Ontario’s Masters Graduate Stream opened briefly to new applications from international graduates on April 5.
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) announced the opening in an update published on the morning of April 5. The stream then closed less than an hour later.
The Masters Graduate Stream is one of two immigration programs offered under the OINP’s International Student Category. The other stream is open to PhD graduates who have completed a degree from an eligible Ontario academic institution.
This is a rare occasion where the OINP has opened the Masters Graduate Stream independent of the PhD Graduate Stream.
An interesting feature of the Masters Graduate Stream is that no job offer is required to apply. This stream is designed to help retain international graduates who studied in the province.
Intake limits through this first-come, first-served stream are often reached quickly. Ontario did not reveal how many applications it is accepting in this intake period.
The Masters Graduate Stream has already opened once in 2018, on January 29, and reached its intake limit within hours of opening.
The OINP said it expects to reopen the Masters Graduate Stream periodically this year until Ontario’s 2018 provincial nomination allocation is fulfilled.
Ontario is expected nominate 6,600 people through its various immigration streams this year. The province is a popular study destination for international students, particularly students looking to pursue higher education.
A provincial nomination issued by to Masters Graduate Stream applicants is considered a ‘base’ provincial nomination certificate. With a provincial nomination certificate, applicants may be in the position to submit an application for permanent residence to the federal government.
A base stream is not aligned with the federal Express Entry system but provides interested individuals a pathway to Canadian permanent residence.
The OINP recommends that applicants review the program application guides before applying in case of criteria changes following the coming into effect of the Ontario Immigration Act on January 1, 2018.
- Must intend to live and work in Ontario.
- Must 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.
- Must submit the application within two years of the date on which the Masters degree was granted.
- Must have legal status (i.e. study permit, work permit, visitor record) if living in Ontario at the time of the application:
- Applicants may be living outside Canada at the time of application; however, individuals living in Canada but outside Ontario are ineligible to apply.
- Candidates do not need to have legal status in Canada if they are applying from outside Canada.
- Must demonstrate an 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).
- Must be able to show a minimum level of savings and/or income in order to support themselves and their dependents.
- Must show that they have resided in Ontario for at least 12 cumulative months in the 24 months before submitting an application.