The Ontario Provincial Nominee Program has been renamed and expanded. Instead of narrowly focusing on twenty listed occupations, in the health, education, manufacturing and construction sectors, the new program, called Opportunities Ontario, may be available for any occupation under NOC skill level A, B or 0. Applicants must have at least two years of work experience in any occupation.
Investors in Ontario may now recruit employees to become permanent residents in Ontario under the General Category. Investments must create jobs for Ontarians and be endorsed by an Ontario Government Ministry. Under the old program, investors were required to invest $10 million or more in the province and create at least 25 permanent full time jobs. Opportunities Ontario has relaxed these requirements to a required investment of $3 million and the creation of 5 permanent full time jobs.
If an employer wishes to hire an international student, the position must be in a skilled occupation (NOC A, B or 0). However, the occupation no longer has to be related to the student's field of study in Canada. International students are not required to have any previous work experience under the new program. In addition, their publicly funded Canadian university or college can be anywhere in Canada, not only Ontario.
Being nominated under the Opportunities Ontario Provincial Nominee Program entitles individuals to priority processing for Canadian permanent residency.
It is expected that the new program will target approximately 1,000 nominees.