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Opportunities Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Opportunities Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) 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 has a target of 1,300 nominations in 2013.

Ontario recognizes that employers play a critical role in our economic success. For many employers, newcomers to Ontario are a valuable source of skilled labour. If you are an Ontario employer having difficulty finding the workers you need, Opportunities Ontario may be the program for you.

Successful applicants will receive an Ontario Provincial Nomination Certificate, which will speed-up the Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa application process.

  • Steps to Nomination
  • Employer Eligibility
  • General Category
  • International Student Category
  • Individual Investors

The Ontario PNP is an employer-driven program in that candidates cannot apply unless they have a permanent full-time job offer from an Ontario employer, or have obtained a PhD from a publicly-funded Ontario university (see below).  There is generally a two-step process to nomination.

Step1: Ontario employers must complete the pre-screen application process and they must obtain approval for the positions they wish to fill.

Step 2: If the positions are approved, the Ontario employer must recruit foreign skilled workers to fill the positions.  These candidates must then apply to the Opportunities Ontario PNP for a nomination.

Employer Eligibility

To be eligible, companies in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) must:

  • Have been in existence and operation for at least three years preceding the application;
  • Have at least $1,000,000 gross revenue in the previous fiscal year;
  • Have at least five permanent full-time employees;
  • Have a place of business located in Ontario.

Companies outside the GTA have less stringent eligibility criteria.  They must:

  • Have been in existence and operation for at least three years preceding the application;
  • Have at least $500,000 in gross revenues in the previous fiscal year;
  • Have at least three permanent full-time employees;
  • Have a place of business located in Ontario.

There are two categories under which you may qualify for the Ontario PNP:

Ontario PNP General Category

The General Category allows approved Ontario employers and investors (companies) to recruit foreign workers.

To be eligible to apply for Ontario nomination as a foreign worker, candidates must have:

  • A full-time job offer, for which they are qualified, from an approved Ontario employer in a skilled occupation (listed as NOC A, B, or 0);
  • At least 2 years of work experience or have appropriate registration in Ontario (if the occupation is regulated in Ontario);
  • Received an Employer Pre-Screen Approved Position Form, along with the nominee application package from the Ontario employer;
  • An offered wage that meets the prevailing wage level in Ontario for the occupation;
  • Legal status, if the prospective nominee is in Canada.


For Companies setting up locations in Ontario:

This sub-section of the General Category is to facilitate the entry of key personnel into companies that are making major investments in Ontario.  Nominees must meet the same qualifying criteria as above.  Before nominating applicants, Ontario employers must first complete the pre-screen application process and they must obtain approval for the positions they wish to fill.  To be eligible, Ontario employers must:

  • Make a qualifying investment of $3 million or more in Ontario;
  • Create at least 5 net full-time permanent positions.

Processing Fees for applicants to the General Category are $2,000 for those applicants who will be working in the Greater Toronto Area, and $1,500 for those who will be working outside the Greater Toronto Area.

International Student Category

The International Student Category has three streams,

1) the With Job Offer stream,
2) the International PhD Graduate stream, and

3) the International Masters Graduate Stream.

1) The With Job Offer stream allows approved Ontario employers to hire international students.  Potential nominees must submit their applications for nomination:

To be eligible to apply for Ontario nomination as an international student, candidates must have:

  • Graduated (or soon be graduating) from an approved publicly funded Canadian college or university in the past two years;
  • A full-time job offer, for which they are qualified, from an approved Ontario employer in a skilled occupation (listed as NOC A, B, or 0).
  • Received an Employer Pre-Screen Approved Position Form, along with the nominee application package from the Ontario employer;
  • An offered wage that meets the prevailing entry-level wage in Ontario for the occupation;
  • Legal status, if the prospective nominee is in Canada.

2) The PhD Graduate Stream is for graduates of PhD programs at Ontario publicly-funded universities. These candidates do not need a job offer to qualify for the program.

3) The Masters Graduate Stream is for international students who have graduated or are in the last semester of an existing Masters program at an eligible publicly funded university in Ontario. A job offer is not required in order to be eligible to apply.

Processing Fees for applicants to the International Student Category are $1,500.

Individual Investors

While the investment component of this program is geared towards companies who wish to invest in the province and facilitate the permanent resident status of key employees, individual investors seeking nomination for permanent residence can also qualify.

To qualify in this category, a company / applicant must:

  • Invest at least $3,000,000 CAD
  • Create at least five net permanent full-time jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents through their investment
  • Have their investment endorsed from another Ontario ministry at the Deputy Minister level
  • Individual investors must meet the following additional criteria:
    • Must be actively involved in the management of the business on an ongoing basis.
    • Either control at least 33.334% of the business, or make a minimum investment of $1 million CAD in the business
    • No option of redeeming the investment after a specified period.
    • The capital investment in the business must not have the primary purpose of deriving interest, dividends or capital gains.

Processing Fees: $3500

Our goal is to provide each client with a successful outcome by determining the most appropriate solution. If you would like to know whether you could be eligible to immigrate to Canada, we invite you to complete our online assessment questionnaire.

If you are interested in seeking professional assistance to guide you through the immigration process or if you have any questions, please contact us.

Looking for more information about the Provincial Nominee Progam (PNP)?

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