Proposed amendments to the Ontario Immigration Act may lead to significant changes to OINP streams.
Workers who have recent experience of working in Ontario in a high-demand construction or agriculture occupation may be eligible for Canadian permanent residence, following the launch of Ontario’s Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream on August 16, 2017.
The new stream is the latest addition to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), through which Ontario can nominate individuals for permanent residence based on their ability to settle in the province permanently.
Among other eligibility criteria, applicants must have a permanent, full-time job offer from an employer in Ontario in one of seven occupations, as well as 12 months of work experience in that occupation in Ontario within the past 36 months.
The Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream is not aligned with the federal Express Entry immigration selection system. Because this stream has opened for new applications from applicants in occupations that fall under skills levels C or D in the National Occupational Classification (NOC), individuals who may not be eligible to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry, or through another existing OINP stream, may now find that are eligible for provincial nomination in Ontario.
With a provincial nomination, an applicant, as well as his or her accompanying family members, may apply to the federal government for permanent resident status.
The job offer must be in one of the following eligible high-demand occupations.
|Residential and commercial installers and servicers||7441|
|Heavy equipment operators (except crane)||7521|
|General farm workers||8431|
|Nursery and greenhouse workers||8432|
|Construction trades helpers and labourers||7611|
|Industrial butchers, meat cutters, poultry preparers, related workers||9462|
The job offer must meet the prevailing wage levels in Ontario for that occupation and region, and if the applicant is already working in the position, the employer is required to meet prevailing requirements and pay a wage that is equal to or greater than the current wage.
The employer offering a job to the applicant must have been in business for at least the past three years, with additional criteria regarding annual turnover and staff size also considered.
If the business is in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), it must have at least $1,000,000 in gross annual turnover in the most recent fiscal year and five or more permanent full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents (per position to be filled each calendar year) at the location where the applicant will work.
If the premises is located outside the GTA, the business must have at least $500,000 in gross annual turnover in the most recent fiscal year and three or more permanent full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents (per position to be filled each calendar year) at the location where the applicant will work.
Who can qualify?
The range of potential applicants to Ontario’s new Employer Job Offer In-Demand Skills Stream is likely to be quite narrow, as the eligibility criteria specify work experience in Ontario that must match one of the occupations considered in high demand, plus the requirement to have a job offer in the province.
That being said, this new immigration option may prove attractive to individuals and families who came to Ontario to work in one of these fields.
For example, some younger workers who came to Canada under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program may be eligible, as may holders of other open work permits, such as graduates of Canadian colleges and universities.
Other potential applicants may have come to work in Ontario on other types of work permits, including work permits supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).