Streams that have been paused temporarily may reopen at any time
The Canadian province of Ontario has announced that it is temporarily pausing the intake of applications for select streams through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), while other OINP streams remain open.
Several streams that have been paused temporarily are expected to reopen at a later date.
In a notice placed on its website, the government of Ontario stated that it has received the sufficient number of OINP applications to meet its federal allocation, and noted that other Canadian provinces have implemented similar measures over recent months.
The OINP: Current status
OINP and Express Entry
Since last year, many candidates in the Express Entry pool have noticed that Ontario — which has for decades welcomed more newcomers than any other province — presents a fast-track immigration pathway. Ontario opened its doors to candidates in the Express Entry pool in mid-2015 through the creation of two new streams: the Human Capital Priorities stream and the French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream.
The popular Human Capital Priorities stream is one of the streams that are currently paused, though the government Ontario is keen to stress that this is temporary. This stream, which has been highly successful at bringing skilled newcomers to the province, is ‘passive’ in the sense that an Express Entry candidate may only make an application if he or she is contacted by the OINP and issued what is known as a Notification of Interest (NOI). One of the requirements is that a candidate must have already entered the Express Entry pool and be awarded 400 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points.
The French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream, Ontario’s other enhanced stream, remains open. Candidates must have a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 in French and CLB 6 in English, as demonstrated by results from standardised language tests recognised by the governments of Canada and Ontario. Candidates who have previously been exposed to French may, with a bit of additional effort and revision, reach adequate-intermediate proficiency and potentially benefit from this Canadian immigration option.