Ontario Provincial Nominee Program

Are you a skilled worker, investor or international student seeking to live and work in the province of Ontario? If so, the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) may be your best immigration option.

The Ontario PNP is designed to help Ontario employers recruit foreign nationals to fill provincial labor market gaps, in the absence of qualified Canadians.

Pre-Screening and other Process

Employers interested in hiring a foreign national (whether a skilled worker or international student) must start the application process by submitting a pre-screening application to the Ontario provincial government to approve the position they wish to fill with a foreign national. Once the position is approved to be filled by a foreign national, the foreign national who is offered the position must then submit their application to the Ontario PNP.  The foreign national and the employer must meet a number of requirements in order to be eligible under the Ontario PNP.

Like other provincial nominee programs, once an applicant is nominated under the Ontario PNP, the applicant (and their family) may then apply for their Canadian permanent residency through the proper federal Canadian immigration department. There are two main categories within this provincial nominee program, the General Category and International Student Category, and both categories have different streams that applicants can apply under.

General Category

This Ontario PNP General Category is for Ontario employers and foreign nationals who want to invest in an Ontario company. This category is designed to help employers and investors recruit foreign skilled workers with the skills and experience that are in demand in Ontario.

  • Employer/ Foreign Worker Stream
  • Investor Streams: Business Investor Stream and Individual Investor Stream

International Student Category

The international student category is used by employers who want to recruit international students. There are three different streams under this category:

  • International Students with a Job Offer Stream
  • International PhD Graduate Stream
  • Pilot International Masters Graduate Stream

Employers / Foreign Worker Stream

Foreign nationals may apply under the Ontario Foreign Worker category if the foreign national has a job offer from an Ontario Employer and the employer has approved the position with Ontario PNP. It is important to note that it is the employer who must start the application process by submitting a pre-screen application with the Ontario PNP for the position they wish to fill with a foreign national. Once the position is approved, the foreign national they wish to hire must then submit their provincial nominee application to the Ontario PNP. Both the Ontario Company and foreign workers must meet a number of criteria to be considered eligible under this category. Successful applicants, who are nominated, along with their family, may then apply for their Canadian permanent residency

Employer Requirements and Conditions

Employers start the application process by submitting a pre-screening application. In their Pre-Screen Applications, employers must meet the following conditions and requirements:

  • They are a corporation, limited partnership or a sole proprietorship.
  • The business has been operating for at least three years.
  • They may hire individuals outside of Canada, or those within Canada who are either visiting or working under temporary work permit.
  • Those positions being offered must be full-time positions that are in a skilled occupation recognized under Canadian immigration law.
  • Job offers must meet standard wage levels, which can vary depending on years of experience (entry level vs. years of experience)
  • The job offer must not contravene or disrupt any agreements, labor disputes or training opportunities for residents of Ontario.
  • The position being offered in necessary for the business’s operations.

For employers within the Great Toronto Area, the Ontario employer:

  • Must have a minimum of 1 million in gross revenue and a minimum of 5 full-time employees
  • Can only apply for approval of one position for every 5 full time employees at the company.

For employers outside the Greater Toronto Area, the employer:

  • Must have a minimum of $500,000 in gross revenue and a minimum of 3 full-time permanent employees.
  • Can only apply for approval of one position for every 3 full time employees at the company.