Understanding the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) have following nine pathways to choose from:

1. Human Capital Priority Steams

Human Capital Priority Streams operate in alignment with the Express Entry application system.

Those who are eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or Canadian Experience Class (CEC), are also eligible for provincial nomination in Ontario through the same streams at a provincial level if they demonstrate an intention to settle within the province.

2. French Speaking Skilled Worker Class

For those who are highly skilled in both official languages, Ontario offers the French Speaking Skilled Worker Class. This operates identically to FSWP in terms of work experience, education, and proof of funds but candidates must also have a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7 in French and a 6 in English.

3. Skilled Trades Stream

Candidates who are eligible for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) are eligible for provincial nomination through the Skilled Trades stream. This means candidates must have a minimum of one year’s work experience within their trade, and it must fall into National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes Minor Group 633 or Major Groups 72, 73 or 82.

4. Employer Job Offer Category

If you are not eligible for Express Entry, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the province through nomination in other categories. An Expression of Interest is applicable only when applying directly to the provincial government for nomination.

An EOI tells the government of Ontario that you wish to be invited to apply. If choosing these pathways, you may only apply to OINP if you have received an invitation to do so.

To submit an EOI, you must complete an attestation form the same day that states you meet the criteria for your chosen program and everything in your EOI is true. From here, you must wait for the province to invite you to apply for nomination.

5. Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream

This is a pathway designed for foreign workers who are abroad and have a job offer from an Ontario employer.

The job must fall under NOC codes 0, A or B and you must be able to demonstrate an appropriate license (where needed) or a cumulation of two years’ work experience in the same occupation.

6. Employer Job Offer: International Graduates

This stream is for candidates who are graduating from colleges or universities in foreign countries that have received job offers from an employer in Ontario.

The job must fall under NOCs 0, A or B. Educational requirements are as follows:

  • a degree or diploma that takes at least two years to complete if you study on a full-time basis, or
  • a degree, diploma or certificate that takes at least one year to complete if you study on a full-time basis and that requires a completed degree as an admission requirement

7. Employer Job Offer: In-demand occupations

Skilled workers either in Canada or abroad with experience that falls under NOC C or D can apply for nomination if they have sufficient experience in occupations that urgently need more workers in Ontario. The occupations differ slightly depending on if the offer of employment is inside or outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

The following occupations are applicable anywhere in Ontario including the GTA:

  • NOC 3413 – nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
  • NOC 4412 – home support workers and related occupations, excluding housekeepers
  • NOC 7441 – residential and commercial installers and servicers
  • NOC 7511 – transport truck drivers
  • NOC 7521 – heavy equipment operators (except crane)
  • NOC 7611 – construction trades helpers and labourers
  • NOC 8431 – general farm workers
  • NOC 8432 – nursery and greenhouse workers
  • NOC 8611 – harvesting labourers
  • NOC 9462 – industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers

These occupations are only applicable to candidates with job offers outside of the GTA

  • NOC 9411 – machine operators, mineral and metal processing
  • NOC 9416 – metalworking and forging machine operators
  • NOC 9417 – machining tool operators
  • NOC 9418 – other metal products machine operators
  • NOC 9421 – chemical plant machine operators
  • NOC 9422 – plastics processing machine operators
  • NOC 9437 – woodworking machine operators
  • NOC 9446 – industrial sewing machine operators
  • NOC 9461 – process control and machine operators, food, beverage and associated products processing
  • NOC 9523 – electronics assemblers, fabricators, inspectors and testers
  • NOC 9526 – mechanical assemblers and inspectors
  • NOC 9536 – industrial painters, coaters and metal finishing process operators
  • NOC 9537 – other products assemblers, finishers and inspectors

8. Master and PhD Categories

The remaining two programs are designed specifically for master’s students and PhD students who graduate from Ontario universities and plan to stay in the province. The Masters Graduate Stream requires at least one year of study at an eligible Ontario university and graduation from the program. PhD students must complete at least two years of their PhD in Ontario. For both streams, candidates must have lived in Ontario for at least one year over the past two years.

9. Entrepreneur Category

The Entrepreneur Category works somewhat differently. Candidates for this category must also submit an EOI, but if they are invited to apply, they are required to attend a mandatory interview and sign a performance agreement. If they are successful, they will be issued a temporary work permit to move to Canada and then 20 months upon arrival to implement a business plan and submit a final review. If the candidate has met business requirements, they will be asked for documentation that proves they are eligible for permanent residence.


Ontario’s immigrant retention rate is over 93%. This is because PNPs such as OINP are very successful in promoting the economic establishment of newcomers as well as benefiting the province. In 2021, Ontario issued nearly 9,000 invitations to apply for provincial nomination and is on track to meet or exceed that number in 2022. 

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