Ontario Launches Two New Express Entry Provincial Nominee Streams

Background: Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program and Express Entry

The Provincial Nominee Program was established to allow provinces the ability to nominate qualified workers, professionals and international students who wish to become Canadian permanent residents according to the economic needs of each province. Each year, the federal government decides on the number of provincial nominees each province may have.  In 2015, Ontario’s program, the Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program (OOPNP), will be able to nominate 5,200 foreign nationals and must issue at least 2,700 nominations under the Express Entry application management system for permanent residence.

Ontario’s Express Entry Streams

Ontario has chosen to divide its Express Entry nominations into two streams: the Ontario Human Capital Priority Stream and the Ontario French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream.  These new streams have been established to give Ontario the ability to select foreign nationals who possess the best qualities to successfully integrate into Ontario’s labour market and communities. Ontario’s Express Entry streams are not intended for foreign nationals with job offers; however, those individuals with job offers may qualify under one of Ontario’s non-Express Entry streams.

The Process and Requirements

In order to qualify, a foreign national must first register and create an online profile under Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) Express Entry system.  The OOPNP will then search through the Express Entry pool to identify foreign nationals who have the required qualifications, as described below, and will issue a PT Notification of Interest to qualifying and selected foreign nationals. A foreign national must receive a PT Notification of Interest before they are able to apply under one of Ontario Provincial Nominee Program Express Entry streams.

Requirements Under the Ontario Human Capital Priorities Stream Requirements Under the Ontario French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream

 

  • Have a minimum of 400 points in the Express Entry system
  • Have work experience qualified under either the Federal Skilled Worker Program or Canadian Experience Class criteria
  • Have work experience qualified under either the Federal Skilled Worker Program or Canadian Experience Class criteria
  • Have a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph. D. degree, or the equivalent which has been assessed by a designated English Credential Assessment (ECA) organization
  • Have a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph. D. degree, or the equivalent which has been assessed by a designated English Credential Assessment (ECA) organization
  • Have language skills at the Canadian Language Benchmark at a level 7 or higher in French and level 6 in English
  • Have language skills of the Canadian Language Benchmark at a level 7 or higher in either English or French
  • Demonstrate the intention to reside within Ontario
  • Demonstrate the intention to reside within Ontario
  • Have sufficient funds available to cover costs associated with settlement within the province
  • Have sufficient funds available to cover costs associated with settlement within the province
 

As soon as a PT notification is received, the foreign national must complete an application for provincial nomination which will be assessed by Ontario on the above mentioned criteria.  If the application is approved, the foreign national will receive an additional 600 points under the Express Entry system and will receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence from the federal government in the next draw from the pool of candidates.

Conclusion

Ontario’s participation in the Express Entry application management system will allow qualifying foreign nationals, who  possess the right qualities for Ontario’s labour market, to score enough points for selection under Express Entry without the need for a Canadian job offer. Skilled foreign nationals who are already employed in Canada, or who have a Canadian job offer, will not be able to take advantage of these new streams but may qualify for provincial nomination under one of Ontario’s non-Express Entry streams.

Contact Us:

Dale & Lessmann LLP invites you to contact our experienced Immigration Practice Group for assistance in becoming a Canadian permanent resident under Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program.