March 24, 2021

OINP Releases 2020 Results

Posted by Athena Portokalidis - Bellissimo Law Group PC

On 19 March 2021, the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) released its results for the 2020 year, reporting that the federal government had allocated 7,350 nominations to the province of Ontario and added a further 250 nominations specific for in-demand lower-skilled workers with job offers.[1] The OINP reported that the program met its full 2020 nomination allocation across all streams, 7,600, in November 2020.[2]

As demand for the OINP remained high despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government issued another 450 nomination allocations to Ontario which were reportedly filled before the end of 2020.[3] Out of a final total of 8,054 nominations issued under the OINP, Ontario’s Express Entry Human Capital Priorities Stream issued the highest number of nominations in 2020 at 1,996, and the Entrepreneur Stream the fewest nominations, with only 1 issued under that stream in 2020.[4]

One of the biggest critiques of the OINP concerns the issue that many of the streams offered by the OINP are closed to new applicants most of the time, and when the streams finally do open, there is often a mad dash for applicants to secure positions in the stream of their choosing before capacity is reached and the streams close once more. The OINP has acknowledged this, noting that each of the Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream and Employer Job Offer: Foreign Worker Stream were open only 3 days in total in the year 2020, while the Masters Graduate Stream was open only for 1 day. The Employer Job Officer: In-Demand Skills Stream remained open for 320 days, while both the PhD Graduate Stream and Entrepreneur Streams remained open all 365 days in 2020.[5]

To address the concern regarding access to the streams, the OINP noted that following consultations with the public for input on development of the OINP in 2020, an Expression of Interest (EOI) system is anticipated to be launched for the OINP’s employer job offer and international graduate student streams in Spring 2021.[6] While some have remarked that this may be a welcome change as it could allow for more access to the most popular streams, others fear it will lead to less predictability in the programs than the former “first come, first served” model.

What remains to be seen is how these changes, if implemented this year, will assist in the federal government achieving the goal to increase immigration to Canada in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about the OINP, please visit: