OINP Skilled Trades Occupations: Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

Skilled Trades occupations for OINP

Raj is an Indian citizen residing in Canada with a work permit. He works as an electrician in Brampton, Ontario. Raj plans to make Canada his permanent home and is interested in the OINP options. He’s heard that Ontario prioritizes Skilled Trades occupations, but he’s unsure about the specifics. Is there a list of Skilled Trades occupations that the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program recognizes?

What is OINP?

Before diving into the Skilled Trades options under OINP, let’s take a moment to understand the program and Ontario itself. As Canada’s most populous province, Ontario is home to the nation’s capital, Ottawa, and its largest city, Toronto. Contributing about 40% of Canada’s GDP, the province is an economic powerhouse. Beyond that, Ontario is rich in natural resources like freshwater lakes and forests, and it boasts a diverse cultural landscape. Of course, Toronto is the most multicultural city in the world. To sustain and expand its economy and cultural richness, Ontario is continually searching for skilled talent and a dedicated workforce.

While many federal immigrants choose to settle in Ontario, the province also provides its immigration pathways through the Provincial Nominee Program, known as the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program or OINP. The OINP currently offers the following streams:

Keep in mind this list is subject to change.

Does it make sense to immigrate to Ontario as a skilled trades immigrant?

Skilled trade immigrants in Canada, particularly those who chose to settle in places like Ontario, have had unique labour market experiences compared to other economic immigrants. Initially, they enjoyed higher employment rates, a testament to the demand for skilled tradespeople during the late 2000s and early 2010s. However, as time progressed, the employment advantage observed in skilled trades immigrant men diminished, and for women, it disappeared entirely.

Moreover, according to Statistics Canada, their journey up the earnings ladder was slower, with factors such as holding a university degree, linguistic proficiency in an official language, and Canadian work experience before immigration not boosting their earnings to the same extent as they did for other economic immigrants. Thus, this paints a nuanced picture for skilled tradespersons considering Ontario as their new home, hinting at opportunities and challenges they might encounter while pursuing a prosperous life in Canada. Consequently, it is wise for skilled tradespersons to enhance their knowledge base upon landing in Canada to keep up with the rest of the immigrants.

Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream – Eligibility Requirements

OINP has designed the Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream to attract more skilled tradespersons. Here are the eligibility requirements:

Work Experience:

  • Minimum of one year cumulative paid full-time work experience (or the equivalent in paid part-time work) in specified National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes.
  • This experience should be obtained within the last two years from the application date to the OINP in one or more occupations identified in your Express Entry profile while maintaining legal status in Canada.
  • The total work hours must be 1,560 over at least one year, with certain stipulations regarding full-time and part-time work definitions.

Valid Certificate or License (if applicable):

  • For work experience in a compulsory trade, a valid certificate or license in Ontario is necessary, covering the period of work experience being used to meet the minimum requirement.
  • Must be living in Ontario with a valid work permit at the time of application.
  • Some exceptions apply for expired work permits if renewal applications have been submitted to IRCC before the expiry date.

Language Proficiency:

  • Proficiency in either English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 5 or higher, with proof from an approved language test taken within the last two years. Of course, you must take an official test to verify your knowledge of one of the Canadian official languages. The following table shows the minimum language requirements, depending on what test you are taking.
TestLanguageSpeakingListeningReadingWriting
CELPIP-GEnglish5555
IELTS GeneralEnglish5.05.04.05.0
TEF CanadaFrench226181151226
TCF CanadaFrench63693756

Settlement Funds:

  • Adequate funds to support oneself and dependent family members upon settling in Canada. Of course, You could verify this requirement through personal funds, annual earnings from ongoing employment in Ontario, or a job offer in Ontario. Moreover, the minimum settlement funds are based on LICO-6 months.

Intention to Live in Ontario:

  • A genuine intention to reside in Ontario post-permanent residence grant, demonstrated by various ties to the province such as previous work, job offers, studies, property ownership, professional affiliations, or personal relationships.

Ontario’s Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream – The Process

Assuming you qualify, you must take the following steps:

  1. Enter the pool of Express Entry. Of course, you must meet the minimum requirements for Express Entry. Otherwise, the system will reject your application.
  2. When entering the pool of Express Entry, select Ontario as your destination. Alternatively, you may select All Provinces and Territories.
  3. Wait for a Notice of Interest (NOI) from the province.
  4. You have 45 calendar days to create an account on the OINP website and then submit all necessary information. Moreover, you must pay the processing fee of $1500 (subject to change).
  5. If the province confirms your nomination, you’ll receive up to 600 CRS points toward your Express Entry.
  6. The Federal Government will issue an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
  7. You must complete your Express Entry application and submit it in 60 days.
  8. If everything goes well, you’ll become a permanent resident.

Certainly, numerous challenges may arise. Thus, engaging a professional for assistance would be in your best interest.

Are there any other options for skilled trades in Ontario

Besides the Express Entry option, OINP does not offer a unique program for skilled trades occupations. However, they prioritize issuing Invitations to Apply (ITA) for this group. They mainly apply prioritization under the following streams:

This means you must (1) Meet the minimum requirements of one of these two streams, (2) Enter the pool of OINP Expression of Interest (EOI), and (3) Have a job offer in skilled trades.

The list of skilled trades occupations for OINP

OINP usually refers to the following list of skilled trades. However, they may only select some of these occupations for a round of invitations. They could also add to this list in exceptional circumstances. All these occupations are NOC TEER 2 or 3. Nonetheless, I have used their major groups and subgroups under NOC to classify them better.

  • 22212 – Drafting technologists and technicians
  • 22221 – User support technicians
  • 22222 – Information systems testing technicians
  • 22301 – Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
  • 22302 – Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians
  • 22311 – Electronic service technicians (household and business equipment)
  • 22312 – Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics

72 – Technical trades and transportation officers and controllers

720 – Technical trades contractors and supervisors

  • 72010 – Contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations
  • 72011 – Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
  • 72012 – Contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades
  • 72013 – Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
  • 72014 – Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
  • 72020 – Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
  • 72021 – Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
  • 72022 – Supervisors, printing and related occupations
  • 72024 – Supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit operators

721 – Technical industrial trades

  • 72101 – Tool and die, makers,
  • 72102 – Sheet metal workers
  • 72103 – Boilermakers
  • 72104 – Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters
  • 72105 – Ironworkers
  • 72106 – Welders and related machine operators

722 – Technical electrical trades

  • 72200 – Electricians (except industrial and power system)
  • 72201 – Industrial electricians
  • 72203 – Electrical power line and cable workers
  • 72204 – Telecommunications line and cable installers and repairers

723 – Technical construction trades

  • 72300 – Plumbers
  • 72301 – Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
  • 72310 – Carpenters
  • 72320 – Bricklayers
  • 72321 – Insulators

724 – Technical maintenance trades

  • 72400 – Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
  • 72401 – Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
  • 72402 – Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
  • 72403 – Railway carmen/women
  • 72404 – Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
  • 72406 – Elevator constructors and mechanics
  • 72410 – Automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers
  • 72422 – Electrical Mechanics
  • 72423 – Motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle and other related mechanics

725 – Technical equipment operation trades

731 – General construction trades

  • 73100 – Concrete finishers
  • 73101 – Tilesetters
  • 73102 – Plasterers, drywall installers, finishers and lathers
  • 73110 – Roofers and shinglers
  • 73111 – Glaziers
  • 73112 – Painters and decorators (except interior decorators)

732 – Building maintenance installers, servicers and repairers

  • 73200 – Residential and commercial installers and servicers
  • 73201 – General building maintenance workers and building superintendents
  • 73202 – Pest controllers and fumigators
  • 73209 – Other repairers and servicers

734 – Operators, drillers and blasters

  • 73400 – Heavy equipment operators
  • 82031 – Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services

921 – Utility equipment operators and controllers

  • 92100 – Power engineers and power systems operators

Of course, as mentioned earlier, OINP may pick and choose from this list or expand. Therefore, this list is subject to change. However, this is a helpful list to consider.

Points to consider

OINP values skilled trades occupations. Of course, this is because of our need in the province. However, you must consider the following essential points:

  • Regarding Express Entry, the Ontario requirements do not quite match the Express Entry requirements. Therefore, you must meet both requirements to qualify.
  • For the other OINP options, Ontario only prioritizes invitations. Therefore, other than qualifying for those options and entering the pool of Expression of Interest, there is not much you can do.
  • The list of occupations is subject to change. Therefore, have a plan B. For example, consider learning French or applying under other Federal or provincial options.

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