Three communities in Ontario, namely Chatham-Kent, Belleville/Quinte West, and Cornwall, have been officially selected for the province’s new Regional Immigration Pilot. They will participate in the Pilot that is set to be introduced in 2020. This two-year pilot will serve as the most recent addition to the OINP or the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. Under this program, Ontario is allowed to nominate a fixed number of immigration candidates belonging to the Economic-Class every year. They will be able to apply for permanent residence.
According to the Government of Ontario, the Regional Immigration Pilot has been designed with the purpose of spreading the benefits of economic immigration all across Ontario. The Pilot will address the labor shortages happening in the rural and small communities of the province and make sure that skilled labor is divided proportionately. Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade stated that the Regional Immigration Pilot will give the opportunity to businesses in the three communities to hire skilled laborers.
This will fill talent gaps and also enhance economic growth in the region. This Pilot will open up a pathway for skilled foreign workers to progress on their path to permanent residency. Most of the immigrants to Ontario tend to settle in the Greater Toronto Area. About 20 percent are ready to settle in other parts of the province.
The concern regarding “regionalizing” immigration is not limited to Ontario. Several similar pilots, such as the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot have been introduced all over Canada.
The Regional Immigration Pilot of Ontario was formed on the basis of feedback received from stakeholders in small and rural communities of the province. The choice of communities was done on the basis of the specific skilled labor challenges faced by them.