Many of Canada’s provinces and territories have the ability to nominate people for permanent residence in Canada. Certain provinces have been allocated provincial nominations under the Express Entry program. These programs are province/territory specific, and give an approved applicant an additional 600 points under Express Entry. Opportunities Ontario has a total target of 5,200 nominations in 2015 under all categories, of these, 2,700 must be used under Express Entry.
In early June 2015, Ontario released the long-anticipated details of its provincially supported nominations under Express Entry, these nominations are in addition to those under their existing Provincial Nominee Program (“PNP”) streams: General Employer Nominated, International Student with a Job Offer, International Masters Graduates and International PhD Graduates. Ontario has created two PNP nomination streams under Express Entry: the Human Capital Priorities stream and the French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream.
Selection Criteria for nomination under the Ontario PNP Human Capital Priorities stream:
- Express Entry Ranking:
- You must score a minimum of 400 points in CIC’s Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”);
- Your score must remain at or above 400 during both the Ontario nomination processing stage and at the federal application for permanent residency processing stage.
- You must either have a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. degree; or
- An Educational Credential Assessment (“ECA”) report produced by a CIC designated organization.
- You must have a language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (“CLB”) 7 or above in all language competencies.
- Settlement Funds:
- You must demonstrate a minimum level of savings/income to support yourself and your dependent family members (both accompanying and non-accompanying);
- The minimum amount of funds is based on the number of family members in your household in accordance with the Low Income Cut-Offs (“LICO”). These amounts are updated every year. For more information on the LICO visit: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/funds.asp
- Intention to Reside in Ontario:
- You must intend to reside in Ontario, as demonstrated by a statement of intent and indication of ties to Ontario.
- Eligibility under CEC or FSW:
- You must be eligible for permanent residence under either the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”) or under the Federal Skilled Worker (“FSW”) program;
- You must choose whether you would like your ON PNP nomination to be assessed against the CEC or FSW criteria.
- If you choose to be assessed under CEC:
- You must have a minimum of one year continuous and full-time employment (1,560 hours or more) or an equal amount in continuous part-time paid work experience in a NOC 0, A, or B occupation in Canada;
- In the past three years from the date of the notification of interest from Ontario
- If you choose to be assessed under FSW program:
- You must have a minimum of one year continuous and full-time employment (1,560 hours or more) or an equal amount in continuous part-time paid work experience in a NOC 0, A, or B occupation;
- In the past five years from the date of the notification of interest from Ontario;
- The one year minimum of continuous and full-time employment (or equivalent part-time) must have been completed in one specific NOC occupation;
- You will also need to meet the minimum of 67 points for the FSW program;
- Note: Ontario will only consider arranged employment in Ontario, arranged employment outside of Ontario will result in a denial of PNP application.
- Additional points are awarded towards the 67 points for Ontario PNP FSW calculation if you have relatives who are Canadian or permanent residents and who live in Canada.
In order to apply for an Ontario PNP nomination under the Human Capital Priorities stream, you must:
- Qualify under either the Federal Skilled Worker program or the Canadian Experience Class;
- Create an Express Entry profile (after June 1, 2015);
- When submitting your Express Entry profile, indicate your interest in immigration to either “Ontario” or “All Provinces and Territories;”
- The Ontario PNP searches the Express Entry pool and selects candidates who have a minimum CRS of 400 and meet the selection criteria outlined above;
- If the Ontario PNP identifies you, you will receive an online PT Notification of Interest. This notification will invite you to apply to the Ontario PNP under the Human Capital Priorities Stream.
Applying to the Ontario PNP under the Human Capital Priorities stream:
- Once you receive a PT Notification of Interest, you have 45 days to apply;
- To apply, fill out the Nominee Application Form and ensure that you have all of the required supporting documents;
- Indicate whether you want to be assessed under FSW or CEC;
- Ensure that you submit a complete application, as incomplete applications will be rejected;
- Pay the $1500 non-refundable application fee and submit the application;
- Ontario aims to complete the processing of nominee applications within 90 calendar days (in 80%) of cases).
Accepting Ontario PNP Nomination under the Human Capital Priorities stream:
- If your application is approved, you will receive an online letter through the CIC portal;
- You will have 30 days to accept the nomination in CIC’s online system through your Express Entry profile;
- Nomination will give you an additional 600 CRS points;
- You will then receive an Invitation to Apply under the next Express Entry draw under which you qualify (CEC or FSW);
- Once you receive an invitation to apply you have 60 days to apply to CIC for permanent residency:
- Note: CIC’s Invitation to Apply lists deadlines using Coordinated Universal Time (“U.T.C.”). We recommend that you convert the UTC deadline to your local time and ensure that your application for permanent residence is submitted well in advance of the deadline.
Benefits of an Ontario PNP nomination:
- 600 CRS points;
- Ability to choose whether you wish to be assessed against and nominated under the Federal Skilled Worker (“FSW”) or the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”);
- Guaranteed Invitation to Apply for permanent residence under Express Entry.
If you submitted an Express Entry profile prior to June 1, 2015, and wish to be considered for a Ontario PNP nomination, you must resubmit your Express Entry Profile.
It should be noted that an applicant can only use either the 600 CRS points gained from a provincial nomination or the 600 CRS points gained from an LMIA (permanent or work permit supported) not both.
Until CIC begins drawing applicants with a CRS lower than 453, the Ontario PNP will help improve the odds for applicants with more than 400 points and will provide applicants greater certainty in obtaining an Invitation to Apply. However, the Ontario PNP nomination process removes some of the “Express” aspects of Express Entry. You will have to wait for a PT notification of interest, which can come at any time. You will then have 45 days to submit a complete Ontario PNP application. Opportunities Ontario claims that processing of your Ontario PNP application will take “within 90 calendar days.” You will then have to accept the nomination in CIC’s Online Portal through your Express Entry profile within 30 days. You will then have to wait an unknown length of time for the next Express Entry draw to be issued an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence, after which you will have 60 days to complete and submit your application for permanent residence. CIC then claims a processing time of 6 months or less for permanent residence. Using Opportunities Ontario and CIC’s stated maximum processing times and assuming minimum submission times (that you have all of the paperwork and information prepared to immediately submit your the applications), permanent residence under Express Entry through the Ontario PNP Human Capital Priorities Stream should be expected to take approximately 9 months.
It should be noted that Opportunities Ontario does not process applications during the months of January and December, and that time accumulated during this period is not included in the processing time calculation for applications. Therefore, an Ontario PNP application submitted at the end of November may not be processed until the end of April. It should also be noted that Opportunities Ontario aims to meet their stated processing times in at least 80% of all applications.
The lawyers of Capelle Kane attentively follow the changes and updates to the Ontario PNP and Express Entry programs to provide our clients with the most up-to-date information available.