Ontario has released an update on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on a variety of primary streams of its Provincial Nominee Program. Information on the effect of COVID-19 on applications submitted under the Ontario Express Entry, Employer job offer, and Entrepreneur Streams.
Ontario is the largest province, located in Central Canada. It is the most populated province of Canada with nearly 14.5 million residents. It attracted 45 per cent of new permanent residents who arrived in Canada in 2019.
It’s Provincial Program, The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) also a popular pathway for aspiring candidates. Last year a total of 7350 candidates were invited to apply under its provincial nominee program. Till date in 2020 the province has held seven draws including three OINP draws since the pandemic started.
Given special coronavirus measures in place, the OINP will continue to process applications and issue nominations as well as notifications of interest (NOIs) under its Express Entry streams.
The province is encouraging applicants to continue their application process even though they are unable to receive the necessary supporting documents, although they are asked to submit a detailed explanation letter explaining why the missing information is missing.
Employers should also bear in mind that, the applicants in the Employer Job Offer stream, that includes foreign workers, international students and candidates for in-demand skills are still expected to have a permanent full-time job offer accepted by the OINP.
Applications sent to OINP will be evaluated upon job confirmation.
Applicants and employers are required to inform the OINP promptly of any substantial changes to their application, including changes to employment positions based on the job offer streams.
The OINP plans to contact all employers to ensure that job opportunity or vacancies are still meeting the requirements of the programme. Applications will be handled based on the employers' response about the employment status.
If employers indicate that there has been no change in place, the OINP will start processing applications. If a temporary layoff has impacted an applicant's jobs, such as a delayed start date or shortened working hours, the application will be kept for up to 90 days. If the work is withdrawn or the employer has terminated the job, the application will be considered incomplete and the payment fee will be refunded.
The OINP will continue to help those who have been designated for provincial jobs but are impacted by layoffs
Candidates and employers are requested to inform OINP of any changes to their approved positions of jobs. Work requirements must remain consistent during the appointment period, or before permanent residence is obtained.
Approval of the nominee's job could be withdrawn if conditions or requirements were not met and work was terminated. Candidates who have withdrawn employment offers or who have lost their jobs are asked to contact the OINP.
If they continue to meet the program criteria, the OINP will continue to support the nomination of candidates whose employment has been affected by a temporary COVID-19-related layoff. If a permanent layoff happens, applicants will be given 90 days to get assistance from another employer and the ability to send a new application to the OINP.
OINP Entrepreneur stream
Applicants who have been invited to apply under the OINP Entrepreneur Process will receive a conditional 90-day extension and will be contacted via e-mail.
Additionally, applicants are asked to contact the OINP if they have already submitted a complete application under the Entrepreneur Stream and encounter problems such as:
• Delays in receiving follow-up information concerning the application
• Temporary delays, suspensions or major improvements in the operations
• Inability to meet temporary hire or employer requirements
No application will be refused and no approvals will be revoked without notifying the applicant and the employer as per the recent program update on May 11. Before making a final decision, the OINP must review the responses to those notifications,