A new Ontario Tech Draw held Thursday, August 1, issued 1,773 invitations to Express Entry candidates with work experience in one of six tech occupations and Comprehensive Ranking System scores as low as 435.
This was Ontario’s second Tech Draw since their introduction in early July and a total of 3,396 Express Entry candidates have now received invitations, or Notifications of Interest (NOIs).
Ontario is home to several of Canada’s major tech hubs, notably those in the cities of Toronto, Ottawa and Waterloo, and Tech Draws are designed to meet growing labour needs in the sector.
More than 80,000 tech jobs have been created in Ontario’s capital city, Toronto, alone in the last five years, according to the 2019 CBRE Scoring Tech Talent Report.
Tech Draws allow Ontario to search the federal Express Entry pool and invite eligible candidates to apply for provincial nomination.
The Express Entry system is Canada’s main source of skilled foreign workers and candidates with a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, effectively guaranteeing an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.
The Express Entry system allows candidates to pursue Canadian permanent resident if they are eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class or Canadian Experience Class. A job offer is not required in order to participate in the Express Entry system.
All candidates in the Express Entry pool are assigned a score under the CRS and the highest-scoring candidates are invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through regular draws from the pool.
In order to be considered for an invitation from Ontario, candidates must first submit an Express Entry profile.
While many candidates with IT backgrounds and high ranking scores have had success through Express Entry, several provincial immigration streams give candidates with lower CRS scores a chance to improve their rank and obtain an Invitation to Apply for Canadian permanent residence.
Whereas the minimum score to be drawn from the Express Entry pool during the most federal recent draw was 459, this OINP Tech Draw selected candidates with scores as low as 435.
This score was also three points lower than the lowest score drawn through a federal Express Entry invitation round so far this year (438).
How Tech Draws work
Tech Draws target Express Entry candidates with work experience in one of six tech occupations:
Software engineers and designers (NOC 2173)
Computer programmers and interactive media developers (NOC 2174)
Computer engineers (NOC 2147)
Web designers and developers (NOC 2175)
Database analysts and data administrators (NOC 2172)
Computer and information systems managers (NOC 0213)
NOC stands for National Occupational Classification, which determines an occupation’s skill level and skill type.
Tech Draws are conducted through Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream. The stream is one of three managed by the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) that allow Ontario to select eligible Express Entry candidates.
A job offer is not required.
Those who received invitations to apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence in the August 1 Tech Draw created their Express Entry profile between August 1, 2018, and August 1, 2019.
Here is a hypothetical example of an Express Entry candidate who could have been selected in the OINP’s August 1 Tech Draw.
Ravi is 30 years old, holds a bachelor’s degree, and has been working as a database analyst for three years. Ravi has an advanced English language proficiency and has never worked or studied in Canada. Ravi entered the Express Entry pool with a CRS score of 436.
On August 1, 2019, Ravi was invited by the province of Ontario to apply for provincial nomination. After receiving a nomination from Ontario, Ravi’s CRS score will increase to 1036 and he will be prioritized to receive an Invitation to Apply for Canadian permanent residence during the next draw from the Express Entry pool.
“Canada’s tech sector is booming and needs innovation like Ontario’s new Tech Draws to fill its needs,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell, Cohen Canadian immigration law firm.
“From a candidate’s perspective, this draw is also welcome news in that highly talented candidates with slightly lower CRS scores now have a way to bring their talents to Canada permanently.”