As of February 21, 2017, Ontario has reopened three popular streams of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP): the Human Capital Priorities Stream, the International Masters Graduate Stream, and the International PhD Graduate Stream. The province has introduced a new online application system for these streams, which is expected to improve customer service and processing times, in addition to simplifying the application process.
Ontario stopped identifying candidates for the Human Capital Priorities stream on February 16, 2016, and temporarily paused the intake of new applications for the International Masters Graduate and PhD Graduate streams on May 9, 2016. As of February 21, 2017, the three streams are now open again.
The government of Ontario stated in a press release that, "To ensure processing efficiency and quality customer service, the OINP will be monitoring the volume of applications to each of these streams. These streams will be paused and reopened periodically throughout the year until the province’s 2017 federal allocation is fulfilled."
Ontario's nomination allocation for 2017 is 6,000 newcomers. Newcomers to Ontario also arrive through federal programs, meaning that the overall number of newcomers to Ontario this year will likely be many times the number that arrive through the OINP.
The OINP and Express Entry
The Human Capital Priorities stream is aligned with the federal Express Entry system. Ontario is now identifying candidates in the Express Entry pool who meet the province's criteria, and will issue Notifications of Interest (NOI) to these candidates.
Candidates who have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 400 and possess the required education, skilled work experience, language ability, and other characteristics to help them successfully establish and integrate into Ontario’s labour market and communities may be identified by the province and receive a NOI. Candidates in the Express Entry pool may not apply to the OINP Human Capital Priorities until they receive a NOI.
Those who receive a NOI may submit an application for a provincial nomination certificate. Successful applicants will receive 600 points under the CRS, leading to an Invitation To Apply (ITA) in a future draw from the Express Entry pool.
Ontario also operates a French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream aligned with the Express Entry system, which remains open.
The OINP and International Graduates
The International Masters Graduate and International PhD Graduate Streams are not aligned with the Express Entry system, though successful applicants receive a 'base' provincial nomination certificate, after which they may then apply to the federal government for permanent residence.
Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria for one of these two streams may now submit an application through a new online system. A job offer is not required for either of these streams. The International PhD Graduate stream targets individuals who have graduated from a PhD (Doctoral) level program at an Ontario university, while candidates who have graduated from a Masters-level program in Ontario may apply to the International Masters Graduate Stream. Additionally, the eligibility criteria of the International Masters Graduate stream have changed to allow candidates to apply if they are residing in Ontario, or outside Canada. Previously, only candidates residing in Ontario were eligible to apply to the International Masters Graduate stream.