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How to qualify for Ontario’s new demand-based immigration stream

Ontario PNP
If you have experience in Skill Level C or D positions, this immigration stream is for you. Source: Lars Hagberg/AFP

The Ontario PNP (Provincial Nomination Programme) has introduced a new immigration stream on top of Foreign Worker and International Student options: the In-Demand Skills stream. Parked under the Employer Job Offer Category, it operates on the same Expression of Interest (EOI) system currently used for Ontario PNP. As the name suggests, you must have a job offer in Canada to apply for either of these streams.

Here’s all you need to know about it.

Ontario PNP

Canada needs agriculture, construction, and transportation labourers, as well as healthcare aides and home support workers. Source: Don Emmert/AFP

Who is eligible for the In-Demand Skills Stream?

This latest Ontario PNP stream has one main purpose: attract international talent to fill high-demand positions within Canada’s capital province. To qualify, you must have at least nine months of relevant, cumulative work experience in the province within the past three years. These in-demand occupations are grouped under Skill Level C or D on Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC). They include agriculture, construction, and transportation labourers, as well as healthcare aides and home support workers.

Full-time work is preferred, but part-time employment also counts if you worked at least 1,200 hours at one job for the past 18 months, or worked several jobs for at least 30 hours a week in the past nine months. Unfortunately, seasonal work is not recognised. Other requirements include a high-school education, language score of at least 4 in all proficiencies, and settlement funds.

Candidates outside the Greater Toronto Area may also fill up manual positions involving heavy machinery, metalwork, construction, and electronics. You can check the full list of in-demand occupations and further details on the official website.

Ontario PNP

Canada is looking to fill many manual positions in the coming years through the latest immigration stream. Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

How to apply for Ontario PNP

Every month, eligible candidates are invited to apply for the Ontario PNP, which will secure their PR status in Canada. Your EOI profile is scored based on your job offer, work experience, wage, education, and language abilities — among others — to determine if you are suited to live and work in Canada. Once your profile enters the EOI pool, it is valid for 12 months, which means that you can get invited at any time of the year.

In June alone, 940 international students and temporary workers were invited to apply for the Ontario PNP; of this number, 317 would be accepted via the International Student Stream. Canada has also been ramping up fortnightly PR invitations via the 2021 Express Entry draws for the Canadian Express Class. IRCC prioritises candidates who are already in the country because it is easier for them to complete permanent residency landing. However, eligible candidates everywhere are invited to apply.