Phd graduates happy with diplomas

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) announced on the morning of October 30 that the International PhD Graduate stream has reached its limit for the most recent intake period after opening on October 12.

The International PhD graduate stream is a popular pathway to permanent resident status for eligible international graduates who have studied at an Ontario university. Both the PhD Graduate stream and the International Master's Graduate stream are two desirable options available for international graduates in Ontario, as both streams do not require a job offer

The International Master's Graduate and International PhD Graduate sub-categories are among the 'base programs' administered by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration to welcome new eligible immigrants in order to meet the federal nomination allocation limit for the province. Both streams are not aligned with the Express Entry system, however, successful applicants under either stream, who are granted a 'base' provincial nomination certificate may apply to the federal government for permanent residence. The International Master's Graduate stream also opened on October 12 and reached its intake limit that day.

Applications for both streams are submitted through Ontario's e-Filing system. 

Eligibility criteria:

International Student - Master's Graduate Stream

This stream gives students who have graduated with a Master's degree from an eligible publicly funded university in Ontario an opportunity to immigrate permanently to Ontario, without the requirement of a job offer. 

Minimum Requirements 

In order to be eligible for this stream, applicants must:

  • Intend to live and work permanently in Ontario;
  • 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.
  • Submit the application within two years of the date on which the Master's degree was granted;
  • Be residing in Ontario with legal status (i.e., study permit, work permit, visitor record) OR residing outside of Canada;
    • Applicants currently residing in Canada, but outside of Ontario, do not qualify.
  • Demonstrate a high language proficiency level in English or French of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or above in all four competencies (speaking, reading, writing, and listening);
    • Language proficiency must be proved by the following International English Language Testing (IELTS) General Test scores and Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF) scores in each language competency:
      • Listening: IELTS 6 or TEF 249-279
      • Reading: IELTS 6 or TEF 207-232
      • Writing: IELTS 6 or TEF 310-348
      • Speaking: IELTS 6 or TEF 310-348,
  • Be able to show a minimum level of savings and/or income in order to support themselves and their dependents
  • Demonstrate residence in Ontario for at least 12 of the last 24 months before the application submission date;
  • Not intend to pursue further academic studies in Ontario.

There are settlement funds required based on family size. Requirements for settlement funds are updated annually, visit this page for more details.

International Student - PhD Graduate Stream

This stream gives students who have graduated from a PhD program at an eligible publicly funded university in Ontario an opportunity to immigrate permanently to Ontario, without the requirement of a job offer. 

Minimum Requirements

Under this stream, applicants 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.
  • Submit the application within two years of the date on which the PhD was granted;
  • Intend to live and work in Ontario; and
  • 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 need not be in Canada at the time of 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.