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Ontario International Student Stream

Ontario International Student Stream

October 12, 2019

Before you read

Before you start figuring out about the International Student Stream, you should know what the Ontario Immigration Program (OINP) is. 

The Ontario Immigration Nominee Program (OINP), one of a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) operated by the province of Ontario, allows foreign employees and international students with the right abilities, experience, and education to apply for a permanent residence in Ontario for the purpose is to satisfy its labor market and economic development requirements.

OINP consists of three primary categories including Employer Job Offer, Human Capital, and Business that people can apply online. Besides, there are three streams such as Foreign Worker Stream, International Student Stream and In-Demand Skills Stream in the Employer Work Offer category. You must be qualified by an Ontario employer for a full-time and permanent work offer.


What is the International Student Stream?

The International Student Stream is launched in order to attract foreign students living in or outside Canada with a job offer in a “skilled occupation” classified as Type 0, A or B based on Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC).

This stream is not included in Express Entry. Therefore, candidates do not take advantage of 6-month median processing times for Express Entry. Processing times of Provincial Nominee Programs (not aligned with Express Entry) are generally longer than one year or more.

As its key eligibility criteria, This stream needs a legitimate job offer as its key eligibility criteria and applicants do not need previous working experience or proof of funds. Certain conditions concerning the applicant, the employer, and the job offer must be met.

The International Student Stream is quite similar to the Foreign Worker (FW) stream, except that candidate under the stream:

  • need to have a degree from a Canadian university or college, which is not required under the FW stream,
  • do not need to have previous work experience to be eligible, which is required under the FW stream, and
  • need to have a job offer with a salary level at or above low wage levels (see eligibility requirements for more details), and the FW stream job offer needs a salary level at or above the median wage levels.

Job offer requirements

To approve your request, the job offer must take effect on the date you are nominated by the OINP if you are already working for the employer in the authorized position; or if you are not, on the date you acquire a work license and start working in the authorized situation. Therefore, the terms and conditions of the work offer must be adhered to and the authorized salary begins to be paid once you have been appointed and start working.

1. Full-time and permanent

The work offer should be a full-time job with a long-lasting position. Full-time means that the job experience has to be at least 1,560 hours a year and the work paid for at least 30 hours a week. Permanent implies that the work should not have an end date (also called indeterminate duration).

2. Eligible occupation

Applicants must work professional experience at skill type 0 or Skill Levels A or B of the National Occupation Classification (NOC).

3. Median wage level

The salary of the job offer has to be the same or higher than the median wage level for a position in a particular region of Ontario. If you are already working in the position of the job offer, the wage offered must meet the median wage level and be equal to or greater than your current wage. You should figure out more in the Employer’s Guide for steps on how to know the median wage level. 

These salary conditions do not apply in case you have a collective agreement in your workplace that determines your salaries (a written contract between the employer and a union).

4. The position is necessary for the employer’s business

The offered position must satisfy your employer’s needs. This implies that the job offer must be suitable for your employer’s existing business activities, which could support the company to maintain and develop.

5. Work-based in Ontario

You must be working mainly in Ontario while you are in the job offer.

You or any family member may hold equity only in the company of your employer if the equity was less than 10 percent and only if the equity as a worker has been received in the remuneration package. You and your family members may not exceed or exceed 10 percent of the complete combined capital stock held by you.


Ineligible Job Offers

In the following cases, a job offer is deemed inadmissible:

  • It is for a seasonal or part-time job, regardless of hours worked, or a subcontractor or an agency position.
  • It shall influence the resolution of any labor dispute or the jobs of an individual participating in such a dispute.
  • It shall be paid to an applicant holding or holding (or holding or holding) equity in the business, except where the equity has been earned in the course of the applicant’s pay as an employee and the total equity holding the applicant and the members of his / her families is less than 10 percent.

Applicant requirements

There are some requirements that applicants need to satisfy:

1. Work experience:

  • You must have at least two years of paid full-time (or the equivalent in part-time) work experience, which is 1 560 hours a year (30 hours a week), in the same occupation (same NOC code) as your job offer gained within the five years prior to submitting your application. If your work experience was gained in Canada, you must have been legally living and working in Canada
  • You need to complete your duties which is the same in the position you apply in Ontario listed under the NOC.
  • Demonstrate that they hold a valid license if the work experience claimed was in a controlled occupation that needs permission from the relevant legislative authority.

Besides, applicants may claim self-employment periods in order to fulfill the minimum demands of working experience. Self-employment must be paid and the position provided under the same NOC code. The OINP needs paperwork to verify that the work experience falls in the same NOC as the job offer place (reference letters, job descriptions, performance reviews, and job advertises).

2. Level of education

All candidates for this stream have to have a Canadian certification within the past two years and satisfy one of the following two requirements.:

  • A degree or diploma that takes at least two years of full-time study to complete, or;
  • A degree or diploma that takes one year to complete but which requires a previously completed degree as a prerequisite for admission.

Please note that certain educational institutions are not eligible for this stream of immigration. Candidates should check with the OINP prior to applying to ensure that their educational credential is accepted. 

3. Valid license or other authorization (if applicable)

If the job offered to the applicants requires an Ontario license, the applicant shall hold a valid professional qualification, certification or authorization. The permit is to be issued in Ontario by a qualified regulatory body.

4. Intention to live in Ontario

All candidates have to plan to live in Ontario. The OINP will request a demonstration by the applicant of links to Ontario, which include:

  • Current and/or previous employment in Ontario 
  • Job offers or jobs applied/interviewed for in Ontario
  • Education in Ontario
  • Volunteer work in Ontario
  • Lease agreements for a residence in Ontario or property ownership
  • Professional networks and affiliations
  • Family ties
  • Social connections or personal relationships
  • Previous visits to Ontario

5. Legal status in Canada (if applicable)

If you apply in Canada, you have to be legal at the moment you apply and you have to retain that status until the moment of appointment (visitor record, research license, or job license).


Employer requirements

1. General requirements

Your employer must:

  • have been in active business for at least three years prior to submitting your application
  • have business premises in Ontario where you will work
  • have no outstanding orders made against them under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 or the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Must show that sufficient effort has been made prior to providing a job (this applies only if you live outside of Canada or work outside of Ontario) to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • The job offer provided by your employer must:
    • Be for a full-time position of indeterminate length in a National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A or B occupation; 
    • Meet or exceed the median wage level for the occupation in the region of Ontario where you will be working.

2. Recruitment Efforts

The OINP states that employers may need to prove their attempts to recruit if they live overseas, visit Canada or work in a province or territories other than Ontario. And they do not require employers to demonstrate reasonable recruitment efforts if:

  • The applicant is an individual authorized to work in Ontario, or
  • The employer has a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for the exact NOC code and position being offered to the applicant.

3. Revenue requirements

Meet the program’s revenue requirements and the required minimum number of full-time employees:

  • Employers located inside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA):
    • Have a minimum gross revenue for the most recent fiscal year of $1,000,000
    • Have at least five permanent full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents at the location where the candidate is to work.
  • Employers located outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA):
    • Have a minimum gross revenue for the most recent fiscal year of $500,000
    • Have at least three permanent full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents at the location where the candidate is to work.

Meaning of report to work

If the applicant works at several places, the place where the applicant reports to the job imply:

  • The location where the applicant’s immediate supervisor or manager works
  • The location of the administrative office where the applicant will receive work assignments

4. Employee requirements

Your employer’s business must also have at the time of application submission:

  • At least five full-time workers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, who work at the location where you will work, or will report to work, if you will work or report to work at a location in the Greater Toronto Area (City of Toronto, Durham, Halton, York, and Peel regions)
  • at least three full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents who work at the location where you will work, or will report to work, if you will work or report to work at a location outside the Greater Toronto Area

5. Employer Form

A finished and signed Employer Form is to be provided by the employer and must be submitted by the applicant, together with the initial signed and dated work offer. Further data supplied by an Employer Form which the applicant must submit within six (6) months from the date of a signature may be asked from the employer to verify. Your employer then must give you the form so you can scan and upload it with your application.

The OINP may require the Ontario employer to request extra papers to confirm that program requirements are being met during the application evaluation. For information on supporting documents and employer criteria, it is essential to consult Ontario’s Employer Offer Streams Employer Guide and Checklist.


Application process

  • You have to apply online through the OINP e-Filing Portal
  • The application will take approximately three hours to complete. Therefore, you do not have to complete it in one session. You can save your work as you go and return to complete it at another time.
  • You have 14 calendar days to fill out and send your request to the OINP when registering. Your registration expires after 14 days and will be revoked by the OINP. (if it does, you can re-register provided, the government is still accepting new registrations under this stream)
  • You can complete the application yourself or have a representative complete it on your behalf. However, If you are using a representative or you are a representative, the submission process is different. Read OINP Representatives for more details about how to apply.
  • You have to pay to apply and the cost varies depending on where you will be working
  • You have to pay by credit card, the Ontario only accept Visa, Visa Debit, MasterCard and MasterCard Debit

Processing Time

The processing times of a foreign request for students are projected to be from 60 to 90 days as of July 11, 2019. Nonetheless, it may take longer to process such applications if more complicated or if more documentation and/or data are required.


How to apply

When you click “Submit an application”:

  • Choose whether you are a returning user or a new applicant
  • Choose the Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream
  • If you are a new applicant, you must pre-register with your name and date of birth (not required if you are already registered)
  • Log into your ONe-key account. If you do not have one, click “Sign up now!”
  • Once you’ve logged into your ONe-key account, you will be sent back to the OINP e-Filing Portal
  • Create a profile in the OINP e-Filing Portal
  • Once you’ve completed your profile, click “Finish” and you will be sent to your main page in the e-Filing Portal
  • Click on the file number beside the Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream to begin your application

Applicant Checklist

When applying to the International Student Stream of the OINP you need to scan and upload copies of the following mandatory documents with your application:

  • Identity documents
  • Status documents in Canada
  • Employer documents
  • Job offer documents
  • Education documents
  • Resumé
  • Other optional documents (if applicable)

Cost to apply

The application fee covers the cost of processing your application and is:

  • $1,500 if the job offer is outside of the Greater Toronto Area
  • $2,000 if the job offer is within the Greater Toronto Area (City of Toronto, Durham, Halton, York and Peel regions)

You can make an electronic payment by credit card or debit only (VISA, VISA Debit,

MasterCard, or MasterCard Debit).

Refunds:

  • The authority will only refund the fee if they consider your request incomplete or if your request is withdrawn before they begin processing.
  • Ontario will not refund the fee if your application is unsuccessful.
  • You can check the status of your application through your account in the OINP e-Filing Portal.


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