Temporary pause placed on Ontario Immigration Streams

Earlier this May, it was announced that there will be a temporary halt on the intake of applications for select streams through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), however other OINP streams remain open. In the announcement, the government expressed that it had received its cap on the number of applications to meet its federal allocation and followed suit with Alberta and British Columbia by placing a pause on their Provincial Nominee Program Streams (PNP). The streams however, will not stay closed indefinitely and will be reopened at a later date.

Due to a large influx of applications over the years 2015 to 2016, provinces like Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia had application intake thresholds for some of their categories and then replenished them at a later stage during the year even after the initial annual intake cap had been reached.

More about the Express Entry & the OINP

Ever since its establishment in 2015, the Express Entry pool in Ontario has been said to welcome more immigrants than any other province in Canada, thus being the fastest immigration pathway.

One of the most popular programs in this stream is the Human Capital Priorities stream which allows the Express Entry candidate to make an application only if he/she is issued with a Notification of Interest (NOI) by the OINP. In order to apply for this, the candidate needs to already be in the Express Entry pool and be awarded more than 400 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. Upon successful nomination through this stream, the candidate will be awarded an additional 600 CRS points and will consequently receive an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence.

Although NOIs through the Human Capital Priorities stream have been temporarily halted since February, there has been speculation that the OINP will be issuing NOI’s at a later stage again. The matter on when this will occur has not been addressed and is yet to be announced.

Applicants looking to apply for business immigration can rest assured that the Corporate and Entrepreneurial streams for the OINP program still remain open for applications and Expressions of Interest. The International Student with a Job Offer stream of the OINP has also been left open to eligible candidates whose job offer has been approved through the Employer Pre-screen application process. The Canadian government is thus keen to not only attract, but also retain international students as permanent residents of Canada.