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Details advice has been published by Ontario immigration for employers and candidates in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic state of emergency.

Canada’s most populous province is still answering inquiries, processing applications and issuing nominations through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), including the Express Entry-linked and Entrepreneur streams.

Candidates having difficulty obtaining information and documents are advised to submit their applications and include an explanation as to why the information is missing.

“We will consider all relevant information when reviewing your application and may provide additional time to submit the required documentation,” an OINP statement said.

The province is also planning to contact employers ‘to assess the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on employment conditions’. 

This is specifically in reference to Employer Job Offer Stream applications in all three categories: Foreign Worker, International Student and In-Demand Skills.

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Employer Job Offer Stream: COVID-19 Guidance

1) Permanent, full-time position required

  • Applicant must have a job offer in a role that has been approved by the OINP. 
  • Role must meet all prescribed employer and position criteria.
  • Role must be permanent, full-time and meet wage criteria (median or low wage).

Ontario states: “We cannot approve an application if an employee has been terminated and the employment relationship no longer exists.”

2) Application submitted to OINP but not processed

Applicants and employers are required to notify the OINP of any change to an application, including changes to job offers.

Ontario states: “We will be reaching out to all employers to confirm that job offers/employment positions still meet program criteria.”

Scenario 1: No change

Where there are no changes to the job offer, the OINP will continue to assess the application.

Scenario 2: Job offer rescinded or employment terminated 

Where a job offer or employment position is no longer available, the application cannot be approved. The application will be considered incomplete and the application fee refunded.

Scenario 3: Temporary layoff

Where a job offer or employment position has been affected by a temporary layoff due to COVID-19 but otherwise meets criteria, applications will be held for 90 days.

3) Application approved by OINP and candidate nominated

Notice requirements: nomination approved

The nominee’s terms of employment must remain consistent throughout the nomination period until permanent residence, including employer, job title and duties, wage, hours of work and location.

Nominees and employers are advised to notify the OINP of any changes. The approval might be cancelled if the above conditions are not met and if employment is terminated.

Nominees do not need to contact the OINP unless the employer has withdrawn the job offer or terminated employment.

Employers should notify the OINP of any changes to employment terms, excluding temporary layoffs.

Where a job offer or employment position has been affected by a temporary layoff due to COVID-19, but otherwise meets criteria, Ontario will continue to support the nomination but may ask for more information from employers.

Employer response scenarios after nomination

Scenario 1: No change

Where there are no changes to the job offer, the OINP will continue to support the nomination.

Scenario 2: Job offer rescinded or employment terminated 

Where the nominee’s employment has been terminated due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Ontario will cancel the approval of the position. 

Nominees will get 90 days to find another employer and be given the opportunity to submit a new application.

Entrepreneur Stream

Candidates who have received an Invitation to Apply through the Entrepreneur Stream will have their 90-day submission deadline temporarily extended.

Candidates who have submitted a completed application and are facing challenges due to COVID-19 should contact Ontario will further details.

Ontario offers the following examples of challenges:

  1. Delays obtaining information that relates to the monitoring of an application.
  2. Candidate forced to temporarily close, suspend, or alter business operations.
  3. Candidates temporarily unable to fulfill hiring and employer requirements.

Ontario states: “The OINP will continue to address the specific concerns of applicants as they arise.”

No refusal of application or cancellation of nomination without notice

Ontario states: “No application will be denied and no approvals will be cancelled without notifying the applicant and employer. We will carefully review responses to these notices before making a final decision.”

Canada immigration free assessment