July 2, 2021

Ontario opens new immigration application system for In-Demand Skills stream

Ontario’s new Expression of Interest system is now available for applicants to the In-Demand Skills stream.

Ontario’s immigration program for in-demand workers is now open for applications through the province’s new Expression of Interest (EOI) system.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) EOI system is now open for the In-Demand Skills stream under the Employer Job Offer Category.

The new stream joins the Foreign Worker and International Student streams in the EOI system. These programs were the first to be introduced into the new application intake system in March, 2021. Ontario still has to launch the EOI system for the Masters Graduate, and PhD Graduate streams. The OINP webpage says these Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) will be a part of the EOI system “in the near future.”

Being part of the EOI system means candidates can register to be considered for Ontario immigration at any time. Ontario ranks candidates’ profiles based on its scoring matrix. It takes into account education, work experience, and intended destination in Ontario among other factors. The purpose is to support candidates who have the skills and experience to succeed in Ontario’s labour market.

Registering for the EOI system does not guarantee that candidates will be invited to apply for a provincial nomination. Profiles are valid in Ontario’s EOI pool for 12 months. The OINP may contact registrants at any time to apply for a nomination.

Most recently, Ontario invited 940 international students and foreign workers in the EOI system to apply for a nomination.

About the In-Demand Skills Stream

This immigration program focuses more on provincial demand than occupation skill level. Many immigration programs target occupations that the government considers to be “high skilled.” Yet, Ontario still has labour shortages in occupations that are considered to be “low skilled.”

Enter the In-Demand Skills Stream. Foreign workers with eligible job offers in Ontario can apply for a PNP having nine months of cumulative work experience in the province within the past three years. Seasonal work experience is not eligible to meet the work requirement. Part-time work may be eligible if the candidate completed the required number of work hours. This could mean either 1,200 hours of paid employment in one job over the course of 18 months, or working in more than one job for at least 30 hours of paid work in a week for nine months that amounts to 1,200 hours.

There are a number of other eligibility requirements. Generally, candidates need a high school education, a language score of at least 4 in all proficiencies, and sufficient settlement funds, among other requirements.

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