Ontario’s New Expression of Interest System: More Details Emerge

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Ontario’s New Expression of Interest System: More Details Emerge
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More details of a new Expression of Interest system being implemented through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) have been published by Ontario immigration.

The province’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development published two regulatory amendments on March 15, 2021, which included details of how it plans to rank candidates under the EOI system first announced in September 2020.

Important factors will include a candidate’s education, language ability and work experience. Where candidates plan to live and the labour market needs of provincial regions will also feature as factors.

Ontario says the EOI system will be launched “in the coming weeks”.

The EOI system will manage application intake for the following streams:

Ontario Expression of Interest Ranking System

Points will be awarded based on the following attributes:

  1. Level and field of education and where they completed their studies.
  2. Proficiency in English or French.
  3. Intention to settle outside of the Greater Toronto Area.
  4. Skill and work experience level, earnings history, other factors relevant to prospects in Ontario job market.
  5. Labour market needs in the province or region of the province.

Other regulatory amendments published on Monday include the right to:

  • Conduct both general and targeted draws.
  • Score prospective applicants in the EOI pool.
  • Determine and publish EOI point allocations.
  • Allocate points to various factors including education and language skills.
  • Issue ITAs to the top-scoring candidates.

Ontario says the introduction of an EOI system will allow it to better respond to specific labour market needs, manage high OINP demand and prioritize the best candidates.

Many Canadian provinces already operate their own EOI systems, including Quebec, which launched the Arrima platform in 2018, making the first invitations in 2019.


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Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream

To qualify under this stream, applicants must have:

  • A permanent and full-time job offer under NOC 0, A or B that meets the median wage levels for Ontario, and in a position that is necessary to the business;
    • For those already working in the position, the proposed wage must be equal or greater than the current wage being paid
  • Two cumulative 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, studying or visiting Canada on a valid permit;
  • Intention to settle in Ontario.

Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream

To qualify under this stream, applicants must have:

  • A permanent and full-time job offer under NOC 0, A or B that meets low wage levels for Ontario, and in a position that is necessary to the business;
    • For those already working in the position, the proposed wage must be equal or greater than the current wage being paid
  • Either
    • 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
  • Legal status in Ontario
  • Intention to settle in Ontario.

Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream

This stream targets candidates with specific skilled in-demand in Ontario. To qualify, applicants must have:

  • A permanent and full-time job offer under certain occupations in the agriculture or construction sector and meets the median wage in Ontario for the occupation (see table below), and in a position that is necessary to the business.
    • For those already working in the position, the proposed wage must be equal or greater than the current wage being paid.
  • 9 months of cumulative work experience in the last three years in one of the eligible occupations. Experience must be paid and full-time or the equivalent amount in part-time work in Ontario.
    • Seasonal work does not count.
  • Equivalent of Canadian high school education or higher.
  • Valid certificate or license at the time of application for any claimed work experience that requires it.
  • Minimum CLB/NCLC 4 in English or French in all language competencies.
  • Live abroad, or be working, studying or visiting Canada on a valid permit;
  • Intention to settle in Ontario.

Masters Graduates Stream

This stream offers an opportunity to obtain permanent residence to international students who obtained a master’s degree in Ontario without requiring a job offer.

To be eligible to apply, a candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduated from a Master’s degree program from an eligible institution in Ontario, which was at least one-year full-time.
  • Obtained minimum language CLB/NCLC level 7 or above in English or in French.
  • Resided legally in Ontario for at least one year in the last two.
  • Have sufficient settlement funds.
  • Intend to live and work in Ontario.
  • Must have legal status in Ontario or abroad.
    • Applications from elsewhere in Canada will not be accepted.
  • Application must be submitted within two years of completing the requirements to graduate from the master’s degree.

Ph.D. Graduates Stream

This stream offers international students an opportunity to become permanent residents who hold a PhD degree from Ontario without requiring a job offer.

To be eligible to apply, a candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduated from a PhD degree program in an eligible institution in Ontario, and have completed at least two-years full-time.
  • Resided legally in Ontario for at least one year in the last two.
  • Have sufficient settlement funds.
  • Intend to live and work in Ontario.
  • Application must be submitted within two years of completing the requirements to graduate from the PhD degree.
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