OINP Expression of Interest System launched. Ontario has confirmed that the province will be changing the registration system of five of its economic-class immigration streams implemented through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Ontario will now use a new Expression of Interest (EOI) system as first announced in September 2020. The province’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development provided the details in two regulatory amendments on March 15, 2021, including how it plans to rank candidates under the EOI system.
The new EOI system will enable OINP to more strategically manage intake, increase the OINP’s labour market responsiveness and better respond to regional labour market needs.
The amendments implement EOI system for the following OINP streams:
- Employer Job Offer Category.
- Foreign Worker stream.
- International Student stream.
- In-Demand Skills stream.
- Masters Graduate.
- Ph.D. Graduate.
Note that these streams are currently closed to new applicants. They will reopen when the new EOI system launches in the coming weeks. The government has not confirmed what date that would be.
What is OINP Expression of Interest System?
Previously, these five OINP streams use a first-come first-served approach for accepting applications. This means that applications are only accepted during designated intake periods. Many of the five OINP streams have been troubled by application intake challenges in the past. For example, both the Masters Graduate and Foreign Worker streams often open for only a matter of minutes before reaching capacity and closing again. This first-come first-served approach has been criticized for unfairly advantaging individuals with better computer and internet connectivity and the ability to monitor the program constantly for future intake rounds.
According to Ontario, an OINP Expression of Interest system would allow Ontario to:
• Increase the OINP’s labor market responsiveness and better respond to regional labour market needs;
• Strategically manage high demand for the OINP thereby creating more predictability for applicants and employers; and
• Manage OINP intake in a way that prioritizes the most suitable applicants.
Based on the huge successes of the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) used in the federal Express Entry system, many Canadian provinces have adopted an EOI-based approach to selecting candidates through their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). The federal Express Entry pool consists of candidates profiles under the Federal Skilled Worker Class; the Federal Skilled Trades Class; and the Canadian Experience Class. The Canadian federal government and the provincial and territorial governments regularly draws candidates from this pool to issue Invitations to Apply (ITAs) based on particular needs and shortages in the country or provinces. The federal Express Entry system has invited 69,950 immigration candidates to apply for permanent residence in Canada so far this year.
How does OINP EOI System work?
Using a points-based EOI selection system enables provinces to prioritize candidates with certain skills or demographic characteristics that meet regional labour market needs. An EOI system also enables provinces to streamline the selection process.
Under OINP Expression of Interest system, individuals would register with the OINP and be placed in a selection pool similar to the federal Express Entry system pool. Individuals would then be required to provide personal information and other labour market and/or human capital information that would form the basis of any Invitation to Apply (ITA).
Points will be awarded based on the following attributes:
- Level and field of education and where they completed their studies.
- Proficiency in English or French.
- Intention to settle outside of the Greater Toronto Area.
- Skill and work experience level, earnings history, other factors relevant to prospects in Ontario job market.
- Labour market needs in the province or region of the province.