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Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program – OINP Explained

Provincial Nominee Program: OINP – by Adnan Kamal


Ontario is considered by many to be the crown jewel of Canada, home to the capital city of Ottawa and one of the most multicultural cities in the world Toronto. This will of course be argued by the residents of the other jewels primarily British Columbia.
Toronto is also the largest city in Canada and home to nearly 40% of Canadian residents. That being said, it is pretty obvious that Ontario is the most desired destination for the majority of the applicants.

But how do you get to Ontario? I’m sure all of you are aware of the Federal Express Entry system. But for those who are new here, in short, the Express Entry system is a government-run system where applicants can submit their application profiles for Permanent Residence. The profiles submitted are scored on a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), the influencing factors are; Age, Education, Work Experience & Language Proficiency. If your score is above the monthly draws cut-off, then you’re the lucky one and will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

However, Ontario Immigration Authorities offer an alternative pathway; The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (ONIP). This OINP allows the government of Ontario to nominate individuals for permanent residence. The OINP is by far one of the most dynamic Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) that caters and welcomes businessmen, graduates & skilled workers.

The OINP is a diverse and dynamic program that has multiple streams that work in tandem with the Express Entry and some that do not require the Express Entry system at all. The overview of the OINP and its streams will be explained below.

*Legend for the below table:

  • FSW – Foreign Skilled Worker
  • CEC – Canadian Experience Class
  • EE – Express Entry
  • CRS – Comprehensive Ranking System score.
  • CLB – Canadian Language Benchmark
  • DLI – Designated Learning Institute.
OINP Express Entry
StreamJob OfferRequirements
Human Capital StreamNot RequiredHave a profile in EE pool as a CEC or FSW. Meet the CRS score cut-off set by the OINP.
French Speaking Skilled WorkerNot RequiredHave a profile in EE pool as a CEC or FSW. Have a CLB7 or better in French & CLB6 or better in English.
Skilled TradesNot RequiredHave a profile in EE pool as a CEC, be living in Ontario with work experience in the listed skill trade.
Employee Job Offer
StreamJob OfferRequirements
International StudentRequiredShould graduate from a Canadian school (DLI) with a degree or diploma that is 2 years in length or have a postgraduate certificate that is at least 1 year in length. 
Foreign WorkerRequiredShould have a permanent skilled job offer that meets the current wage for Ontario.
In-demand SkillsRequiredShould have worked in Ontario in the field of construction and agriculture (high-demand)
Graduate Streams
StreamJob OfferRequirements
MastersNot RequiredMust Graduate from a Masters’s program from Ontario in the last 2 years.
Ph.D. GraduatesNot RequiredMust Graduate from a Ph.D. program from Ontario in the last 2 years.

The official OINP link for all the above streams is here.

Business Streams
StreamJob OfferRequirements
EntrepreneurNot Required but must create job opportunities.A business owner with a high net. worth (min. $400k-$800K), with a required business investment of min. $200k-$600K. Must create two or more jobs.
official OINP Link here

After seeing an overview of the OINP program and its functioning streams, by far the most popular and successful stream out of this is the OINP – Human Capital Stream. The Human Capital Stream was introduced in 2015 and since then it has been a bang on success in immigrating people to Ontario, Canada.

The human capital stream, which has become the center attraction of the whole ONIP program invited over 7000 immigrants in 2019. So you can imagine why I would dedicate the rest of the content to walking you through this particular stream; Human Capital Stream (OINP).

This stream requires you to have a profile in the Express Entry and periodically applicants are invited for provincial nomination through the Express Entry. The eligibility criteria for this stream is: 

  • Active Express Entry Profile
  • Minimum CLB 7 in English or French
  • Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of a bachelor’s degree or above that is equivalent to a Canadian bachelor’s or above.
  • Minimum CRS score as decided by the Director.
  • 1 year + work experience in the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code of 0, A, B in the last 5 years. This NOC must also be mentioned as your primary NOC.
  • The intention of working and living in Ontario
  • Notification of Interest from Ontario.

However, from past trends, I have understood the following which is worth sharing;

  1. The CRS scores for this stream are at the sole discretion of the OINP director.
  2. The CRS cut-off scores are released prior to each round of draws.
  3. Invitations can be restricted to certain occupations and work experiences.
  4. A job offer is not required but applicants with a job offer have been prioritized.
  5. OINP is one of the most expensive programs as you will have to pay a fee in addition to the Express Entry stream.

Now that you are aware of the eligibility criteria and the past trends that have been witnessed, I will be taking you through the application process. Worry not! It is by far one of the simplest PNP application processes out there and if you are familiar with the Express Entry process, then this will prove to be even easier.

Step 1: Eligibility Check for Express EntryStep 10: Invitation to Apply (ITA). It’s slowly becoming a reality
Step 2: Get your ECA done.Step 11: Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)
Step 3: Prove your English Proficiency (IELTS)Step 12: Immigration Medical Exam
Step 4: Calculate your CRS score. Step 2 and 3 are important for this.Step 13: Work Experience Letters
Step 5: Create Express Entry ProfileStep 14: Provide Proof of Funds
Step 6: Notification of Interest from OntarioStep 15: Upload all documents so far and proceed to pay for your application.
Step 7: Accept the Notification of Interest and submit relevant documents.Step 16: Request for Biometrics
Step 8: On receiving approval you are awarded 600 CRS points (additional to the already CRS points you have)Step 17: Submit Biometrics at a Visa Application Center
Step 9: Keep Patience and Wait for the draw.Step 18: Have Patience and wait for the Golden mail: Permanent Residence. After getting the PR, submit your passport as per the instruction received from ICCRC.

*When creating your Express Entry Profile please make sure that you select “ALL PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES” when you are asked to add provinces and territories that are of interest to you. I say this because if you are to select only Ontario from the list, your profile will only be picked for a PNP from any other province but Ontario or any other of your choosing.

Those who are familiar with the Express Entry process will notice that this is exactly the same process just with 3 additional steps. The 3 steps in themselves don’t require or ask much from you as an applicant. Wondering how? Let me explain.

Step 6 from the table: To obtain the Notification of Interest (NOI) from Ontario, you do not need to do anything additional. It’s actually the province of Ontario that will scan the Express Entry pool and based on that round’s requirements applicants receive the NOI. The NOI is received in your ICCRC account, you will need to visit the messages section to view the same.

You must meet the minimum CRS scores set by Ontario. In 2019 the minimum CRS scores were 430+. But if you are unable to meet the minimum cut-off you will not receive an NOI.

Step 7 & 8 from the table: After receiving the NOI, you will have to accept the same and you actually have 45 days to do it. After accepting the nomination you will have to submit all relevant documents that made you an eligible applicant. As mentioned earlier, you are also required to pay an additional fee besides the Express Entry fee. You will have to pay $1,500 CAD.

OINP’s official application checklist is here.

The relevant documents that are required:

  • Identity Documents: Passport size photograph, Valid Passport.
  • Educational Qualification: Bachelor’s Degree or above.
  • Language Proficiency: CLB 7 minimum
  • Work Experience: Updated Resume, payslips, letter of experience and recommendation letters.
  • Proof of Funds: A letter from the bank with all the details of the bank and the stamp. For a single applicant, the minimum funds required are $12,960 CAD.

Please note: The document checklist is by far very important to receive approval from the province. So carefully check the document checklist on the province’s website for the specific stream and follow the instruction and formats to the letter.

After the submission of these documents, Ontario immigration officers will take 30-90 days for verification of your documents, after which if everything is up to the mark you receive approval you are awarded the nomination and an additional 600 CRS points. This basically guarantees your Invitation to Apply (ITA) in the next draw.

Please note: You will need to go to your Express Entry profile and update the profile by including PNP in the profile. Only then can you receive the additional 600 CRS points.

After fulfilling these steps you basically will be following the application guide of the Federal Express Entry system where Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) has the sole discretion in giving you permanent residence based on the documents you will be submitting to them.


ONIP Tech draws which began in 2019 provide new opportunities for foreign immigrants that fall under the Human Capital Stream. The OINP searches for applicants in the Express Entry pool that satisfy:

  1. Human Capital Stream criteria.
  2. Work experience in targeted NOC codes.

The list of Targeted NOC codes are:

  1. Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173)
  2. Computer programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)
  3. Computer engineers (NOC 2147)
  4. Web designers and developers (NOC 2175)
  5. Database analysts and data administrators (NOC 2172)
  6. Computer and information systems managers (NOC 0213)

So if you are an experienced skilled worker in any of the above following NOC codes, then you can benefit from this newly formed program that has been successfully running.
The latest tech draw happened yesterday, 15th December 2020, where 668 candidates in the CRS range of 460-468 were invited to apply.

General HCP Draw

Similar to the Tech draw, OINP also conducts a general HCP draw for targeted occupations that have been identified to be in demand in the province.
During the last 2 draws, OINP invited the following NOCs under its General Draw for Targeted Occupations.

  • 0111 – Financial managers
  • 0124 – Advertising, marketing and public relations managers
  • 0601 – Corporate sales managers
  • 1111 – Financial auditors and accountants
  • 1114 – Other financial officers
  • 1122 – Professional occupations in business management consulting
  • 3012 – Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • 3124 – Allied primary health practitioners
  • 3132 – Dietitians and nutritionists

The last draw was conducted on November 12, 2020, and candidates with CRS scores in the range of 469-477 were invited.
In my opinion, this draw and these invitations were totally wasted as Express Entry draws had subsequently dropped to 469 on Nov 25, 2020.
Hence I am hoping that OINP conducts another draw in this category to make up for those lost invitations.

To summarize, OINP is one of the most diverse and dynamic PNP programs out there. The application process is very similar to the Express Entry. However, applying candidates should keep in mind the points provided in this article and follow the document checklist and formats to the letter. For more information on the CRS score cut-off or document checklist please visit Ontario’s website and follow their program updates here.