2020 was a tough year for immigration but Ontario continued to remain the top destination for foreign immigrants seeking to settle in Canada.

Against its Federal quota of 7,350 nominations, Ontario issued a total of 8,054 provincial nominations including 300 low-skilled workers under its NOC C pilot program. Here are five actionable takeaways from Ontario’s immigration trends in 2020.

Tech Dominates OINP Nominations

One in every five nominations issued by Ontario went to a tech worker or to an applicant working in the tech sector. The province is the biggest tech hub in the country and one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in North America, including Silicon Valley.

If you are a Indian tech worker seeking to escape the whole H-1B lottery business, then Ontario should be right on top of your list of potential destinations.

OINP’s Entrepreneur stream has an ICT stream as well. This means the province is worth considering if you have an interesting and innovative tech idea and wish to setup your own venture in Canada.   

Skilled Trades- the Dark Horse

The Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Canada Experience Class Program dominate headlines but there is a third federal program covered by the Express Entry application system—the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Ontario invited around 1100 trades workers under its Express Entry—Skilled Trades stream. Those with work experience found it easier to qualify for nomination. Federal draws for the FSTP are not as predictable or routine as draws for the other streams.

Considering this, a skilled trader should explore the PNP route to qualify for an ITA. Keep in mind that provinces often have certification requirements that applicants must fulfill to qualify to work in Canada.

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Job Offer—Useful but Not Mandatory

Around half of all nominations issued went to applicants without a job offer in the province. This means you don’t have to delay your immigration plans just because you are yet to find a job in Ontario.

Even Express Entry does not compulsorily require applicants to have a job offer. So, just save enough money to meet the LICO requirements and prove that you can take care of yourself and your family in Canada.

Once settled, you can always expand your job search to find the right job for your qualifications and experience.

Immigration Booster—Education and Language

More than 95 percent of all OINP nominations went to those with a post-secondary degree or higher qualification. More than 40 percent of all nominees had intermediate to fluent skills in their language.

This clearly shows that Ontario needs highly-skilled workers who can quickly adapt to the Canadian life. So, brush up your language proficiency to give yourself a better chance of qualifying for provincial nomination.

Further, you can work this preference for those with post-secondary qualifications to your advantage by opting for a post-graduation degree in Canada. A degree from a reputed Canadian institution will give you an edge over all other foreign skilled workers.

A Canadian degree can help you become eligible for the Post Graduation Work Permit. This will be an additional option over and above Express Entry and PNPs for your plans to settle in Canada.

Finally, working when studying can help you fulfil the work experience requirement to qualify through Express Entry—FSWP.  

Five Percent French Target

Did you know that Ontario targeted issuing five percent of its quota to French-speaking immigrants?

Just knowing French won’t suffice but a skilled worker with a good CRS score can get a huge boost with the OINP nomination of he/she is proficient in French. Learning a new language is never a bad idea. Adding French to your list of languages can give a huge boost to your Canadian immigration prospects.

Canada’s Immigration Mandate Letter expressly focuses on boosting Francophone immigration outside Quebec. If you are serious about settling in Canada, then learning French is a decision with many benefits and no disadvantages.

With intense competition among skilled workers to qualify for PNP nomination in Ontario, good proficiency in French may be the X-factor that can swing things to your advantage.  

And this was just one Canadian province. How are immigration trends shaping up in other provinces? Which sector to focus on? What’s the requirement in terms of education and language? Is there demand for Skilled Trades Workers?

Finding answers to all these questions and more will become easier if you work with an immigration professional when planning and executing your Canada immigration plans.

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