The first week of the newly-revamped Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) online application system has shown that Ontario intends to manage its allocation intake by welcoming applications in short intake periods throughout 2017. Consequently, international workers and graduates alike are set to have numerous opportunities to pursue permanent residence in Canada’s most popular immigrant destination province this year.
On February 21, Ontario reopened three of its most popular immigration streams: the Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream, the International Masters Graduate Stream, and the International PhD Graduate Stream. At the same time, the province also launched an online application system for these streams, in order to improve customer service, speed up processing times, and generally make it easier to apply.
In a further innovative move, Ontario announced that these streams will be paused and reopened periodically until the OINP allocation of 6,000 new permanent residents for 2017 is filled. This makes the OINP the only Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) to expressly stagger its intakes for various streams. Candidates can prepare in advance of a future intake period before submitting an application quickly once the given stream reopens.
Initially, the new OINP e-Filing system gave candidates seven days to submit an application to the OINP. However, on February 27 the OINP announced that, in response to unprecedented application volume demand, this application submission deadline had been extended to 14 days.
The Human Capital Priorities Stream is passive, in the sense that an Express Entry candidate may only apply after first receiving a Notification of Interest (NOI). Among other requirements, candidates must have 400 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points and must have indicated an interest in residing in Ontario by selecting Ontario or “all provinces and territories” in the relevant section in the Express Entry profile.
The OINP has stated that NOIs issued through this stream will be valid for six months for applications to the stream, and that the application must be submitted within 14 days of registration on the online system. Once a NOI is issued the candidate has six months to register and submit the application. That is to say, the 14 days falls within the six-month period.
Candidates in the Express Entry pool who have been issued a NOI stand a far greater chance of submitting a successful application if they become acquainted with the document checklist in advance and prepare accordingly. The required documents for the Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream is more extensive than the documents required to enter the federal Express Entry pool.
When the OINP Master’s and PhD streams reopened on February 21, it had been more than nine months since potential applicants had had the opportunity to submit an application. Both streams operate on a first-come, first-served basis, and both proved so popular that the intake limits were reached within three days.
However, the OINP has stated that it will resume accepting applications for these streams within the next three months. An update on their reopening is expected on May 1.
A job offer is not required for either stream, nor is work experience. Rather, eligible graduates from any Masters or PhD program at a publicly-funded Ontario university may apply. Applicants must intend to live and work in Ontario, and must submit their application within two years of receiving the Master’s Degree or PhD.
These streams are not aligned with the Express Entry system. Successful applicants receive a provincial nomination certificate from Ontario, with which they may apply to the federal government for permanent resident status.
Complete eligibility requirements for these streams may be found reviewed here:
A further stream of the OINP that targets international students and graduates, the International Graduate with a Job Offer Stream, remains open.
International students and post-graduate workers in Canada can join the CanadaVisa Study Hub to access a range of tools and resources to assist in studying, working, and settling in Canada permanently. Members also get access to the CanadaVisa Scholarship Contest, for a chance to win $2,500.
“This year and potentially beyond, Ontario’s Immigrant Nominee Program looks set to be a program that rewards candidates and applicants who prepare well and react quickly,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“The new online application system should benefit applicants, but these individuals are unlikely to have enough time to gather, review, and submit all documentation within the 14 days provided. As such —and this is especially in the case of the Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream — candidates are encouraged to begin this process even before being invited by the province.”
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