Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is becoming increasingly popular as many individuals looking to immigrate to Canada are taking advantage of this stream to gain Permanent Residence (PR) in Canada. The province holds several draws per year, inviting around 1,000-2,000 candidates from the federal Express Entry pool.
Foreign nationals with work experience in the province in eligible skilled trades occupations National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 must have a valid profile in the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC’s) Express Entry system. After receiving a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the OINP, applicants can apply to the Federal Government through IRCC. As Ontario Skilled Trades Stream is aligned to Express Entry, candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points CRS, guaranteeing an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for permanent residence at the next Express Entry draw.
Who is eligible for Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream?
Candidates with a valid profile in the federal Express Entry pool, eligible for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), who indicated an intention to immigrate to Ontario and received a Notification of Interest from Ontario, are eligible for the stream.
Prospective applicants who want to apply to Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream must meet certain requirements to qualify for the program. The following are the most important qualifications that applicants must possess:
Despite applicants not needing a job offer to apply for the Skilled Trades Stream, they must have at least a year of cumulative paid full-time (or the equivalent in part-time) work experience in Major Groups 72, 73, 82, 83, 93, or Minor Group 6320 of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). The work experience must have been obtained in the last two years in Ontario before the submission date of the OINP application while maintaining legal status in Canada. It must have been in one or more occupations that applicants identified in their Express Entry profiles.
Paid work experience gained while studying full-time at a post-secondary institution and self-employment do not count as work experience; volunteer work and unpaid internships are not eligible.
A valid license or certification
All applicants working in a position that requires licensing in Ontario must have held a valid licence covering the period of work experience to meet the work experience requirement. Thus, candidates with work experience in a compulsory trade must have a valid certificate or licence in Ontario at the application time, even if they are no longer working in that industry.
You can find out if the job is in a compulsory trade that requires a licence here.
Residence in Ontario and legal status in Canada
Applicants must reside in Ontario and hold a valid work permit to be eligible for Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream. Those whose work permits expired but who have submitted a new application to IRCC to renew or extend their work permits before their expiration date may still apply to the OINP. In such cases, applicants are considered in maintained status and can remain in Canada and continue working until a decision is made on their pending applications.
Proficiency in an official language
To immigrate to Canada under the Skilled Trades Stream, all applicants must prove language proficiency in one of the official languages. To demonstrate the mandatory language skills, candidates must provide a language certificate at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 5 or higher, taken up to two years before the application submission time.
For English tests, IRCC accepts the IELTS General Training test and CELPIP. Francophone candidates can submit TEF Canada and TCF Canada to prove their French language abilities.
All OINP candidates must have enough funds to support themselves and their dependent family members. This requirement can be met through one or a combination of the following means:
- funds as demonstrated in bank statements or statements of accounts
- annual earnings from ongoing employment in Ontario
- a job offer from an Ontario employer
To stay eligible, applicants may need to learn more about the amount of money they must have available to apply.
Intention to reside in Ontario
OINP applicants must prove they intend to live in Ontario after obtaining permanent residence. You can meet this requirement by showing your ties to the province, such as current or previous work in Ontario, studying, leasing, owning a property, or having family ties and personal relationships there.
Ontario`s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream Application Process
Under the Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream, candidates from the Express Entry pool can not apply directly to the OINP. First, candidates must receive a NOI from Ontario through their IRCC online account. After receiving an NOI, candidates have 45 calendar days to apply to the OINP through Ontario’s unique application management system.
Candidates have to pay C$1,500 fees. Once the successful application for PR has been submitted, and a candidate receives an ITA at a subsequent Express Entry draw, IRCC aims to process the application within 6-12 months.
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