changed should be notified to the OINP by means of the Change of Personal Information form found here. Send the completed form as an attachment to your email to: [email protected]. Write: Application Change Notice – (your file number) in the subject line of your email.
If while OINP is processing your application, you receive an ITA directly from IRCC then you must either:
- Reject the ITA from IRCC and request OINP to continue processing your application, OR
- Withdraw your application from OINP (if you accept the ITA from IRCC).
If your status document (your work, study, or visitor permit) expires before you can renew it and while OINP is processing your application, you have 90 days to apply to IRCC for restoration of your status. You must notify the OINP of your loss of status and provide proof to OINP of your application to IRCC to restore status within the 90-day deadline.
To withdraw your application, you have 2 options:
- Go to the main page of your OINP e-Filing Portal and click on Withdraw, OR
- Send an email to [email protected] asking OINP to withdraw your nomination.