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Latest Changes in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is the province’s economic immigration program through which the province nominates foreign individuals and their families for permanent resident status under its nine different streams. The program was established in partnership between Government of Ontario and Government of Canada through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This program offers an opportunity for skilled foreign workers, international students and others with the right skills, experience and education to permanently live and work in Ontario and at the same time, help employers succeed in the global competition for talent.

Under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), there is an immigration stream called Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities stream. This is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) operated by the province of Ontario. The stream offers foreign immigrants with the required skilled work experience, language abilities and education to apply to permanently live and work in Ontario. This stream uses a merit-based system to select highly-qualified skilled workers from Canada’s Express Entry stream. The applicant must have a valid profile in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC’s) Express Entry system and receive a notification of Interest from the province of Ontario in order to be eligible for the stream. It does not require a job offer from an employer in Ontario. The profile could be either in Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, or in Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program. One cannot apply to the program directly, as it is only by invitation. Since the Ontario Human Capital Priorities stream is linked with the federal Express Entry system, the applicant must meet the requirements of the Federal skilled workers or the Canadian Experience Class program. For instance, if the applicant has applied under Federal Skilled workers program, then he/she must meet the education credentials, work experience, score CLB Level 7 in language proficiency in English or French and must obtain a NOC Skill Level 0, A or B.

Throughout 2021, Express entry candidates in Ontario were restricted by an upper CRS cap of 467 in the draws. Hence, in order to get a nomination invite from Ontario, many candidates were actually trying to reduce their scores in the pool. However, in February 22nd draw recently for Human Capital Priorities stream, Ontario invited a total of 773 Express Entry applicants, with CRS scores ranging between 455 and 600. Candidates who had created their Express Entry profiles between February 22 – April 29, 2021, with CRS between 455 – 600 and had at least one year of work experience in one of the 18 targeted occupations, were sent an ‘invitation to apply’ under this program.

Only specific 18 NOC codes occupations were selected for the draw and included the following: NOC 0114 - Other administrative services managers; NOC 0122 - Banking, credit and other investment managers; NOC 0124 - Advertising, marketing and public relations managers; NOC 0125- Other business services managers; NOC 0211 - Engineering managers; NOC 0311 - Managers in health care, NOC 0601 - Corporate sales managers; NOC 0631 - Restaurant and food service managers; NOC 0711 - Construction managers; NOC 0731 - Managers in transportation; NOC 0911 - Manufacturing managers; NOC 1121 - Human resources professionals; NOC 1122 - Professional occupations in business management consulting; NOC 2161 - Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries; NOC 3012 - Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses; NOC 3211 - Medical laboratory technologists; NOC 3231 – Opticians; NOC 3233 - Licensed practical nurses.

There was another draw from Ontario that took place on February 24, 2022 for Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The province of Ontario issued targeted notifications of interest to 818 Express Entry candidates who may qualify to apply for a provincial nomination. Candidates who created their profile in Express Entry system between the dates of February 24, 2021 - February 24, 2022 and with Comprehensive Ranking System scores in the range of 359 to 600 were targeted. This is the second time when Ontario has removed the CRS cap (the first being 22nd Feb 2022 draw for FSW/CEC program). Prior to the February 22 draw, candidates whose CRS score was above the maximum range of 467 points were not eligible to apply for the nomination. No job offer is needed to apply under the Skilled Trades Stream, but one must meet all the mandatory federal and provincial requirements like valid work permit, language proficiency, work experience, etc.

With the removal of the CRS cap of 467, applicants now do not have to worry about their scores being on the higher side. Further, with no job offer requirement under the Human Capital Priorities stream, applicants with NOCs in the prescribed list of 18 NOCs have a good chance of being invited in the future draws. With the Federal Skilled Worker targets being reduced to almost half for 2022 and 2023, it is recommended to look for Provincial nominations for better chances of getting a Permanent Residency. If your NOC is among those selected in the recent draws and you want to know the right process to move forward, please contact our RCIC and get your profile assessed.

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