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This article was updated more than 6 months ago. Some information may be outdated.

If the new legislation passes, Ontario would become the first province in Canada to ban Canadian work experience requirements in job postings, which would help more internationally-trained immigrants work in their fields.

The proposal announced November 9 would, if passed, help remove many significant barriers faced by internationally-trained immigrants. The ban on Canadian experience would affect those who are attempting to get licensed in certain regulated professions such as law, accounting, architecture, engineering, electrical and plumbing.

“Ontario is facing a generational labour shortage with hundreds of thousands of jobs going unfilled. However, all too often, newcomers in this province struggle to find jobs in their regulated profession for no other reason than bureaucracy and red tape,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

“These are folks who often have the training, experience, and qualifications to work in booming industries where Ontario desperately needs help but are being denied a chance to contribute. If these proposed changes are passed, Ontario would become the first province in Canada to help level the playing field in certain regulated professions so that workers coming here have the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their loved ones, and build stronger communities for us all.”

Labour Minister David Piccini says that there is an urgent need for change. This is because many immigrants in Canada are being directed towards low-skilled jobs that they are actually overqualified for.

“We need to ensure these people can land well-paying and rewarding careers that help tackle the labor shortage,” Piccini says in a media release.

Quick look at proposed changes in Ontario

Ontario intends to propose changes this fall, which if passed would:

  • Remove the mandatory Canadian work experience prerequisites for professional registration and licensing, unless a waiver is granted based on demonstrated public health and safety concerns. These prerequisites often prevent workers from acquiring Canadian work experience simply because they lack it, frequently identified as the primary obstacle faced by Canadian immigrants in securing a job commensurate with their qualifications.
  • Streamline and reduce redundant official language proficiency testing to alleviate the need for individuals to undergo multiple tests for immigration and professional licensing purposes.
  • Enable accelerated registration for applicants in regulated professions during emergencies, such as pandemics, to swiftly address urgent needs in certain professions or trades.
  • Ensure expeditious completion of the licensing process to facilitate internationally-trained immigrants in swiftly commencing careers aligned with their skill set.

The legislative changes, a part of a broader initiative building on the Working for Workers Acts, 2021, 2022, and 2023, are poised to protect workers, boost their earning potential, and enable newcomers to contribute significantly to Ontario’s development.

Immigration consultant, Tunde Omotoye applauds the announcement on Twitter, and calls for other Canadian provinces to follow suit.

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Ontario immigration

Ontario already accepts more immigrants than any other province and the government is making plans to keep growing.

In 2023, Ontario is set to nominate 16,500 immigrants for permanent residence through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Nominees will have work experience across essential sectors like health care and skilled trades. Ontario’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allocation will more than double in the coming years, increasing from 9,000 in 2021 to over 18,000 by 2025.

This year, Ontario has already accepted about 162,000 immigrants (including those admitted under family and refugee classes) in the months of January to September 2023.

The province is investing $100 million in services for newcomers, including language learning, settlement assistance, training access, and job opportunities in 2023-24.

How to move to Ontario

As per the Immigration Levels Plan, the PNP will become the most popular economic-class immigration pathway, followed closely by Express Entry.

The first step you may wish to take when moving to Canada is to learn more about your destination city, and which immigration pathway can help get you there.

Our Destination Guides will help you with the first step. Learn about life in Ontario’s immigrant hot spots like the biggest one, Toronto, as well as other cities like Ottawa, Hamilton, and Brampton, and more.

But, if you want more specific info on how to move to Ontario, you can get access to a free step-by-step guide tailored to you when you sign up for a free Moving2Canada account. You’ll get access to even more resources that will help you with your move including exclusive offers from our partners.

If you’re interested in moving to Canada but not sure which program you may be eligible for, check your eligibility for more than 20 Canadian immigration programs by taking Moving2Canada’s free Canada Immigration Quiz.

About the author

Shelby Thevenot

Shelby Thevenot

They/Them
Canadian Immigration Writer
Shelby is a journalist, freelance writer, and expert news analyst with more than five years of experience in writing about Canadian immigration.
Read more about Shelby Thevenot
Citation "Ontario to ban Canadian work experience requirements in job postings." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation

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