The International Masters Graduate stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) reached its intake limit the same day that it opened, on May 1, 2017. The International PhD Graduate stream, which also opened on May 1, remains open.
As was the case last time the two streams opened, in late February, 2017, the International Masters Graduate stream is the first to reach its intake limit. The International PhD Graduate stream also reached its intake limit within days of opening in February. Both streams offer a pathway to permanent resident status for eligible international graduates of Ontario universities, and are a popular route for these graduates to remain in Canada permanently after their studies.
The Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration had previously stated that the International Masters Graduate and International PhD Graduate streams would open and close intermittently throughout 2017, to meet the limits of the federal nomination allocation for the province.
The OINP and International Graduates
The International Masters Graduate and International PhD Graduate Streams are not aligned with the Express Entry system, though successful applicants receive a 'base' provincial nomination certificate, after which they may then apply to the federal government for permanent residence.
Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria for one of these two streams may now submit an application through a new online system.
Candidates for both programs must intend to live and work in Ontario, and must submit their application within two years of receiving their degree. 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, and studied in Ontario for at least two years of their degree. Candidates who have graduated from a Masters-level program of at least one year in length in Ontario may apply to the International Masters Graduate Stream.
In addition, the eligibility criteria of the International Masters Graduate stream have changed to allow candidates to apply if they are residing in Ontario, or outside Canada (but individuals residing in Canada, but outside Ontario, are not eligible to apply). Previously, only candidates residing in Ontario were eligible to apply to the International Masters Graduate stream. International Masters Graduate candidates are also required to demonstrate the following:
- 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);
- A minimum level of savings and/or income in order to support themselves and their dependants; and
- Residence in Ontario for at least 12 cumulative months in the 24 months before submitting an application.