ACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program has launched a new pilot program that offers permanent residence and work authorization to qualifying foreign workers in select, in-demand jobs.

What does the change mean? Effective immediately, foreign workers in high-demand jobs, mostly in the construction and agricultural sectors, will be eligible to apply. Applicants must have a full-time job offer from an employer in Ontario and meet other eligibility criteria in order to be considered.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent residence through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) Employer Job Offer – In-Demand Skills Stream
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign workers with full-time job offers in Ontario for one of the job categories covered by the program.
  • Business impact: The change may make it easier for employers to fill certain high-demand jobs, particularly in the construction and agricultural sectors.

Background: The pilot program will provide foreign workers the chance to apply for permanent residency and work authorization if they have full-time job offers in one of the following occupations in National Occupation Classification (NOC) Skill Level C or D.

  • NOC 7441 – Residential and commercial installers and servicers.
  • NOC 7521 – Heavy equipment operators (except crane).
  • NOC 8431 – General farm workers.
  • NOC 8432 – Nursery and greenhouse workers.
  • NOC 8611 – Harvesting laborers.
  • NOC 7611 – Construction trades helpers and laborers.
  • NOC 9462 – Industrial butchers, meat cutters, poultry preparers, related workers.

To be eligible, workers must have 12 months of full-time work experience in Ontario during the 36-month period before which they submit their application (seasonal workers are not eligible). Applicants must have completed the equivalent of Canadian secondary school, have a valid certificate or license for the job they are seeking (if required), be able to meet English or French language proficiency standards and have sufficient funds to cover settlement costs for themselves and any dependents.

Applicants must also have a job offer from an employer that has had an active business in Ontario for at least three years and is in compliance with all provincial labor laws. Employers in the greater Toronto area must have at least $1 million in gross annual revenue and at least five permanent, full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Employers outside the greater Toronto area must have at least $500,000 in gross annual revenue and at least three permanent, full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

BAL Analysis: The program is being piloted to help Ontario employers fill key, in-demand positions and provides a new stream for foreign workers seeking permanent residence and work authorization in Canada.