Ontario’s Liberal government has opened up a new avenue of immigration to recruit people to work in the skilled trades, such as boiler-making and plumbing.
A bulletin detailing the change was quietly posted to the government’s news website on May 31, announcing that the province will add an “Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream” to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, which allows the province to nominate people for permanent residence. The federal government has permitted Ontario to nominate 6,000 people this year.
The new stream is aimed at recruiting immigrants trained in trades ranging from bricklaying to welding. A news release said it was being launched to “help employers meet their identified need for workers in the province's booming construction and agriculture industries.”
To apply, eligible people must have qualified under the federal government’s “Express Entry” pool and received a notice of interest from Ontario. They also need to be currently residing in the province on a valid work permit, speak a certain level of English or French, and have at least 12 months of work experience in the province, as well as a trade licence or certificate from the Ontario College of Trades, if necessary. The person must also intend to live in Ontario.
The government is making tweaks to other streams of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Programs. The “Employer Job Offer Stream,” which allows for the recruiting of foreign workers and international students, is being “streamlined.”
Changes are being made to the “entrepreneur stream” as well, which allows individuals with a minimum net worth of $800,000 – $1.5 million if they want to settle in the Greater Toronto Area. People trying to earn residency through this path must also make a minimum personal investment of between $500,000 and $1 million, depending on where they want to settle, and create at least two full-time jobs for Canadian citizens.
Entrepreneurs looking to set up shop outside of the Greater Toronto Area will also receive bonus points on their application.