How international students can increase their score for Ontario citizenship nomination

Ontario PNP
Take your first steps towards Canadian citizenship by learning the PNP scoring system. Source: Fred Tanneau/AFP

International graduates from Canadian institutions can realise their permanent residency dreams via the Ontario PNP, which is short for Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP). Since approving the Expression of Interest (EOI) selection system in spring, Ontario’s International Student Stream has recently invited its first batch of candidates to the PNP draw. This citizenship pathway is now based on EOI points, which ranks candidates based on human capital and labour market factors including age, work experience, and education.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Programme (OINP) is dedicated to the Employer Job Offer category for foreign workers and international students. Candidates of the International Student Stream must have profiles in the EOI pool with a score of at least 77. As this stream seeks to grow the number of skilled graduates in the job market, you must be going to Canada to work.

In other words, adults who hold a postgraduate degree from a Canadian institution — and with work experience there — would make ideal candidates. Though the age factor may be out of your control, there are still ways you can collect those EOI points for the Ontario PNP. Here are some suggestions to boost your score.

Ontario PNP

A sign of encouragement is seen as Toronto copes with a shutdown on April 1, 2020 in Ontario, Canada. Source: Cole Burston/Getty Images/AFP

Earn a higher qualification

Your educational background is one of the main points of consideration in EOI. Having a PhD earns you 10 points, while a master’s degree gets eight and a bachelor’s degree gets six. You also get extra points for having more than one Canadian credential.

Your field of study matters, too, based on the job demands in Ontario. For example, engineering and healthcare qualifications score higher than business and arts degrees. So yes, graduate school will help increase your odds of eventually clinching PR.

Secure a job in Canada

To get invited for the OINP International Student stream, you must first secure employment within Canada. You will receive points based on the type of job; specifically, how it measures on the National Occupational Classification (NOC) scale.

NOC type 0 refer to management positions. NOC type A consists of professional occupations requiring a university degree such as doctors, engineers, and accountants. NOC Type B covers technical and trade occupations like construction contractors, firefighters, and certain sales and retail jobs.

Besides that, securing a higher wage would also bump up your EOI points. Annual salaries above 40,000 Canadian dollars score three points.

Brush up on English and French

As part of your eligibility assessment, the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) ranks your language ability out of 10. So polish your reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English and French. You get five points for fluency in each national language.

Have an Ontario PNP game plan

Since pandemic travel restrictions still prevent most international movements, the best thing you can do now is prepare. Start by drafting a timeline by answering these questions: When do you want to apply for citizenship? What career do you want to build in Canada? Are you sufficiently qualified for it, and if not, how can you get there?

It’s also important to keep abreast of immigration updates. Follow the federal and state immigration accounts on social media, listen to what ministers are saying, and look out for new opportunities such as additional draws or streams. Engage with an agent if you can afford one; otherwise, link up with a friend or family member who is familiar with the Canadian immigration system.

Once you’re confident of your Ontario PNP game plan, register your EOI and wait for your OINP invitation.