If Ontario is allowed to proceed with its newly proposed immigration system, the province is all set to get rid of its present rush-seating model.
OINP recently proposed change to some immigration programs to an Expression of Interest or EOI system. This system will use new scoring criteria to choose the best-suited applicants who would meet the province’s labor market requirements.
At present, the Ontario PNP is not aligned with Express Entry. Thus, it works on a first-come-first-served basis. The registration will remain open till all the available vacancies get filled up. This may take as little as 25 minutes. Until now, OINP would send notifications to people stating the time their registration window would open. Applicants used to keep several browsers open on different computers to enter the system. This would give rise to several technical difficulties. This would force OINP to keep a contingency plan as a backup for all those who lost their opportunities due to reasons beyond their control.
A spokesperson from OINP has stated that with the introduction of the EOI system, it will make it pretty simple to manage high demands for their PNP program. It will also avoid any uncertainty related to the present first-come-first-serve model and stream openings.
In 2019, Ontario was the most popular destination for immigrants. The Ontario PNP alone brought in 13,731 immigrants to the province last year. Out of these, 7,391 were principal applicants and the remaining their families. 51% of them applied through Express Entry linked categories. However, the remaining applied through the base streams that no longer have an EOI model.
Ontario is thinking about building an EOI system for the following immigration categories:
- Ph.D. Graduate
- Master Graduate
- Employer job offer category, including international student, foreign worker, and in-demand skills streams.
The Expression of Interest system will only apply to workers opting for permanent residency. It will not affect the abilities of Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers.
The Ontario Immigration Nominee Program will conduct a targeted draw of some specific registrants or a general draw. The targeted draw is already being carried out through its Express-Entry aligned Human Capital Priorities Stream. The primary aim is to let OINP cater to the needs of the labor market of the province. This is done by filling in the gap in the labor market with foreign talents.
All the prospective applicants will receive a score that will depend on their individual EOI profile. Points will be given based on different factors, including language abilities and education. Invitations will be sent to all the top-scoring applicants to apply for a PNP.
OINP has also clarified that with the help of an EOI system, the province will be allowed to manage OINP intake to categorize the applicants according to priorities. Many other provinces in Canada already have an EOI system to help them manage immigration applications. These provinces include British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, and Manitoba.
The Express Entry System of the federal government also uses a specific points-based system to invite immigrants. OECD hails this system as a “role model” for immigration systems in different other countries.
Only time will tell if the proposed changes actually result in a more fair application process.