The majority of provincial nominees under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) in 2017 were employed in Information Technology (IT) occupations.
The update has been provided in a new progress report from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. The report also reveals that the top OINP source countries are India and China, and that most nominees are in the 25 to 34 age bracket.
Ontario’s strong IT and tech sector welcomes talent from around the world, including thousands of newcomers arriving through the OINP. New Ontarians tend to settle where employers are hiring, with popular locations including Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton, and Ottawa.
The OINP received an initial allocation of 5,500 from the federal government for 2017. Just over 5,000 nominations had been issued over the first nine months of the year, and the allocation was fully depleted before the end of November. However, Ontario’s allocation was subsequently increased in Mid-December, allowing the OINP to continue to issue nominations.
OINP nominees have been spread across 251 different occupations, but of the 5,137 nominations issued up to September 30, the top five OINP nominee occupation categories were heavily focused on IT occupations.
These figures are partly the result of a strategy initiated by immigration authorities in Ontario last June. Under that strategy, the OINP’s removed one of the requirements for its popular Express Entry-aligned Human Capital Priorities stream, namely the requirement for potential applicants to be in the Express Entry pool with at least 400 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. This exception was only for candidates with experience in one of 15 specific IT occupations. Consequently, the province was able to invite a broader range of IT workers at that time.
One striking outcome of Ontario’s immigration policies is the age profile of OINP nominees. Around two-thirds of nominees are in their late twenties or early thirties.
Applicants from India and China account for around two-thirds of nominees, with Pakistan, South Korea, and Nigeria also popular source countries.
The plan has been endorsed by the government of Ontario, which hopes to capitalize on the opportunity to welcome more skilled immigrants over the coming years. The new Ontario Immigration Act, scheduled to be proclaimed on January 1, 2018, creates a framework that allows Ontario to better design, deliver, and manage a larger and more efficient immigration program.
If larger and more efficient is the ultimate goal, the province has already made good headway. As recently as 2013, Ontario’s PNP/OINP allocation was just 1,300. Moreover, the new report states that most OINP applications are now being processed within 60 days from the application date. The OINP e-Filing Portal makes it easier for applicants to apply to the program and has greatly improved processing times.
As Canada’s most popular immigration destination, individuals and families hoping to call Ontario their new permanent home should be keenly aware of the economic and social opportunities available. Ontario is not only an IT powerhouse; the economy is rich and diversified, with strong manufacturing and service sectors. Ontario also attracts significant foreign direct investment. As of 2016, Ontario has surpassed Alberta to become the fastest-growing provincial economy in Canada.
“Ontario not only needs more immigrants, it needs to specifically attract newcomers who possess the skills and ability to meet the province’s labour market needs and help our economy grow,” states the new report.
Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Laura Albanese, added “Ontario was built on immigration, and diversity has always been an important part of our culture, heritage and economic success. In the years to come, immigration will continue to play a critical role in our future prosperity.”
Under the new Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, Ontario will receive up to $91 million in funding for bridge training programs over the next three years.
Find out which OINP and PNP streams are open by visiting our PNP Canada Live Tracker.
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