Ontario launches EOI system for PNP streams

Ontario has opened up an Expression of Interest system for two PNPs under the Employer Job Offer Category.

Ontario has opened a new Expression of Interest (EOI) system for two of its provincial immigration programs.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) EOI system is now open for the following streams in the Employer Job Offer Category:

  • Foreign Worker; and
  • International Student.

According to the OINP webpage, the province expects to open the EOI systems for the In-Demand Skills, Masters Graduate, and PhD Graduate streams in the near future.

Find Out if You’re Eligible for Canadian Immigration

What does this mean for future Ontario immigrants?

If you want to eventually apply for immigration through one of Ontario’s base Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), you can now register an EOI profile at any time. Before, you could only register when the OINP opened its online portal.

After you register, your profile will be entered into a selection pool, and given a score based on your answers. Ontario will then invite candidates to apply for a provincial nomination.

An EOI registration does not guarantee that you will receive an invitation to apply. The OINP will notify you or your representative if you have been invited.

Your EOI registration is valid for up to 12 months or until you receive an invitation. You may also choose to withdraw your registration. After 12 months, your EOI will be deleted automatically.

It is free to register, but if you are invited to apply you will have to submit fees along with your application.

Receiving an invitation does not mean you get the provincial nomination. You will have to meet all the eligibility requirements of the stream you are applying for at that time.

How do I register an Expression of Interest?

The first step is to create a profile in the OINP e-Filing Portal. Then read the applicant requirements for your stream to ensure that you are eligible. After that you can register an expression of interest for one or more streams. You can only register one EOI profile at any given time.

The information you provide must be accurate at the time you register. You can update your profile at any time to keep the information current.

Find Out if You’re Eligible for Canadian Immigration

What are the scoring factors?

Ontario ranks EOI profiles based on your answers. Points are awarded based on the skill level of your job offer and Canadian work experience. The province uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system to assign points.

The OINP scoring system is different depending on which stream you apply for. Other than skill level and work experience, it also takes into account your wage, education, official language ability, and the region in which you study or work. The province also allocates 10 points at its discretion to respond to labour market needs.

Here are the scoring factors as listed on the Ontario government webpage:

Job offer: NOC skill level

(Not applied to Masters Graduate or PhD Graduate streams.)

  • NOC Skill Level A – 10 points
  • NOC Skill Level B – 8 points
  • NOC Skill Level C – 0 points
  • NOC Skill Level D – 0 points

Job offer: NOC type

  • NOC Type 0,1,2,3,9 – 10 points
  • NOC Type 4,5,6,7,8 – 5 points

Job offer: wage

(Not applied to Masters Graduate or PhD Graduate streams.)

  • $40 per hour or higher – 10 points
  • $20 to $39.99 per hour – 5 points
  • Less than $20 per hour – 0 points

Canadian work experience: length


  • 12 Months or more – 4 points
  • Less than 12 months – 0 points

Canadian work experience: NOC Skill Level

  • NOC Skill Level A – 3 points
  • NOC Skill Level B – 0 points
  • NOC Skill Level C – 0 points
  • NOC Skill Level D – 0 points

Canadian work experience: earnings history

  • $40k or more earnings in a year – 3 points
  • Less than $40k earnings in a year – 0 points

Highest level of education

  • PhD – 10 points
  • Masters – 8 points
  • Bachelors or equivalent – 6 points
  • College diploma or trade certificate – 5 points
  • Less than college or trade certificate – 0 points

Field of study

(Not applied to Foreign Worker or In-Demand Skills streams)

  • Engineering – 10 points
  • Health care – 10 points
  • Math and Computer Science – 9 points
  • Business and Administration – 7 points
  • Trades – 7 points
  • Social, Legal, and Education – 6 points
  • Arts and Humanities – 5 points

Canadian education experience

(Not applied to Foreign Worker or In-Demand Skills streams.)

  • More than one Canadian credential – 10 points
  • One Canadian credential – 5 points

Official language ability

(Not applied to Foreign Worker or In-Demand Skills streams.)

  • CLB 9 or higher – 10 points
  • CLB 8 – 6 points
  • CLB 7 – 4 points
  • CLB 6 or lower – 0 points

Knowledge of official languages

(Not applied to Foreign Worker or In-Demand Skills streams.)

  • 2 Official Languages – 10 points
  • 1 Official Language – 5 points

Regional immigration: location of job Offer

(Not applied to Masters or PhD streams.)

  • Outside GTA – 10 points
  • Inside GTA – 6 points

Regional immigration: location of study

(Not applied to Masters or PhD streams.)

  • Outside GTA – 10 points
  • Inside GTA – 6 points

Strategic priorities

(To address immediate labour market needs in the province or a region of the province.)

As determined by OINP on the expression of interest system invitation to apply webpage – 10 points (if in use).

Why is Ontario introducing an EOI system?

Ontario needed a new immigrant selection system for its PNPs that operate outside the Express Entry system. Before, Ontario used a first-come-first-served model. In order to apply for a base PNP, candidates would wait for a registration to open, then rush to register. They were competing with every other non-Express Entry candidate who wanted to immigrate to Ontario.

Since Ontario is the most popular destination for new Canadian immigrants, that was a lot of people. Candidates would only have a tiny window of time to register. They would have multiple browsers open to try and get their profile in. Technical difficulties occurred. Some people said the system was unfair to those with slow internet connections.

In the fall of 2020, Ontario started public consultations on how to develop a new EOI system. By then, most other provinces had implemented this selection process.

At the time, an Ontario spokesperson told CIC News that the province was considering the EOI system to “manage intake and the high demand for the program, avoiding uncertainty associated with stream openings and the current ‘first-come-first-served’ model.”

Ontario approved the EOI selection system in the spring of 2021. Candidates can now start to apply for Ontario PNPs through the new selection process.

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