The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), one of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs, has reached its provincial nomination allocation for 2017.
The announcement caps a busy year for the OINP, which accepts applications under 10 different immigration streams. Canada’s most populous province had been allotted 6,000 nominations for the year and the OINP announced November 22 that this total had been reached.
The OINP said all paid applications that have already been submitted will be processed. Approved applications will receive a provincial nomination certificate in early 2018 and applicants will be notified at that time.
It was an especially active year for the OINP’s popular Express Entry-linked Human Capital Priorities (HCP) Stream, which allows Ontario immigration authorities to search the federal Express Entry pool for eligible potential applicants who can integrate quickly into the province’s labour market.
The HCP stream opened and closed on a number of occasions in 2017, most recently in November. For a period in May, NOIs were issued through the HCP stream on a weekly basis. In June, the stream briefly removed the requirement to have at least 400 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for certain candidates with work experience in the Information and Communications Technology Sector.
The past year also saw the OINP’s International Masters and PhD Graduate streams open on a number of occasions. Both streams allow international students with a Master’s or PhD degree obtained in Ontario to live and work permanently in the province. Applicants without a job offer can apply.
In addition to the Human Capital Priorities Stream, the OINP introduced a third Express Entry-aligned stream for skilled trades workers in 2017. Ontario also has a Express Entry-linked French-Speaking Skilled Worker streams.
The new Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream targets Express Entry candidates with experience in Ontario in the construction and agricultural sectors and invites them to apply based on labour market needs within those industries. The OINP said the stream could be expanded to include other workers from other sectors in the future.
The OINP also modified its Employer Job Offer Stream and updated its Entrepreneur Stream during the past year. The Employer Job Offer Stream streamlined its application approach for international students and foreign workers with a job offer from an employer in Ontario. The change made nominees responsible for preparing their application, meaning less documentation is required from the employer.
Changes to the Entrepreneur Stream saw its minimum language level lowered and applicants awarded additional points on their Expression of Interest if they wish to establish their business, or buy an existing business, in a community outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Ontario will likely benefit from a slightly larger allotment in 2018 under the federal government’s multi-year immigration plan, which was announced in early November. In 2017, Canada had a Provincial Nominee Program allotment target of 51,000, which is due to increase to 55,000 in 2018. The federal plan calls for a 32 per cent increase in PNP targets between 2017 and 2020.