Strong 2020 Demand For Ontario Immigration Despite Impact of COVID-19

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Strong 2020 Demand For Ontario Immigration Despite Impact of COVID-19
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The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s Human Capital Priorities Stream attracted the most nominations in 2020, with tech workers and candidates born in India also seeing a boost in interest. 

Of the 8.054 nominations issued by Ontario throughout the year, 1,996 went to HCP candidates, while tech workers attracted a total of 1,604 and Indian nationals received 4,212.

The numbers were revealed in a new review of the year issued by the OINP on Friday March 19.

Other popular OINP categories included the Employer Job Offer streams for international students and foreign workers, plus the Express Entry stream for skilled trades, each of which attracted well in excess of 1,000 nominations.


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OINP 2020 Nominations by Stream

Stream Number of nominations
Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream 1,732
Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Stream 608
Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream 1,558
PhD Graduate Stream 251
Masters Graduate Stream 405
Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream 1,106
Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream 1,996
Ontario’s Express Entry French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream 397
Entrepreneur Stream 1
Grand Total 8,054

Ontario met its initial allocation of 7,600 nominations (including 250 under NOC C) by November and was granted an extra 450 spaces by the federal government.

In addition to principal applicants, OINP nominations also included 7,249 spouses and dependents for a total of 15,303 new immigrants to Ontario, an OINP statement said.

“Demand for the OINP continues to be strong despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

Tech Worker Increase

Ontario reports that 20 percent of its total nominations went to tech workers, with software engineers and designers, computer programmers, interactive media developers, IT systems analysts and technology consultants among the most sought-after occupations.


OINP 2020 Nominations For Tech Workers


A similar percentage of nominees were candidates with skills and experience in skilled trades, with more than 1,100 nominations issued through the Express Entry: Skilled Trades stream.

During 2020, Ontario began its two-year Regional Immigration Pilot, designed to use the OINP to bring skilled labour not available locally to smaller Ontario communities.

The first year of the pilot saw 67 nominations issued due to COVID-19 delays, with up to 233 spaces allocated for 2021.

Ontario also managed to beat its target of 5 percent of nominations for francophone candidates in 2020, with 437 targeted with high French language proficiency, mainly through the French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream and the Human Capital Priorities stream.

The year also saw Ontario issue its first nomination through its Entrepreneur stream, with 18 more candidates in the final stages of the process.

Indians Dominate Nominations By Nationality

Nominees in 2020 came from over 130 different countries with the highest number of nominations made to applicants from India and China, the OINP reports.


OINP 2020 Nominations By Country of Birth


Jobs Offers and Degrees Important

Ontario says nearly half of the candidates in nominated in 2020 had job offers in hand from one of more than 2,500 employers.

Over 96 percent of nominees held a post-secondary degree and at least 43 percent had high language skills (Canadian Language Benchmark 7 or above).

Increased demand for the OINP in 2020 meant the program had to pause intake for several streams, most notably the Master’s Graduate stream, Employer Job Offer: International Student stream and Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker stream.

In 2021, an Expression of Interest system will be launched to manage intake for the employer job offer and international graduate student streams. Launch is expected in the spring.

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