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Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream

The Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream in Ontario is a subset of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). It allows foreign people with Ontario work experience in qualified skilled trades to apply to live and work permanently in Ontario.

Before you can apply online to be nominated for permanent residence by the Ontario government, you must have a valid profile in the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Express Entry system and obtain a Notification of Interest from Ontario.

If you are nominated, you will need to apply to the federal government via IRCC. They are the ones who make the final decision on who becomes a permanent resident.

Steps to apply

To be eligible for the Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream in Ontario, you must meet all of the conditions listed below. Please go over the steps for applying to all of Ontario’s Express Entry programs. To apply, you need not need a job offer.

Stream requirements

Please refer to section 12 of Ontario Regulation 422/17 for more details on each requirement.

1. Work Experience

  • You must have at least one year of cumulative paid full-time work experience (or the equivalent in paid part-time work) in Ontario Major Groups 72 (excluding transportation officers), 73, 82, 83, 93 (excluding aircraft assemblers and aircraft assembly inspectors), or Minor Group 6320 (excluding cooks) of the National Occupational Classification is required (NOC).
  • Your work experience must have been earned within the last two years before submitting your application to the OINP
  • Your work experience must have been in one or more of the occupations that you identified in your Express Entry profile
  • Your work experience must have been while keeping their legal status in Canada
  • Cumulative means the work you’ve done must total one year, but it does not have to be continuous work
  • Full-time work experience means working in a job with at least 30 hours of paid work in a week that amounts to at least 1,560 hours of paid work in one year
  • Part-time equivalent work experience means: working at least 15 hours per week for two years, totaling at least 1,560 hours over that time period
  • Working at least 30 hours per week in more than one job for a year, resulting in at least 1,560 hours of paid employment in that year
  • Work experience totaling 1,560 hours obtained in less than one year period does not qualify
  • Only work experience obtained after being qualified to practice that activity 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 are not qualified
  • Volunteer work and unpaid internships do not count as work experience

2. Valid Certificate or License (if applicable)

If you are claiming work experience in a compulsory trade, you must have a valid certificate or license in Ontario at the time you apply, and you must have held a valid certificate or license that covers the period of work experience that is being used to meet the minimum one year of work experience in an eligible skilled trades occupation.

3. Current residence in Ontario and legal status in Canada

You must be a resident of Ontario with a valid work permit at the time you apply.

If your work permit has expired, you may still apply to the OINP if you have applied to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to renew or extend your work permit before it expires. You are assumed to be in inferred status in these situations. You can remain in Canada and work under the same circumstances as your current work permit while the pending application is decided.

You are not required to have a job when applying.

4. Language

You must be able to understand, read, write, and speak English or French at a level 5 or higher on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).

Before applying to this program, you must complete an approved English or French language test to demonstrate that you have the required language skills.

The test must be taken more than two years before you submit your application.

For English tests, we accept:

  • International English Language Testing (IELTS) – we only accept the General Training test
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) – we only accept the General test

For French tests, we accept:

  • Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF)
  • Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada)

5. Settlement Funds

When you move to Canada, you must have enough money to sustain yourself and any dependent family members.

A family member is defined as your spouse, common law partner, and children under the age of 22, including their offspring.

You can achieve this criteria by doing one or more of the following:

  • Funds as demonstrated by the balance listed in bank statements, or statements of accounts showing other investments such as non-locked in, fixed term deposits, mutual funds, etcetera
  • Annual earnings from ongoing employment in Ontario
  • A job offer in Ontario

Example: You’ve calculated how much money you’ll need based on your family size and determined that you’ll need $29,000. (CAD). 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 need by combining your job offer and bank statement.

Please keep in mind that if you produce bank statements that include a big one-time deposit, we may need extra proof to prove that your finances are free of debt or liabilities.

6. Intention to live in Ontario

After being awarded permanent residence, you must plan to dwell in Ontario. This is determined by looking at your ties to Ontario, which can include things like:

  • working or have worked in Ontario
  • getting job offers or applying/ interviewing for jobs
  • studying
  • volunteering
  • leasing or owning property
  • visiting
  • having professional networks and affiliations, family ties and personal relationships
Rajdeep Kaur
Author: Rajdeep Kaur

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