The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) has again begun accepting applications to the International Masters Graduate and International PhD Graduate streams. This represents the second time in 2017 that these two streams have opened to receive applications. Both streams are popular with international graduates, and offers a route to Canadian permanent residence for eligible individuals.
The OINP previously received applications to these two streams in late February, 2017. Both streams reached their intake limit in a matter of days. That intake period marked the first time an online application system was used to receive applications, and this online system will remain in use for this current intake period.
Ontario's Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration acknowledges that 'The OINP is a very popular program and receives a significant number of applications. The ministry has taken comprehensive measures to help ensure applicants have a smooth user experience when accessing the OINP e-filing system. However, applicants may experience longer than anticipated wait times, as a large number of applicants attempt to access the system at the same time.'
The ministry 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.