COVID-19 Fails To Slow Canada’s Interest in Top Foreign Tech Talent
In case you haven’t yet heard, Canada continues to welcome top foreign tech talent with open arms. This time, it was the Province of Ontario’s turn to show its love to foreign technology workers.
Reaching deep into the Express Entry pool of candidates, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) invited 703 technology workers to apply for nomination for permanent residency. This follows a period from March 1 to April 30, 2020 where the Federal government invited close to 20,000 high skilled foreign workers to apply for permanent residency for Canada through the Express Entry system.
Canada and its provinces continue to lead the way in recognizing the critical value that immigrants with technology skills have in a 21st century economy. Ontario’s May 13, 2020 selection of technology candidates is in line with this recognition:
Through this dedicated approach, we’re helping to make it easier for businesses in the technology sector to recruit top talent from around the world.“OINP Tech Draws”, Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, Government of Ontario, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, <https://www.ontario.ca/page/oinp-tech-draws> (Last Updated: January 31, 2020).
Meanwhile, the United States seeks to limit Green Card approvals and continues its assault on coveted H1B visa holders. As a result, more and more H1B visa holders and technology companies are looking at Canada as a desirable place to move or set up branch offices.
OINP Tech Draws
OINP’s selection system relies on Canada’s Express Entry pool of candidates. To qualify for a technology occupation selection, candidates must have work experience in 1 of 6 broad technology occupations (National Occupations Classification code in parenthesis):
- Computer and information systems managers (NOC 0213)
- Computer engineers (NOC 2147)
- Database analysts and data administrators (NOC 2172)
- Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173)
- This occupation includes Software Architects
- Computer programmer and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)
- This occupation includes Software Developers
- Web designers and developers (NOC 2175)
Then, Ontario looks for candidates who meet the criteria for its Human Capital Priorities (HCP) stream. HCP stream candidates should possess a Bachelor’s degree or a higher level post-secondary education, recent qualifying work experience (within the past 5 years) and high English or French language proficiency. Education can be from Canadian or foreign universities or colleges, provided that an Education Credentials Assessment is conducted for foreign equivalent credentials. Candidates also have a variety of approved language testing agencies through which to demonstrate their language proficiency.
Finally, OINP determines a targeted number of candidates it wishes to select and identifies the candidates with the highest Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores in the Express Entry pool of candidates.
OINP Welcomes Hundreds of Technology Workers
On May 13, 2020, OINP sent notifications of interest to 703 candidates qualifying for its tech draw program with Express Entry CRS scores between 421 and 451 points.
If you are selected, you have 45 days to submit an application for nomination. Applications for nomination are typically processed in 60 to 90 days. If you are approved for nomination, you receive a Nomination Certificate and re-enter the Express Entry pool with an additional 600 CRS points. This boost of points effectively guarantees that you will be invited to apply for permanent residency through the Express Entry system. Once invited, you must submit your application for permanent residency within 60 days. An application for permanent residency is typically processed in 6 months or less.
The entire process operates electronically. In a time of social distancing due to COVID-19/Coronavirus, the online application processes mean that candidates can continue to apply for permanent residency with limited physical contact required.
Contact us to help you prepare your application
Mandelbaum Immigration Lawyers can help you prepare your Express Entry profile, OINP Nomination application and Permanent Residency application. Contact us by completing our contact form, emailing us or calling us during our business operating hours.