Ontario's Masters Graduate Stream gives international students, who have graduated with a master's degree from an eligible university in Ontario, the opportunity to immigrate permanently to Ontario without the requirement of a job offer.
Applicants who meet the education, language, and other program requirements may receive a provincial nomination from the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) and may then apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for Canadian permanent residence.
Eligible graduates do not need a job offer to apply.
- Eligibility Requirements
- Application Process
- Who is not eligible to apply the Masters Graduate Stream
- Eligible Ontario Universities
In order to be eligible for the OINP Masters Graduate Stream, individuals must:
- Have completed the requirements to obtain a master’s degree;
- Have graduated from an existing master's program at an eligible 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 completing the requirements necessary to obtain the master's degree;
- Be residing in Ontario with legal status (i.e., study permit, work permit, visitor record) OR residing outside of Canada;
- The OINP accepts applications from potential applicants who are in implied status at the time of applying.
- 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);
- Applicant must take an approved English or french language test from the following approved agencies:
- International English Language Testing (IELTS) General Test scores; and
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) (General test) for English.
- Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF); and
- Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF) for French.
- Applicants must have the following minimum scores under each of the language abilites:
- Applicant must take an approved English or french language test from the following approved agencies:
- Possess sufficient funds and/or income to cover settlement costs for themselves and their dependent family members (whether or not the family members are accompanying the applicant or not). Potential applicants can determine the settlement funds required based on family size. The amount is updated annually by the federal government.
- Dependent family members include: Spouse or common-law-partner, children under the age of 22 and their children.
- Demonstrate residence in Ontario for at least 12 of the last 24 months before the application submission date;
- Intend to live and work permanently in Ontario; and
- Not intend to pursue further academic studies in Ontario.
Potential applicants to the OINP Masters Graduate Stream must demonstrate they have sufficient funds to economically establish themselves in Canada.
Applicants can meet this requirement through one or a combination of the following:
- Funds as demonstrated by bank statements, or statements of accounts showing other investments, such as fixed term deposits and mutual funds, that can be readily converted to cash;
- Annual earnings from ongoing employment in Ontario; and/or
- A job offer in Ontario.
If an applicant uses employment or a job offer in Ontario to meet the settlement funds requirement, he or she must include an employment contract/job offer letter indicating the position, hours of work, and wage. If currently working in Ontario, the applicant must provide two (most) recent pay slips as proof of funds.
Ties to Ontario
A potential applicant can demonstrate a connection to Ontario through:
- Current and/or previous employment in Ontario
- Job offers or jobs applied/interviewed for in Ontario
- Education in Ontario
- Volunteer work in Ontario
- Lease agreements for a residence in Ontario or property ownership
- Professional networks and affiliations
- Family ties
- Social connections or personal relationships
- Previous visits to Ontario
An applicant's degree must be dated within two years of the OINP application submission date. For example, if the degree is dated June 1, 2017, the eligible graduate must apply before June 1, 2019. If the degree has not yet been granted, the OINP will accept the date indicated on an official letter from the university specifying when the degree will be granted.
Prior to submitting an application, the OINP encourages potential applicants to review the eligibility criteria, document checklist, and ensure that the application is complete. All documents uploaded to Ontario's e-Filing portal must be clear and legible.
The OINP may request additional supporting documents while processing the Masters Graduate Stream application.
Applying for the Masters Graduate Stream online through the OINP's e-filing portal may take approximately two hours to complete. However, potential applicants do not have to complete an application in one session, but they must submit their application within 14 calendar days or the registration will expire and get withdrawn.
The OINP encourages applicants to complete an application before submitting a payment. Once an application is submitted to the OINP, the applicant will not be able to make any changes.
Applicants are responsible for the translation and notarization of any supporting documents that are not in English or French. It is the responsibility of the applicant to locate a certified translator accredited by the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) and/or obtain a notarization of documents translated by a translator not certified by the ATIO.
If an applicant located in Ontario is not able to find a certified translator accredited by the ATIO, the translation must be notarized. A letter explaining the reasoning and efforts taken to locate a certified translator must included with the application.
If applying from outside Ontario, the translation must be notarized. If deemed insufficient, the OINP may require applicants to obtain a translation from a certified translator accredited by the ATIO. Translations completed by the applicant, their representative, or others with personal ties to the applicant will not be accepted even if these individuals are considered certified translators.
If the OINP considers an application to be incomplete, individuals looking to apply for the OINP Masters Graduate Stream will be required to resubmit a new application. An application may be deemed incomplete if inaccurate supporting documents are provided or documents that require translation are not certified or notarized.
Applicants who believe the OINP's decision was made in error may request an internal review of the application within 30 calendar days of receiving the notice of the decision (if residing in Canada) or within 60 calendar days if residing overseas. The request must not include any evidence that was not submitted to the program before the decision was made unless the evidence was not reasonably available at the time of applying. The OINP's internal review decision is final.
If the application is successful, applicants will be issued a Letter of Nomination (Nomination Approval Letter) and a Confirmation of Nomination (OINP Certificate of Nomination).
Successful nominees must submit an application for permanent residence to IRCC within six (6) months of being nominated by the OINP. Applicants must include a copy of both documents (Letter of Nomination and OINP Confirmation of Nomination) with their permanent residence application to IRCC.
The OINP states that a nomination does not guarantee the approval of an application for Canadian permanent residence with IRCC. The OINP requires that nominees continue to demonstrate, on a reasonable basis, the intention to reside in Ontario.
While nominations are valid for a six-month period, the nominee may submit a request for an extension of the Nomination Certificate if it is no longer valid and:
- IRCC returns the permanent residence application due to incompleteness requiring the submission of a new application; or
- the nominee is experiencing delays in securing supporting documents for the permanent residence application (i.e. a police criminal record check) and has not yet applied to IRCC.
Who is not Eligible to Apply to the Masters Graduate Stream
The following individuals are not eligible to apply under the Ontario Masters Graduate Stream:
- Individuals who have not yet completed their master’s degree. The OINP will not accept applications from international students in their final semester of studies. Applicants must have met the degree requirements at the time of application.
- Individuals who are currently enrolled in further academic studies, unless it is for the purpose of meeting the requirements to be licensed in a regulated occupation in Ontario, or unless the individual is working on a full-time basis in Ontario.
- Individuals who completed their master’s degree more than two years ago.
- Individuals who are the recipient of a grant, bursary, or scholarship that requires them to return to their home country or another jurisdiction (another Canadian province/territory or another country) after the completion of their studies (provided that the obligations have not been fulfilled).
- Individuals who currently live in Canada, but outside of Ontario.
- Individuals who currently live in Canada without legal status.
The OINP has an immigration stream dedicated to international students who have a PhD degree from an eligible Ontario university. Learn about the OINP PhD Graduate Stream.
Eligible Ontario Universities
To qualify for the OINP Masters Graduate Stream, the master’s degree must be completed at one of the following universities:
- Algoma University
- Brescia University College (Affiliated with the University of Western Ontario)
- Brock University
- Carleton University
- Dominican University College
- Huron University College (Affiliated with the University of Western Ontario)
- King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario
- Lakehead University
- Laurentian University
- McMaster University
- Nipissing University
- Ontario College of Art & Design University
- Queen’s University
- Royal Military College of Canada
- Ryerson University
- Saint Paul University (Federated with the University of Ottawa)
- St. Jerome’s University (Federated with the University of Waterloo)
- Trent University
- University of Guelph
- University of Ontario Institute of Technology
- University of Ottawa
- University of St. Michael’s College (Federated with the University of Toronto)
- University of Toronto
- University of Trinity College (Federated with the University of Toronto)
- University of Waterloo
- University of Windsor
- Victoria University (Federated with the University of Toronto)
- Western University
- Wilfrid Laurier University
- York University