Ontario

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) allows the government of Ontario to nominate individuals for immigration to Ontario. The OINP is one of the most varied and dynamic of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), with streams and categories designed to welcome skilled workers, graduates, and business immigrants.

To many people, Ontario is the crown jewel in the Canadian landscape. This gigantic province, located in east-central Canada, is home the country’s largest city, Toronto, the national capital, Ottawa, and a host of other cities, towns, and communities that have welcomed newcomers from around the world for many decades. But how to get there? Apart from the federal programs, such as the programs managed under the Express Entry immigration system, Ontario immigration authorities also offer unique pathways to Canada.

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

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In some cases, applicants to the OINP may be in the federal Express Entry pool. Indeed, the OINP currently includes three Express Entry-aligned streams. In these cases, an OINP provincial nomination leads to the applicant receiving 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, with an invitation to apply (ITA) to follow soon after when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts a draw from the pool.

As Canada’s most populous province, nearly 40 percent of Canadians call Ontario home. Ontario is also home to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, and its largest city, Toronto. In many ways, Ontario is the center of Canada’s economic, social, and political life. Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program is called the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). A bird’s eye view of downtown Toronto, showing the CN Tower and Toronto Island on a clear day. Through this program, prospective immigrants with the skills and experience targeted by the province may receive a provincial nomination from Ontario, after which they can apply for Canadian permanent residence with the Government of Canada.

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The OINP accepts applications under the following immigration categories:

The OINP Human Capital Category consists of five streams divided into two categories: Ontario’s Express Entry streams and the International Graduates streams.

Ontario Express Entry: Human Capital Priorities Stream

This stream enables the OINP to nominate individuals who are eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool and who have the required education, skilled work experience, language ability, and other characteristics to successfully establish themselves and integrate into Ontario’s labour market and communities. The OINP also uses the Human Capital Priorities Stream to conduct occasional tech draws for Express Entry candidates with work experience in six tech-sector occupations.

Ontario Express Entry: French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream

This stream allows Ontario to nominate French-Speaking skilled Express Entry candidates who have strong English language abilities, education, skilled work experience, language ability, and other characteristics to help them successfully establish themselves and integrate into Ontario’s labour market and communities.

Through the Foreign Worker and International Student streams, Ontario employers are able to nominate foreign workers and/or international students with an eligible job offer in Ontario. Potential applicants may be living abroad or in Canada at the time of applying.

Foreign Worker Stream

This stream provides foreign workers with a job offer in a skilled occupation in Ontario the capability to settle and work in the province.

International Student Stream

This stream assists international students with job offers in Ontario to work and settle as permanent residents in the province.

In-Demand Skills Stream

This stream targets foreign workers abroad or in Canada with a job offer in specific in-demand occupations, such as in agriculture or construction.

Entrepreneur Stream

This stream is designed to attract individuals who are looking to implement a new business initiative or buy an existing business in Ontario. Successful applicants will obtain a temporary work permit support letter – based on a performance agreement – to establish the business in Ontario. If the investment and job creation agreements outlined in the performance agreement are adhered to, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to be nominated for Canadian permanent resident status.

Corporate Stream

Note: The Ontario Corporate Stream has been terminated and is no longer accepting applications.

This stream aims to help and support established international corporations looking to expand into Ontario or buy an existing business. Once the business has been successfully established, key staff are eligible to apply for a provincial nomination certificate, allowing them to eventually become permanent residents of Canada.

Minimum Requirements for Applicants

OINP Entrepreneur Stream

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) Entrepreneur Stream is designed to attract individuals who are looking to implement a new business initiative or buy an existing business in Ontario.

In order to make an Expression of Interest (EOI), prospective entrepreneur applicants must:

  • Have at least 24 months of full-time business experience in the last 60 months as a business owner or senior manager;
    • If the applicant has experience as both a business owner and a senior manager, he or she must choose only ONE to use for the EOI and for the application.
    • As a business owner, the prospective applicant must have had an active role in the business and owned at least one-third of the business.
    • As a senior manager, the prospective applicant must have had senior decision-making responsibilities in the business.
  • Have a minimum net worth, which varies depending on where the business will be located;
    • For businesses located within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), applicants must have a minimum net worth of $800,000.
    • For businesses located outside the GTA, applicants must have a minimum net worth of $400,000.
    • For businesses in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of where it will be located), applicants must have a minimum net worth of $400,000.
  • Provide a third-party verification report, prepared by an authorized service provider, in order to demonstrate their net worth.
  • Make a minimum personal investment, which varies depending on the location of the proposed business;
    • Personal investments must be made towards expenditures that are essential to the establishment and operation of the business, excluding cash, cash equivalents, working capital, or wages paid to the entrepreneur applicant or a family member.
    • If the proposed business will be located within the GTA, applicants must make a minimum personal investment of $600,000.
    • If the proposed business will be located outside the GTA, applicants must make a minimum personal investment of $200,000.
    • If the proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications sector (regardless of where it will be located), applicants must make a minimum personal investment of $200,000.
  • Have a minimum equity ownership of 33.3 percent (one-third);
  • For businesses located within the GTA, applicants must commit to creating at least two permanent, full-time jobs for Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents;
  • For businesses located outside the GTA, applicants must commit to creating at least one permanent, full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; and
    • For businesses located within the GTA, if purchasing an existing business, the applicant must create two new full-time permanent positions in addition to the current staff.
    • For businesses located outside the GTA, if purchasing an existing business, the applicant must create one new full-time permanent position in addition to the current staff.
  • Make at least one business-related visit to Ontario in the 12 months prior to submitting the Expression of Interest, if purchasing an existing business.
  • Be actively involved on an ongoing basis in the management of the proposed business.
  • Not invest the capital in the proposed business for the primary purpose of deriving interest, dividends or capital gains.
  • Entrepreneurs must demonstrate official language proficiency at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 level or equivalent;
    • CLB 4 can be demonstrated through the following tests: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Test Scores, Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) for English, Test d’évaluation du français (TEF) or Test de connaissance du français (TCF). The following is a breakdown of eligible scores under each language ability:
      • Listening: IELTS 4.5 | CELPIP 4 | TEF 145-180 | TCF 331-368
      • Reading: IELTS 3.5 | CELPIP 4 | TEF 121-150 | TCF 342-374
      • Writing: IELTS 4.0 | CELPIP 4 | TEF 181-225 | TCF 4-5
      • Speaking: IELTS 4.0 | CELPIP 4 | TEF 181-225 | TCF 4-5
  • Note: If applying with a business partner who is also seeking nomination, both the entrepreneur applicant and business partner must individually meet all the minimum requirements listed above. The applicant is only permitted to include one foreign national business partner.

Invitation History

Draw dateMinimum score requiredNumber of invitations issued
February 26, 202013620
September 20, 201912715
April 5, 201911222
January 17, 201911513

Scoring Factors and Breakdown of Points

Applicants can claim points for factors under three categories: Business Concept, Investment and Human Capital. The maximum score available is 200 points.

Scoring Sections Points
Business Concept 74
Investment Factors 46
Human Capital Factors 80
Total Points Available 200

Business Concept

Business Concept Factor 1: Business Model

Entrepreneur candidates may claim a maximum of 15 points for the Business Model factor. The business model is a written document that outlines in detail the proposed business. The OINP Entrepreneur Stream business plan should include:

Business Model Points
Unsatisfactory/Unclear 0
Fair 7
Good 15
Total Points Available 15
Business Concept Factor 2: Market Research

Entrepreneur candidates may claim a maximum of 15 points for the Market Research factor. The applicant must provide a clear and comprehensive market entry strategy that outlines how their new business will be successful in Ontario. If the applicant is purchasing an existing business, they must show how the business can surge and improve under their authority. In the market research strategy, the applicant must outline the following information:

Market Research Points
Unsatisfactory/Unclear 0
Fair 7
Good 15
Total Points Available 15
Business Concept Factor 3: Significant Economic Benefit and Key Sector

Applicants may claim a maximum of 10 points if the proposed business is in a key sector, as determined by the Government of Ontario and they can explain how the proposed business will be economically beneficial for Ontario. These key sectors have been defined as economic priorities for Ontario:

In order to show that the business is a benefit for the economy of Ontario, the applicant must outline how their plan lines up with provincial and regional economic development interests.

Significant Economic Benefit and Key Sector Points
Unsatisfactory/Unclear 0
Fair 5
Good 10
Total Points Available 10
 
Business Concept Factor 4: Investment Allocation

Entrepreneur candidates may claim a maximum of 10 points for the Investment Allocation factor. The points are awarded based on a detailed explanation provided by the applicant on how they plan on growing the proposed business.

Investment Allocation Points
Unsatisfactory/Unclear 0
Fair 5
Good 10
Total Points Available 10
Business Concept Factor 5: Business Location

Entrepreneur candidates may claim up to 10 points based on the location of the proposed business.The OINP uses Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and Census Agglomeration (CA) data to divide business locations into three broad categories based on population size.

CMAs and CAs are areas consisting of one or more neighboring municipalities situated around a population centre (known as a core). A CMA is defined as having a total population, of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more live in the core. A CA is defined as having a core population of at least 10,000. Some locations may be part of larger categories. Therefore, individuals may find the business location is in a CMA or CA.

Business Location Points
CMA with a population of 175,000 or more 0
CMA or CA with a population greater than 100,000 but less than 175,000 5
Other location with a population of 100,000 or below 10
Total Points Available 10
Business Concept Factor 6: Job Creation

Applicants may claim up to 14 points based on the total number of permanent full-time jobs they will create for Canadian citizens or permanent residents within the first 20 months of establishing the business.

Applicants must demonstrate that they will create at least two permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in order to be eligible under the OINP Entrepreneur Stream, as mentioned in the above minimum requirements section. These jobs must be paid at the prevailing wage rate and must consist of a minimum of 1,560 hours of paid employment in a 12-month period.

Job Creation Points
1 for outside GTA or ICT/Digital Communications sector or 2 for inside GTA 3
3 – 4 jobs 5
5 or more jobs 7
Total Points Available 7
If the applicant has a business partner, he or she must also create two jobs, making a total of four new jobs for the proposed business.

Wage Requirements

The OINP expects that all employees will receive pay for hours worked and be appropriately remunerated based on the information provided by the employer in the proposed business plan. The OINP, however, does not consider pay by piece work, bonuses, commissions, vacation pay or non-financial compensation as comprising part of an employee’s offered wage. An employer may offer an employee piece work, bonuses, commissions, or non-financial compensation in addition to base pay. In addition, the offered wage must meet or exceed the median wage established by the occupation and region as outlined on the Government of Canada’s Job website.

Applicants may also claim up to 7 additional points under job creation, based on the NOC 0, A or B jobs the proposed business will create for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Creation of N0C 0, A or B Jobs Points
0 NOC 0, A or B job(s) 0
1 NOC 0, A or B job(s) 5
2 NOC 0, A or B job(s) 7
Total Points Available 7

Investment Factors

Investment Factor 1: Net Worth

Entrepreneur candidates may claim a maximum of 15 points for the Net Worth Investment factor. Personal net worth must be legally obtained and verifiable. Personal net worth includes all assets and those of the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner, less any liabilities including mortgages and personal debts. Net worth must be in the applicant’s and his or her spouse/common-law partner’s name.

As mentioned in the minimum eligibility requirements section above, there is a minimum requirement for personal net worth to be eligible for the Entrepreneur Stream, which varies according to where the proposed business will be located.

If the applicant has a Business Partner, the partner must also meet the appropriate minimum personal net worth requirement.

Personal Net Worth Points
If the proposed business will be within the GTA Less than $800,000 Not eligible
$800,000 to $2,499,000 5
More than $2,500,000 10
OR
If the proposed business will be outside the GTAORIf the proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications Sector (regardless of location) Less than $400,000 Not eligible
$400,000 to $999,999 10
More than $1,000,000 15
Total Points Available 15
Investment Factor 2: Investment Amount
Investment Amount Points
If the proposed business will be within the GTA Less than $600,000 Not eligible
$600,000 to $1,499,999 10
$1,500,000 to $2,999,999 15
More than $3,000,000 20
OR
If the proposed business will be outside the GTAORIf the proposed business will be in the ICT/Digital Communications Sector (regardless of location) Less than $200,000 Not eligible
$200,000 to $499,999 15
$500,000 to $799,999 20
More than $800,000 25
Total Points Available 25
Investment Factor 3: Business-Related Visits

Entrepreneur candidates may claim a maximum of 6 points for any business-related visits to Ontario made within the year prior to the EOI submission. There is no mandatory requirement for exploratory visits, however, if the entrepreneur purchased or is planning on purchasing an existing business, the candidate must make a business-related visit to Ontario to be considered for the OINP Entrepreneur Stream.

Business Related Visits to Ontario Points
No 0
Yes 6
Total Points Available 6

If invited to apply to the OINP Entrepreneur Stream, applicants who claim points for business-related visits to Ontario in their EOI will be required to provide evidence of visits to Ontario, including cities/municipalities visited and the dates when entered and exited Ontario, by submitting at least three of the following forms of verification:

Human Capital Factors

Experience Total Duration Points
Business Owner Less than 24 months Not eligible
24 – 47 months 13
48 – 59 months 19
60 months 25
OR
Senior Manager Less than 24 months Not eligible
24 – 47 months 13
48 – 59 months 19
60 months 25
Total Points Available 25
Human Capital Factor 3: Specific Experience

Individuals may claim up to 35 points based on their past specific experience in a high-growth business and/or in an export trade business if the experience was acquired within the last 60 months.

  • High-Growth Business Experience: experience in a business that experienced at least 20 percent increase in revenue for two consecutive years. Submission of supporting documentation (e.g. financial statements) is mandatory if the individual is invited to apply.
  • Export Trade Business Experience: experience in a business exporting at least 20 percent of total goods/services to a foreign market. Submission of supporting documentation (e.g. financial statements with export declarations, purchase orders, invoices) is mandatory if the individual is invited to apply.
Past Specific ExperiencePoints
None0
Yes: one past specific experience15
Yes: two past specific experiences25
Yes: three past specific experiences35
Total Points Available35

 

Human Capital Factor 4: Level of Education

Candidates may claim a maximum of 10 points based on their highest level of education completed. There is no minimum requirement to be considered for the Entrepreneur Stream.

Applicants invited to apply who are claiming to have completed six months or more of post-secondary education will be required to provide evidence of this education, including Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) results.

Note: The OINP will not consider language training (such as English as a Second Language (ESL) courses) towards meeting the post-secondary requirement.

Level of Education Points
No post-secondary education 0
2 Year Program (post-secondary degree or diploma) 5
3 Year Program (post-secondary degree or diploma) 10
Total Points Available 10
Human Capital Factor 5: Official Language Ability
Official Language Ability Points
None or minimal (CLB 3 or below) 0
Basic understanding (CLB 4) 5
Intermediate and advanced (CLB 5 or higher) 10
Total Points Available 10
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