June 1, 2017 – Ontario immigration has announced a number of key program changes, including the creation of a new Canada Express Entry category targeting skilled trades candidates.
Further changes see the Employer Pre-Screened category renamed Employer Job Offer, with the Ontario immigration stream changed from employer-driven to the onus being on the candidate.
Lastly, the language requirements have been lowered for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s Entrepreneur Stream, while extra points will be awarded for business established outside the Greater Toronto Area.
Change 1: Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream
The new Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream will initially target workers in the construction and agriculture industries. However, it could be expanded as needs develop.
The move comes days after the federal government conducted its first Express Entry draw targeted at the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
The new stream has immediately been opened for online applications.
To qualify applicants must have:
- A pending application under the Federal Express Entry system;
- At least 12 months of paid cumulative or continuous work experience with the last two years prior to your Notification of Interest in National Occupation Classification 633, or major groups 72, 73 or 82;
- Proof of Ontario license or certification if your occupation so requires;
- A valid work permit and be resident in Ontario at the time of application;
- English or French-language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 or above in reading, writing, listening and speaking;
- Proof of settlement fund to cover you and your dependents, with the minimum amount determined by official Low Income Cut-Offs.
Change 2: Employer Job Offer
The Ontario Employer Job Offer category replaces the previous Employer Pre-Screened category with the key difference being the candidate, not the employer, leads the application process.
The category has two streams, one for foreign workers and one for international students. The employer requirements are the same for both.
Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream
To qualify, applicants must have:
- A permanent and full time job offer under NOC 0, A or B that meets prevailing wage levels for Ontario;
- Two years of relevant work experience in the previous five years before the date of application;
- Relevant mandatory licensing in Ontario, if the position so requires;
- Live abroad, or be working in or visiting Canada on a valid permit.
Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream
This stream is not to be confused with Ontario’s Masters Graduate and PhD Graduate categories, which do not require job offers.
To qualify for the Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream, applicants must have:
- A permanent and full time job offer under NOC 0, A or B that meets entry wage levels for Ontario;
- Graduated or met requirements of a full-time minimum two-year degree from a publicly-funded Canadian college or university; or
- Graduated or met requirements of a full-time minimum one-year post-graduate diploma program from a publicly-funded Canadian college or university.
- Completed at least half the studies in Canada;
- Apply within two years from the date you completed the above course.
Change 3: Entrepreneur Stream
Following changes to the Entrepreneur Stream, candidates are now required to possess Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 at the time they submit their application. CLB 4 scores 10 points towards a candidate’s total, while CLB 5 or above scores 15 points.
The available points have been increased for businesses outside the GTA. Depending on the investment amount, a business purchased or established outside the GTA can score up to 25 points on an Expression of Interest, while a business inside the GTA can score only 20 points. The investment thresholds are also lower for businesses outside the GTA.
Businesses in the ICT or digital communications sectors score the higher points regardless of location.
Investment Requirements and Points Inside GTA
|Less than $1,000,000||Not eligible|
|$1,000,000 to to $1,499,999||2|
|$1,500,000 to $1,999,999||6|
|$2,000,000 to $2,499,000||10|
|$2,500,000 to $2,999,999||14|
|More than $3,000,000||20|
Investment Requirements and Points Outside GTA (Or for ICT Sector)
|Less than $500,000||Not eligible|
|$500,000 to $999,999||3|
|$1,000,000 to $1,499,999||8|
|$1,500,000 to $1,999,999||13|
|$2,000,000 to $2,499,999||18|
|More than $2,500,000||25|
Regular OINP Activity
The OINP has opened and closed several of its streams throughout the first five months of 2017, with many of the provincial nominee programs also fully active.
The current status of the OINP streams is as follows:
|Human Capital Priorities (Express Entry)||Open|
|French-Speaking Skilled Worker (Express Entry)||Open|
|Skilled Trades (Express Entry)||Open|
|Employer Job Offer||Open|
|International Student (Masters Graduate)||Paused (May 1, 2017)|
|International Student (PhD Graduate)||Paused (May 24, 2017)|
|Investor Immigration (Corporate)||Open|
|Investor Immigration (Entrepreneur)||Open|
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.
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