Canada’s most popular destination province for new immigrants, Ontario, has reopened its Human Capital Priorities immigration stream as of February 21, 2017. This stream, part of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), is only used to select candidates who are already in the Express Entry system.
The stream was last open in early 2016, before the government of Ontario placed a temporary pause on several of its immigration streams, including the Human Capital Priorities Stream, on May 9 2016.
Selected Express Entry candidates may benefit significantly from this program re-opening, as a nomination from the OINP through the Human Capital Priorities Immigration Stream results in an Express Entry candidate receiving an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. That candidate is then placed at the front of the line for selection by the government of Canada in a subsequent draw from the Express Entry system.
Candidates identified by the OINP receive a Notification of Interest (NOI), which serves as an invitation to the candidate to apply to the OINP under the Human Capital Priorities Stream. Selected candidates have only 45 days to apply to the OINP once the NOI has been issued. Successful applicants receive an enhanced provincial nomination certificate, which may then be added to their Express Entry profile in order to receive the additional 600 CRS points.
Candidates may not apply directly. Instead, they must first receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the OINP, which accesses the Express Entry pool and identifies potential candidates who:
Have a minimum score of 400 under the CRS,
Must intend to reside in Ontario,
Must be educated at Bachelor’s Degree level or higher,
Have proven language ability in English or French at Canadian Language Benchmark 7 level or above, and
They must also be able to show that they have sufficient settlement funds to support themselves and their family members, if applicable, upon arrival in the province.
With the Express Entry score lowering to 441, now is a great time to submit an Express Entry application. Given that several provinces, including Ontario, have reopened their Express Entry Human Capital Priorities stream, aspiring applicants have enhanced prospects of securing a Notification of Interest and subsequent Invitation to Apply for Canadian Permanent Residence.