The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has stopped accepting applications for its highest volume streams and the province wants the federal government to increase its allocation for skilled worker immigration.
As of May 9, applications for the Employer Pre-Screen and the International Student Category (both Masters and PhD) have been paused as the programs have reached targets for 2016.
Details of stopped or paused streams
- Ontario stopped sending notifications of interest for the Human Capital Priorities (Express Entry) stream effective February 16, 2016.
- Ontario temporarily paused the intake of new applications for the following select, high-volume OINP streams effective 5pm EDT on May 9, 2016:
- Employer Pre-Screen
- International Student – Masters Graduate stream
- International Student – PhD Graduate stream
* Any applications received after the cut off points will be returned, along with processing fees.
“Ontario remains a top destination for workers and their families from all over the world,” read a notification on the Ontario government website.
“Given the positive effect of the program on Ontario’s economy, the province continues to engage the federal government on nominee numbers.”
The OINP is still accepting applications from foreign workers and international students, provided they have a job offer approved through the Employer Pre-Screen process. These applicants have 60 days from the date of the Employer Pre-screen approval letter to apply to either of these streams.
The French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream is also still open for applications, as is the Ontario Corporate Stream. Expressions of interest are also being accepted under the Ontario Entrepreneur Stream.
Streams that remain open
- Foreign workers and international students can still apply provided they have an approved job offer
- French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
- Ontario Corporate Stream
- Ontario Entrepreneur Stream
The province expects to receive its federal allocation for 2017 before the end of November 2016. It expects to begin receiving applications for some streams in six months.
Meanwhile, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark recently led calls for the federal government to lift caps on the Provincial Nominee Program, saying the current limits acted as a constraint to the growth of Western Canada.
Clark was speaking at a two-day conference in Vancouver, also attended by the premiers of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Alberta’s Rachel Notley was unable to due to the Fort McMurray wildfire.
All of the provinces have their own PNPs so they can access immigrants suited to their needs.
Provincial immigration in numbers
300,000 immigrants enter Canada each year
120,000 nominated or selected by the provinces in 2015
Ontario’s 2016 allocation was 5,500 immigrants, or 1.8 per cent of total immigration
In 2015, approximately 120,000 economic immigrants were nominated or selected by the provinces, with Quebec accounting for approximately 40,000 of that number.
Quebec is the only province with the right to select its own immigrants. All of the other provinces have the right to nominate immigrants.
In 2016 and for the foreseeable future, the numbers of immigrants to be granted permanent residence under a PNP or selected by Quebec is expected to increase.
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