New Expression of Interest System in Ontario

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The long despised first-come first-served system for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is no more for five popular provincial nominee programs. On March 15, 2021 the Ontario Government announced that they would be moving to an Expression of Interest (EOI) based system for several types of provincial nomination applications. Ontario joins several other provinces that have already adopted this system including Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. It is simply a better way to control immigration application intake. The new system has been long awaited by many and will make OINP-PNP programs much less frustrating for all. 

This is very good news especially for foreigners who qualify for the Employer Job Offer, Masters Graduate, or Ph.D. Graduate streams. There will be no more sitting at your computer and waiting for that link to be enabled and hoping to get a chance to submit your application online. Especially since these 5 streams made up 57% of the provincial nominations issued in 2020.

What streams are available for the new EOI?

The Expression of Interest system is open for 5 streams. Three in the Employment Job Offer Category: Foreign Worker, International Student and In-Demand Skills. The other two are the Masters Graduate Stream and the Ph.D. Graduate Stream. The Foreign Worker, International Student, and Masters Graduate streams are the most popular streams for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. These programs opened and closed very quickly in 2020. The International Student and Foreign Worker streams of the Job Offer Category were open for 3 days while the Masters Graduate steam was only open for 1 day. 

The new EOI system means that you no longer have to wait and hope for the program to open only to close again very quickly. Which means now anyone who qualifies for these will have a much much better chance at applying for PR through these programs. You will be rated based on your qualifications rather than your ability to be at your computer at the right time. 

What is an Expression of Interest system?

An Expression of Interest system is a merit based using points. Points are given to you based on several factors such as level of education, Canadian experience, job offer, English or French  language proficiency to name a few. The total number of points you gain will determine your eligibility to enter a pool with other potential applicants. Then periodically throughout a calendar year the Government of Ontario will invite a specific number of applicants to submit a permanent resident application. Typically the government will invite applicants with the highest points total.

In other words the more requirements you meet the better your score. The higher your score the more likely you are to be chosen to submit your PR application. You can submit your interest to become a permanent resident any time, and know that you are in the pool to be considered.

An Expression of Interest application is not a permanent resident application. It is an application that expresses your desire and states your qualifications for permanent residence. You can only submit a permanent resident application if you receive an invitation to apply.

Basically it gives the government a better way to control application intake, and It ensures that all applicants can meet the basic minimum requirements for a permanent resident application. It also makes sure that the people who are the most qualified or have the highest points total are able to apply for permanent residence.

What are the benefits?

The major benefit is increased fairness for all applicants. EOI systems are primarily based on human capital and labour market factors. This means that people who have excellent skills and people who have the ability to work in areas of the economy with labour shortages will be given priority. 

There is no more need to wait and hope for the programs to open. You can submit your Expression of Interest and get into the pool of applicants at any time. You can do it now when it is convenient for you or as soon as you qualify. The province will draw the best applicants from the pool periodically, so as long as you are in the pool you will be given consideration.

Your Expression of Interest application will stay in the pool until you decide to withdraw. This means that if you are in the pool and a draw occurs and you are not invited to apply then you will remain in the pool for consideration until the next. 

This will be a much less stressful and more reliable system. There have been cases where a stream opens for 45 minutes, then closes due to technical issues when too many people try to access the OINP website. Only for this to happen all over again. It’s hard to know if everything has been submitted when dealing with website problems. For some people it can take away an entire day of waiting and hoping.

What should I do now?

If you want to take advantage of this new change then you should get all of your documents ready. Start planning today, and avoid application delays. You never know when the Government of Ontario will make a draw. It may or may not be announced.

If you don’t know where to start and need help creating your own custom immigration plan let our Immigration Consultants help you. We provide a wide variety of immigration services and can help you prepare, check or submit any immigration applications you have. Our goal is to help you with what you need.

Book a consultation today.