Ontario is introducing a new Expression of Interest (EOI) system for selecting candidates through five streams of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Similar to the points system used in Express Entry, Ontario’s new EOI system will be a points-based registration system that helps the province select skilled immigrants who meet specific labour market needs.
Ontario’s new points-based EOI ranking system will be introduced for the following streams:
- Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker
- Employer Job Offer: International Student
- Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills
- Masters Graduate stream
- PhD Graduate stream
Currently, these five streams use a first-come first-served approach for accepting applications. This means that applications are only accepted during designated intake periods.
Popularized by the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) used in the federal Express Entry system, an EOI-based approach to selecting candidates through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) has been adopted by many provinces across Canada. Using a points-based EOI selection system enables provinces to prioritize candidates with certain skills or demographic characteristics that meet regional labour market needs. An EOI system also enables provinces to streamline the selection process.
Many of the five OINP streams where the changes have been proposed have been troubled by application intake challenges in the past. For example, both the Masters Graduate and Foreign Worker streams often open for only a matter of minutes before reaching capacity and closing again. This first-come first-served approach has been criticized for unfairly advantaging individuals with access to better internet connection, higher-quality computer gear, or the ability to monitor the program constantly for future intake rounds.
Full details about the points system for the new OINP EOI system have not yet been released. In the approved changes to the Ontario Immigration Act, the province states that the following factors will be considered:
- Level of education and field of study
- Proficiency in English and/or French
- Whether the person intends to settle outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
- Skill and work experience level, earnings history, and other employment info
- Immediate labour market needs in the province and its regions
Details about exactly how points will be allocated or how and when invitation rounds will take place are expected in the weeks to come. If and when updates become available, they will be posted here. To be the first to find out about new changes, register for a free Moving2Canada account and sign up for our newsletter.
These changes were initially proposed in September 2020 and have been approved following a public consultation phase.