Canada PR through Ontario Nominee Program

Author: Parminder Singh LL.B (Canada)

Ontario is one of the 10 provinces of Canada. The province nominates skilled workers, international graduates and investors for Canada PR status. The process of provincial nominee program involves two steps: Provincial nominee application and the Federal Immigration application. 

There are three ways to immigrate to Canada under this program:

  1. General or Skilled worker category
  2. International graduate category
  3. Investor category

 1. General Category (Skilled Workers Category)

Skilled worker criteria

Skilled workers must have: 

  • A job offer from an approved employer in skill type NOC O, A or B
  • At least two years of experience in the last five years in the skilled occupation, or have registration in Ontario, if his trade falls under a regulated occupation in Ontario.
  • Have legal status, if the prospective nominee is in Canada (e.g., a work permit, temporary resident visa). Refugee claimants are not eligible.

Employer criteria

Companies must:

  • Have been in business for 3 years (corporations, limited partnerships and sole proprietorships).
  • Have at least $1,000,000 in gross revenue for the recent fiscal year (for companies inside the Greater Toronto Area GTA), or have at least $500,000 in gross revenue (for companies outside the GTA).
  • Have at least 5 employees (for companies inside the Greater Toronto Area), or have at least 3 employees (for companies outside the GTA).

Employment criteria

The employment must:

  • Be in a skilled occupation (NOC 0, A or B).
  • Meet prevailing wage levels (for foreign workers) or entry-level wage levels (for international students) as per Labour Market Information
  • Not adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Ontario (If employers have tried to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Ontario before applying to the program, they will receive priority processing)
  • Be necessary for the operations of the company.

Requesting more than one position

Employers can request one position for every 5 full time employees employed (inside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), or one position for every 3 full time employees (outside the GTA).

The maximum number of positions which can be requested is 20. Requests for more than 20 positions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Employers in the Health and Education sectors can request more than 20 positions.

Processing times: 3 months for employer approval, 3 months for skilled worker’s Provincial Nomination and 9 to 12 months for Federal PR application

Processing Fees: $2000 for jobs in GTA, $1500 for jobs out of GTA plus $980 Federal Immigration application fees

2. International Graduate Category

There are three pathways to immigration to Canada for International Students

  1. International Student with a Job Offer
  2. International Phd Graduate without job offer
  3. International Masters Graduate without job offer

1. International Students with a Job Offer

To be eligible, students must:

  • Have a job offer from Ontario employer under NOC 0, A or B. The job offer need not be related to the area of study.
  • Have completed a minimum of a two-year diploma or degree program, on a full-time basis. One-year post-graduate degree or certificate programs, which require a previous degree or diploma, are also eligible.
  • Have completed at least half of their studies in Canada, and will be graduating or have graduated from a Canadian college or university.
  • Apply within two years of graduating, or in the alternative, during the last semester of completion of studies
  • Have legal status, if the student nominee is in Canada.

Notes:

  • International students need not have any previous work experience.
  • Students may apply for a job offer from within Canada or from overseas.
  • Students may have graduated from anywhere in Canada

Employer criteria

Companies must:

  • Have been in business for 3 years (corporations, limited partnerships and sole proprietorships).
  • Have at least $1,000,000 in gross revenue for the recent fiscal year (for companies inside the Greater Toronto Area GTA), or have at least $500,000 in gross revenue (for companies outside the GTA).
  • Have at least 5 employees (for companies inside the Greater Toronto Area), or have at least 3 employees (for companies outside the GTA).

Employment criteria

The employment must:

  • Be in a skilled occupation (NOC 0, A or B).
  • Meet prevailing entry-level wage levels as per Labour Market Information
  • Not adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Ontario (If employers have tried to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Ontario before applying to the program, they will receive priority processing)
  • Be necessary for the operations of the company.

Requesting more than one position

Employers can request one position for every 5 full time employees employed (inside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), or one position for every 3 full time employees (outside the GTA).

The maximum number of positions which can be requested is 20. Requests for more than 20 positions may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Employers in the Health and Education sectors can request more than 20 positions.

Processing times: 3 months for employer approval, 3 months for skilled worker’s Provincial Nomination and 9 to 12 months for Federal PR application

Processing Fees: $1500 for Ontario Nomination plus Federal Immigration fees $980

2. International PH.D Graduates without job offer

To be eligible, students must:

  • Have graduated from a PhD program in Ontario OR Have completed all degree requirements for the PH.D program
  • Have completed at least two years of PhD studies in Ontario AND Apply within two years of graduating.
  • Have legal status in Canada, if the PhD graduate is in Canada.

Notes:

  • PhD students may apply for the Ontario provincial nomination from within Canada or from overseas.
  • No job offer required

Processing times: 3 months for PH.D student Ontario Nomination and 9 to 12 months for Federal PR application

Processing Fees: $1500 for Ontario nomination plus Federal Immigration fees $980

3. International Masters Graduate without job offer (Pilot Program)

To be eligible, students must: to hear from you

  • Have graduated from a Master’s program in Ontario
  • Have completed a minimum of one year degree program, on full-time basis.
  • Apply within two years of graduating, or in the alternative, during the last semester of completion of the degree program.
  • Intend to live and work in Ontario.
  • Prove at least one year of residence in Ontario in the past two years.
  • Currently be residing in Ontario.
  • Have legal status in Canada (i.e. study permit, work permit, temporary resident visa).
  • Demonstrate high language proficiency (For English IELTS – General test score of 7 or higher) or (For French TEF –minimum score of 5 or higher).
  • Not have further studies as their main activity in the province
  • Demonstrate a minimum savings or income to support themselves as per the following schedule:

Notes:

  • Savings required for 1 family member: $11,086; for 2 family members $13,801; for 3 family members $16,967; for 4 members $20,599 and so on.
  • Proof can be provided through Personal bank statements for the past 6 months, or (if overseas) an original letter and monthly statements from a recognized financial institution indicating personal account balance.
  • If the account is in your name, your overseas bank statements will be accepted in support of your nominee application. If you have received financial support from your parents or any family member, you will need to submit a letter of support, stating their ongoing financial support, original bank statements and account balance.
  • Processing times: 3 months for Master’s degree  student’s  Ontario Nomination and 9 to 12 months for Federal PR application
  • Processing Fees: $1500 for Ontario Nomination plus Federal Immigration fees $980

Who is not eligible under international student category

  • International students on a national or international scholarship with return obligations will not be eligible unless such obligations have been fulfilled.
  • Refugee claimants are not eligible for this program

3. Investor Category

There are two types of investor programs

  1. Companies making investments
  2. Individual investors

1. Companies making investments

Employer eligibility criteria

To be eligible,

  • The amount of the investment must be at least $3,000,000.
  • The investment must create at least 5 net permanent full-time jobs for Canadians in Ontario.

Requesting more than one foreign skilled worker positions

Companies making an investment in Ontario can also request multiple positions. Companies can bring 1 key skilled worker from abroad for five net jobs created in Ontario. For each subsequent nominee position, 1 job must be created for Canadians in Ontario. The maximum number of nominee positions is 25.

“Net job” means jobs created by the company minus jobs lost in the province, if any.

Skilled Job eligibility criteria

Investment Nominee Positions must:

  • Be necessary for the long-term success of the company.
  • Be in a skilled occupation (NOC 0, A, or B).
  • Meet prevailing wage levels as per Labour Market Information. For international graduates who have completed studies in Canada, the job must meet the entry level wage levels.
  • Not adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadians in Ontario.

Skilled worker eligibility criteria

To be eligible, skilled workers must have:

  • A job offer for which they are qualified, from an Ontario employer in a skill type NOC A, B, or 0); For international graduates who have completed studies in Canada, the job need not be in their area of study.
  • 2 years of experience or have license in Ontario (if the occupation is a compulsory license trade in Ontario); No experience required for International graduates.

International Students

To be eligible, students must:

  • Have completed a minimum of a two-year diploma or degree program, on a full-time basis. One-year post-graduate degree or certificate programs, which require a previous degree or diploma, are also eligible.
  • Have completed at least half of their studies in Canada, and will be graduating or have graduated from a Canadian college or university.
  • Apply within two years of graduating, or in the alternative, during the last semester of completion of studies
  • Have legal status, if the student nominee is in Canada.

2. Individual Investors

Individual investors seeking nomination can also qualify, if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Control at least 33.334% of the equity in the business, or make a $1 million investment in the business
  • Create 5 new jobs for Canadians
  • Must not redeem the investment after a specified period
  • The primary purpose of the investment must not be to receive interest, dividends or capital gains

Processing fee: for employees of investors, the fee is $3,500.

Processing time: for nominee applications will be processed within 90 days

Quota: Ontario PNP will target 1,000 nominations each in Investor, student and skilled worker categories on a first come first basis