Often when people hear about Canada, they think of Ontario. This is a natural reaction given that the nation’s capital, Ottawa, is in the eastern part of the province just a few hours’ drive to Toronto, the largest city in the country. The province is home to more than 38% of Canada’s population. The name Ontario was given by the Iroquois Aboriginals who lived in the region before the first European settlers. It’s a culturally diverse province with a mix of many different First Nations Aboriginals, old settled families and new immigrants from many parts of the world. Despite being in the middle of the country, Ontario has a vast amount of shoreline from the historic Hudson Bay to the Great Lakes shared with the United States. This mix of culture and topography also lends to a range of activities for residents and visitors to enjoy from special events to theatre and downtown nightlife to family-friendly cultural centres.
The economy of Ontario is primarily based on manufacturing, high-tech, natural resources, financial services and agriculture due to the extensive diversity of urban centre and rural northlands. In-demand jobs in Ontario include those in trades in the construction field, farm and nursery workers and heavy equipment operators to name a few.
Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OPNP) has several categories:
- The Ontario Express Entry is made up of three streams, of which nominees must have qualified for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) Express Entry pool as well as the required education, skilled work experience, language and other characteristics to establish and integrate into Ontario’s workforce and communities:
- The Human Capital Priorities Stream is designed for skilled workers who want to live and work permanently in Ontario.
- The French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream is for French-speaking skilled workers who have strong English language abilities and who want to live and work permanently in Ontario.
- The Skilled Trades Stream is designed for skilled workers with work experience in an eligible skilled trade who want to live and work permanently in Ontario. Skilled trades’ certification may be required.
- The Employer Job Offer Category consists of two streams:
- The Foreign Workers with a job-offer stream is how the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OPNP) helps employers meet their human resource needs, by enabling them to recruit foreign workers and international students. Through this category, Ontario employers are able to recruit foreign workers for approved skilled positions. These employees may be living abroad or in Canada at the time of application.
- The Employer job offer in-demand skills stream targets workers in certain agriculture and construction occupations.
- The International Student Category is specifically designed for international students in Ontario under the following sub-categories:
- The International Student with a Job Offer stream is for international students with full-time permanent job offers in a skilled job. To qualify as an international student, they must have graduated from a full-time degree or diploma program, from an eligible publicly-funded college or university in Canada which is at least two years in length or a one-year post-graduate certificate program. They are required to have completed half of their studies in Canada and apply within two years from graduation.
- International Student – Masters Graduate Stream is for students who have graduated with a Master’s degree from an eligible publicly funded university in Ontario, without the requirement of a job offer.
- International Student – Ph.D. Graduate Stream is for students who have graduated from a Ph.D. program at an eligible publicly funded university in Ontario, without the requirement of a job offer.
- Business Category has two streams:
- The Entrepreneur Stream is designed for individuals who are looking to implement a new business initiative or buy an existing business in Ontario. Successful applicants will obtain a temporary work permit support letter – based on a performance agreement – to establish the business in Ontario. If the investment and job creation agreements outlined in the performance agreement are adhered to, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to be nominated for Canadian permanent resident status.
- The Corporate Stream aims to help and support established international corporations looking to expand into Ontario or buy an existing business. Once the business has been successfully established, key staff are eligible to apply for a provincial nomination certificate, allowing them to eventually become permanent residents of Canada.