This stream targets French-Speaking skilled workers with strong English language abilities looking to establish themselves and settle in the province of Ontario. 

To be considered under this Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) stream, candidates must qualify for the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) federal Express Entry pool under either the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Candidates may not apply directly to this stream. Instead, they must first receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the OINP based on their Express Entry profile. 

The OINP searches the Express Entry pool and identifies potential candidates who meet the criteria of Ontario’s French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream (see below).

Candidates identified by the OINP will receive an NOI, which will invite them to apply to the OINP for nomination under the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream. From this point, selected candidates have 45 calendar days to apply to the OINP under this stream. If their application is approved, candidates will be notified of their nomination by the OINP, which they can accept and use to apply to IRCC for permanent residence. 

This page will provide details on the following topics:

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible under the Ontario's French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream, candidates must:

  • Have a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree OR an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report produced by a designated organization indicating that the foreign education is equivalent to a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree;
  • Intend to reside in Ontario, by providing documentation to demonstrate ties to Ontario;
  • Hold legal status in Canada (and maintain it until the time of nomination) if they are residing in Canada at the time of applying; and
  • Possess sufficient funds to cover settlement costs in Ontario. This requirement can be met by one or a combination of factors listed by the OINP, such as bank statements, annual earnings from ongoing employment in Ontario, and/or a job offer in Ontario.

The required settlement funds must be equal to or greater than the sums listed for each family size. Requirements for settlement funds are updated annually.

Work Experience Requirements

Federal Skilled Worker Program

Candidates who choose to be assessed against the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) criteria must:

  • Have at least one year of continuous, full-time employment experience, or part-time equivalent, in a National Occupation Classification (NOC) Type/ Level 0, A, or B occupation in the five years prior to the date of the NOI from the OINP;
    • Full-time work consists of at least 30 hours of work over a period of one week in one job and consists of at least 1,560 hours of paid employment in one year.
      • NoteWork experience that amounts to 1,560 hours but is obtained in less than a year or as volunteer work does not qualify or count as valid work experience.
    • Continuous work means there are no gaps between periods of employment. Work experience may consist of back-to-back jobs with the same or different employer(s) (with no gap in between), but at least one year must be in the same National Occupational Classification (NOC) occupation as the primary NOC declared in the Express Entry profile.
    • Part-time equivalent work means
      • at minimum 15 hours of work over a period of one week in one job and consists of at least 1,560 hours of paid employment in two years; and 
      • at least 30 hours of work over a period of one week in multiple concurrent jobs and consists of at least 1,560 hours of paid employment in one year.
    • Activities performed in the job must match the activities described in the lead statement for the occupation and the main duties outlined in the NOC. 

Self-Employment

Candidates assessed under the FSWP may claim work experience obtained while self-employed to meet the minimum work experience requirement. Self-employment experience must have been paid, full-time (or the equivalent in part-time), and in Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the NOC.

Note: The OINP will require documentation that is independently verifiable through third parties as proof of self-employment, as well as evidence of ongoing payments for the services provided (e.g. invoices). Hours of employed work must be quantifiable to prove that the candidate accumulated at least 1,560 hours over one year of employment. The OINP will not accept reference letters written for candidates by the candidates' themselves, their business partners and/or family members.

Canadian Experience Class

Candidates who choose to be assessed against the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) criteria must:

  • Have at least one year of cumulative, full-time employment experience, or part-time equivalent, in a NOC 0, A, or B occupation in Canada in the three years prior to the date of the NOI from the OINP;
    • Full-time work consists of at least 30 hours of work over a period of one week in one job and consists of at least 1,560 hours of paid employment in one year. Volunteer work and unpaid internships do not count as valid work. 
    • Cumulative means that the work experience must be equal to one year. There can be gaps in employment and work experience does not have to be continuous (back-to-back). 
    • Part-time equivalent work means
      • at minimum 15 hours of work over a period of one week in one job and consists of at least 1,560 hours of paid employment in two years; and 
      • at least 30 hours of work over a period of one week in multiple concurrent jobs and consists of at least 1,560 hours of paid employment in one year.
    • Candidates must have held legal status while working in Canada.
    • Paid work experience obtained while studying full-time at a post-secondary institution (i.e. co-op work term) or during periods of self-employment are not eligible when assessed under the CEC. 

French-Speaking Skilled Worker Application Process

Foreign nationals must have a valid Express Entry profile and a NOI letter in order to apply for this OINP Express Entry-aligned stream. The OINP searches the Express Entry pool and identifies potential candidates who may meet the eligibility criteria of the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream.

A NOI is valid for 45 calendar days, which means that an application to the OINP must be submitted within 45 days. 

Candidates in the Express Entry pool who have been issued a NOI are advised to become familiar with the program's criteria and document checklists in advance in order to be prepared to submit an application for the stream under which they qualify. 

Process Overview

  • Step 1: Satisfy eligibility criteria of the Federal Skilled Worker Class or the Canadian Experience Class.
  • Step 2: Create an Express Entry profile.
  • Step 3: The OINP searches the pool and identifies candidates in the Express Entry pool.
  • Step 4: Receive a NOI letter from the OINP.
  • Step 5: Apply to the OINP under the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream within 45 calendar days after receiving the NOI from Ontario.
  • Step 6: If nominated, candidates obtain a Nomination Approval Letter and an OINP Certificate of Nomination by email. Candidates have 30 calendar days to accept the nomination in the Express Entry system.
  • Step 7: If a nomination is accepted, Express Entry candidates are awarded an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points and an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence at a future draw from the pool.
  • Step 8: Submit an application for Canadian permanent residence to IRCC within 60 days of receiving the ITA.

Find out if you are eligible to enter the Express Entry pool

Tools and Resources

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