One of the ways that the governments of Ontario and Canada maintain healthy levels of skilled labour within their borders is through immigration. There are a multitude of programs dedicated specifically to welcoming highly-skilled foreign nationals to live and work in Canada. In Ontario, foreign workers arrive under both provincial and federal programs that encourage business immigration and investment.
Different Types of Foreign Workers In Ontario
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) includes a foreign worker stream that targets the addition of skilled labour within the province through the immigration of skilled workers. Each year, the program has a specific goal of the number of workers that are to be recruited to the province. This number changes according to economic conditions, particularly the state of the labour force within Ontario.
The greater the amount of economic activity, the higher the target number is likely to become. Higher demand for skilled workers normally takes place during times of economic expansion, making this method of immigration fantastic for skilled foreigners.
Another program that grants access to Ontario for skilled immigrants is run by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), along with the office of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is a combined effort of these two offices, linking foreign nationals with businesses that require specific types of workers. As you may understand from the title of the program, this immigration stream is designed to be enacted when there’s a temporary lack of specific labour skills.
Since the program addresses momentary shortages, it’s not generally considered an immigration stream that automatically leads to permanent residency or status as a Canadian citizen. For the most part, the temporary worker program only allows a stay of four years at most. Special conditions under NAFTA create allowances that apply for working immigrants who are Canadian, American, or Mexican nationals.
Foreign Worker Requirements In Ontario
The requirements for immigrating to Ontario as a foreign worker differ according to the program under which you apply. Before considering applying through any program, you should consult with information sources and immigration experts to ensure that you’re following the right path.
For example, the OINP requires that applicants have at least “two years of relevant work experience within the last five years, or the relevant mandatory licensing in Ontario for a regulated occupation.” Another prerequisite includes either living abroad or working, visiting, or studying in Canada under a valid permit. As such, if you are a refugee claimant in the middle of the application process, you will not be considered until you have left the country.
The foreign worker stream for OINP also mandates that candidates work in a position that provides full-time work, which is defined as 1,560 hours of employment within a 12-month span. This job also has to be permanent, which means any position that’s seasonal, contract work, or off-site will not count, even if the hours requirement is met.