Ontario loosens eligibility criteria for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

Julia Hornstein
Published: January 12, 2024

Ontario has made a big change to its Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) Employer Job Offer: International Student stream by expanding the eligibility requirement for students who have completed a one-year college graduate certificate.

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Previously, the OINP’s Employer Job Offer: International Student stream allowed candidates to apply with a one-year credential from an eligible institution only if the program required the completion of a degree as an admission requirement.

With this change, the OINP allows applicants of any one-year college program that grants an Ontario College Graduate Certificate to qualify for the program, which increases the number of certificate programs eligible for the OINP.

The change came into effect on January 1st, 2024.

What is the OINP Employer Job Offer: International Student stream?

The OINP Employer Job Offer: International Student stream provides international students who have a job offer in an eligible skilled occupation in Ontario a pathway to permanent residence.

The stream is for international students residing in or outside Canada with a job offer in a "skilled occupation" classified as Type/Level 0, A or B in accordance with Canada's National Occupational Classification (NOC).

In addition to a job offer, international students must ensure that they, their employer and the job offer meet the program criteria. The Ontario employer is required to complete an Employer Form, which the international student must submit when applying.

If an application is approved and an Ontario provincial nomination is issued under this stream, nominees may apply for a work permit and Canadian permanent residence status with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

To be eligible under the program, candidates must prove they have obtained one of the following eligible credentials:

  • An undergraduate degree or diploma that takes at least two years if pursued on a full-time basis from an eligible Canadian institution
  • A graduate degree or diploma that takes at least one year if pursued on a full-time basis from an eligible Canadian institution
  • A college graduate certificate that takes at least one year to complete if pursued on a fully-time basis from an eligible Ontario institution
  • A university graduate certificate that takes at least one year to complete if pursued on a full-time basis from an eligible Ontario institution

More than half of an applicant’s studies must have been completed at an eligible Canadian institution while living and studying in Canada. To determine whether graduate certificate is an eligible credential, applicants should check that the official credential from their received institution is an Ontario College Graduate Certificate.

In addition to having the proper education credentials, applicants must:

  • Have an approved full-time job offer of indeterminate length in a skilled occupation (NOC 0, A, or B) in Ontario. The job offer must meet the entry-level wage levels in Ontario for that occupation.
  • Hold the mandatory licensure or authorization required for the job at the time of applying;
  • Demonstrate the intention to reside in Ontario. Applicants will be required to show their ties to Ontario;
  • Have and maintain legal status (a visitor record, study permit, or work permit) in Ontario throughout the application period if the applicant is residing in Canada;

A potential applicant can demonstrate a connection to Ontario through:

  • Current and/or previous employment in Ontario
  • Job offers or jobs applied/interviewed for in Ontario
  • Education 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
  • Previous visits to Ontario

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