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Ontario Reopens International Students PhD Graduate Stream Applications

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Study Permits and Student Visas

Ontario Reopens International Students PhD Graduate Stream Applications

Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) of Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration has not reached their annual application quota as of October 12, and have reopened registration for the PhD student streams. (Note: Since the October 12 notification the Masters Graduate Stream reached its registration intake limit and no additional registrations for this stream are being accepted. The International PhD Graduate stream targets individuals who have graduated from a PhD (Doctoral) level program at an Ontario university, and who want to live and work in Ontario.

OINP gives qualified foreign nationals with specific education, skills and experience targeted by the province who are interested in Ontario immigration the opportunity to apply for Canadian permanent residence through an expedited process. There are two ways to get nominated for ONIP:

  1. a potential immigrant can contact Immigration Ontario and apply to the OINP directly
  2. creating an Express Entry profile and registering their interest in the province within the system

Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah says that OINP student immigrants are highly desirable future residents of Ontario:

OINP Masters and PhD student applicants to become residents of Ontario have established themselves in the province through their studies, and often also through employment. International graduate students are ideal immigrant candidates to settle and integrate successfully into Ontario’s labour market and society. These highly educated and motivated immigrants to Ontario want to move to Ontario to work or build their business and help build a stronger Canada.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program has six application categories:

  1. General Category
  2. International Students Category
  3. Corporate Category
  4. Entrepreneur Category
  5. Human Capital Priorities
  6. French-Speaking Skilled Worker Category

International Students Category

The International Students Category of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program is designed for international students in study aboard programs. The category is broken down into three primary sub-categories. These include the International Student with a Job Offer Stream, International PhD Graduate Stream, and Pilot International Masters Graduate Stream. The International PhD Graduate Stream and Pilot International Masters Graduate Stream do not require a job offer to qualify.

PNP Ontario Express Entry, International PhD Graduate Student application requirements are:

  • Must have graduated from an existing PhD program at an eligible publicly funded university in Ontario. Or successfully competed all of the degree requirements for such a program (and are awaiting their degree). Or, finally, have at least two years of completed PhD studies at an eligible publicly funded university in Ontario.
  • Application must be submitted no later than two years from the date PhD was received.
  • Applicant must have legal status if living in Canada.

International Student with a Job Offer Stream

Under the OINP 2017, there are several requirements for international students with an approved job offer from a Canadian employer.

Applicant requirements:

  • At least half of studies must have been in Canada. Must have already graduated or be graduating soon from a publicly funded college or university in Canada.
  • Must have completed a two-year degree or diploma program (or longer) on a full-time basis. Or must have completed a one-year post-graduate degree or certificate program (or longer). The second option requires a previous degree or diploma that may be earned from Canada or abroad.
  • Must have acquired a permanent, full-time job offer in a skilled occupation (NOC Levels 0, A, or B). Employer in question must also submit an application to Opportunities Ontario. The offer must be approved and remain valid at time student's application is approved. (Job offer does not need to be in same field as the student's degree or diploma).
  • Application must be submitted no later than two years after the date that the student received their Canadian degree or diploma. It can be submitted as early as the last semester of the student's studies.
  • Application must have legal status if living in Canada. A "Joint Verification" form and a "Pre-Screen Position" form are also required from the employer.

Application Guide for International PhD Graduate Stream

OINP Corporate Stream

Under the OINP, key staff of corporations and entrepreneurs can seek for nomination through the Province for Permanent Residence when they implement a new business idea or expand their operations in Ontario.

For more information on OINP Corporate Stream: eligibility and requirements see: OINP Corporate Stream is now accepting applications - How can I apply?


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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