Ontario introduces Expression of Interest System for Five Immigration Streams

In the upcoming weeks, the province of Ontario will be changing the registration system for five economic-class immigration streams

Previously, the Ontario Immigration program was using a first come- first serve model. Now the program is transitioning to an Expression of Interest (EOI) scheme, which is a points-based system that rates candidates based on human resources and labor market considerations. This form of system is being used by many other Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) for handling new applicants.

The new EOI system will be used by the OINP in the following streams:

  • Foreign Worker, International Student and In-Demand Skills
  • Masters Graduate stream
  • D. Graduate stream

Currently, the streams mentioned above are now closed to new applicants as the OINP works to develop the system. When the latest EOI system becomes operational in the following weeks, they will reopen. The OINP did not mention a specific date.

How will the EOI system change immigration to Ontario?

Previously, the immigration streams which are transitioning to an EOI system used to be very hectic. The immigration streams that are switching over to an EOI registration system used to operate like rushed seating. People who wished to immigrate to Ontario by one of these PNPs would be able to apply on the province’s website. Due to high demand, these registration windows generally only lasted a few minutes before they were fully filled.

Other problems included the need for the OINP to provide a separate email address for those who had technological problems that stopped them from registering, and some people argued that the scheme was discriminatory to those with slow internet connections.

Ontario began accepting policy proposals on the new EOI system in the fall of 2020. According to a representative for the OINP, they got very positive feedback. Between September 9 and October 23, 2020, the province received approximately 250 comment submissions.

According to an OINP spokesperson, “Many respondents believed that the proposed EOI system would be fairer and more predictable, and would be more user-friendly than the current intake process”.

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