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Ontario Asks to Double Number of Economic Immigrants in the Next Two Years

The province of Ontario’s Economic Development Minister, Vic Fedeli, has asked the federal government to double the number of immigration candidates nominated through the Ontario Immigration Nominee Program (OINP). This request is a response to the province’s need for skilled workers to fill current labour shortages. 

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In a letter formally written to Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino, Ontario has requested an increase in the number of OINP nominations from around 7,000 this year to 13,300 in two years. 

Earlier this month, Ontario had reached its 2019 nomination allocation of 6,650 nominations across all streams. However, an additional 700 nominations were issued to the province, making this new total of 7,350 the highest number of nominations on record. 

Mathieu Genest, a spokesman for Mendicino, mentions that “the government has committed to increasing the number of spaces in the provinces’ nominee programs by nearly 27,000 spaces, giving them “the autonomy” to select the economic immigrants that suit their labour market needs.” 

Each province is allocated an annual immigration target that falls in line with the Immigration Levels Plan for provincial nominee programs. The 2020 annual immigration target for PNPs is currently set to be 67,800, an increase of almost 7,000 nominations this year.

Skilled Workers Needed to Fill Labour Gaps

The recently proposed Municipal Nominee Program would allow cities, chambers of commerce and labour councils to nominate new immigrants to fill labour needs, and is set to allocate 5,000 spots to applicants and their families. Genest states that it “will help enhance the ability of communities to seek out the talent they need to help their economy grow.” 

In July, the province introduced the Ontario Regional Immigration Pilot that is anticipated to begin in 2020. The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) had also recently expanded to Sudbury and Sault-Ste-Marie, making five out of the eleven participating communities in the pilot program from Ontario. Both programs were introduced to draw skilled workers to the rural and smaller communities to fill labour shortages. 

The tech industry continues to be the fastest growing industry in Canada, with Toronto having the fastest growing tech sector in North America. As the number of tech jobs in Ontario continues to grow, the province has begun conducting tech-specific draws through the Human Capital Priorities (HCP) stream, with over 3,000 invitations issued so far. 

With Ontario’s request to welcome more newcomers than ever before, and Canada’s plan to invite more than one million new immigrants from 2019 to 2021, now is the best time for foreign nationals to begin an application for Canadian permanent residence!


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