If you are a skilled worker who is a potential migrant to Canada, consider this: are the answers to the following questions “yes”?
- Are you applying to live and work in Canada under the Express Entry system?
- Are you applying under the Foreign Skilled Worker Program (FSW) stream?
- Or are you applying under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream?
- And finally, are you interested in or intending to live and work in Ontario?
If you answered “yes” to the above questions you should consider Ontario’s nominee program. It’s called the Ontario Immigrant and Nominee Program or OINP and it specifically involves what is called the Human Capital Priorities Stream which operates under the OINP system. It works in conjunction with the Express Entry system which we have outlined in detail here.
More importantly, a nomination from Ontario's OINP will add 600 points to your Express Entry CRS score. So if you're sitting in the Express Entry pool with 400 or so points and you're wondering if you'll ever get an ITA, a nomination will solve that problem.
Sound interesting? Here’s how it works.
These are 3 OINP streams that function in conjunction with Canada’s Express Entry portal. OINP searches Express Entry’s candidate pools and selects qualified candidates for the following OINP streams:
- Human Capital Priorities Stream
- French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
- Skilled Trades Steam
Here the Ontario Government’s proposed changes are minor adjustments to the work requirements, which in most cases should add a few more days or weeks to a candidate’s work experience. It involves the following change:
- Work experience is currently assessed on the date when the candidate receives a Notification of Interest (NOI) from OINP.
- Work experience will be now be assessed at the date the candidate applies for a provincial nomination under the proposed changes.
Step 1: Create an Express Entry Profile
At the Express Entry online portal, you upload information about yourself along with supporting documentation. Go here to use the Come to Canada online tool that assesses your eligibility and then sends you on to a page where you create your account with Express Entry.
You will be given a Personal Reference Code (something like JM1234567890) which you only use to transfer your information from the Come to Canada tool to your newly opened Express Entry account. This Personal Reference Code is NOT the same as your Express Entry Profile number.
When you’ve successfully entered your profile at Express Entry and are a candidate in the Express Entry pool you will receive an Express Entry Profile number that you will need to use for the following:
- Registering with Job Bank, where you will have to choose an appropriate NOC classification for your job under Express Entry’s FSWP or CEC stream.
- Responding to OINP if and when you receive a Notification of Interest from OINP.
- If you are submitting a new Express Entry profile within 60 days of the expiry of your old profile.
You will also receive a Job Seeker Validation Code from Express Entry. You will need to use this to link to your Express Entry profile and identify it at Job Bank. You will also need to give it to OINP once you have been notified of OINP’s interest in your Express Entry profile.
When you create your profile at Express Entry you must remember to indicate your interest in migrating to:
- Ontario, OR
- “All Provinces or Territories”
We suggest choosing "Ontario" unless you are trying to remain open to other provinces as well.
To qualify for Express Entry, you must meet one of two sets of criteria depending under which stream you wish to be assessed by OINP.
The first stream is the Federal Skilled Workers Program or FSW, which has the following eligibility criteria: The FSW points grid has a total of 100 points and to be eligible you must score at least 67 points out of the total possible 100 points. (This is not to be confused with the Express Entry Comprehensive Rating System points.) The points are grouped around 6 selection factors as outlined in the following table:
|Selection Factor (SKill)||Maximum Points|
|1.English and/or French language skills||28|
|5.Arranged Employment in Canada||10|
|Maximum Possible Total Points||100|
|Minimum required points total to qualify for FSW||67|
Clearly language is the most important selection factor. Here’s how points under the FSW points grid are awarded:
|First Official Language||Points Awarded for CLB Benchmark Scores|
|CLB 9 or higher||6||6||6||6|
|CLB 6 or lower||Ineligible to qualify for FSW|
|Second Official Language|
|CLB 5 or higher||4||4||4||4|
|CLB 4 or lower||No points awarded|
How do other language test scores translate to CLB scores? Here’s a table showing how:
|CLB Level||IELTS Equivalent|
CELPIP Scores are identical to CLB levels in all 4 categories of Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking. Your CELPIP Score = Your CLB level.
Your education level determines points awarded under the FSW points grid as follows:
|Level of Education||Points|
|Master’s or Professional Degree (latter must be NOC A & Licensed by Provincial Body)||23|
|2 or more equivalent Canadian Post-Secondary Degrees or Diplomas (at least 1 3-year program)||22|
|3-year or longer Canadian Post-Secondary Degree or Diploma||21|
|2-year Canadian Post-Secondary Degree or Diploma||19|
|1-year Canadian Post-Secondary Degree or Diploma||15|
|Canadian high-school diploma or equal||5|
Your work experience must be at least 1 year of full-time, paid work experience or the equivalent number of hours in part-time work, all within the last 5 years from the date of your Notice of Interest (NOI). It must also fulfill the following:
- At least 30 hours of work per week in one job over a year for a total of 1,560 paid hours OR
- At least 15 hours of work per week in one job for a total of 2 years and 1,560 hours, OR
- At least 30 hours of work per week in multiple concurrent jobs over a year for a total of 1,560 hours.
- You must have worked for at least 1 year.
- You must have at least 1 year of work experience in the same NOC job category as your primary NOC in your Express Entry profile.
- Your work experience can be in Canada or Overseas.
- Your work experience can NOT be in a job classified by the IRCC as restricted. This will depend on labour market conditions as assessed by the IRCC. Go here for more information.
Here are the points awarded for experience under the FSW points grid:
|Work Experience||Maximum Points|
|1 year (12 months minimum)||9|
|2 to 3 years (24 to 36 months)||11|
|4 to 5 years (48 to 60 months)||13|
|6 or more years (72 months or more)||15|
When considering Age, the OINP takes your age from the date your NOI was sent while IRCC takes your age from the date your Invitation to Apply (ITA) was sent. The points are awarded as follows:
|18 – 35 years||12|
|36 – 46 years||11 – 1 points in decreasing order|
|47 years and older||0|
Arranged Offer of Employment (Job Offer)
For Arranged Employment in Canada a maximum of 10 points is awarded for a full-time job offer from a Canadian employer that is at least 1 year in length. The following conditions also apply:
- Your job falls under one of the following categories:
- NOC 0: management jobs
- NOC A: professional jobs like doctors or architects
- NOC B: technical or trades jobs that require a diploma or specialized training.
- Your job offer is in Ontario.
- You are working in Canada on valid Work Permit that is based on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) which was included in your application for the Work Permit and your current employer is offering you a full-time job as a NOC 0, A or B skilled worker OR
- You are working in Canada on a valid Work Permit in a job exempt from LMIA requirements and your employer who is listed on your Work Permit has offered you a full-time job OR
- Another employer has offered you a full-time job and this employer has a positive LMIA from ESDC.
Adaptability to Canada
You can earn up to 10 points for Adaptability as follows:
|Your spouse or partner has CLB level 4 or greater in English or French||5|
|You have done at least 2 full academic years of study at a Canadian secondary or post-secondary school||5|
|Your spouse or partner has done at least 2 full academic years of study at a Canadian secondary or post-secondary school||5|
|You have at least 1 year of full-time work in Canada on a valid work permit under NOC levels 0, A, or B||10|
|Your spouse or partner has at least 1 year of full-time work on a valid work permit in Canada under NOC levels 0, A, or B||5|
|You have arranged employment in Canada||5|
|You or your spouse has a relative who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident and is over 18||5|
If you choose to be assessed under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream then you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have at least 12 months full-time paid work in Canada in NOC levels 0, A, or B. Self-employment or work done while a student does NOT count.
- You must have CLB 7 for NOC 0 or A jobs and CLB 5 for NOC B jobs for the CEC stream. However, the OINP criteria require you to have CLB 7 regardless of your job.
- You must plan to live and work outside of Quebec and you should also indicate your intent to reside and work in Ontario.
Step 2: Get Identified by OINP from among the candidates in your Express Entry Pool
Having met the requirements of the FSW or CEC streams within Express Entry, you now have to meet a similar but not identical set of criteria established by Ontario’s OINP. If you do meet these criteria you may be identified by OINP and receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) through your IRCC online account. A nomination from the OINP will dramatically boost your Express Entry CRS sore.
The OINP criteria are as follows:
Minimum work experience as outlined above, depending on if you are being assessed by OINP under the FSW or CEC stream.
Equivalent of a bachelor’s degree or higher from a Canadian University which means you must have a post-secondary degree or diploma from a 3-year or longer course of academic study, including master’s or PhD degrees. If you have a degree from a foreign school then you must obtain an Educational Credential Assessment or ECA from one of the following organizations:
- Comparative Education Services
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- World Education Services
- International Qualifications Assessment Service
- International Credentials Evaluation Service
- Medical Council of Canada (for Medical degrees)
- Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
You must ensure that you authorize your ECA organization to share the results of your ECA with the OINP, in addition to sharing the results with the IRCC. If you forget to do this your application will be delayed. Check with your specific ECA organization to see what steps to take.
You must have sufficient Settlement Funds. That is, liquid funds that you can transfer in order to meet your living expenses in Canada.
- Submit 6 months of your most recent bank statements or investor account statements in order to prove you have sufficient funds.
- If your bank statements show a large deposit in order to reach the required level of funds (see below) you will have to provide documents to explain the source of those funds.
- All funds must be immediately accessible and transferable, and in a freely-convertible currency. Term deposits in Venezuelan Bolivars would not qualify for example.
- You may present a job offer and it’s salary as proof of settlement funds, as long as you are currently residing in Ontario, are legally able to work, and submit proof of your job offer.
The latest IRCC chart of Settlement Funds is as follows:
|Number of Family Members||Funds Required|
|2 (you and your spouse)||$15,531|
|For each additional family member||$3,361|
You must have an intention to reside in Ontario. The following are some examples of what is accepted as proof of your intention to reside in Ontario:
- Current or previous employment in Ontario
- Job offers in Ontario
- Education in Ontario
- Volunteer work in Ontario
- Lease agreements or property ownership in Ontario
- Professional networks or relationships in Ontario
- Family ties or Social connections to people in Ontario
- Previous visits to Ontario.
You must have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) which is determined by OINP and published on its website. This may vary over time.
Once you have met the above requirements and you have received your Notice of Interest from OINP, you may then apply to the OINP.
If your legal status in Canada becomes what is called “implied status” because you are renewing a work or study permit, for example, you can apply to OINP and remain in Canada until a decision is reached on your requested renewal.
Step 3: Apply to the OINP under the Human Capital Priorities Stream
If you wish to authorize a representative, then your chosen representative must go directly to the OINP e-Filing Portal and follow the instructions there. As well, you must do one of two things:
- If you have not yet submitted a profile at OINP’s e-Filing Portal then you will receive 2 emails from the OINP once they have registered at the portal.
- The first email will contain your enrollment number.
- The second email will contain your PIN number
- Sign up for a ONe-Key Account using these two numbers
- Then log in to your account and authorize your representative
- If you have already created a ONe-Key Account then you must take the following steps:
- Provide your representative with your application number found under “file number” on the main page of the OINP e-Filing Portal.
- Your representative must then log in to their own ONe-key Account and select “Add an existing application” on their main page.
- Your representative will need to enter your file number that you provided as well as your email address.
- They must then click on “Add this application” when your file number appears
- You will then receive an email notification from OINP asking you to log in to your ONe-Key Account. Log in and look for the “My Representative” section and click on “Authorize.”
- Once authorized your representative can log in to their own ONe-Key Account and access your application.
To cancel a representative, log in to your ONe-Key Account and in the “My Representative” section click on “Cancel.”
Fill out the application form, entering the correct information for all the mandatory fields. You have 45 days to complete and submit your application. If you do it in separate stages remember to save your application each time you log in and fill out a part of the application. There are 3 ways to save your application:
- Click “Save” at bottom right hand corner of each page.
- Click the “Next” or “Previous” buttons at the bottom of each page.
- Click the “Check for Errors” button at the bottom right corner of each page.
Your supporting documents – including any degrees or certificates - must be scanned and electronically submitted. Do NOT mail paper copies to OINP. The acceptable formats are: .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .pdf, .rtf, and .txt, or image file types: .jpeg, .bmp, .png, .gif, and .tiff. The file size limit is 5 MB per file except for passport pages which have a file size limit of 10 MB.
The supporting documents you must submit are:
- Print Screen of your Notification of Interest
- Photograph 35mm x 45mm with head size 31mm to 36mm
- Full copy of your passport
- Full copy of your Birth Certificate
- Full copy of any status documents like work or study permits (if applicable)
- Full copy of Canadian Degree and Official Transcript
- Full copy of Foreign Degree with ECA that is less than 5 years old
- Copy of Language Test Results (IELTS – General; CELPIP – General; or TEF that are less than 2 years old
- Employment in Ontario (if applicable)
- Job Offer (if applicable)
- Work Permit (if applicable)
- LMIA (if applicable)
- Full copy of your Work History with dates and details of all your full-time jobs
- Copy of Resume
- Copy of Employer Reference Letters
- Work Contracts (if applicable)
- Proof of Compensation from previous or current employers
- Canadian Work Experience (mandatory if applicable)
- Regulated Occupation – copy of license or authorization (mandatory if applicable)
- Proof of Sel-Employment – business receipts, income and balance statements, proof of business, income tax receipts, licenses, etc. (mandatory if applicable)
- Proof of Settlement Funds – including bank statements and valid job offers in Ontario as well as investment funds that are liquid and transferable
- Proof of Intent to Reside in Ontario (optional)
- Family members Passports
- Any Spouse or Partner’s Status Documents
- Spouse or Partner’s Education documents
- Spouse or Partner’s Work Experience in Canada: Reference letters on company letterhead detailing position and duties, copies of work contracts, pay statements, T4 slips etc.
- Spouse or Partner’s language test results
- Evidence of Relatives in Canada: Birth certificates, Citizenship or Permanent Residence Documents, Proof of Residence
You must then read and accept (electronically) the declarations and authorizations which are the following:
- Schedule A: There are 8 declarations where you agree to the terms and conditions imposed by the OINP.
- Schedule B: There are 6 authorizations where you allow the Ontario Government to collect, share, or verify information on you.
- Schedule B: There is also an authorization where you agree to let them collect information to evaluate the program and assess quality assurance.
- Schedule C: You must also declare that you have read and agree to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations.
- Schedule D: You must authorize any representative you have chosen, if applicable to your situation.
You must pay a CAD$1,500 fee. The payment must be electronically by Credit Card. NO OTHER PAYMENT FORM IS ACCEPTABLE. Fees are NOT REFUNDABLE except in the following cases:
- Your application is deemed to be incomplete OR
- You withdraw your application before the OINP starts processing it.
- Any other situation will mean your fee is NOT refunded.
Step 4: Accept Nomination and Apply for Permanent Residence
If your application is accepted by OINP, then you will receive a letter from OINP through your IRCC online account. You will have 30 days to accept the nomination.
Your nomination by OINP will add 600 points to your Comprehensive Ranking Score or CRS, within the Express Entry system.
You should then receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) from the IRCC. You will have 60 days to respond with an application for permanent residence. See our Express Entry section at IMMIgroup for more information.
If you receive a nomination from another Province or Territory and you accept it, this will cancel your Ontario nomination. You CANNOT have 2 valid provincial or territorial nominations at the same time. You will have to withdraw your OINP nomination in the case of a nomination from another province or territory.
To check the status of your application you can always log in to your ONe-Key Account and go to the “Status” column on the main page.
Any change to your personal information while your application is being processed should be notified to the OINP:
- Changes to your phone number, email, or country of residence can be notified by logging in to your ONIP e-Filing Portal and clicking on “My Profile” on the main page. Change the information (only phone, email, or country of residence) and click “Save”.
- Any other changes should be notified by completing the Change of Personal Information form and sending it as an attachment and indicating the following in the subject line: Application Change Notice + File Number, to the following email address:[email protected]
- If you receive an ITA from IRCC while OINP is processing your application, you should advise the OINP of one of the two following courses of action:
- You reject the IRCC ITA and you are requesting the OINP to continue processing your application OR
- You are accepting the IRCC ITA and you are requesting the OINP to withdraw your application
Your Confirmation of Nomination Certificate is valid for 6 months. If due to delays in your IRCC application for permanent residence – perhaps because of delays in receiving supporting documents like a police certificate; or because you have to reapply to the IRCC due to an incomplete application – then you may apply for an extension of your Nomination Certificate. You can do this by:
Your Confirmation of Nomination Certificate is valid for 6 months. If due to delays in your IRCC application for permanent residence – perhaps because of delays in receiving supporting documents like a police certificate; or because you have to reapply to the IRCC due to an incomplete application – then you may apply for an extension of your Nomination Certificate. You can do this by emailing the OINP at [email protected] with:
- A letter explaining why you have to extend your Nomination Certificate, and
- A copy of the letter from IRCC stating your application for permanent residency is incomplete (if applicable)
You should mail your expired Nomination Certificate to the following address:
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
400 University Ave. 4th Floor
If you wish to withdraw your OINP application, you should:
- Log in to your OINP e-Filing Portal and click on the “Withdraw” button on the main page. OR
- Send an email to [email protected] and ask the OINP to withdraw your nomination.