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Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program is an immigration program through which Ontario nominates individuals and their families for permanent resident status based on a pre-approved job offer in the province. The Government of Ontario established Opportunities Ontario to help employers succeed in the global competition for talent. Opportunities Ontario will target 1,000 nominations in 2011.

September 14, 2010

Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program is expanding to allow international students graduating from Masters programs in Ontario to apply for permanent residence without a job offer.

As part of the Open Ontario Plan to create new opportunities for jobs and growth, the province is increasing the number of international students by 50 per cent while maintaining spaces for Ontario students.

Employers interested in Opportunities Ontario can find more information about employer eligibility criteria, and how to apply, by visiting the Employer section of OO PNP website.

Investors can find more information in the Investors section of OO PNP website.

Foreign Workers interested in Opportunities Ontario can find more information in the Foreign Workers section of OO PNP website.

Opportunities Ontario: PNP like all other Canadian PNP programs are subject to frequent changes - for up to date information on all rules, information and application forms visit Opportunities Ontario: PNP web site.

Categories and streams of
Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program:

Categories:

Streams:


Opportunities Ontario: Investors

Opportunities Ontario allows Ontario to select economic immigrants whose skills match those needed by businesses in the province. The investment component of the program helps companies making an investment in Ontario to recruit or relocate key employees to ensure the long-term success of the investment. Opportunities Ontario targeted 1,000 nominations in 2011.

Who can apply
The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI) is the first point of contact and referral for companies or individual investors making an investment in Ontario who want to facilitate the permanent resident status of needed employees.

Please submit the Investment Referral Form by e-mailing Opportunities Ontario at Opportunities.Ontario@ontario.ca to start the referral process.

Investment Guidelines

To qualify, investments must be of significant importance to Ontario and must create jobs for Ontarians. New investments and expansions to current operations are eligible. Investments need to meet the following eligibility guidelines:

  • The investment must receive an official endorsement from another Ontario ministry at the Deputy Minister level for the investment and the number of key positions requested. For more information about the endorsement process, please visit the How to apply section.
  • The amount of the investment is at least $3,000,000.
  • The investment must create at least five net permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Ontario.
  • The investment has to also comply with Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). This federal law excludes individuals from provincial nomination who:

To comply with these exclusions, individual investors seeking nomination need to meet added eligibility requirements (please see section called Eligibility Criteria for Individual Investors)

How to apply
The application process for companies making an investment as three steps:

For investment nominee applications there is a non-refundable fee of $3,500. The fee can be paid by the prospective nominee or by the investor.



Opportunities Ontario: General Category


Opportunities Ontario helps employers who are having difficulty finding the skilled workers they need. It also allows investors to bring in key employees on a permanent basis. Through the program, employers and investors can recruit foreign workers in any managerial, professional or skilled trades occupation (see the NOC 0, A or B categories).

Who can be recruited

Employers and investors may recruit qualified employees for approved positions through the General Category, whether they are abroad or in Canada with legal status (as temporary foreign workers or visitors). All prospective nominees who are visiting or residing in Canada will be required to provide documentation of their status with their application forms. Employers will need to indicate on their application forms whether they are recruiting foreign workers from abroad or foreign workers who are in Canada with legal status.

To be eligible as a foreign worker, prospective nominees in the General Category must demonstrate that they qualify for the approved position by providing evidence that they have:

  • At least two years (24 months) of work experience (within the previous five years) in the intended occupation, or have appropriate registration in Ontario, if applying for a position in a regulated occupation in Ontario.
    • For work experience obtained abroad and in Canada, Opportunities Ontario will only accept full-time work experience that is verifiable, relevant, and paid. Unpaid or volunteer experience will not be accepted. In addition, for work experience obtained in Canada, Opportunities Ontario will only accept Canadian work experience that is obtained with proper work authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (e.g., work permit) within the most recent five years.
  • A permanent full-time job offer in a skilled occupation (NOC 0, A or B) that Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program has approved and that is still valid.
    • Foreign workers already working in the position that Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program approved need to be paid a wage that is equal to or greater than the wage approved for that position. So if the wage for the position was approved at $25/hour, the temporary worker in that position will need to be paid $25/hour or more before the program nominates them.
  • Have legal status, if the prospective nominee is in Canada (e.g., a work permit, temporary resident visa). Refugee claimants and asylum seekers are not eligible for the program.
  • The employer’s approval letter, Joint Verification form signed by their prospective employer, and Pre-screen Position form.
About the process

Opportunities Ontario is an employer-driven program with a two-step application process:

Step 1: Employers submit a Pre-screen Application to Opportunities Ontario requesting positions for which the employer would like to recruit a foreign national. Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis.

Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program is designed in part to assist employers who are having difficulty recruiting qualified, skilled workers in Ontario. Applications from employers who are seeking positions for foreign workers residing abroad, or foreign workers who are visiting Canada, will receive priority processing if those employers have tried to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents located in Ontario for those positions before applying to the program.

Step 2: The individuals who have been recruited submit a nominee application package to the Opportunities Ontario program. Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis.


International Student with Job Offer Stream

Opportunities Ontario helps employers who are having difficulty finding the skilled workers they need. Through the program, employers can recruit international students in any managerial, professional or skilled trades occupation (see the NOC 0, A or B) categories.

Who can be recruited

Employers may recruit qualified employees for approved positions through the International Student Category, whether they are in Canada with legal status or are abroad. International students are eligible to apply in their last semester or within two years of completing their studies in Canada. All prospective nominees who are visiting or residing in Canada will be required to provide documentation of their status with their application forms. Employers will need to indicate on their application forms that they are recruiting an international student.

About the process

Opportunities Ontario is an employer-driven program with a two-step application process:

Step 1: Employers submit a Pre-screen Application to Opportunities Ontario requesting positions for which the employer would like to recruit a foreign national. Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis.

Step 2: The individuals who have been recruited submit a nominee application package to the Opportunities Ontario program. Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis.

International PhD Graduate Stream
International students who are graduates of a PhD program from one of Ontario’s publicly funded universities do not need a job offer to qualify for the program. They are also eligible to apply within two years of the date on which the PhD was granted. Prospective nominees have to submit the Nominee Application Form for International Graduates (PhD and Masters).

Pilot International Masters Graduate Stream
International students who are graduates of a Masters program from one of Ontario’s publicly funded universities do not need a job offer to qualify for the program. They can apply in their last semester or within two years of the date on which they receive their degree. Prospective nominees have to submit the Nominee Application Form for International Graduates (PhD and Masters).





Opportunities Ontario: Questions & Answers
Opportunities Ontario: Forms & Guides
Opportunities Ontario: Multilingual Information
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