If you are a foreign national with work experience in eligible skilled trades, you can apply for a nomination and get permanent residency in Ontario. Below, you can learn about the six eligibility requirements for the OINP Express Entry Skilled Trades stream.
Overview of Ontario Express Entry Skilled Trades stream
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has an immigration stream called Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream. It enables foreign nationals with relevant skilled trades work experience to apply for permanent residence to live and work permanently in Ontario.
Before you can submit an online application to be recommended for permanent residence by the OINP, you must have a current profile in the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Express Entry system, and you received a Notification of Interest (NOI) from Ontario in a PNP draw.
If you receive a nomination, the next step is applying to the federal government through IRCC. The federal government has the final say on who gets permanent residency.
You must first meet the eligibility requirements for Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream to apply. Below is how to meet the eligibility requirements.
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Ontario Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream requirements
Work Experience Requirements
To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
- Have a minimum of one year of cumulative paid full-time work experience (or the equivalent in paid part-time work) in Ontario Major Groups 72
- excluding occupations under transportation officers, 73, 82, 83, 93 (excluding aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors), or Minor Group 6320 (excluding cooks), as per the National Occupational Classification (NOC)
Previous work experience
Your previous employment must be:
- Acquired within the two years before the date you submitted your application to the OINP.
- In one or more of the occupations listed on your Express Entry profile
- In Ontario, while you maintained a legal status in Canada
Cumulative work experience
Having cumulative work experience means your total work experience adds up to one year. However, it does not be one year of continuous work.
Full-time and part-time work experience
Full-time work implies working in a paid position for at least 30 hours per week, totalling a minimum of 1,560 hours of paid work in one year.
Equivalent part-time employment entails
- Working at least 15 hours per week for two years, accumulating at least 1,560 hours in that time period, or
- Working in more than one job for a minimum of 30 hours per week for one year, resulting in at least 1,560 paid work in that year.
Other work experience requirements
- Your work experience needs to have been obtained over a minimum of one year.
- A total of 1,560 hours of work experience obtained in less than a year does not qualify.
- Only work experience obtained after being qualified to practice that occupation in Ontario will qualify if you worked in a compulsory trade.
- Paid work experience earned while attending a post-secondary institution full-time (for example, on a co-op work term) and self-employment is not qualified.
- Volunteering and unpaid internships are not considered work experience.
Getting a licence or certificate
Suppose you are claiming work experience in a compulsory trade. In that case, even if you are no longer working in a trade occupation, you must have a valid certificate or licence when applying to Ontario.
In addition, you must have a valid certificate or licence covering the work experience used to satisfy the minimum one year of work experience requirement in an eligible skilled trades occupation.
Determine whether your job is in a compulsory trade, which requires a license.
Ontario residency and legal status in Canada
You must be a resident of Ontario with a valid work permit when you apply. If your work permit has expired, you can apply to the OINP if you have applied IRCC to renew or extend your work permit before it expires.
In certain instances, you are considered to have implied status. Therefore, you can remain in Canada and continue to work under the same circumstances as your current work permit while the pending application decision is made.
However, you are not required to have a job when applying.
Language Requirements For OINP Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream
You must be able to understand, write, read, and speak English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 5 or above.
Before applying to this program, you must complete an approved English or French language test to demonstrate that you have the required language skills. When you submit your application, your language test results should be less than two years old.
There are two acceptable tests for English, which are:
- International English Language Testing (IELTS)- General Training test
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)- General test
- Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF)
- Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada)
Settlement funds requirements
When you move to Canada, you must have the resources to sustain yourself and any dependant family members.
Remember that a family member can include your spouse, common-law partner, and children below or not yet 22 years old.
You can fulfill the settlement fund requirement by selecting one or a combination of the following:
- Funds as evidenced by bank statement balances or statements of accounts displaying other investments such as non-locked-in, fixed-term deposits, mutual funds, etc
- Annual earnings from an ongoing job in Ontario
- Having a job offer in Ontario
The total amount of money you must have available depends on your family size. Check out the table below for your reference.
You can also combine your income from your current job and savings to prove that you meet the settlement fund requirement.
For example, suppose you’ve calculated how much money you’ll need based on your family size and determined that you’ll need $29,000. You have a job offer in Ontario with an annual salary of $25,000 and a savings account balance of $5,000, for a total of $30,000. You could meet the settlements fund requirement by combining your job offer and bank statement.
Please remember that if you provide bank statements that include a big one-time deposit, you may need to provide additional evidence to prove that your finances are free of debt or liabilities.
The desire to reside in Ontario
You must intend to dwell in Ontario after being granted permanent residence. While assessing your application, the government may determine this by looking at your ties to Ontario, which can include the following
- Currently working or have prior work experience in Ontario
- Applying for jobs in Ontario and getting job offers and interview
- Have studied Ontario
- volunteering experience in the province
- Have a lease or own property
- Visited Ontario
- Possess professional networks and affiliations or family ties and personal relationships
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