Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program: General Category (Foreign Workers)
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) 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.
About the process
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is an employer-driven program with a two-step application process:
Step 1: Employers submit a Pre-screen Application to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program 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 Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis.
Eligibility Criteria for Foreign Workers:
To be eligible to apply, a foreign worker must have a job offer that meets the following criteria:
- be an approved permanent, full-time job offer in a highly skilled occupation (NOC 0, A or B), and
- meets the prevailing wage levels in Ontario for that occupation.
The foreign worker must also:
- have two years of relevant work experience in the last five years, or the relevant mandatory licensing in Ontario for a regulated occupation, and
- be residing abroad or residing, working or visiting Canada on a valid work permit, study permit or visitor record.
Important: Definition of “Full-Time”
A full-time position is considered to be a position that consists of 1,560 hours of paid employment in a 12 month period.
The following are not considered permanent, full-time employees even if they work 1,560 hours in a 12-month period:
- Seasonal or part-time Employees regardless of their working hours,
- Subcontractors, independent contractors, business owners or agency workers,
- Employees who do not work on the company’s premises, such as employees who work from home, or employees who work in a “virtual” location, and serve the employer by telecommuting.
Eligibility Criteria for Employers:
- Employers must have been in active business (corporations, limited partnerships and sole proprietorships) for at least 3 years.
- Employers must have business premises in Ontario where the prospective nominee will work.
- Employers must be in compliance with all provincial labour laws, including but not limited to employment standards, health and safety, and labour relations legislation.
- Employers inside of the Greater Toronto Area must have:
- a minimum of $1,000,000 in gross annual revenue for the most recent fiscal year,
- five permanent full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents (per position to be filled each nomination year) at the location where prospective nominee will work.
- Employers outside of the Greater Toronto Area must have:
- a minimum of $500,000 in gross annual revenue for the most recent fiscal year,
- three permanent, full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents (per position to be filled each nomination year) at the location where prospective nominee will work.
To be considered for approval by OINP, the position to be filled must:
• Be a permanent and full-time position
o must consist of a minimum of 1,560 hours of paid employment in a 12-month period
• Be in a skilled occupation (National Occupation Classification Code 0, A or B)
• Meet wage criteria
o prevailing wage level – if the position is going to be offered to a prospective nominee applying under the Foreign Worker Stream;
o if the prospective nominee is already working in the position to be approved, the employer is required to pay a wage equal to or greater than the wage approved for that position.
• Not affect the settlement of any labour dispute or affect the employment of a person involved in such a dispute, or adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Ontario.
• Be necessary for the company’s operations.