The province of Ontario has announced a new online application process for the French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). The government of Ontario states that the new process will make it easier to apply to the stream and help to improve processing times for applicants.
The government added that additional online application systems, perhaps due to be implemented for other OINP streams, are being developed over the coming months.
Individuals who received a Notification of Interest (NOI) after January 23, 2017 must submit their application online. Individuals who received a NOI before this date may choose to submit a paper application by mail.
Ontario has a goal of attaining a five percent francophone immigration target rate. The French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream, which is aligned with the federal Express Entry selection system, is the main driver of francophone immigration to the province.
In November, 2016, members of the Group of Experts on Francophone Immigration submitted a report to help guide the province on its efforts and resources to increase francophone immigration through the OINP. The provincial government says that it has already started to implement some of the recommendations, with an early focus on international promotion and attraction.
The OINP French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream
This stream targets French-Speaking skilled workers, who also have strong English language abilities, looking to settle in Ontario.
To be considered under this stream, candidates must indicate their interest in immigrating to either Ontario or “All Provinces and Territories" when creating an Express Entry profile. They must also be eligible to enter the pool through either the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
The OINP searches the Express Entry pool and identifies potential candidates who meet the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream criteria:
- Minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 in French and CLB 6 in English, as demonstrated by results from a standardised language test recognised by the governments of Canada and Ontario;
- Minimum work experience for either the FSWC or the CEC criteria;
- Equivalent of a Canadian Bachelor’s degree or above;
- Sufficient settlement funds; and
- An intention to reside in Ontario.
Candidates identified by the OINP will receive a NOI from Ontario. This notification will invite them to apply to the OINP for nomination under the French-Speaking Skilled Worker Stream. From this point, selected candidates have 45 days to apply.
If the application is approved by Ontario, the candidate will receive a letter from OINP notifying him or her of the nomination. From this point, he or she will have 30 days to accept the nomination from Ontario in the Express Entry system. Candidates who obtain a nomination from Ontario through this stream will receive an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points and an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.