A Complete Guide to Ontario Immigration Pathways and Pilots

Home to Canada’s capital, Ottawa, and its largest city, Toronto, the province of Ontario leads when it comes to major economic sectors. Rich in natural resources and a leader in manufacturing, the province is alive with possibilities when it comes to opportunities. Ontario’s population quickly edges towards the 15 million mark and 198,530 are immigrants that entered via various Ontario immigration pathways in 2021.

If you’ve been considering moving to Canada’s most popular province, you’ll be happy to learn that there are several options available to finally make it happen. Let’s take a look at the Ontario immigration programs and to get you started with your application as soon as possible.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Because the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) goal is to attract more immigrants to Canada, Ontario’s economic immigration program, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, was established as a means of making this happen. The OINP allows foreign workers and students with the ability to fill the province’s skills gaps to apply for nominations. Those who successfully meet the requirements earn a nomination, and approval for the permanent residency applications are then granted by the government of Canada.


The Human Capital Category

The OINP utilizes the federal government’s Express Entry System to facilitate applications for the following streams:

  • French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream
  • Human Capital Priorities stream
  • Skilled Trades stream

Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream allows French-speaking skilled workers who have scored 7 in the Canadian Language Benchmark in French and have excellent English language capabilities the chance to apply to live and work in the province.

Human Capital Priorities Stream

The Express Entry Human Capital stream allows skilled foreign workers with the qualifying appropriate work experience, language abilities and credentials to apply to live and work in Ontario.

The Skilled Trades Stream affords foreign nationals with the necessary trade skills and work experience the opportunity to apply to live and work in Ontario.

To apply for the above, you will have to have a valid profile within Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC’s) Express Entry system. You’ll also have to receive a Notification of Interest from Ontario before you can apply online to be nominated by the Ontario government for permanent residence.

Ontario Tech Pilot

The Ontario Tech Pilot is also part of the OINP. It was established to bridge the skills gap and draw qualified foreign nationals to fill vacancies in the tech sector. There are 29 occupations that fall under the Ontario Tech Pilot. To qualify for the pilot, you’ll have to have one year’s valid work experience in the relevant tech occupations and meet the requirements for the Human Capital Priorities stream.

Apart from these main immigration streams, there are also two more streams for students that fall under the Human Capital Category, both of which were created for international applicants that have graduated from respective tertiary institutions in Ontario and would like to obtain a Canadian visa.

Additional Streams

In addition to the above mentioned streams, there are two options for students that fall within the Human Capital Category. These streams -the Master’s graduate Stream and the Ph.D. Graduate Stream - are for international candidates who have completed their studies at various universities and colleges within the province of Ontario.

The Master’s Graduate Stream is for a candidate who is a master’s graduate with no Express Entry profile or job offer requirements, while the Ph.D. Graduate Stream is for a candidate who is a graduate student with no Express Entry profile or employment offer requirements.

What is a Notification of Interest?

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program regularly checks Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Express Entry pool to select applicants that could meet the requirements for any of Ontario’s Express Entry streams. If you’re selected in the pool, you'll earn a notification of interest in your Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada online profile. It should be noted, however, that getting a notification of interest will not guarantee qualifying for the different streams.

The Employer Job Offer Category

If you’re lucky enough to have secured an offer of employment from an employer in Ontario, you’ll be able to apply via the Employer Job Category. This category consists of three immigration streams.

The Foreign Worker Stream is ideal for someone who is able to fill a skilled role that falls under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) levels 0, A, or B. You’ll need to have a university or college education and must have graduated within two years of application.

The International Student Stream is perfect for anyone wishing to fill a skilled position within the National Occupational Classification (NOC) level 0, A, or B. You’ll need to have a university or college education and must have graduated within two years of application.

The In-Demand Skills Stream is a possibility for a candidate who has received an offer of employment for a job that is part of the in-demand occupation list in Ontario.

h4>What is a NOC Code?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system as a classification tool for different occupations. Occupations are sorted according to specific duties and skill sets.

The Business Category

If you're interested in starting a business or investing in a Canadian one, the business categories below are for you.

The Corporate Stream allows foreign nationals with a global enterprise to move it to Ontario or buy an existing one.

The Entrepreneur Stream is for foreign nationals who wish to establish a new business or want to buy a Canadian company in Ontario.

Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) is an ideal option for skilled foreign nationals who would like to relocate to Canada. The program was established in a bid to provide the Canadian economy with a push, as a huge percentage of Canadians retire each year. With thousands of immigrants entering through these pathways, they are able to bridge the gaps left open. In this program, Canada draws skilled candidates aged 18 to work in Canada.

To qualify for the FSWP, you’ll have to meet a number of requirements. You’ll have to have sufficient work experience in your field of expertise, solid credentials and strong English or French language abilities. Your application will be examined according to a 100-point grid, out of which you will have to score at least 67 points. These points are based on:

  • Your age
  • Your work experience
  • Your qualifications
  • Language skills(English and/ or French)
  • An offer of employment

Because the program is facilitated by the Express Entry system, the application process happens at a quick pace. Once your FSWP application is complete, you’ll have to set up your Express Entry profile, for which you will be scored in the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). In this process, you will be ranked amongst other applicants who also wish to obtain Canadian Permanent residency. If you are successful in every step of this process, you’ll earn an Invitation to Apply (ITA). You’ll then have two months to apply for your visa to settle and start your career in Ontario.

Canadian Experience Class

If you wish to apply for Express Entry via the Canadian Experience Class, your work experience must add up to one year in Canada in NOC Skill Type 0 or Level A or B. Your work experience must have been obtained in the three years from your OINP submission. The experience you’ve gained must be the occupations mentioned in your Express Entry profile and you must have had a legal status in Canada.

Canada’s healthy economy is filled with endless opportunities for foreign nationals, which makes it the ideal country to start over. The province of Ontario continues to be one the most popular choices for immigration for a number of reasons, which include its viable sectors, diversity and exquisite setting. If you’re ready to make a move to one of the most vibrant cities in the world, find out more about Ontario immigration in 2022, today. Whether you choose the OINP or Express Entry Program, our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) can take you through the entire process.


What Education Should I have to Apply for Express Entry?

You’ll have to have a Canadian bachelor’s, master’s or PhD degree or the equivalent in your own or another country. If you’ve graduated outside of Canada, you’ll need to get an Educational Credential Assessment report to prove that your credentials match a Canadian degree.

What Else Should I Know About the Language Requirements in Canada?

If you want to live and work in Canada, you’ll have to understand, read, write and speak either English or French. You’ll have to score a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 or higher. You will have to take an approved English or French language test before applying for your immigration program. For English, you’ll do the International English Language Testing (IELTS) General Training test or the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General test. For French, you’ll do the Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF) or Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada).

What are Settlement Funds?

If your Ontario Immigration application has been a success, you'll have to ensure that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family. These funds would be the money shown on bank statements, investments, annual remuneration from a job in Ontario or proof of what you’ll earn in a new job in Ontario.