On May 30, 2017, Suzanne Hastie, Ontario’s Director, Business Immigration and Selection, announced the following three changes to the OINP:
– The Employer Job Offer stream has been re-designed and will re-open for online processing during the week of May 31, 2017.
– A new stream called the Express Entry Skilled Trades stream has been created in response to stakeholder feedback.
– Changes have been made to the Entrepreneur Stream’s selection criteria.
Employer Job Offer stream
This OINP stream has been streamlined and is set to re-open via the OINP’s online application processing system this week. The employer pre-screen approval stage for this application has been removed, and a new form, the Employer Job Offer and Declaration Form, has been introduced. This form must be filled out by the employer, as an attestation that they meet the criteria for the program.
It is important to note that the selection criteria and processing fees for this stream have not been changed. Processing time for this stream is expected to improve. A detailed Application Guide for this revamped stream will be released by the OINP shortly.
Express Entry Skilled Trades stream
In response to stakeholder feedback, the Ontario government has created a stream targeting skilled tradespersons within the construction and agricultural sectors. In order to be eligible for this stream, the eligibility criteria includes:
– 12 months of full-time skilled work experience in Ontario in an eligible NOC B occupation within the last 2 years;
– Residence in Ontario with a valid work permit;
– Certification, if applicable, with the provincial trade authority;
– Language proficiency score of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 or above in English or French; and
– Minimum amount of settlement funds in savings or income.
The Ontario government has introduced some revisions to this stream’s selection criteria. The revisions are as follows:
– The minimum language requirement has been lowered from CLB 5 to CLB 4.
– Additional points, to a maximum of 10 points, will now be awarded for applicants who intend to establish a business in a smaller community in Ontario.
It is anticipated that the above changes to the OINP will help employers in Ontario attract and retain global talent. More specifically, the re-opening and streamlining of the Employer Job Offer stream may simplify and expedite the process for skilled workers who want to pursue permanent residence in Canada. The creation of the Express Entry Skilled Trades stream may provide a pathway for otherwise ineligible individuals to pursue permanent residency in Ontario through the federal Express Entry system. Lastly, the changes made to the Entrepreneur Stream’s selection criteria may facilitate economic growth in Ontario’s smaller communities, as well as facilitate permanent residency for individuals who may not qualify for other pathways.
For more information about these changes to the OINP, please contact PwC Law LLP.