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Ontario broadens its Canadian visa criteria

Posted on February 26, 2009
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By Bryan Palmer

Canadian immigration has announced its ‘Opportunities Ontario Provincial Nominee Program’ (PNP) has been broadened to process twice the number of visa applications processed by the pilot scheme.

The pilot scheme for the programme was launched in May 2007 and the new official scheme will incorporate a category for employers and investors in Ontario who want to hire skilled workers from abroad and a category for Ontario businesses hoping to hire international graduates to work in Canada.

Both categories have been widened to include a larger group of possible visa applications. Previously, businesses were only able to seek applicants in 20 specific occupations under the skilled worker category.

This is now the General Category and includes managerial and skilled foreign workers with at least two years experience in a larger range of industries.

To fill post-graduate work permits, employers no longer have to seek students who have studied in a field relevant to the vacant position and can have studied in a university or college anywhere in Canada and hold no previous work experience.

The required investment from investor visa applicants has been reduced to $3 million and the creation of five permanent Ontario jobs, down from a $10 million required investment and 25 new jobs.

Ontario hopes that 1,000 nominees will become permanent residents in 2009. The PNP entitles nominees to priority processing for permanent residency.

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