Opportunities Ontario provincial nominee program

The following is a guide to help explain the Opportunities Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and related information to assist in completing the required forms for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for the employer. Further detailed information about the program and eligibility can be found on the Opportunities Ontario website:

What is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

Opportunities Ontario PNP is Ontario’s first-ever nomination program. The PNP is designed to contribute to job creation, job retention and economic development by attracting new investment, and by helping employers in targeted sectors to attract and retain qualified employees for jobs for which there are currently labour-market needs. The PNP also supports government priorities by facilitating the immigration of professionals in the health care and education sectors.

The PNP is mainly employer-driven. This means that as a prospective nominee, you can only apply if your employer is pre-screened, the position is approved, and your employer provides a nominee application package from the PNP.

However, there are two new streams under the international category that do not require a job offer to qualify:

  • the international PhD graduate stream which allows graduates of a PhD program from one of Ontario’s publicly funded universities without the need a job offer to qualify for the program (other qualifications still apply).
  • the pilot masters graduate stream which allows graduates of a Masters program from one of Ontario’s publicly funded universities without the need a job offer to qualify for the program (other qualifications still apply). Keep in mind that this is only a pilot project - there are time and application limits (max. 1000 applications for all categories) that apply.

Of course, similar to the employer-driven stream, the above two PNP streams have certain requirements that must be met before a nomination can be made. Do read through opportunities Ontario's websites to make sure you qualify before submitting your application.

The PNP gives Ontario the ability to match immigrants’ skills to Ontario employers’ and labour market needs. It allows Ontario to nominate people for permanent resident status, and have their application fast-tracked by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). CIC will still perform important functions such as security, police and medical checks on all applicants. It’s a different route and process than for immigrants applying directly to the federal government.

What is the application process (PDF)?

With a job offer:

Every individual who wishes to be nominated by opportunities Ontario PNP must have a permanent, full-time job offer. The job offer must be in one of the three skill levels of the National Occupation Code 0, A or B, and this job must first be approved by the PNP.

The PNP application process therefore has two steps: first the pre-screen application (only for employers), and second the nominee application (only for individuals). Only employers pre-approved at the first step can bring forward nominee applicants for step two.

Step one:
  • Employers start the application process by submitting a pre-screen application to the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. Detailed information can be found in the employer website at Ontario Immigration.
  • A template for completing section A of the repeat employer pre-screen application (PDF) can be downloaded (a fill-able online form).
    * The repeat employer pre-screen application: The University of Waterloo has nominated several international students and faculty for this program already and has received previous approval. (Be sure to have a copy of your previously approved pre-screen letter available - you will need information from this to include in the application.)
Step two:
Step three:
  • A provincial nomination certificate will be issued for all successful nominees, who must then apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for permanent residence (PR). The PNP will support all requests for work permits for its nominees.
  • Individuals nominated by Ontario, and accompanying family members, must still satisfy Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) requirements, including medical and background checks (police clearance certificates).
  • Further detailed information for international students; and for skilled worker

Without a job offer:

Every individual who wishes to be nominated by Opportunities Ontario, must meet one of the two international graduate streams' criteria - either as a masters student or as a PhD student. If all requirements are met and a completed nominee application package, along with the appropriate fees are submitted:

Contact Information:

For guidance on the program and/or completing the required forms for the PNP, contact one of the following:
Opportunities Ontario:
Provincial Nominee Program
Ground Floor, 400 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2R9
Telephone : 1-866-214-6820
Website: www.ontarioimmigration.ca
Human Resources
University of Waterloo
Telephone : 519-888-4567 ext. 35935
Visa and Immigration Support, Legal and Immigration Services
University of Waterloo
Telephone: 519-888-4567 ext. 36332
Website: uwaterloo.ca/legal-and-immigration-services/visa-and-immigration-support