What is the change? The Ontario Immigration Nominee Program (OINP) has introduced a new “Tech Draws” initiative under their Human Capital Priorities Stream, a permanent residence program.

What does the change mean? This initiative provides candidates with active Express Entry profiles an opportunity to increase their likelihood of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence by first applying for a provincial nomination. Candidates who have experience in one of the six targeted technology occupations may receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) from the OINP, inviting them to submit an application under the Human Capital Priorities Stream. Upon approval, candidates receive a significant boost in points under Express Entry with the provincial nomination, in turn greatly increasing their competitiveness in the Express Entry pool.

The six targeted technology occupations are:

  • Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173)
  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)
  • Computer engineers (NOC 2147)
  • Web designers and developers (NOC 2175)
  • Database analysts and data administrators (NOC 2172)
  • Computer and information systems managers (NOC 0213)

Background: The first Tech Draw occurred on July 12, 2019. There were 1,623 NOIs issued, and the CRS score of applicants who received an NOI ranged from 439-459.

Analysis & Comments: The introduction of this initiative appears to be positive news for companies trying to recruit foreign nationals in the technology sector in Ontario, as it may increase access to permanent residence for foreign nationals with experience in the field. The program is also attractive to many candidates because a job offer is not required. It is of note that candidates who received an NOI in the first draw had scores only slightly below the general average score required to receive an ITA without a provincial nomination. This suggests there may be many strong candidates in the Express Entry pool with experience in these occupations. It is still unclear as to the frequency of these targeted Tech Draws or the expected number of NOIs the OINP will issue under this initiative.

This alert was prepared by Garson LLP, an independent law firm, allied with Deloitte LLP in Canada.