Canada’s most popular destination province for new immigrants, Ontario, has reopened its Human Capital Priorities immigration stream as of February 21, 2017. This stream, part of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), is only used to select candidates in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC’s) Express Entry pool.
The stream was last open in early 2016, before the government of Ontario placed a temporary pause on several of its immigration streams, including the Human Capital Priorities Stream, on May 9 2016.
Selected Express Entry candidates may benefit significantly from this stream re-opening, as a nomination from the OINP through the Human Capital Priorities Stream results in an Express Entry candidate receiving an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. That candidate is then placed at the front of the line for selection by the government of Canada in a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool.
Candidates identified by the OINP receive a Notification of Interest (NOI), which serves as an invitation to the candidate to apply to the OINP under this stream. Selected candidates have only 14 days to apply to the OINP once the NOI has been issued. Successful applicants receive an enhanced provincial nomination certificate, which may then be added to their Express Entry profile in order to receive the additional 600 CRS points.
Candidates may not apply directly. Instead, they must first receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the OINP, which accesses the Express Entry pool and identifies potential candidates who:
- Have a minimum score of 400 under the CRS, and,
- Meet other criteria of the stream (see below).
To be considered for selection by Ontario under this stream, Express Entry candidates must be eligible under either the Federal Skilled Worker Class or the Canadian Experience Class; Federal Skilled Trades Class candidates are not considered.
Candidates under the Federal Skilled Worker Class must have at least one year of work experience within the past five years. Meanwhile, Canadian Experience Class candidates must have one year of work experience within the past three years.
In addition, only those candidates who have indicated an interest in residing in Ontario (either by selecting Ontario or “all provinces and territories” in the relevant section in the Express Entry profile) are considered.
Candidates are required to be educated at Bachelor’s Degree level or higher, and have proven language ability in English or French at the adequate-intermediate (Canadian Language Benchmark 7) level or above. They must also be able to show settlement funds, to show that they are able to support themselves and their family members, if applicable, upon arrival in the province.
“It has been around a year since Ontario last issued Notifications of Interest under this stream. Consequently, many Express Entry candidates who only began their interest in immigrating to Canada around that time or since may not be familiar with this stream,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“It is important to note that this is a unique immigration stream, in that it is passive and has what might seem to many as a unique set of eligibility criteria. More important, however, is to note that this is an opportunity that is only available to those individuals who take the step to create an Express Entry profile in the first place.”
To learn more about your Canadian immigration options through the OINP, as well as other Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.
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