During an exclusive gathering on February 16, 2017, the Honourable Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Laura Albanese, and the Honourable Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development Deb Matthews announced changes to Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program.
In a renewed commitment to ensuring Ontario’s provincial nominee program addresses Ontario’s current labour market need, changes announced by Ministers Albanese and Matthews include the reopening of the Ontario Master’s, PhD, and Express Entry Human Capital Priorities streams, previously closed since May 2016. The Honourable Ministers also announced an increase in Ontario’s 2017 provincial immigration allocation from 5,500 to 6,000.
Ontario’s International Graduate stream provides international graduates of Ontario Master’s or PhD university programs the opportunity to settle permanently in Canada. Under the Master’s stream, graduates of qualifying Ontario universities who meet the requisite language requirements and are residing legally in Canada can apply for a provincial nomination without holding an approved job offer. PhD graduates can apply under the same conditions from anywhere in the world. Following today’s special announcement, qualifying candidates may be able to submit their application under one of these two streams as early as next week.
Minister Albanese also announced the reopening of Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities stream. Created in mid-2015, the Human Capital Priorities stream issues provincial nominations to those Express Entry candidates with a human capital score of at least 400, who indicate an interest in settling permanently in Ontario. With this nomination, Express Entry candidates will receive a 600-point increase, virtually guaranteeing them an Invitation to Apply under the next round of invitations. The Human Capital Priorities stream will also begin accepting applications next week.
Following in the footsteps of Ontario’s French Speaking Skilled Worker program which made the move to an online application intake system in late January, all three newly reopened streams will move online, facilitating access for qualifying candidates.
The re-opening of the Ontario Master’s, PhD, and Human Capital Priorities stream provides qualifying candidates with more and better opportunities to settle permanently in Ontario. However, those employers looking to capitalize upon Ontario’s provincial nomination programs will have to wait, as dates for the re-opening of the employer-driven streams are not expected until later in 2017.
For more information on Ontario’s provincial nomination programs, please contact PwC Law LLP.