The Province of Ontario has introduced ‘Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program’ to replace its pilot project. Like its predecessor, the new program allows Ontario employers to nominate individuals for permanent residency based on full-time, permanent employment within the province. Nominated individuals are able to circumvent the point system and fast-track their application for permanent residency.

The new and expanded program is a response by the province to growing employer demands for skilled workers. Immigration Ontario has now allocated 1,000 nominations under the program instead of 500. Individuals are nominated as either foreign workers or international students studying in Canada. The list of eligible occupations for foreign workers has been eliminated. Also eliminated is the requirement that international students receive a job offer related to their area of study.

The new program sets out a new processing fee structure. For more information, please consult Ontario Immigration’s website.

Ontario Immigration Website

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OHIP Extends Coverage Eligibility to Temporary Foreign Workers

On April 1, 2009, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) extended its eligibility rules to offer coverage to temporary foreign workers with open work permits and their families. To qualify, OHIP requires temporary foreign workers:

  • hold a work permit valid for at least six months;
  • have a formal agreement in place to work full-time for an employer situated in Ontario. The agreement must include the employer’s name, the occupation, and state the foreign worker will be working for at least six consecutive months; and
  • reside in Ontario for at least 153 days in any 12-month period.