Ontario overfills PNP allocation

A glance back at Ontario’s last draws of 2020, and what to look forward to next year.

Ontario has issued more than 8,000 nominations to immigration candidates this year, more than filling the number of spots the province was originally allowed.

The federal government originally allocated 7,600 provincial nomination for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) out of the 61,000 that were expected to be welcomed through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) in 2020.

But, Ontario has finished off the year with 8,050 successful nominations across all streams, including 400 additional nominations that the province received through an in-year reallocation, and 50 more for intermediate skilled occupations, or NOC skill level C.

All new applications, and those that are in processing, will be considered under the 2021 nomination allocation. Ontario’s allocation for 2021 is not yet available, but we know that the PNP is expected to bring in upwards of 80,800 immigrants over the next three years, according to the new immigration levels plan.

Ontario held its last draws of the year on December 15. The OINP held a Tech Draw, and issued 668 invitations to Express Entry candidates with work experience in certain tech occupations. On the same day, Ontario invited 19 to apply under the OINP Entrepreneur Stream.

Ontario to launch EOI system in 2021

Ontario’s Employer Job Offer Category currently works on a first-come-first-served basis, however this has caused problems for the province and prospective applicants in the past. What happens is, the OINP announces when registration windows will open. Applicants flood the system trying to submit their files. Then the online portal closes within minutes, or the system breaks.

The most recent example of this happened in late November. Ontario opened the Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream registration window, but closed it due to technical difficulties. Later, the OINP confirmed that 1,426 applicants registered during the opening, and that they will contact people who reported errors when submitting their files.

Since this rush seating model is not working for the province or candidates, Ontario announced that in early 2021 they would launch an Expression of Interest (EOI) system. Other provinces, like Manitoba and Saskatchewan, already have EOI systems in place to manage application intake.

Prospective applicants would be given a score based on their EOI profile. Points would be allocated based on various factors such as education and language abilities. Ontario would then issue invitations for top-scoring applicants to apply for a provincial nomination

The immigration categories that Ontario is considering building an EOI system for include:

  • Employer Job Offer Category (Foreign Worker; International Student, and In-Demand Skills streams);
  • Masters Graduate; and
  • Ph.D. Graduate.

The new system would allow the OINP to hold general and targeted draws, depending on their needs. This is already what the OINP does through the Human Capital Priorities Stream.

The province is expected to launch the new system in early 2021.

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