I am really sorry for the delay in the writeup. Was heldup at work and weekends were hectic as well. So, here goes.
I am from Bangalore, India, and had no idea about the PR process for Canada and was unsure about the different immigration agencies available here. One of my friends suggested an Indian origin lawyer/firm in Canada providing immigration services. So, i sent them some mails, had some skype calls and decided to start the process in October 2016. Finished my IELTS, got an avg score of 8 and got my education certificates approved by WES and officially filed a case under the FSW category on Feb 1st 2017.
My original score was 406. I had no job experience in Canada. But as part of my work experience i had worked in different domains like Banking, CRM, Telecommunications and Supply chain management. I had also traveled to NZ and the US for a brief period (less than 6 months) on work.
Since the law firm in Canada was my representative, all my actions in the application process was through them. They used to send me regular updates on different Nomination programs and what the requirements were for these programs.
On May 6th,2017, i received a mail from them specifying that i had received the OINP NOI and if i was interested had to create a One-Key account(on the OINP portal) and start the application process. The window for submitting applications was very small and i missed the 1st chance of submitting the application. I had created the One-key account but had not started the application process. If you start the appplication process, you have a set period within which you need to submit the application. This window was 45 days i presume. But if the window to receive applications is closed by OINP, then you will not be able to submit the application.
The NOI on the other hand is valid for 6 months. I waited for the next few months, but the window never came again because OINP had reached its limit for applications during that time. My NOI was supposed to lose its validity on Nov 6th. On Nov 3rd 2017, I received a mail late at night India time, that the OINP window was open to accept applications again. The next morning, i immediately went to the bank to get the latest proof of funds statement. All the other required documents were on hand. So, i filled in the application online (through the One-Key account) and paid the fees of 1500CAD and submitted the application.
Meanwhile the law firm also kept track on my Main application because that had been created over a year ago and had to be renewed as well.I did not know about this. But they renewed it when it was about to expire. I used to check the status on the OINP portal and finally got a mail on Feb 11th 2018 about my OINP application being approved and they would be sending the hard copy by courier. And my points jumped to 1001 with 600 points from OINP. The following draw, i received the ITA and have now submitted my application after completing the medical tests and the Police verification. The latest update is that the review process is in progress.
Hope this information is helpful and I am here to answer any questions on the process. I have been following Mov-north since last year and it has been really helpful in understanding what is going on on the other side of the world. I have asked my other friends who are also thinking about moving to Canada to visit Mov-north and read through all the information.