The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) allows foreign workers, international students and others with the right skills, experience and education to apply for a nomination for permanent residence in Ontario.

The OINP Regional Immigration Pilot will help fill local labour shortages and support economic growth by spreading awareness of the program and increase uptake in rural and small communities.

About the pilot

The two-year pilot includes:

  • nominations under the employer job offer category set aside for applicants destined for pilot communities
  • marketing and outreach to raise awareness among local employers
  • dedicated business service support for employers
  • partnering with stakeholders to leverage the entrepreneur stream for local business succession

Note that the Regional Immigration Pilot works within the existing Employer Job Offer streams of the OINP. There is not a separate set of criteria for the pilot. If you qualify for any of the OINP Employer Job Offer streams and your full-time job offer is from an employer located within one of the pilot communities, then you may qualify for the pilot.

The pilot will allow employers in the pilot communities to leverage the OINP to target skilled labour that is not available locally. The pilot is not intended to overlap with local efforts to employ workers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents who may have been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Goal of the pilot

The goal is to attract highly skilled immigrants to rural and small Ontario communities to fill local labour market gaps and help spread the benefits of economic immigration across the province.  

The findings from the pilot will help to inform future policies related to the OINP, including future regionalization efforts.

How to participate

150 nomination spaces for 2021 are now available.

If you are an OINP applicant, you may want to explore opportunities to move to or work in the partnering communities.

Applicants to the Regional Immigration Pilot must:

  • have a full-time and permanent job offer from an employer located in one of the pilot communities (Chatham-Kent, Cornwall or Quinte West/Belleville)
  • meet the criteria for one of the streams under the OINP’s Employer Job Offer category (criteria can be found on the OINP webpage)

To apply for the pilot, applicants must register in the OINP Expression of Interest system. When registering in the Expression of Interest system, applicants will be asked whether they intend to apply under the Regional Immigration Pilot. Please visit the OINP Expression of Interest webpage for more information on how to register.

If you are an employer in one of the partnering communities, you can contact us at business.immigration@ontario.ca to find out more about the program.

Partnering communities

Communities participating in the pilot are:

Please note the geographic boundaries for the selected Regional Immigration Pilot communities:

  • Municipality of Chatham-Kent (Census Sub Division as defined by Statistics Canada)
  • Cities of Belleville and Quinte West (Census Sub Divisions as defined by Statistics Canada)
  • City of Cornwall, area that falls within the following border roads:
    • North: County Roads 18, 36 and Dundas Street
    • East: County Road 27
    • West: Avonmore Road
    • South: The St. Lawrence Shore and Akwesasne First Nation (Ontario portion)

You can find more information about the communities by visiting their websites.

How the communities were chosen

The partnering communities were chosen based on interest from community stakeholders and their:

  • distinct characteristics
  • representation of small-town and rural diversity
  • specific skilled labour challenges
  • ability to help newcomers get settled

The OINP is working with local partners in each community to successfully implement the pilot, including:

  • municipal governments
  • businesses
  • economic development organizations
  • settlement organizations
  • universities and colleges

Contact us

To ask a question or provide feedback on the regional immigration pilot, email us any time at ontarionominee@ontario.ca or call us from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at: