The government of Ontario has resumed issuing Notifications of Interest (NOIs) to applicants who meet the criteria for the Express Entry Human Capital Priorities (HCP) Stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). NOIs may begin to be issued to eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool the week of April 10-14, 2017, and, according to the government, NOIs will be issued periodically throughout the year until the annual allocation is reached.
This popular Canadian immigration stream allows candidates in the federal Express Entry pool who are invited by the OINP to make an application for a provincial nomination certificate. When added to an Express Entry profile, this nomination certificate means that the candidate receives 600 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points, placing him or her at the head of the line for selection in a subsequent draw from the pool.
Advice from the OINP
The province issued a statement with some strategic advice for potential applicants, encouraging them “to create a new profile in the Express Entry (EE) system to make it easier for Ontario to identify their profile during its search of the federal government’s Express Entry pool.” Candidates who do this are required to delete their old Express Entry profile and create a newone, including re-registering in the Canada Job Bank, which remains a mandatory step for candidates who do not have a job offer on entering the pool.
In-Demand Trades Also Targeted
In addition, the OINP announced that in this round of NOI issuance, candidates in construction-sector skilled trades that are in demand in the province will also be targeted. However, the issuance of NOIs is not limited to candidates who have work experience in these trades — candidates in other occupations may also receive a NOI.
The list of in-demand occupations for this round of NOIs includes:
- Electricians (except industrial and power system)
- Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
- Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)
- Roofers and shinglers
- Sheet metal workers
- Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers
- Industrial electricians
Last month, findings from the 2017 Construction Confidence Indicator, an annual survey of construction contractors conducted by the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS), revealed that the economic outlook for Ontario’s construction industry is positive and that confidence is up across the province. The study was based on 500 interviews with contractors across the province.
Candidates who have a minimum CRS score of 400 or more CRS points and possess the required education, skilled work experience, language ability, and other characteristics to help them successfully establish and integrate into Ontario’s labour market and communities may be identified by the province and receive a NOI. Candidates in the Express Entry pool may not apply to the OINP Human Capital Priorities until they receive a NOI. Those who receive a NOI may submit an application for a provincial nomination certificate.
For this stream, the OINP only selects candidates who are eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). That is to say, candidates who are eligible to enter the pool under the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) only (i.e. they are not also eligible under the FSWC or the CEC) may not be selected.
“The latest announcement from the OINP follows a number of previous updates that have come in over the past few months. Overall, it shows the pace of change in Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs, and Ontario is not the only actor in this phenomenon,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“It goes to show that keeping up to date on these changes as and when they occur gives Express Entry candidates the best possible chances of realizing their goal of coming to Canada.”
The OINP nomination allocation for 2017 is 6,000 new permanent residents. Newcomers to Ontario also arrive through federal programs, meaning that the overall number of newcomers to Ontario this year will likely be many times the number that arrive through the OINP.