Ontario Accepting Applications for Masters and PhD Graduate Streams

Hugo O'Doherty, Eman Katem
Published: October 12, 2017

The Canadian province of Ontario has reopened two popular immigration streams for international post-graduates who studied in the province: the Masters Graduate stream, and the PhD Graduate stream. Both of these streams are connected with the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), one of Canada's Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

(Update: Since this article was first published, the OINP Masters Graduate stream reached its intake limit and is no longer accepting registrations.)

Through the OINP, the government of Ontario may nominate individuals who wish to settle in the province. Ontario is the most popular destination province for international students, particularly Masters and PhD students, who are attracted by the quality of education and research opportunities offered across the province.

These two streams previously opened last February and May, reaching their intake limits within a few days on both occasions. Ontario has not disclosed how many applications may be accepted for the current application intake periods. Applications are submitted through Ontario's e-Filing Portal.

Successful applicants to either of these two streams receive a ‘base’ provincial nomination certificate, putting them in a position to submit an application for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Base streams are not aligned with the federal Express Entry system, but still provide a pathway to Canadian permanent resident status.

Notably, applicants to either of these streams do not require a job offer. In addition, applicants do not have to be residing in Ontario at the time of application.

Eligibility requirements

International Masters Graduates PhD Graduates
Must intend to live and work in Ontario Must intend to live and work in Ontario
Must have graduated from an existing Master's program at an eligible publicly funded university in Ontario

  • The program of study must have been at least one year in length and must have been completed on a full-time basis
Must have successfully completed all PhD program requirements at an eligible publicly-funded university in Ontario

  • At least two years of PhD studies must have been completed at the Ontario university
Must submit the application within two years of the date on which the Masters degree was granted Must submit the application within two years of the date on which the PhD was granted
Must have legal status (i.e. study permit, work permit, visitor record) if living in Ontario at the time of the application

  • Applicants may be living outside Canada at the time of application; however, individuals living in Canada but outside Ontario are ineligible to apply
  • Candidates do not need to have legal status in Canada if they are applying from outside Canada
Must have legal status (i.e. study permit, work permit, visitor record) if living in Canada at the time of the application

  • Applicants to this stream do not have to be living in Canada at the time of application
  • Candidates do not need to have legal status in Canada if they are applying from outside Canada
Must demonstrate an adequate intermediate proficiency level in English or French of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or above in all four competencies (speaking, reading, writing, and listening)
Must be able to show a minimum level of savings and/or income in order to support themselves and their dependents
Must show that they have resided in Ontario for at least 12 cumulative months in the 24 months before submitting an application
Use Canada School Search to research your options for studying in Ontario.
International students and post-graduate workers in Canada can join the CanadaVisa Study Hub to access a range of tools and resources to assist in studying, working, and settling in Canada permanently. Study Hub members also have a chance to win a $500 scholarship.
To learn more about your Canadian immigration options through the OINP, as well as other Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.

© 2017 CICnews All Rights Reserved

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