Expanding Newcomers Working in Health Care Announcement

The Ontario government is making changes to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) to expand the health care workforce, increase the occupations eligible for the In-Demand Skills stream and protect newcomers from immigration fraud. These changes help address ongoing labour shortages in key sectors such as health care while also better protecting newcomers to the province.

“Newcomers play a crucial role in growing our economy and building a stronger and more inclusive Ontario for all of us,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “By expanding the current pathways of this program, we are attracting more top-tier talent to Ontario and removing the barriers they face, while addressing the human resources challenges in health care.”

The province’s economic immigration program will now exempt nurses who are registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario in designated classes from being required to provide a bachelor’s degree to qualify for the OINP Express Entry Human Capital Priorities and French-Speaking Skilled Worker streams. This change will create additional pathways for internationally educated nurses, to receive a nomination through the program, enabling Ontario to better expand the health care workforce to meet the needs of Ontarians.

The OINP is also increasing the number of occupations eligible for the Employer Job Offer: In-Demand Skills stream from 22 to 56, which is in response to the feedback received from previously held consultations on program eligibility. This will allow more skilled workers to qualify for the program.

Ontario is increasing the Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) that will be issued when fraud is found from employers, representatives, recruiters, or those who acquire a financial benefit from fraud. The minimum penalty will rise from $2,000 to $10,000. This will help prevent misuse of the program and protect newcomers from immigration fraud.

To further attract the skilled workers Ontario needs the most and ensure they can start working in their professions sooner, the province is the first in Canada to remove discriminatory barriers that prevent foreign-trained professionals from continuing their careers in fields they trained in, such as engineering, architecture and skilled trades.

Quick Facts

  • OINP allows the province to nominate individuals for permanent residence who have the skills and experience to contribute to Ontario’s economy. The Federal government makes the final decision to approve applications for permanent residence.
  • Ontario’s OINP allocation from the federal government has more than doubled from 9,750 in 2022 to 21,500 in 2024. Ontario is ensuring that these additional allocations are working to help address labour market shortages in health care and the skilled trades.
  • Ontario was the first province in Canada to ban the use of discriminatory Canadian work experience requirements in regulated professions under the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006.

Quotes

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is growing our health care workforce to make it easier for people to connect to the care they need for years to come. Our bold and innovative changes will continue to break down barriers for internationally trained nurses and make it faster and easier to start providing care to people and families in Ontario.”

– Sylvia Jones
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health


“We need more workers to care for our seniors in the coming decades, and this change will help attract internationally educated nurses to work in Ontario retirement communities.”

– Cathy Hecimovich
CEO, Ontario Retirement Communities Association


“Registered nurses are crucial members of the care teams within Ontario’s long-term care homes, and there is an urgent need for more people to fulfill these roles. Internationally educated nurses (IENs) are making a significant contribution and more of these skilled professionals are needed. The regulatory amendments, combined with the College of Nurses’ efforts to modernize and streamline registration, offer IENs a faster path to permanent residency and citizenship and ensure that immigration status will not prevent these valuable professionals from settling in Ontario and strengthening our provincial health care system.”

– Donna Duncan
CEO, Ontario Long Term Care Association


“RCCAO commends the Government of Ontario for improving the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) to better align recruitment of international construction labourers and skilled trades to Ontario to meet labour market needs and help build our province. The OINP plays a crucial role in attracting, supporting, and welcoming newcomers to our industry, especially as the province anticipates the retirement of thousands of construction workers by the end of the decade.”

– Nadia Todorova
Executive Director, Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO)


“The College of Nurses of Ontario is dedicated to protecting the public by promoting safe nursing practice. We are committed to ensuring that all applicants experience evidence-informed, fair, inclusive and effective processes that uphold public safety.”

– Silvie Crawford
Registrar/Executive Director & CEO, College of Nurses of Ontario

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