Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP): Questions & Answers

Are you looking for more information about Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program? Here are some common questions and answers.

 

About Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

  1. What is Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)?

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is an immigration program that supports Ontario employers by facilitating the immigration of managerial, professional and skilled foreign workers and international students needed to meet their human resource needs. This is helpful where employers are having difficulty finding the skilled workers they need.

    The program enables the province of Ontario to nominate people for permanent resident status. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will still perform important functions such as security checks on applicants. There is a different route and process for immigrants applying directly to the federal government.

  2. Why use Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)?

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program benefits employers and individuals in a number of important ways.

    For employers, the program:

    • Caters to their human resource needs.
    • Facilitates the immigration of needed employees.
    • Has a free and timely pre-screen application process (the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) fee is only required with the nominee application package).

    Individuals recruited by pre-approved employers benefit from:

    • An employer-driven provincial nomination system based on a permanent, full-time job in Ontario at a prevailing wage (or entry level wages for international students), rather than on a point system.
    • A program that does not require international students to have one year of work experience, unlike the Federal Skilled Worker Class and the Canadian Experience Class.
    • Priority processing at Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
    • A faster route to permanent resident (PR) status, which provides a number of benefits, including: domestic tuition rates for dependants attending college or university; better access to certain banking services, including mortgages and loans; long-term security and stability in Ontario; and ultimately a faster route to Canadian citizenship (due to expedited PR processing).
  3. Why are International Students who attend Canadian colleges and universities part of the program?
    We want to retain the best and brightest Canadian-trained international students. They will give Ontario an advantage in the global competition for talent and they will easily integrate into Ontario’s labour force and society.
  4. What is Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s definition of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)?
    The GTA is the City of Toronto, Durham, Halton, York and Peel regions.
  5. What is the government of Ontario doing to assist immigrants already in the province?

    The government of Ontario has made the settlement of newcomers into the Ontario labour force and integration into this province a priority. Ontario invests in services that help newcomers settle, find jobs and housing, learn English or French, and access community resources. Ontario government initiatives to support newcomers include:

    • Negotiating the first-ever Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement which increases federal spending on settlement and language training services to an additional $920 million over five years.
    • Passing Bill 124 – The Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, 2006 to break down barriers and help newcomers get to work in their fields. This legislation, the first of its kind in Canada: requires Ontario regulators to have a quicker, fair and open registration process and creates the Office of the Fairness Commissioner. It also established Global Experience Ontario, a new one-stop access and resource centre for internationally trained individuals.
    • The Ministry’s bridge training programs help newcomers make a quicker transition into their occupation of choice. Bridging projects improve access to certification/registration and newcomers seeking employment in the filed for which they were trained and educated.
    • Launching an internship program to give newcomers a chance to gain work experience in Ontario. Newcomers with a minimum of three years international work experience may be eligible for a placement of six months within the Ontario Public Service.
    • Investing almost $60M annually on non-credit English and French as a Second Language classes for adults and occupational specific specialized language pilot projects. MCIIT also funds ESL/FS: programming for thousands of immigrant children.
    • MCIIT has increased annual funding by 29 per cent from $4.1M to $5.3M for the Newcomer Settlement Program (NSP) to support 81 community agencies that provide settlement services for newcomers.
    • Investing in the Ontario’s Community Builders (OCB) program to support community-based initiatives that celebrate and promote understanding of Ontario’s diverse communities.
    • The Ministry’s Language Interpreter Services (LIS) program, is investing $2.1M annually in interpretation services so that victims of domestic violence who do not speak English get the help in the language they know best.
    • The Ontario government also introduced Employment Ontario to help people find jobs, and help employers find the workers they need. The program has three main services: information and resource service, employment planning and preparation and job development and placement support.
  6. Where can I find information about Provincial Nominee Programs in general?

The Process

  1. What is the application process?

    Individuals who wish to be nominated by the OINP under the Foreign Worker stream or International Students with a Job Offer stream must have a permanent, full-time job offer in a managerial, professional or skilled trade occupation (NOC 0, A or B).

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)’s application process for the Foreign Worker stream and International Students with a Job Offer stream has two steps: first the Pre-screen Application (only for employers), and second the Nominee Application (only for individuals). Only employers pre-approved at the first step can bring forward nominee applicants for the second step.

    Step One: Employers start the application process by submitting a Pre-screen Application to the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade.
    Step Two: Once Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program has notified employers of their approved position(s), employers can recruit foreign nationals to fill these position(s). Approved employers will receive an approval letter, Joint Verification form, and Pre-screen Position form from Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program office to send to their nominee(s). Prospective nominees can then visit the Forms and Guides page of this website to complete and download the nominee application form.

    Applicants applying under the International Students – Masters Graduates or PhD Graduates stream can apply directly to OINP.

    A Confirmation of Nomination document will be issued for all successful nominees, who must then apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for permanent residence. Nominees must also meet all of the requirements outlined by CIC when requesting a work permit.

    Individuals nominated by Ontario, and accompanying family members, must still satisfy CIC requirements, including medical and background checks.

  2. What should I do if someone tries to charge me for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) application forms?

    Do not pay for the forms, since they are made available to the public free of charge by the Ontario Government. Visit the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) web page and select Forms and Guides to download forms for free.

    To report any attempt to sell a form or guide, contact the program at opportunities.ontario@ontario.ca or by calling 1-866-214-6820 (within North America only).

  3. How long will it take Ontario to process my application?

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is committed to timely processing of applications, greater transparency to clients and courteous, helpful customer service.
    We process applications on first-come-first-served basis and aim to finalize:

    • Complete employer application packages within 90 calendar days
    • Complete nominee application packages within 90 calendar days
    • Complete reconsideration requests within 120 calendar days

    OINP will not accept incomplete Employer and Nominee applications, and will return them to applicants.

    An application may be deemed incomplete if, for example:

    • the application form is illegible or incomplete (all fields must be completed, and questions that are not applicable should be marked “N/A”),
    • the required supporting documents are not provided,
    • the translations are not complete, certified or notarized, or
    • The application fee is not included in the application package or is submitted in an incorrect amount..

    In cases where Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program returns incomplete applications to applicants, Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will also return the enclosed processing fees.

    Applicants submitting applications in person must note that reception staff are not authorized to provide application advice or review the completeness of applications Please also note that Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program does not process applications during the months of January and December and that time accumulated during this period is not included in the processing time calculation for applications.

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) aims to meet our service standards in at least 80% of all applications.

  4. How long will it take Citizenship and Immigration Canada to process Ontario Provincial Nominees for permanent resident status?

    Application processing times vary across visa offices. Current processing times for each visa office are available on the CIC website.

  5. Can my family immigrate with me?

    Accompanying eligible family members of nominees may immigrate to Ontario once medical and security checks are passed. Federal immigration law defines which family members can be included with a permanent resident application. These are:

    1. a spouse (of opposite or same sex, marriage recognized in Canada) or a common-law partner (an individual who is cohabiting with the nominee in a conjugal relationship for at least one year - includes same-sex couples)
    2. dependent children
      • are under the age of 19 and do not have a spouse or partner; or
      • 19 years old and over, and has depended largely on the parent’s financial support since before the age of 19 because of a physical or mental condition.
    3. dependent child of a dependent child (children of dependent children of the nominee) or their spouse or common-law partner.

    Please refer to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Federal Skilled Worker Guide for more details.

  6. If I am nominated, does that guarantee my immigration to Canada?
    No, the federal government can still deny provincial nominee applications for permanent resident status, based on a person’s inadmissibility (on health, security or criminal grounds) to Canada.
  7. How can I update the information I have submitted to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)?

    Complete this Change of Personal Information form (Word / PDF) and mail it to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program office at:

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
    400 University Avenue, Ground Floor
    Toronto, ON M7A 2R9

Information for Previous Applicants

  1. Can an employer, nominee or investor use old forms that were previously posted on the website?
    If you are an employer, nominee or investor you must meet all of the current program criteria and use the current forms. Current program criteria and forms can be found on this website. Please note that Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) will not accept any applications submitted on old forms. Applications submitted using old forms will be returned. No record will be kept of the submission.
  2. What is Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s simplified application process?

    If you are an employer who previously applied successfully to the program, Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program has made it easier for you to apply again, using the Pre-Screen Application for Previously Approved Employers.

    Previously approved employers are no longer required to submit supporting documents unless there are changes that may affect the employers’ eligibility for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Please note the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) reserves the right to request updated documentation.

About Fees

  1. What are the fees?

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) will charge a non-refundable processing fee, payable with each nominee application.

    Employer/Job Offer Category: 

    • Employer Pre-Screen application: Free
    • Foreign Worker: $2000 (inside GTA), $1500 (outside GTA)
    • International Students with a Job Offer: $1500

    Human Capital Category:

    • Masters Graduates: $1500
    • PhD Graduates: $1500
    • Human Capital Priorities: $1500
    • French-Speaking Skilled Workers: $1500

    Business

    • Investor application: Free
    • Foreign Worker with a job offer from an approved investor (must apply under Foreign Worker Stream): $3500
  2. Why is Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) charging fees?
    The fees are designed to reduce the costs of the program to the public while keeping costs affordable for applicants. All nominee applications must include the fee.
  3. Does the processing fee include federal fees to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)?
    No. The processing fee only covers processing by Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Once the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) nominates an individual, that nominee then applies to CIC for permanent resident status. Regular CIC application fees apply.

Information for Employers

  1. What if the place of work for the prospective nominee is at a location or locations outside of the business premises of the employer?
    In certain cases, such as the construction sector, the work that the nominee would carry out may not be located at the business premises of the employer. If the actual work is done at another location or as part of the employer’s normal business operations, Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) will deem that the work takes place at the business premises where the employer administers the business.
  2. What if the employer’s business premises are a home office?
    An employer may operate its business from a home office as long as the employer has a lease for the business premises. Please see the Employer Pre-Screen Application Form for all the documents required for the employer pre-screening process.
  3. Will Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) accept an accountant’s or bookkeeper’s address as the business premises requirement of employer applicants in certain sectors such as construction?

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) will accept applications from companies that list an accountant’s or bookkeeper’s address as their company’s business address to reflect the reality that some companies such as those in the construction sector do not operate out of traditional head offices. For example, a modern construction firm is able to have sufficient visibility through a company website or other listing on the internet, and is able to conduct its business over the phone and through onsite consultations. The formal business documentation and administration for these types of companies is sometimes hosted by the company’s accountant/bookkeeper.

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) will also continue to accept applications from home-based employers, provided that appropriate business documentation is received.

  4. I want to apply as an Employer – can you provide me with a list of nominees that are seeking employees?
    Employer applicants are responsible for their own recruitment. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) does not perform a job matching function.
  5. I am an employer interested in participating in this program. Will I need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment?
    No. Employers are not required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment in order to use the services of Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Employers must meet the criteria of Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program and obtain approval for position(s) they intend to fill through the pre-screen application process. To learn more about the employer pre-screen application process, please visit the Employers section of our website.
  6. What is considered a permanent full-time job?

    A full-time job consists of 1,560 hours of paid employment in a 12-month period. The following is not considered full-time work, even if workers are employed for 1,560 hours in a 12-month period:

    • Seasonal, cyclical or part-time employees regardless of their working hours.
    • Subcontractors or agency workers.
    • Employees who do not work on the company’s premises, such as employees who work from home, or employees who work in a ‘virtual’ location and serve the employer by telecommuting.

    A permanent job offer is continuous employment in a position designated as permanent and which has no specified end date. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) will consider one year renewable contracts for international students on a case-by-case basis.

Information for Foreign Workers

  1. Can I apply if I am already in Canada?
    Persons are eligible to apply to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program if they are in Canada with legal status, and have received a job offer from an employer pre-screened and approved by Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.
  2. If I am in Canada what should my status be to qualify for the program?

    Prospective nominees are eligible to apply to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program program from within Canada if they have a:

    • Valid work permit;
    • Valid study permit;
    • Visitor record, or
    • Valid passport from a visa exempt country showing their date of entry to Canada.
  3. Are refugee claimants eligible to apply to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) as nominees?
    Refugee claimants who have a failed refugee claim or have withdrawn their claim are able to apply to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) only after they have left Canada. Refugee claimants with pending applications to remain in Canada are not eligible to apply to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.
  4. Are there language requirements that prospective nominees need to meet to qualify for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)?
    English or French proficiency is not a prerequisite of Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). As an employer-driven program, we rely on employers to put forward applicants who possess sufficient language skills to be able to work in the approved position. However, to qualify in regulated occupations, applicants must also have licensure from the appropriate Ontario regulating body and licensure often includes verification of language skills.
  5. How do I know if my occupation is a NOC 0, A or B occupation?

    The National Occupation Classification (NOC) is the authoritative resource on occupational information in Canada. It is used to understand the jobs found throughout Canada’s labour market. The NOC is updated in partnership with Statistics Canada according to 5 year Census cycles. It is based on extensive occupational research and consultation conducted across the country, reflecting the evolution of the Canadian labour market.

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will only accept occupations in NOC skill type 0, A or B.

  6. To qualify for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), do I need to obtain proper registration or trade certification if my occupation or skilled trade is regulated or requires certification in Ontario?

    Yes. In order to qualify for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, you must obtain the proper registration or trade certification if your intended occupation is regulated or requires certification in Ontario. There are many regulated professions and trades in Ontario. For information on these occupations, please visit our Useful Web Links section.

    Please note that for some skilled trades, certification may either be voluntary or mandatory. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will only require you to obtain certification if your skilled trade requires mandatory certification. To determine if your skilled trade requires mandatory or voluntary certification, please visit the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities website.

  7. What is considered a permanent full-time job?

    A full-time job consists of 1,560 hours of paid employment in a 12-month period. The following is not considered full-time work, even if workers are employed for 1,560 hours in a 12-month period:

    • Seasonal, cyclical or part-time employees regardless of their working hours.
    • Subcontractors or agency workers.
    • Employees who do not work on the company’s premises, such as employees who work from home, or employees who work in a ‘virtual’ location and serve the employer by telecommuting.

    A permanent job offer is continuous employment in a position designated as permanent and which has no specified end date. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will consider one year renewable contracts for international students on a case-by-case basis.

  8. What type of work qualifies for the two years of work experience I need as a foreign worker?
    For work experience obtained in Canada, Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will accept full-time work experience that is verifiable, relevant, paid and obtained with proper work authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (e.g., work permit) within the most recent five years. Unpaid, unauthorized or volunteer experience will not be accepted.  Overseas work experience is also accepted provided that it was full-time, verifiable, relevant and paid.
  9. What should be included in the job offer letter?

    The original job offer letter signed by the employer must meet the following requirements:

    • Printed on company letterhead and identify company address, telephone/fax numbers, email, and website addresses; 
    • Identify the responsible Officer/Supervisor and include his/her signature;
    • Stamped with the company’s corporate seal (if applicable); AND
    • includes:
      • Occupation title
      • Wage for full-time, permanent position being offered
      • Duties and responsibilities
      • Number of hours per week and a number of weeks of work per year
      • Number of days/weeks of vacation
      • Workplace location
      • Employment start date, and 
      • an indication that the offer being made is for a permanent, full-time position
  10. Can I apply if I don’t yet have an employer or a job offer?
    No. Individuals cannot apply directly to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. Ontario employers must have position(s) approved before candidates will be considered for the position(s).
  11. I want to apply – can you provide me with a list of employers that are seeking employees?
    Nominee applicants are responsible for finding their own offers of employment. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program does not perform a job matching function.

Information for Investors

  1. What is an immigration-linked investment scheme?

    An immigration-linked investment scheme is a strategy or plan defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations:

    1. Where one of the objectives is to facilitate immigration to Canada of a foreign national and where promoters of the strategy/plan are seeking to raise capital; or
    2. Where the agreement or arrangement was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring a nomination.

Information for International Students

  1. Why are International Students who attend Canadian colleges and universities part of the program?
    We want to retain the best and brightest Canadian-trained international students. They will give Ontario an advantage in the global competition for talent and they will easily integrate into Ontario’s labour force and society.
  2. If I am enrolled in a high school equivalency course at a college, would I qualify for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)?
    No. Individuals who are enrolled in high school equivalency or university preparation courses will not qualify for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. You must be enrolled in a publicly assisted postsecondary institution in a diploma or degree program. All publicly assisted colleges and universities in Canada qualify.
  3. What diploma, degree or certificate programs are eligible for international students?
    International students who have graduated from an eligible Canadian college or university with a minimum of a two-year diploma or degree program, obtained while studying on a full-time basis, can apply to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program if they have a full-time permanent job offer. One-year post-graduate degree programs and certificate programs, which require a previous degree or diploma (which may have been obtained abroad), are also eligible. Note that part-time studies do not qualify. Preliminary or preparatory college certificate programs will not qualify. Skilled trade certificate programs and continuing education programs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  4. How do I prove that I am or was authorized to study in Canada?
    All students who apply to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program must have a valid study permit, or if applying within two years of the time of graduation, proof of a previous study permit and/or current post-graduation work permit.
  5. Does my field of study have to be related to the job offer?
    No. International students were previously required to have a job offer related to their field of studies as part of the previous eligibility criteria. As of February 20, 2009, international students who wish to apply to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program do not need to have the job offer relate to their field of study in Canada.
  6. How do I know if my occupation is a NOC 0, A or B occupation?
    The National Occupation Classification (NOC) is the authoritative resource on occupational information in Canada. It is used to understand the jobs found throughout Canada’s labour market. The NOC is updated in partnership with Statistics Canada according to 5 year Census cycles. It is based on extensive occupational research and consultation conducted across the country, reflecting the evolution of the Canadian labour market. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will only accept occupations in NOC skill type 0, A or B.
  7. To qualify for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), do I need to obtain proper registration or trade certification if my occupation or skilled trade is regulated or requires certification in Ontario?

    Yes. In order to qualify for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, you must obtain the proper registration or trade certification if your intended occupation is regulated or requires certification in Ontario. There are many regulated professions and trades in Ontario. For information on these occupations, please visit our Useful Web Links section.

    Please note that for some skilled trades, certification may either be voluntary or mandatory. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will only require you to obtain certification if your skilled trade requires mandatory certification. To determine if your skilled trade requires mandatory or voluntary certification, please visit the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities website.

  8. Do I need a permanent full-time job if I am an international student?
    In order to qualify for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, job offers for individuals applying under the International Student with a Job Offer stream must be permanent and full-time. Getting a first job after graduation is not an easy task and many students will not receive permanent full-time job offers right out of school. Given this reality for students, Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will also consider one-year renewable contracts on a case-by-case basis.
  9. What is considered a permanent full-time job?

    A full-time job consists of 1,560 hours of paid employment in a 12-month period. The following is not considered full-time work, even if workers are employed for 1,560 hours in a 12-month period:

    • Seasonal, cyclical or part-time employees regardless of their working hours.
    • Subcontractors or agency workers.
    • Employees who do not work on the company’s premises, such as employees who work from home, or employees who work in a ‘virtual’ location and serve the employer by telecommuting.

    A permanent job offer is continuous employment in a position designated as permanent and which has no specified end date. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will consider one year renewable contracts for international students on a case-by-case basis.

  10. What should be included in the job offer letter?

    The original job offer letter signed by the employer must meet the following requirements:

    • Printed on company letterhead and identify company address, telephone/fax numbers, email, and website addresses; 
    • Identify the responsible Officer/Supervisor and include his/her signature;
    • Stamped with the company’s corporate seal (if applicable); AND
    • includes:
      • Occupation title
      • Wage for full-time, permanent position being offered
      • Duties and responsibilities
      • Number of hours per week and a number of weeks of work per year
      • Number of days/weeks of vacation
      • Workplace location
      • Employment start date, and 
      • an indication that the offer being made is for a permanent, full-time position
  11. Which documents can I provide to demonstrate that I have graduated or will be graduating at the end of the semester?

    If you have already graduated, you can provide original transcripts and certified true copies of degree(s) and/or diploma(s) earned from the Canadian institution of your study.

    If your degree has not yet been granted:

    • Official letter (on institution letterhead) from the academic institution in Ontario which will be granting the degree confirming:
      • that degree requirements have been successfully completed by the applicant,
      • that there are no outstanding fees to be paid by the applicant, and
      • the scheduled date on which the applicant’s degree will be granted.
    • Official transcripts submitted by the applicant as part of a complete application package must be in the original sealed envelope from the academic institution in Canada that has granted the degree.

    You will not be eligible to apply until you have met your degree requirements.

  12. Can I apply if I don’t yet have an employer or a job offer?
    No. Individuals cannot apply directly to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Ontario employers must have position(s) approved before candidates will be considered for the position(s).
  13. I want to apply – can you provide me with a list of employers that are seeking employees?
    Nominee applicants are responsible for finding their own offers of employment. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program does not perform a job matching function.

Information for Ontario International Students: PhD Graduates

  1. I am a foreign exchange student completing my PhD in Ontario. Can I qualify for nomination under the international student category for PhD graduates?
    Yes, you may qualify for the program if you can demonstrate that you completed at least 2 years of study at a publicly assisted Ontario university and the degree must also be granted by that university. If you have a return of service obligation then you will not be able to qualify until you have fulfilled your obligations.
  2. I am an international student - through which stream should I apply?
    If you are a PhD graduate from a publicly assisted Ontario university, then you may qualify for the International PhD Graduate Stream. You do not require a job offer to be eligible to apply under this stream. If you are not a PhD graduate or if you are studying in another province or territory, and you have a full-time permanent job offer, you may qualify for the program under the International Student With Job Offer Stream.

Information for Ontario International Students: Masters Graduates

  1. I have recently graduated from a Master’s program and I plan to continue with my full-time studies (for example: PhD, additional Master’s degree). Do I qualify for the International Masters Graduate Stream?

    No. The Master’s Graduate Stream is for individuals who have graduated or who have met the degree requirements of a Master’s program at an eligible publicly funded university in Ontario. In order to apply to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program as an international student graduate from an eligible Master’s program students must “intend to live and work” in Ontario and be ready to enter the labour market on a full time basis. It is not intended for international students who are continuing their studies.

    An exemption to this rule is made for Master’s Graduates who are continuing to study:

    • But are working on full time basis in Ontario;
    • Towards meeting licensure requirements in a regulated occupation in Ontario.
  2. What will happen to my application when the program reaches its quota?

    At this time, Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is accepting applications under all categories and for all types of applicants. If this changes, the program will notify the public through its web page, Program Updates: What’s New.

    The program does have a nomination target of 5,200 for 2015 and all applications are processed on a first-come-first-serve basis. Eligible applicants should submit their application packages to the program as soon as they can.

    If the program reaches its nomination target for 2015, submitted nominee applications will be assessed in the next calendar year. The processing fee for the nominee application is non-refundable and it guarantees the processing of the nominee application, irrespective of the calendar year.

  3. I am in my last semester of Masters studies. Can I be still nominated?

    You can only apply to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program once you have met your degree requirements. 
     

    If your degree has not yet been granted:

    • Official letter (on institution letterhead) from the academic institution in Ontario which will be granting the degree confirming:
      • that degree requirements have been successfully completed by the applicant,
      • that there are no outstanding fees to be paid by the applicant, and
      • the scheduled date on which the applicant’s degree will be granted.
    • Official transcripts submitted by the applicant as part of a complete application package must be in the original sealed envelope from the academic institution in Canada that has granted the degree.

    You will not be eligible to apply until you have met your degree requirements.

  4. What kind of ties to Ontario do I need to demonstrate?

    You should include with your application a statement of intent which states your reasons to settle in Ontario and your ties to Ontario. This can include (but is not limited to):

    • Employment in Ontario;
    • Job offers or jobs applied/interviewed for in Ontario;
    • Volunteer work in Ontario;
    • Lease agreements for a residence in Ontario or property ownership;
    • Professional networks and affiliations;
    • Family ties;
    • Social connections or personal relationships; and/or
    • Previous visits to Ontario.

    Please provide documentation to support the statement where possible (i.e. copy of job offer, completed volunteer application forms, lease agreements, etc.).

  5. I have dependent children who are Canadian citizens / permanent residents. Do I need to include them when calculating my available funds?
    Yes. To help us determine your settlement funds requirement you need to include your immediate family members including your dependent children who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  6. Why are you asking Masters students to demonstrate funds?
    The program is designed to select immigrants to Ontario who are likely to establish themselves successfully in the province. Because no job offer is required, it is important to ensure a guarantee that these students will have the funds they need to establish themselves and their family in Ontario. That is why we are asking for Master’s students to show us a certain level of funds to ensure that they can afford to live in Ontario while they find a job.
  7. What do you mean by funds?
    By funds we mean the savings that you have and the revenues that you can count on in the 12 months following your nomination. Twelve months is the time period estimated for you to find a job. This means money you have in your bank account(s) – in Canada or overseas – and steady income that you already have and expect to continue having, like a part-time job or money from your family.
  8. What if I don't have the required amount of settlement funds in my bank account?

    If you do not have sufficient money in your bank account (s), you need to submit:

    • A Personal Funds Explanatory Letter addressed to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (signed and dated) that explains the level of funds you have. It must explain how you meet the minimum level of savings/revenues required for your family size.
    • AND
    • Supporting documents demonstrating your revenue sources and savings.

    Please see the Application Guide for International Graduates (PhD and Masters) for detailed information.

  9. Can I provide my credit card as a proof of funds?
    No. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program does not accept any available credit limits as proof of funds.
  10. Will you consider my debt when calculating the funds I have?
    No. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program does not factor in outstanding debt when calculating funds applicants have.
  11. Why are you requiring language testing of Masters graduates?
    A high level of language proficiency is one of the most important determinants of an immigrant's ability to find gainful employment and successfully integrate in the province. By nominating students with a high level of language proficiency, we are helping to ensure that our nominees can find gainful employment and contribute to the economy.
  12. Why are you asking Masters Students to test their language proficiency again?
    It is true that many international students need to write an English proficiency test, like TOEFL, to qualify for a Master’s program in Ontario. However, students are tested for their language proficiency in an academic setting. This level of language proficiency does not necessarily reflect on the student’s overall language proficiency and ability to find employment in the province. Language proficiency is also fluid. It changes over time and it is important for us to measure the language proficiency of Master’s students at the time of their application. That is why we ask students to write a general language proficiency test and require it to be less than one year old of application submission date.
  13. Do you accept IELTS Academic or TOEFL test results as proof of English proficiency?
    No. Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program accepts only IELTS General as proof of English proficiency.
  14. I obtained my IELTS results more than 12 months ago but they are still valid. Can I submit these?
    No. Your IELTS results must have been obtained within the last 12 months.
  15. Why are you asking Masters graduates to have 1 year of residence and reside in Ontario when applying?

    The purpose of the program is to select economic immigrants who intend to make Ontario their permanent home.

    Masters programs are relatively short. We need to ensure that students we nominate for permanent residence have a strong connection to the province. That is why we ask that Master’s graduates have lived in Ontario for at least 1 year of the last 2 years. The residence requirement demonstrates a connection to the province.

  16. What proof of residency do I need to submit?

    To prove your intention to settle in Ontario, you need to demonstrate:

    • 1 year of physical residence in the last 2 years in Ontario; and,
    • Your presence in the province at the time of your application to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.

    Documentation you need to provide should include credit card statements, leasing documents or bills with your name and your Ontario address. For more information on supporting documents, please consult with the Application Guide for International Graduates (PhD and Masters).

Updated Language Requirements for Ontario International Students: Masters Graduates

  1. What are the new minimum language requirements?

    The new minimum language requirements now match the Canadian Language Benchmark 7, which is considered to be adequate intermediate reading, listening, writing and speaking abilities in English or French.

    IELTS

    You were previously required to have an Overall Band Score of 7 or higher in your IELTS General Test. After February 1st, 2015, you are required to have the following minimum scores to be eligible to apply for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program:

    • Reading: 6
    • Listening: 6
    • Writing: 6
    • Speaking: 6

    In short, you have to have a score of 6 or higher in each of the four language competencies to qualify.

    Test d’évaluation de français (TEF)

    You were previously required to have an overall score of 5 or higher in your TEF. After February 1st, 2015, you are required to have the following minimum scores to be eligible to apply for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program:

    • Listening/Compréhension orale: 249-279
    • Reading/Compréhension écrite: 207-232
    • Writing/Expression écrite: 310-348
    • Speaking/Expression orale: 310-348
  2. Why was this change in the minimum language requirement made?

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is constantly working to ensure that our nominees have the best chances of success in Ontario, and to improve the transparency and fairness of our application assessment process.

    The changes to the minimum language requirements were made to ensure high language proficiency across all four language competencies for English and French speaking applicants. The change updates the minimum language requirement to match the Canadian Language Benchmark 7, which is considered to be adequate intermediate ability in listening, reading, writing and speaking.

    This change also aligns Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s language requirement with that of the Federal Skilled Worker program and the Canadian Experience Class under Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

    In addition, this change addresses the fact that the TEF is no longer scored on a 0-6 scale. Instead, each competency is graded individually.

  3. Does this mean I have to retake the IELTS or TEF?
    No. We will accept your existing IELTS or TEF result if they were taken within the 12 months prior to the date that Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program receives your application, as long as you meet the language requirements stated above.
  4. Do I have to send a different document to show official language proficiency?
    No, you do not have to send a different document. You must still submit your IELTS or TEF test result forms, which identify your test results in each of the language competencies. For the IELTS, instead of looking at your Overall Band Score, Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will be looking at your test results in each of the language competencies.
  5. What is the Canadian Language Benchmark and what does CLB 7 mean?

    The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) is a national standard set by the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks to describe, measure and recognize the language proficiency of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants in both English and in French. This national standard is used by the entire immigrant serving community, including Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. Using the national standard offers greater fairness and transparency in Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s language proficiency evaluation.

    CLB 7 is considered adequate intermediate ability in listening, reading, writing and speaking. For more information on the strengths of an individual with CLB 7 language proficiency in English, you can visit the CCLBs description of CLB 7 in each language competency.

  6. When do these changes take effect?
    The change to the minimum language requirement takes effect on February 1st, 2015. This means that any applications received before February 1st, 2015 will be assessed based on the previous minimum language requirements (Overall Band Scores).
  7. What if I already submitted my application?
    If you have already submitted your application and it is received on or before January 30th, 2015 (the final business day before February 1st, 2015), it will be assessed based on the previous minimum language requirements (Overall Band Scores). However, if it is received after February 1st, 2015, it will be assessed based on the new minimum language requirements, regardless of when the test was taken or when you signed, dated or sent the application.
  8. Is there a grace period in which applications received after February 1st, 2015 will still be assessed based on previous requirements?
    No. There will be no grace period for applications received after February 1st, 2015. All these applications will be assessed under the new minimum language requirements.
  9. What if I submit my application after February 1st, 2015 and I only meet the old minimum language requirements? Will you return my application?
    Your application will be assessed based on the new minimum language requirements if it was received after February 1st. If you do not meet the new minimum language requirements at that time, then your application may be denied and you will be required to re-apply should you wish to be considered for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) once you meet the new minimum eligibility requirements.
  10. Can I submit my application before February 1st, 2015 with the new minimum language requirements?
    If your application is received before February 1st, 2015, it will be assessed under the previous minimum language requirements, regardless of whether or not you meet the new minimum language requirements. If you wish to be assessed under the new minimum language requirements, please submit your application after the changes to the minimum language requirements take effect on February 1st, 2015.

IELTS Specific

  1. I scored an overall band score of 7, but I scored less than 6 in one of the language competencies. Am I still eligible?

    Each language competency is considered to be of equal importance in demonstrating high official language proficiency and for the success of our future nominees. Therefore, all applicants under the International Students – Masters Graduate Stream must have a score of 6 in each of the four language competencies in order to be eligible to apply for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program after February 1st, 2015.

    Exceptions will not be made in order to ensure the fairness and transparency in the evaluation of language proficiency.

TEF Specific

  1. I scored higher than the minimum requirements in three sections of the TEF, but less than the requirement in another section. Am I still eligible?

    Each language competency is considered to be of equal importance in demonstrating high official language proficiency and for the success of our future nominees. Therefore, all applicants under the International Students – Masters Graduate Stream must meet the following minimum scores in order to be eligible to apply for Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program after February 1st, 2015.

    • Listening/Compréhension orale: 249-279
    • Reading/Compréhension écrite: 207-232
    • Writing/Expression écrite: 310-348
    • Speaking/Expression orale: 310-348

    Exceptions will not be made in order to ensure the fairness and transparency in the evaluation of language proficiency.

Reconsideration Requests

  1. What can I do if my application is denied?

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program gives applicants an opportunity to seek a review of the denial decision of their application. This process is called Reconsideration.

    Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s reconsideration process is in place to provide applicants recourse to the denial of their case should they feel an error was made by the program. Written request for reconsideration must be made within 30 business days of the date on the denial letter. Full details on filing a reconsideration request will be provided in the notification of denial.

    Reconsideration requests are reviewed by an official who was not involved in the original decision and who occupies a higher position than the original decision-maker. The reconsideration decision is final.

    Please note that a reconsideration request will consider eligibility at the time of application. A decision will not be reconsidered on the basis of a change in circumstances from the time of application submission. In these instances nominee applicants should submit a new application to the program. Nominee applicants submitting a new application are required to pay the application fee for the new application.

Nominees: What to do after you are nominated

  1. I have received my Provincial Nomination Certificate copy. Does this mean I have legal status in Canada until my permanent resident application is finalized? Does it mean I can work in Ontario?
    No, a provincial nomination and the corresponding Confirmation of Nomination issued to you do not confer legal status in Canada. Foreign nationals on a Work Permit, Study Permit or Temporary Resident Visa need to ensure that they remain in proper status in Canada until they receive the permanent resident status. It is the responsibility of these individuals to renew, extend or apply for proper temporary resident status in Canada (such as a work permit) throughout their stay in the country even after they are nominated.
  2. Where can I obtain Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) application forms and guides for Provincial Nominees?
    CIC application forms for permanent residence, including an application guide for Provincial Nominees are available on the CIC website.
  3. Where should I send my permanent residence application?
    If you are nominated by the Province of Ontario, the approval letter in your Nomination Package will indicate the visa office where you should send your application for permanent residence. For a list of all CIC visa offices, please visit the CIC website.
  4. How long will it take CIC to process my permanent residence application as a Provincial Nominee?
    Application processing times vary across visa offices. Current processing times for each visa office are available on the CIC website.
  5. Will I have to pay fees to CIC?
    Yes. When applying to CIC for a work permit and/or permanent residence, you must pay all fees that are required by CIC. For the CIC Fee Schedule, please visit the CIC website.
  6. I have applied for permanent residence. When will I have to get my medical examination?
    Once you submit your application for permanent residence, CIC will send you instructions on how and when you should complete your medical examination. It is important to note that your dependents must also pass a medical examination, even if they are not accompanying you to Canada. For further information on medical examination requirements for permanent residents, please visit the CIC website.
  7. Do I need a medical examination if I am entering Canada on a Temporary Work Permit?
    You may be required to undergo a medical examination if entering Canada on a Temporary Work Permit. A medical examination is required if an applicant will be working in an occupation where the protection of public health is essential. If an applicant has lived for six or more consecutive months in the one year immediately preceding the date of seeking entry to Canada in a designated country/territory, a medical examination will also be required. For Temporary Work Permits that are issued for six months or longer, a medical examination may be required. For further information on medical examination requirements for temporary foreign workers, please visit the CIC website.
  8. I am applying for permanent residence. Will I need a criminal and security check?
    When you are applying for permanent residence, you must have a criminal and security check. In general, you and everyone in your family who is 18 years of age or over (16 years of age in certain jurisdictions) need to obtain a police certificate. You must obtain a police certificate from each country or territory where you have lived for six consecutive months or longer since reaching the age of 18. The certificate must have been issued no more than three months before you submit your application. If the original certificate is neither in English nor in French, submit both the certificate and the original copy of a translation prepared by an accredited translator with your application. For further information on criminal and security checks, please visit the CIC website.
  9. Will I need a criminal and security check if I am entering Canada on a Temporary Work Permit?
    You may need a criminal and security check if you are coming to Canada as a temporary worker. For further information on criminal and security checks, please visit the CIC website.

Settling in Ontario

  1. Once I am nominated by Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, where can I find information on settling in Ontario?

    Once you have received your Provincial Nomination Certificate, you may contact Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program at 416-327-0374 or toll-free at 1-866-214-6820 (within North America only) to obtain your welcome package. This package contains important information about housing, employment, schools, transit, health services and other settlement information. The welcome package can not be used to gain entry to Canada and is an information package only.

    The welcome package is only one source of information about settling in Ontario. Additional information can be found in the After You Arrive section of this website, and in these publications:

    For information on your first days in Ontario, please click here.

    For information on finding housing and finding a place to live in Ontario, please click here.

    For information on studying in Ontario, please click here.

    For information on general health care and health care services offered by the Government of Ontario, please click here.

 
 
 
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