Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream is an immigration stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).
It gives French-speaking skilled workers with strong English language abilities the opportunity to apply to permanently live and work in Ontario.
You must have a valid profile in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC’s) Express Entry system and receive a Notification of Interest from Ontario before you can apply online to be nominated by the Ontario government for permanent residence.
If you are nominated, your next step is to apply to the federal government through IRCC. They make the final decision on who becomes a permanent resident.
Steps to apply
To qualify under Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream, you must meet all the requirements below. Please review the steps to apply for all of Ontario’s Express Entry streams. You do not need a job offer to apply.
Please refer to section 11 of Ontario Regulation 422/17 for more details on each requirement.
1. Work experience
You must decide which of the following two federal programs you would like to be assessed against:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Canadian Experience Class
Federal Skilled Worker Program
Under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you must have:
- at least one year of continuous paid full-time work experience (or the equivalent in paid part- time work) in Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Your work experience must have been:
- obtained within the last five years from the date of submitting your application to the OINP
- in the same primary occupation as you identified in your Express Entry profile
Your work experience may be from Canada or overseas.
- no breaks in employment over a one year period
Please note: 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 NOC occupation as your primary NOC declared in your Express Entry profile.
If you are using periods of self-employment, you will need provide employment documentation that is independently verifiable through third parties. This can include client reference letters indicating your duties and periods of work, as well as evidence of ongoing payments to you personally, for the services provided (for example, invoices). Please also note that your hours of self-employed work must be quantifiable to ensure that you accumulated at least 1,560 hours over one year of employment. Reference letters from yourself, your business partners and/or a family member are not accepted by the program.
Canadian Experience Class
Under the Canadian Experience Class, you must have:
- at least one year of cumulative paid full-time work experience (or the equivalent in paid part-time work) in Canada in Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the NOC
Your work experience must have been:
- obtained within the last three years from the date of submitting your application to the OINP
- in one or more of the occupations that you identified in your Express Entry profile
- in Canada while maintaining legal status in Canada
- work you’ve done must add up to one year – it does not have to be one year of continuous work
Please note: Paid work experience gained while studying full-time at a post-secondary institution (for example, on a co-op work term) and self-employment are not eligible under the CEC.
Under both programs:
- your work experience must have been obtained over a period of at least one year – work experience totaling 1,560 hours obtained in less than a one year period does not qualify
- full-time work experience means working in a job with at least 30 hours of paid work in a week, that amounts to at least 1,560 hours of paid work in one year
- part-time equivalent work experience means:
- working in one job for at least 15 hours per week, for two years that amounts to at least 1,560 hours of paid work in that two year period, or
- working in more than one job for at least 30 hours per week, for one year, that amounts to at least 1,560 hours of paid work in that one year period
- if your work experience was obtained in Ontario in an occupation that requires a licence or other authorization, only work experience acquired after becoming qualified to practice that occupation in Ontario will qualify
- volunteer work and unpaid internships do not count as valid work experience
Vacation periods, regular sick leave and other standard paid leave entitlements as provided for in collective agreements, workplace legislation and/or individual employer policies are not considered interruptions to full-time employment. Extended leaves are considered interruptions to full-time employment and are not to be included in the calculation of work experience.
You must have a Canadian bachelor’s, master’s or PhD degree or its equivalent in another country.
If you completed your studies outside of Canada, you need to get an Educational Credential Assessment report that proves your education is equivalent to a Canadian degree.
The assessment must be done by one of the following organizations, designated by IRCC.
- Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
- International Credential Evaluation Service
- International Qualifications Assessment Service
- Medical Council of Canada (professional body for Doctors)
- Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (professional body for Pharmacists)
- World Education Services
Each organization charges a different fee and has different processing times. Please check the website of each ECA organization to choose the one that’s best for you.
You must give us a copy of the ECA report when you submit your application. The report cannot be more than five years old at the time you submit your application.
We must be able to confirm your ECA results with the organization that completed it. This means you must authorize the organization to share the results with the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (not IRCC).
To authorize us to see your ECA results from:
- Comparative Education Service, submit an online request form
- Medical Council of Canada, order a copy of your report and indicate the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program as the recipient of the report
- World Education Services, order a copy of your ECA report online and indicate the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program as the recipient of the report
Note: For the other organizations, no additional steps are required.
Please contact the Educational Credential Assessment organization directly if you have any specific questions about the process for getting an ECA or how to authorize and share your ECA results with us.
You must authorize the organization to share the results of your assessment specifically with the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Authorizing the organization to share the results of your assessment with IRCC is not sufficient for the purposes of your application to the OINP.
You must be able to understand, read, write and speak French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 or higher.
You must also be able to understand, read, write and speak English at CLB level 6 or higher.
To prove that you have the mandatory language skills, you must take an approved French and English language test before you submit your application to this stream.
The test must not have been taken more than two years from the time you submit your application.
For French tests, we accept:
- Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF)
- Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada)
For English tests, we accept:
- International English Language Testing (IELTS) – we only accept the General Training test
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) – we only accept the General test
Learn more about the English and French language tests
4. Settlement funds
You must have enough money to support yourself and your dependent family members when you settle in Canada.
Note that a family member includes your spouse, common law partner and children under the age of 22, including their children.
You can meet this requirement through one or a combination of any of the following:
- funds as demonstrated by the balance listed in bank statements, or statements of accounts showing other investments such as non-locked in, fixed term deposits, mutual funds, etc.
- annual earnings from ongoing employment in Ontario
- a job offer in Ontario
Learn more about the amount of money you must have available in order to apply (see “How much money you'll need”).
Example: You have checked how much money you must have available and, based on your family size, you must have $29,000 (CAD). You have a job offer in Ontario with an annual wage of $25,000 and you have a balance of $5,000 in your savings account for a total of $30,000. By using a combination of your job offer and bank statement, you would meet the settlements fund requirement.
Note: if you provide bank statements that include a one-time large deposit, we may ask you to provide additional documentation to support that your funds are free of debt or liability.
5. Intention to live in Ontario
You must intend to live in Ontario after you’re granted permanent residence. We determine this by examining your ties to Ontario, which can include things like:
- working or have worked in Ontario
- getting job offers or applying/interviewing for jobs
- leasing or owning property
- having professional networks and affiliations, family ties and personal relationships
6. Legal status in Canada (if applicable)
If you are applying from within Canada, you must have legal status (a visitor record, study permit, or work permit) at the time you apply and should maintain that status until the time of nomination.
You may apply if you are in ‘implied status’ at the time of your OINP application submission. ‘Implied status’ means that you submitted an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to renew/extend your temporary status document (a visitor record, work permit, study permit) before its expiry date. You can remain in Canada and continue to work or study under the same conditions as your existing permit until a decision is made on your pending IRCC application.
7. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
If you choose to be assessed against the FSWP, you must score at least 67 points on the six selection factors (education, language skills, work experience, age, arranged employment in Canada and adaptability).
Learn more about the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the six selection factors.
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