If you work in the agricultural or construction sector in Ontario, you may be eligible for the new “In-Demand Skills” stream. This path to immigration is available to those who have a permanent, full-time job offer for the one of the following positions:
- Residential and commercial installers and servicers
- Heavy equipment operators (except crane)
- General farm workers
- Nursery and greenhouse workers
- Harvesting labourers
- Construction trades helpers and labourers
- Industrial butchers, meat cutters, poultry preparers, related workers
You must have at least 12 months of experience in Ontario in the same occupation, within the last 36 months, in order to take advantage of this new program. You must also have a high school diploma (or equivalent), a valid licence or certification if one is needed for your job, and a Canadian Language Benchmark score of at least 4. Settlement funds will also be required.
Your employer must have been in business for at least 3 years, be in compliance with Ontario labour laws, and have a minimum of $1,000,000 of gross annual revenue and at least five permanent, full-time employees who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents (or a minimum of $500,000 of gross annual revenue and at least three such employees if outside of the GTA).
The position must be located in Ontario, be permanent and full-time and paid at least at the prevailing wage level for that occupation in that region. It must also be necessary for the company’s operations, not affect employment or training opportunities for any Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and not affect the settlement of any active labour dispute.
Note that unpaid or unauthorized work will not count toward the required experience, and that the program is not open to refugee claimants.
If you’re eligible, you can apply directly to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program through their online portal. If your application is successful, you’ll receive a Letter of Nomination which you can then use to apply to IRCC to become a Permanent Resident. A Letter of Nomination from the province doesn’t guarantee that your application to IRCC will be successful, but will be a very strong factor in your favour.