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Ontario PNP Accepting New Applications, Increased Quotas

OntarioThe province of Ontario has announced significant updates regarding its popular Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The province is now accepting applications for all PNP streams and has announced increased program quotas for 2018 from 6,000 applications to 6,600 applications. Finally, the province has resumed the issuance of Notifications of Interest (NOIs), so applicants with profiles in the Express Entry system should pay close attention to see if they receive an NOI.

What is the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)?

The province of Ontario is Canada’s most populous province and the most popular destination for new immigrants coming to Canada. The province runs its own immigration programs, called the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), which allows the province to nominate applicants to become Canadian permanent residents.
The OINP operates several immigration streams that allow Ontario to nominate existing candidates in the Express Entry system. If an Express Entry candidate secures a provincial nomination, they receive an additional 600 points added to their Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, virtually guaranteeing they will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in the next Express Entry draw.
On January 18th, 2018, the province announced the following significant updates for the program:

OINP is now accepting applications

Many of the streams operated by the OINP only open to new applications periodically throughout the year. Eligible candidates must wait for one of these intake periods to submit their application. Ontario has now reopened their online system for applicants wishing to apply to the OINP. The province is accepting eligible applications for all streams of the PNP. Those individuals eligible to submit applications can do so using Ontario’s e-Filing portal.
All of Ontario’s Express Entry-aligned PNP streams require that an applicant has received a valid NOI through their Express Entry profile in order to submit an application through the e-Filing portal. If you are in the Express Entry pool and believe you meet the requirements of an Express Entry-aligned PNP but have not received an NOI, you are not eligible to submit an application.

OINP has increased quotas for 2018

After a successful year in 2017, the province has received approval to increase the quotas for the OINP for 2018. Accepting 6,000 applications in the previous year, OINP has now increased its quota by 600 to a total of 6,600 applications expected to be accepted before the end of 2018.

OINP is now issuing Notifications of Interest (NOIs)

In order to apply to an Express Entry-aligned OINP stream, an applicant must first have received a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the province of Ontario. NOIs are issued to candidates who have active profiles in Canada’s Express Entry immigration system. Ontario has announced that they will now resume issuing NOIs for existing Express Entry candidates.
The minimum criteria for receiving an NOI varies depending on the stream. As well, simply meeting the minimum criteria for an OINP stream does not guarantee that a candidate will receive an NOI. The final decision on NOI issuance rests at the sole discretion of the province of Ontario. If a candidate has not received an NOI, but meets the minimum criteria for one of the streams, they can create a new Express Entry profile as sometimes the province prefers recent profiles when issuing NOIs.
In addition to these updates to the OINP, the province has also updated all application guides for all streams. Applicants should be sure to read application guides carefully in order to note any important changes.
One notable change is regarding the amount of time candidates have to submit their application upon receiving an NOI. Previously, candidates who received an NOI were given 6 months to submit an application. Under the new guidelines, candidates with an NOI will have only 45 days from the date of the NOI issuance to submit a complete application through the e-Filing portal.
To learn more about your own eligibility for Canadian immigration, simply complete our free online assessment and one of our immigration experts will contact you to discuss your options.
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