Ontario to improve provincial immigrant nominee program OINP

Ontario will improve and expand its provincial immigrant nominee program – OINP

There are currently more than 300,000 jobs in Ontario going unfilled. Therefore, the Ontario government is committed to attracting more skilled newcomers to fill the generational labour shortage in the province. In order to do that, Ontario is investing an additional $15.1 million to improve and expand the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

“Newcomers are crucial to growing our economy and building a stronger future for all of us,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour.

Improvements to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

The new investment, which builds on the recently-launched entrepreneurship pilot, will allow the program to:

  • improve the nomination process for applicants to the OINP with an expression of interest system,
  • grow and enhance security and fraud detection,
  • perform other IT updates to ensure the system can handle increased capacity,
  • keep helping businesses in small and rural communities attract and retain skilled workers.

According to the Minister of Labour, the province is lowering the barriers that newcomers face. Moreover, they continue to call on officials in the federal government to double the number of newcomers Ontario can select in 2022.

120,000 economic class immigrants to Canada arrived in 2021. Ontario only nominated 9,000 newcomers through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program that year.

It is important to mention that OINP’s allocation has increased from 6,500 in 2017 to 9,000 in 2021. However, this is not enough to fill labour market gaps across the province.

Recent changes to the OINP

This winter, Ontario announced a new entrepreneur pilot to attract 100 international entrepreneurs to start or grow businesses outside of the GTA. Each entrepreneur must invest a minimum of $200,000 into their business. They must also generate at least $20 million for Ontario’s economy. Applicants will be able to be nominated for permanent residence once their business has been operating in Ontario for 18-20 months. To read more about this announcement, please visit the following article:

In addition to this initiative, Ontario has been removing discriminatory barriers that prevent foreign-trained professionals from working in the sectors they were trained in.

About the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream

The Ontario Entrepreneur Stream (OINP) targets senior managers and business owners interested in starting a business in Ontario. The stream allows international entrepreneurs to be nominated for Canadian permanent residency once the company is established in the province.

Although this stream was initially established in 2015, only two nominations have been made to date. To improve this program, Ontario will better support entrepreneurs that apply and help connect them with business opportunities that best fit them. If you want to know the minimum requirements and good business models for this stream, please visit:

Please be aware that there are other options to immigrate to Canada if you are self-employed or have a business mind and enough expertise:

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    How many years of work experience do you have as a business owner or senior manager in the past five years?

    The highest level of education

    How much do you intent to invest (in Canadian dollars):

    Do you have access to liquid assets for this investment?

    Your knowledge of the English language:

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    Have you ever travelled to Canada?

    Are you currently inside Canada?

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    Al ParsaiAl Parsai, LLM, MA, RCIC-IRB
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    Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
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