Ontario Targets Best and Brightest

    McGuinty Government Expands Program to Attract International Students

    WATERLOO, ON, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - Attracting international students to
Ontario and keeping them here in high-value jobs is a benefit to the
provincial economy.
    Now more international students than ever will have a chance to become
permanent Ontario residents as a result of changes to the province's Pilot
Provincial Nominee Program.
    Previously, only graduates of Ontario post-secondary institutions could
be considered. Now the program is open to international students Canada-wide.
The students need to be graduates of a publicly funded Canadian college or
university and have a job offer in Ontario.
    In addition, the government has made it easier for employers outside the
Greater Toronto Area to take part in the program. Application forms and
information on the eligibility criteria for employers is available at
www.ontarioimmigration.ca or by calling 1-866-214-6820.
    "There's a global competition for talent," said Ontario Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration Michael Chan. "International students are highly
skilled, have Canadian credentials and are familiar with Canadian society. Our
province will benefit from their talents for years to come."
    Under Ontario's Pilot Provincial Nominee Program, employers can hire
skilled workers - including international students - to fill jobs where labour
is in short supply. Multinational investors can bring in key employees who
will contribute to the long-term success of their investment.
    Successful nominees will receive permission to work in Ontario and will
be nominated by the provincial government to have their application for
permanent residency fast-tracked by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
    "The Pilot Provincial Nominee Program is helping to spread the benefits
of immigration across the province," said Leeanna Pendergast, MPP for
Kitchener - Conestoga.  "The program will assist employers in the
Kitchener-Waterloo region and across the province to capitalize on the skills
and experience of Ontario's newcomers."

    Disponible en français



               International Students Get Opportunity to Stay

    The McGuinty Government's Pilot Provincial Nominee Program is now open to
international students from Canadian colleges and universities who have a job
offer from an Ontario employer. The expansion makes it easier for
international students to immigrate and allows Ontario to retain the best and
the brightest after graduation. Other changes to the Pilot Provincial Nominee
Program make it easier for small employers outside the GTA to attract skilled
workers in a number of occupations in the health, education, manufacturing and
construction sectors.

    What the Provincial Nominee Program Does

    Provincial Nominee Programs allow provinces to select a limited number of
immigrants based on provincial priorities. Ontario's pilot program has two

    Employer Category:
    -   Allows eligible Ontario employers to meet labour needs in 20 specific
        occupations in the health, education, manufacturing and construction
    -   Enables Ontario employers to recruit international students to work
        in their field of study who have completed college or university
        studies in Canada.

    Multinational Investor Category:
    -   Allows companies making significant investments in the province to
        bring in key employees who will contribute to the investment's
        long-term success.

    More International Students Eligible

    International students who graduate from a Canadian college or university
can now apply to the program if they have a job offer from an Ontario employer
for a position related to their field of study.
    More than 35,000 international students are currently enrolled in
post-secondary institutions in Ontario - 28,500 in universities and 6,700 in

    Note:  International students must fulfill their return obligations, if
           any, before they may apply to the Pilot PNP.

    Small Regional Employers Eligible

    The eligibility criteria have expanded so that smaller employers outside
the GTA can take part in the program. This will help regional communities
share in the economic benefits of immigration. To qualify, employers outside
the GTA will now be required to have $500,000 in revenue and three full-time
employees, compared with $1 million in revenue and five employees before.

    How the Program Works

    For both employer and multinational investor categories, employers apply
to the program to have positions approved. Once this approval has been
granted, employers nominate applicants with the relevant education, training
and experience for the positions. Individuals - including international
students - must obtain a job offer from a pre-approved employer before they
can apply to the program.
    Successful nominees receive work permits and are nominated by the
provincial government to have their application for permanent residence
fast-tracked by the federal immigration department.

    Applying to the Pilot Provincial Nominee Program

    -   Information on the eligibility criteria for employers and application
        forms are available at
    -   Individuals - including international students - obtain the nominee
        application package from the employer offering them a job.
    -   A non-refundable processing fee of $200 is charged to international
        students. Other nominee applicants are charged $2,000.

    For more information on Ontario's pilot Provincial Nominee Program, call

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Daphne Shih, Minister's Office, (416) 325-3460;
Michel Payen-Dumont, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7010

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Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

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