The province of Ontario has announced the creation of a new immigration program designed to attract newcomers to Ontario’s rural and smaller communities. Called the Ontario Regional Immigration Pilot, this program is expected to launch in 2020.
This new Canadian immigration program could create exciting new opportunities for potential immigrants looking for a way to make Ontario their new home. While limited information has been released at this point, Ontario has stated that the program is intended to create “innovative approaches to bring highly skilled immigrants to smaller communities.”
The Ontario Regional Immigration Pilot: What we know so far
The new regional immigration pilot was announced by the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program on July 15, 2019.
Presently, the province of Ontario is in a consultation phase with several communities who were selected for the pilot. Ontario has not released the names of the communities chosen for this phase. Following this consultation period, Ontario will select certain communities to participate in the launch of the pilot program.
In order to have been considered for the consultation period, communities must have a population of between 20,000 and 200,000. In addition, communities were assessed based on their newcomer settlement, newcomer settlement infrastructure such as language and settlement services, and economic characteristics.
As the program is a pilot, it will most likely be launched for a set period of time. Following the pilot, the province will assess and determine whether or not to extend or make the program a permanent fixture in Ontario immigration.
The Ontario Regional Immigration Pilot is similar to the federal Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot that was announced earlier in 2019. Both are designed to facilitate immigration to rural areas. However, Ontario has explicitly stated that the new Ontario Regional Immigration Pilot is not meant to duplicate the federal pilot, but rather to complement it.
How can you apply to immigrate through the Ontario Regional Immigration Pilot?
The application criteria for prospective newcomers has not yet been released. Though the program is supposed to target “highly skilled workers,” Ontario has not released further details about what kind of workers will be eligible or how they will apply.
For up-to-date information, stay tuned to this page. We will continue to monitor the program and will provide updates when they become available.