two international graduates in Ontario

Two Canadian immigration streams through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), the International Masters Graduate Stream and International Students – PhD Graduate Stream, opened for eligible international graduates the morning of October 12. The International Masters Graduate Stream quickly reached its intake limit hours after opening. The PhD Graduate Stream remains open until further notice.

The government of Ontario stated in an update, "OINP is monitoring the intake of applications with respect to the limits of Ontario’s federal nomination allocation,” thereby indicating the popularity of both streams among eligible graduates who wish to reside in Ontario.

Niether stream is aligned with the federal Express-Entry system, and therefore they are considered 'base' streams. A successful candidate who receives a provincial nomination through either of these streams may then apply for permanent residence to the federal government, which oversees the remainder of the process.

Applications for these streams are submitted through Ontario's e-Filing system.  A job offer is not required for either of these streams. The International PhD Graduate stream targets individuals who have graduated from a PhD (Doctoral) level program at an Ontario university, while individuals who have graduated from a Masters-level program in Ontario may apply be eligible to apply to the International Masters Graduate stream.

Ontario's nomination allocation has increased from 5,500 to 6,000 newcomers in 2017. Newcomers to Ontario may also arrive through federal programs, such as those managed under the Express Entry system. 

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  

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.