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Ontario announces new PNP for tech workers

This week, the province of Ontario announced plans to launch a new PNP stream for high-skilled tech workers. The new stream was announced in the 2019 Ontario Budget which also promises the creation of a new immigration program to attract skilled workers to Ontario’s rural communities.

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On April 11th, Ontario released the provincial budget for 2019. The budget focuses on economic development, with many new policies and programs designed to help Ontario create and grow jobs. Within the budget, Ontario outlines four changes to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), most notably: the introduction of a new PNP stream for tech workers.

New PNP stream for tech workers

The 2019 Ontario Budget states that the province will create a dedicated PNP stream to attract high-skilled employees in tech occupations. Ontario’s tech sector has been growing significantly in recent years, with the city of Toronto now ranking as the fastest growing tech sector in North America. This new PNP stream will enable Ontario to fuel the continued growth of its powerful tech industries.

Exact details about the tech workers’ PNP stream have not yet been announced, so questions remain about which occupations will be eligible and how the application process will work. Those with experience in tech jobs can check back regularly for more information as it becomes available.

Other changes to Ontario immigration

In addition to the new tech stream, Ontario announced three other changes to its provincial immigration programs:

Creation of a program for rural communities: Ontario will launch a new immigration pilot program designed to attract workers to the province’s smaller communities. This announcement follows the success of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIP), a similar program designed to attract workers to Canada’s Atlantic Region.

Changes to the Entrepreneur Stream: The province will be revising the eligibility requirements for investment and personal net worth in order to make the program more competitive with other provinces’ entrepreneurial PNPs.

Changes to the In-Demand Skills Stream: The province will be adding truck-drivers and personal support workers to the list of eligible occupations for this stream. The In-Demand Skills stream is part of Ontario’s Employer Job Offer category and requires all applicants to have a valid job offer from an Ontario employer.

Ontario Immigration Options

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) hosts several distinct streams for hopeful newcomers, each with different educational, work and language requirements.

The most popular OINP streams for workers living outside of Canada are the Human Capital Priorities (HCP) stream and the French-Speaking Skilled Workers (FSSW) stream, as they don’t require any previous experience in Ontario. Both of these programs are aligned with the federal Express Entry system, meaning that applicants have to have an active Express Entry profile in order to be considered. HCP requires candidates to have a CRS score of 400 points or higher, while FSSW requires candidates to be proficient in French.

Outside of OINP, those hoping to immigrate to Ontario should also consider the federal Express Entry system. This popular system targets young, skilled workers with high levels of education and proficiency in either English or French. Applicants selected through Express Entry receive the fastest processing times in the country, with 80% of applications processed in 4 months or less.

If immigration to Ontario has caught your interest, now may be the best time to apply. As Canada is set to welcome over one million newcomers in the next three years, we can expect immigration programs to continue to open and for more newcomers to make Canada their home.

Interested in learning more about your Canadian immigration options? Complete our online free assessment and a member of the Canadim team will be in touch with you shortly!

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