Ontario’s 2019 budget has proposed a few important changes to Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). These changes include a new tech worker immigration stream, a new immigration pilot program for smaller communities, and revisions to the eligibility criteria for the Entrepreneur and Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills Streams of OINP. According to the Ontario government, these changes, especially the creation of a dedicated stream for technology workers, are being introduced in response to the “immediate labour needs” of the province that have to be filled.
The Ontario government introduced these changes after consultations held with the businesses in Ontario. It is expected that the changes would make it easier for skilled workers to come to Ontario, contribute towards the growth of the economy and build better lives.
OINP: Dedicated stream for technology workers
Though more details about the dedicated stream for technology workers have not been revealed in the budget, it is expected that more information on the stream would be released shortly. The Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) has welcomed the creation of the new stream, as they believe that the demand for skilled foreign tech talent in the province will only grow more acute in the coming years.
Ontario used to target foreign tech workers in the past through its Human Capital Priorities Stream, which is aligned to the federal Express Entry system. However, tech-related work experience is not a core requirement of this stream.
OINP: New immigration pilot for smaller communities
The new immigration pilot program proposed in the 2019 budget of Ontario aims to explore innovative approaches to bring highly skilled immigrants to smaller communities. This pilot program has been announced close on the heels of the introduction of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot of the federal government. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot will be working with the smaller and more remote communities in Ontario and the western provinces and territories of Canada to attract and retain foreign workers.
It is expected that the new proposed immigration pilot would be similar to the Atlantic Immigration Pilot that allows designated employers to recruit and hire foreign workers when it is not possible to fill the vacant positions with local talents.
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