Special PNP Series: Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program

An update on the status of the OINP with immigration lawyer Sarah Fagan

There is often a love hate relationship that exists with the various Provincial Nominee Programs across the country. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is no different. With limited quotas each year and significant processing delays, it makes it very difficult for immigration counsel to recommend the program for anyone that is under time constraints or other time sensitive limitations where certainty in processing is critical. In this episode, immigration lawyer Sarah Fagan shares some insight on what is going on within the OINP today and what we might be able to expect in the near future as it struggles to reinvent itself as a more attractive option for foreign nationals seeking to become permanent residents of Canada.

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In this episode, I had a chance to talk to Sarah about her experience immigrating to Canada as a skilled worker. Although she is now a permanent resident of Canada practicing immigration law with the law firm of Rekai LLP in Toronto, she had quite humble beginning as she carved out her own path to practicing law in Canada. Her story is fascinating and inspiring for anyone who is wondering if they have what it takes to make it as a professional in Canada.

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Sarah was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in the Republic of Ireland in 2009, and to the Roll of Solicitors in England and Wales in 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Civil Law (Honours) Degree from University College Dublin. Sarah was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2014.

Sarah joined Rekai LLP in March 2014, having gained several years of corporate immigration law experience with the Toronto office of a prominent international law firm. She has experience assisting clients with a variety of immigration matters, including: labour market impact assessments, employer compliance reviews, work permits, study permits, visitor records, temporary resident visas, temporary resident permits, criminal rehabilitation, permanent residence and citizenship.

In this episode Sarah and I discussed the following topics:

  • what the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is all about;
  • the types of programs that are available;
  • processing times and other challenges;
  • how the new online system works and the OINPs transition to online filing;
  • tips and strategies for avoiding the most common pitfalls;
  • what the future holds for the OINP.

Sarah also shared the following information with me after the recording of this episode that she thought everyone might find helpful:

Key points that I should have covered re Notifications of Interest – NOIs – is that individuals who are in the pool with 400 points upwards who qualify for Ontario Human Capital Priorities Stream (OHCPS) who have not received an NOI since the program re-opened on Feb 21, 2017 and want to avail of the OHCPS, should create and submit a new profile to better their chances of receiving an NOI – apparently this is due to some glitch between IRCC and the OINPs systems. It is something that they have posted a notice about in the past during the infancy stages of OHCPS on their website, but there is no notice about it at present.  Also, there is no automatic notification of an NOI via email. You must check your IRCC online account regularly for same.

I also should have mentioned reconsiderations [of refused applications] during our chat, which have recently moved from a paper process to an online process – unfortunately our experience with those has not been positive and once again, they are extremely slow.

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Additional Resources:

Listen to Mark Holthe’s Canadian Immigration Podcast

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