Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement – Annex A: Provincial Nominees 2017

1.0 Purpose and Objectives

1.1 The purpose of this Annex is to define the roles and responsibilities of Canada and Ontario in relation to the Provincial Nominee Class as described in section 87 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), and in accordance with section 8(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), to establish provisions concerning the selection of, and acquisition of immigration status by foreign nationals nominated by Ontario.

1.2 In the event of a conflict between this Agreement and the IRPA, the IRPR, or Ministerial Instructions given under the IRPA, Canada and Ontario agree that the IRPA, the IRPR, or Ministerial Instructions shall prevail.

1.3 The objectives of this Annex are:

1.3.1 To strengthen Ontario's ability to enhance the economic benefits of immigration to the province, taking into account Ontario's economic priorities as well as the development of Minority Official Languages Communities in the province;

1.3.2 To increase the number of French-Speaking Immigrants to Ontario;

1.3.3 To recognize that the Provincial Nominee Program, as established by section 87(1) of the IRPR, and this Annex, provide for the establishment of a jointly administered immigration program, where:

  1. Ontario is responsible for:
    1. The recruitment and nomination of Provincial Nominees on the basis of their ability and intention to economically establish and settle in Ontario;
    2. The promotion of Ontario's Provincial Nominee Program;
    3. The integrity of the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program; and,
    4. Ensuring that effective performance monitoring and evaluation systems, consistent with the national Provincial Nominee Program Performance Measurement and Evaluation frameworks, are in place in Ontario.
  2. Canada is responsible for:
    1. Ensuring that applicants admitted under the Provincial Nominee Program have met the requirements of membership in the economic class as provided under the IRPA, and that they are assessed for nomination using criteria designed to determine their eligibility for consideration in the economic class;
    2. Making the final selection and admissibility decisions and issuing visas; and
    3. Ensuring that performance monitoring and evaluation systems are in place at the federal level to ensure that the national Provincial Nominee Program continues to meet its economic objectives.

1.3.4 To process Ontario's Provincial Nominees for permanent residence as expeditiously as possible, taking into account:

  1. Ontario's annual immigration levels plan, including its Provincial Nominee plan;
  2. Canada's projected annual immigration levels plan as per section 94 of the IRPA;
  3. The number of provincial nomination certificates issued in each calendar year, as referred to in section 3.2;
  4. Legislative and regulatory requirements, including eligibility, admissibility and Ministerial Instructions; and
  5. Operational and resource constraints.

2.0 Shared Principles

2.1 Canada and Ontario agree to abide by and uphold the following shared principles:

2.1.1 Ontario is best positioned to:

  1. Determine the specific economic and labour market needs of Ontario vis-à-vis immigration; and
  2. Assess and nominate candidates that will meet these economic and labour market needs and have the ability and intention to economically establish and settle in Ontario.

2.1.2 Canada is responsible for national immigration policy direction, the overall design and management of the movement of Permanent and Temporary Residents to Canada, and, in accordance with section 94 of the IRPA, for the establishment of an annual immigration plan containing a projection of the number of Immigrants to be admitted to Canada each year in total and in each Immigrant category; and, in accordance with section 87.3 of the IRPA, for the processing of applications and requests in a manner that, in the opinion of the Minister, will best support the attainment of the immigration goals established by the Government of Canada. In carrying out its responsibilities under sections 94 and 87.3 of the IRPA, Canada is committed to working equitably with all interested Parties, including Ontario;

2.1.3 Canada is responsible for the creation of immigration classes within the legislation. Ontario is responsible for the design, administration, monitoring, evaluation, and integrity of its Provincial Nominee Program, and may create categories within this program to the extent that these categories identify individuals solely on the basis of their ability and intention to economically establish and settle in Ontario, and are compatible with the definitions and criteria applicable to the Provincial Nominee class under the IRPA and the IRPR and with national immigration policy.

2.1.4 Canada will process Provincial Nominee applications from applicants nominated in all provinces and territories equitably and as expeditiously as possible, within the number of nomination certificates issued each calendar year, subject to the provisions of sections 3.2 and 9.2, operational and resource constraints, and balancing multiple competing priorities, including as reflected in Ministerial Instructions issued under section 87.3 of the IRPA.

2.1.5 Canada and Ontario agree on the importance of the following shared principles:

  1. The Provincial Nominee Program as a strategic tool for significant economic benefit in the province;
  2. Proactively encouraging the development of Minority Official Languages Communities;
  3. Communication and collaboration to ensure the Provincial Nominee Program's integrity, effective management, and successful outcomes;
  4. Program integrity activities in maintaining the integrity of the Provincial Nominee Program;
  5. Standardized methodology for all Provincial Nominee Program evaluations to ensure that performance information common to all jurisdictions is collected and evaluated in a comparable manner; and
  6. The Provincial Nominee Program as a tool for spreading the benefits of immigration across Canada, and the critical role that the settlement and retention of Provincial Nominees in the nominating jurisdiction plays in achieving this goal.

3.0 Planning and Reporting

3.1 Ontario will develop a Provincial Nominee Program plan based on the shared principles agreed to by the Parties in section 2.1. Ontario may submit this plan to Canada on an annual basis and in advance of consultations, to be considered in developing Canada's projections for Canada's immigration levels planning. In establishing its Provincial Nominee Program plan, Ontario will consult with Canada, taking into account Canada's role in national immigration policy and planning.

3.2 Canada will make all reasonable efforts to incorporate Ontario's Provincial Nominee Program plan into Canada's immigration plan. The number of Provincial Nominee Program nominations as set by Canada in consultation with Ontario, subject to the principles outlined in section 2.1, may be adjusted at any time during the year upon agreement by both Parties. Any nominations issued above the agreed upon amount for any given calendar year will be retained by Ontario until the following calendar year. In the event that a greater number of certificates is received by Canada than what was agreed upon for the current calendar year, the excess certificates will be returned to Ontario. Ontario will be responsible for advising those Provincial Nominees affected that their certificates have been returned and will be held by Ontario until January 1 of the following year. By September 30, or periodically as agreed to by both Parties, Ontario will inform Canada of its progress in issuing certificates for the current calendar year.

3.3 Reporting on Ontario's Nominee Program will be undertaken as follows:

3.3.1 By March 31 of each year, Ontario will provide Canada with an annual report on the Provincial Nominee Program's results for the previous calendar year; and

3.3.2 The annual report includes but is not limited to the elements outlined in Schedule A. The province will amend the annual report, as required, to ensure that it includes performance indicators listed in the national Provincial Nominee Program Performance Measurement framework outlined in section 7.2. Where Ontario does not currently collect information related to these additional elements, it will provide details of its plan to collect this information in the future.

3.4 The Parties undertake to give one another notice of any change in procedure, policy, regulations or legislation relating to their respective programs or operations that is likely to affect the Provincial Nominee Program.

4.0 Assessment and Nomination

4.1 Ontario has the sole and non-transferable responsibility to assess and nominate candidates who, in Ontario's determination:

4.1.1 Will be of benefit to the economic development of Ontario; and

4.1.2 Have the ability and intention to economically establish and permanently settle in Ontario subject to sections 4.2 through 4.8.

4.2 In order to exercise its nomination authority under this Annex, Ontario will develop objective and transparent criteria for nomination which will be designed to assess the ability and intention of the applicant to become economically established in Ontario and to demonstrate the economic benefit to Ontario. Ontario will establish and make publicly available its Provincial Nominee Program requirements, policies, and procedures. Applicants will be required to meet these criteria in order to be nominated. Ontario will respect the principles and objectives of this Annex in developing and implementing its criteria and procedures.

4.3 Ontario will provide Canada with all necessary information regarding the criteria, policies, and procedures that it has established for the categories under its Provincial Nominee Program, as outlined in Schedule B, prior to the introduction and/or modification of any Provincial Nominee Program stream, category, or pilot project. Canada will conduct a review of any proposed changes and, if it has determined that the changes are consistent with the IRPA, the IRPR and national immigration policies, Canada and Ontario will agree to the proposed changes. To the extent possible, the timing and duration of the review will be mutually agreed upon by Canada and Ontario prior to the start of the review process, taking into account resource constraints. The period of this review will vary according to the complexity of the proposed changes. Ontario will only implement the new or amended Provincial Nominee Program stream, category, or pilot project once Canada and Ontario have reached agreement.

4.4 Provincial Nominee applicants will be nominated solely on the basis of economic benefit to Ontario and their ability and intention of becoming economically established and permanently residing in Ontario. Economic establishment will be determined on the basis of factors such as: current job or job offer, language ability, work experience, education and training, and business ownership experience.

4.5 Non-economic factors including, but not limited to family connections or community ties, shall not constitute an eligibility condition or determining factor under any stream or category under the Provincial Nominee Program. Non-economic factors may only be used to assess the applicant's ability to adapt, intention to settle in Ontario.

4.6 Ontario agrees to maintain the minimum language standards implemented on July 1, 2012 for Provincial Nominees at National Occupational Classification Skills Level C and D and to work towards establishing minimum language standards and mandatory testing for all other Provincial Nominees.

4.6.1 For those streams, categories, or occupations subject to minimum language standards and mandatory testing, Ontario will ensure that nominations are based on valid language test results. Ontario will require those applicants to have their proficiency assessed in the English or French language by an organization or institution designated by Canada, and these applicants must have obtained proficiencies for their abilities to speak, listen, read, and write that correspond to agreed-upon benchmarks. Only language test results from an organization or institution designated by Canada and the correlation of those results with the agreed upon benchmarks will be accepted as evidence of the applicant's proficiency in an official language for the purposes of this provision. The official notification of the results issued by the designated organization or a copy must be included with the application for permanent residence. The benchmarks are as follows:

  1. In the case of an applicant who has a job offer for an occupation listed in Skill Level C or Skill Level D of the National Occupational Classification, or has acquired work experience in one or more occupations that are listed in Skill Level C or Skill Level D of the National Occupational Classification matrix, applicants must have obtained proficiencies that correspond to the Canadian Language Benchmark of 4 or higher in each of the following competencies: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

4.6.2 As applicants in other streams, categories, or occupations become subject to minimum language standards and mandatory testing, Ontario will follow the same process as outlined in section 4.6.1 to ensure that these applicants have obtained proficiencies for their abilities to speak, listen, read, and write that correspond to agreed-upon benchmarks.

4.6.3 Applications for permanent residence which require the submission of language test results as per section 4.6.1(a) and which do not include valid language test results or the language results do not meet the above requirements will be returned to the applicant.

4.7 In exercising its nomination authority under this Annex, Ontario will apply the criteria for nomination referred to in sections 4.1 through 4.6 above, and follow the policies and procedures established by Ontario, as amended from time to time, insofar as these criteria, policies, and procedures are consistent with the IRPA, the IRPR, or any successor legislation and regulations, national immigration policies and the terms of this Annex. These criteria will be applied to all individuals applying under Ontario's Provincial Nominee Program, and Ontario does not have the authority to waive these criteria.

4.8 Ontario will not issue a nomination certificate to:

4.8.1 Any person whose employment is likely to affect the settlement of any labour dispute or affect the employment of a person involved in such a dispute, or whose employment will adversely affect employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents in Ontario; and

4.8.2 Any person who intends to enter, has agreed to enter, or has entered into an “immigration-linked investment scheme” as described in section 87 of the IRPR, or its successor.

4.9 Ontario is responsible for verifying that all documentation supporting a nomination is genuine.

4.10 Ontario will keep written or electronic records of its assessments of its nominees against those criteria for a minimum of six (6) years from the date of nomination and share those records with Canada if requested to do so, subject to section 12.4 of the General Provisions of this Agreement.

4.11 Ontario is responsible for conducting due diligence to ensure that the applicant has the ability and intention to become economically established and settle in Ontario. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Canada retains the right to request additional documentation from the nominee which supports the nominee's ability and intention to become economically established and settle in Ontario and to substitute its evaluation of the applicant's ability and intention to become economically established in Canada pursuant to sub-section 87(3) of the IRPR. In exercising its responsibilities under sections 4.14 and 4.17, and Section 6, Canada may also seek clarification and request documentation from Ontario on its assessment, the record of which is required under section 4.10 and the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Information Sharing Between Canada and Ontario.

4.12 Ontario will issue a dated nomination certificate number, valid in accordance with Ontario's administrative requirements, for each Provincial Nominee. The nomination certificate will specify information including, but not limited to the category under which the nomination has been made, as well as other information outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Information Sharing Between Canada and Ontario. For security reasons, Ontario will forward a record of the nomination certificate, by electronic means, to the location specified by Canada. A nomination certificate received directly from the candidate or other parties will not be accepted as evidence of the nomination, pursuant to sections 4.1 and 4.14. Nominees must file an application for immigration within the time limit specified on the nomination certificate.

4.13 On a five (5) year schedule, Ontario will conduct an independent and objective audit of the activities required to implement sections 4.1 to 4.12 to assess whether the procedures which have been established and documented, are respected and that adequate oversight mechanisms have been put in place for ongoing program monitoring and reporting, subject to the following conditions:

4.13.1 Audits will be consistent with the standards established by the Institute of Internal Auditors;

4.13.2 Ontario will consult with Canada on the terms of reference for the audit;

4.13.3 Ontario will provide the results of audits, including the management responses, to Canada; and

4.13.4 Ontario shall undertake the audit as described in section 4.13 within one (1) year of this Agreement taking effect, unless such an activity was completed within the previous three (3) years.

4.14 Canada shall consider Ontario's nomination as evidence that Ontario has carried out its due diligence determining that an applicant will be of economic benefit to Ontario and has met the requirements of Ontario's Provincial Nominee Program.

4.15 Subject to sections 3.2 and 9.2, Canada agrees to process applicants nominated for Permanent Resident status by Ontario as expeditiously as possible with a view to achieving targets that have been integrated into Canada's immigration levels plan, and to balancing multiple competing priorities, including as reflected in Ministerial Instructions issued under section 87.3 of the IRPA.

4.16 Canada will communicate the terms of this Annex to offices involved in the processing of Provincial Nominee Program applications to ensure consistent application of all principles agreed upon at processing offices.

4.17 Upon receipt of the application for permanent residence, together with the Certificate of Nomination from Ontario, and subject to section 9.2, Canada will:

4.17.1 Determine the eligibility of the nominee as a member of the Provincial Nominee Class pursuant to section 87 of the IRPR;

4.17.2 Determine the admissibility of the nominee and his or her dependants with respect to legislative requirements; and

4.17.3 Issue Permanent Resident visas to Provincial Nominees and accompanying dependants who meet all the requirements of the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program and the eligibility and admissibility requirements of the IRPA and the IRPR.

4.18 Should Canada determine that an individual nominated by Ontario is likely to be refused a Permanent Resident visa based on the applicant's inability to meet the requirements of the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program and the requirements of membership in the Provincial Nominee class as per the IRPR and this Agreement, Ontario will be notified as soon as possible, taking into consideration local operating environments, and Ontario will be consulted regarding the reasons for possible refusal.

4.19 Ontario may raise concerns or seek clarification from the assessing office with respect to a potential refusal, where the refusal is based on a finding that the applicant does not satisfy the requirements for membership in the Provincial Nominee Class in accordance with the provisions of the IRPR, within sixty (60) days from the date of being advised by Canada.

4.20 In all cases where Canada determines that an individual nominated by Ontario does not meet the admissibility requirements of the IRPA, Canada will refuse without notifying Ontario before the final decision. Subject to privacy law, Canada will share the reason(s) for which the application was refused with Ontario, as described in the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Information Sharing Between Canada and Ontario.

4.21 Canada and Ontario are committed to working together to ensure program integrity in the Provincial Nominee Program. Accordingly, where Canada has refused an applicant on the basis of misrepresentation under section 40 of the IRPA, Canada will share case-specific information as described in the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Information Sharing Between Canada and Ontario. Ontario shall conduct a review of the relevant provincial application, in accordance with its policies and procedures. Where the province is also satisfied that misrepresentation has occurred, Ontario shall withdraw its nomination. For further clarity, Canada understands that any such determination by Ontario may be subject to a nominee's right of formal review, which may stay the nomination's withdrawal pending the formal review's confirmation of misrepresentation.

5.0 Admission as a Temporary Resident

5.1 Where an individual nominated by Ontario is employed or has received a job offer from an employer in that province, or has been nominated under a provincial business stream and intends to establish a business as their ongoing economic activity in Ontario, Canada may issue a work permit pursuant to the IRPR, if the work permit application includes a letter from Ontario that:

5.1.1 Requests Canada to issue a work permit;

5.1.2 States that the nominated individual is urgently required by the employer, or in the case of a business nominee that there are compelling reasons to authorize the business activities of the nominee before Permanent Resident processing is complete; and determines that:

  1. In the case of employment or a job offer, that
    1. The job offer is genuine and the job offer will create economic benefits or opportunities;
    2. The employment is not part-time or seasonal; and
    3. The wages and working conditions of the employment would be sufficient to attract and retain Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents.
  2. In the case of a business nominee, that:
    1. Their admission to Canada to begin establishing or operating a business would generate significant economic, social, or cultural benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents in Ontario.

5.2 Where Ontario is considering an application for nomination under the business category of the Provincial Nominee Program and is of the opinion that entry of a foreign national under that application to carry out business activity is of significant benefit to Ontario, Ontario may support an application for a temporary work permit pursuant to section 205(a) of the IRPR, with a letter indicating that:

5.2.1 The foreign national is being considered for nomination for permanent residence based on their stated intention to conduct business activity in Ontario;

5.2.2 Ontario is of the opinion that the planned business activity will be of significant economic benefit to the province;

5.2.3 In providing a letter of support under section 5.2 of this Annex, Ontario may request that Canada issue a temporary work permit for a specific period, up to a maximum of two (2) years; and

5.2.4 Where a temporary work permit issued under section 5.2 of this Annex is due to expire and Ontario has nominated that foreign national and the foreign national has applied for permanent residence and has been found eligible, Ontario may request that Canada issue a temporary work permit to that foreign national pursuant to section 205(a) of the IRPR.

5.3 Ontario will be responsible for conducting due diligence to ensure the genuineness of the job offer and that the individual is urgently required by the employer; or, in the case of a business nominee, that the business plan is economically viable and that there are compelling reasons to authorize the business activities of the nominee prior to completion of permanent residence processing.

5.4 Notwithstanding sections 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3, the individual nominated by Ontario must meet all IRPA/ IRPR requirements, including admissibility required for the issuance of a work permit.

6.0 Program Integrity

6.1 Ontario is responsible for fraud detection and deterrence in the administration of its Provincial Nominee Program. To ensure the integrity of the program, Ontario will conduct quality assurance exercises on a periodic basis and implement changes to their program as necessary in a timely manner.

6.2 Subject to section 12.5 of the General Provisions of this Agreement, Canada and Ontario will cooperate to ensure the integrity of the Provincial Nominee Program, including, but not limited to, activities such as:

6.2.1 Investigating potential program abuses to ensure the rigour and confidence of the immigration system;

6.2.2 Sharing information, including personal information and intelligence, related to program abuses including suspected or confirmed fraud or misrepresentation as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Information Sharing Between Canada and Ontario;

6.2.3 Working collaboratively with other federal agencies, as required, to address issues related to admissibility, including anti-fraud activities, criminality and public safety;

6.2.4 Coordinating and streamlining investigations involving both jurisdictions; and

6.2.5 Conducting and disseminating research, and identifying knowledge gaps related to program integrity and quality assurance mechanisms.

6.3 Canada and Ontario will continuously seek to improve program integrity by acting upon knowledge gained through periodic program integrity and quality assurance activities, with an emphasis on:

6.3.1 Identifying and evaluating risk information to ensure appropriate measures are taken;

6.3.2 Establishing measures to strategically and systematically mitigate risks;

6.3.3 Improving policies and procedures by closing gaps and addressing vulnerabilities; and

6.3.4 Targeted program integrity training.

6.4 Ontario will report instances of suspected or confirmed fraud and/or misrepresentation involving, but not limited to, applicants, employers, third party immigration representatives, and educational institutions, to Canada without delay, subject to section 12.4 of the General Provisions of this Agreement.

6.5 Where suspected or confirmed fraud or misrepresentation has been identified by either Party, Ontario will provide, upon request by Canada, case-specific information, including information relating to the administration of the Provincial Nominee Program, in order to make informed decisions about the disposition of these cases and in the furtherance of the integrity of the program. Where suspected or confirmed fraud or misrepresentation has been identified by either Party, Canada will, upon request by Ontario, provide applicant-specific information and that of organizations and any other entities involved to assist Ontario in its assessment of applications for nomination.

6.6 Canada and Ontario will share information on current and planned activities that support quality assurance and program integrity and, upon request, share the results of these activities with the other Party.

7.0 Program Evaluation

7.1 Canada will conduct a national evaluation of the Provincial Nominee Program on a five (5) year cycle in order to meet federal accountability and evaluation requirements. The evaluation will include the relevant components of Ontario's Provincial Nominee Program determined by Canada as necessary for a national evaluation. Ontario is committed to cooperate to this end. Canada will be responsible for the costs of the national evaluation.

7.2 Canada will consult with all jurisdictions, including Ontario, in the development of a national Provincial Nominee Program Performance Measurement framework. Canada, the provinces and territories have collaborated to identify a sub-set of common performance indicators within the national Provincial Nominee Program Performance Measurement framework. These common performance indicators will be collected across all provinces and territories. Ontario agrees to collect ongoing performance information as identified in this framework and to report on all indicators contained therein to Canada on an annual basis through Ontario's Provincial Nominee Program Annual Report referenced in section 3.3.1. Common performance indicators may be adjusted from time to time with agreement of Canada, and the provinces and territories. These common components will ensure consistency and comparability within the evaluation process.

7.3 Canada will develop a national Provincial Nominee Program Evaluation framework to guide federal evaluations in consultation with all jurisdictions that have a Provincial Nominee Program, including Ontario. The national evaluation framework will include, but not be limited to, the common definitions, performance indicators, and data collection methodologies agreed upon during the development of the common performance measures by the jurisdictions, including Ontario.

7.4 On a five (5) year schedule, Ontario will conduct a rigorous evaluation of its Provincial Nominee Program that will utilize both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and multiple lines of evidence. The evaluation will examine program performance, including the extent to which desired outcomes are achieved, and incorporate data collected as per the national performance measurement framework and Ontario's Annual Report as per Schedule A. Ontario will provide a copy of the evaluation, which will include a description of methodologies used, to Canada upon completion.

7.5 In addition to the data reported annually under sections 7.2 and 3.3.1, Ontario will ensure that the requisite national evaluation information as identified in section 7.2 is available. Ontario will cooperate with Canada, to the extent permitted by law, including the sharing of relevant program information and data, and facilitating access to program staff and clients for the purpose of gathering additional information required for the national evaluation.

7.6 As set out in the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Information Sharing Between Canada and Ontario referred to in section 12.4 of the General Provisions of this Agreement, Canada and Ontario agree to share information on prospective and actual Permanent Resident admissions to aid in the evaluation and management of Ontario's Provincial Nominee Program.

7.7 Ontario will continue to participate as a consortium member and contribute to the Longitudinal Immigrant Data Base, which has established a mechanism to collect the data, inter alia, for the Provincial Nominee Program evaluation.

8.0 Information Exchange

8.1 Canada and Ontario agree to share information regarding a nominee's application for the purpose of planning and development, program administration, program integrity, and monitoring and evaluation.

8.2 As set out in section 12.4 of the General Provisions of this Agreement, terms and conditions governing information sharing are established under the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Information Sharing Between Canada and Ontario.

8.3 Ontario will provide monthly nomination reports, the details of which are set out in the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Information Sharing Between Canada and Ontario.

8.4 Canada will provide monthly reports, the details of which are set out in the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Information Sharing Between Canada and Ontario, on the processing and Permanent Resident admissions of Provincial Nominees destined to Ontario.

9.0 Dispute Management and Resolution

9.1 In the case of a Dispute under this Annex, Canada and Ontario agree to follow the Dispute management and resolution process outlined in section 12.3 of the General Provisions of this Agreement.

9.2 Notwithstanding section 9.1, upon notification in writing, as per section 12.3 of the General Provisions of this Agreement that a Dispute exists regarding the interpretation or implementation of the IRPA, the IRPR and this Agreement as they apply to Provincial Nominees, Canada may, at any time during the Dispute Management Process, impose a Processing Pause on the application(s) under Dispute until the Dispute is resolved. The imposition of a Processing Pause applies, but is not limited to, Disputes concerning criteria established by Ontario to assess an individual's ability to economically establish, or where there is evidence of systemic fraud or misrepresentation, or multiple instances of fraud or misrepresentation in the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program.

9.2.1 Canada will provide written notification to Ontario of the date when the Processing Pause will start.

9.2.2 Canada will provide written notification to Ontario of the date when the Processing Pause will end.

10.0 General

10.1 The Focal Points for the purpose of communication and notification pursuant to this Annex are:

10.1.1 For Canada, the Director, Economic Immigration Policy and Programs, Immigration Branch;

10.1.2 For Ontario, the Director, Ontario Provincial Nominee Program.

10.2 This Annex will take effect when the General Provisions of the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement is signed by the last of the Parties to do so and will be valid for five (5) years.

10.3 Upon mutual consent of both Parties in writing, the terms and conditions of this Annex can be extended at any time prior to its expiry, subject to any required approval or authorization, including the approval of the Governor in Council, or Lieutenant Governor in Council at the Ontario level.

10.4 This Annex may be amended at any time by the mutual written consent of the Parties, subject to any required approval or authorization, including the approval of the Governor in Council, or Lieutenant Governor in Council at the Ontario level.

10.5 Either Party may terminate this Annex at any time by providing at least twelve (12) months' notice in writing to the other Party.

Schedule A – Annual Report

Part A: Objectives, Principles and Priorities

  • overview of Ontario's Provincial Nominee Program, priorities and achievements

Part B: Results Achieved based on annual plan

  • all elements included in the federal/provincial/territorial Provincial Nominee Program Annual Report, as amended from time to time by Canada, in collaboration with provinces and territories, in the following areas:
    • Nominations Issued and Ontario processing
      • Nomination certificates issued
      • Nominees who were Temporary Foreign Workers at time of nomination
      • Ontario processing: Applications received, Applications declined, Nominations issued, Nominations withdrawn, inventories, processing times
  • Landings, Retention and Economic Outcomes
    • Nominees admitted who have not reported to Ontario within 3 months of landing
    • Nominees Residing in Ontario
    • Outcomes of Business Nominees
  • Program Development, Promotion and Recruitment
    • Promotion and recruitment activities, including those targeting French-Speaking Immigrants to Ontario
    • French-Speaking Immigrants to Ontario: Nominees for whom French is their first Canadian official language of usage
  • Program Integrity
    • Refusals/withdrawals involving fraud or misrepresentation

Part C: Program Integrity

  • summary of Provincial Nominee Program program integrity activities including, but not limited to, anti-fraud and quality assurance exercises

Part D: Evaluation and Audit

  • evaluation plans and/or results

Schedule B – Changes to Ontario Provincial Nominee Program

Part A: Introduction of a new stream or category

  1. Summary:
    1. Description of the proposed stream, including type of stream (one of the 6 Global Case Management System categories).
    2. What is the expected timeframe for this change?
  2. Rationale:
    1. What are Ontario's goals in creating this stream or category?
    2. Why is the introduction of this stream or category required/preferred, as opposed to the modification of an existing stream?
    3. What would be:
      1. The profile of the ideal candidate for this stream? Who is this stream's target group?
      2. The projected volume of Provincial Nominee applications under this stream?
      3. The projected number of nominations under this stream or category, and its share of overall nominations?
  3. Analysis:
    1. Criteria: Ontario to submit a table/chart listing the proposed criteria for the stream or category, the rationale for each criterion, and how each requirement will be verified. A template for this table/chart will be provided by Canada. Ontario will also provide any rating guide or points grid used to evaluate the criteria established.
    2. Process: in some cases, Canada may request that Ontario submit a process map outlining the application process, including documents required at each step, what assessment and verifications will be done at each stage, and identifying decision-makers. Where needed, a template for this process map will be provided by Canada.

Part B: Modification or amendment of the eligibility criteria of an existing stream or category

  1. Summary:
    1. Description of the proposed changes to the stream or category criteria and/or application process
    2. What is the expected timeframe for this change?
  2. Rationale:
    1. What does Ontario aim to achieve by making these changes?
    2. What impact (if any) does Ontario anticipate that these changes will have on:
      1. The projected volume of Provincial Nominee applications?
      2. The number of nominations issued under this stream or category and/or the importance of this stream or category within overall nominations?
      3. The Provincial Nominee application process?
  3. Analysis: Ontario to submit a table/chart listing the current stream criteria, the proposed changes to stream or category, and the rationale for each change. A template for this table/chart will be provided by Canada. Ontario will also provide any rating guide or points grid used to evaluate the criteria established.

Part C: Closing/suspension of a current stream or category

  1. Summary:
    1. Which stream or category is Ontario planning to close/suspend?
    2. What is the effective date of this change?
  2. Rationale:
    1. Why has Ontario decided to eliminate/suspend this stream or category?
    2. Does Ontario plan to replace this stream/category, or to refer this applicant population to a different stream or category within the current program?
    3. What impact (if any) does Ontario anticipate that this stream closure/suspension will have on:
      1. Overall nomination numbers?
      2. The distribution of nominations among the remaining streams?
  3. Processing:
    1. Is there a current inventory of applications under this stream or category? If so, how large?
    2. What are the timeframes for clearing the inventory of applications under this stream or category?
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