Amendments to Ontario Immigration Nominee Program
On October 4th, the London Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the Honourable Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills development, addressing proposed amendments to the Ontario Immigration Nominee Program. The OINP is a program that works in conjunction with the federal government in order to provide foreign workers and international students with permanent residence status if they qualify based on skills, experience, and education. This program has provided Ontario businesses with an expanded labour market with access to skilled labourers that has helped greatly during a time of reduced labour availability.
The current proposal set out by the Ontario government seeks to add additional requirements for applicants to be approved for permanent residence through this program. These additions include the requirement that candidates demonstrate an English language competency at Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 5 or above. The previous requirements for the program never included CLB levels making the new requirements a significant barrier for the labour market. Similar programs in Alberta and British Columbia continue to allow applicants without CLB 5 or higher, meaning that new labour in Canada will focus on those provinces with less strict requirements and leaving Ontario without access to those workers.
Not only does this amendment affect new workers seeking to move to Canada, it also affects workers already within Canada that are still seeking a permanent residency status. The London Chamber of Commerce’s proposal for this amendment then is that the CLB requirement only be applied to workers who have not yet worked for a Canadian employer or have worked in Canada for less than a year. This would mean that workers already in Canada seeking permanent residence status would not be impeded by the new requirements and Ontario employers would continue to have access to the expanded labour market.
Click here to read the full letter.