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Ontario PNP: What to know about new postgraduate streams

Ontario PNP
Ontario has introduced new immigration pathways for postgraduates, inviting more international talent into its pipeline. Source: Mazen Mahdi/AFP

International graduates vying for the Ontario PNP (Provincial Nominee Programme) now have two additional options: the Master’s Graduate and PhD Graduate streams. If you have a postgraduate qualification from a Canadian university, this may be your best bet to seek permanent residence (PR) via the Expression of Interest (EOI) system.

Among the highlights of the new postgraduate streams are that candidates may apply without a permanent job offer in Canada. Though you may not need a job offer to get in, you must at least prove that you have sufficient funds to settle down in Canada. At the same time, candidates must also prove that they have lived in Ontario for at least 12 months in the past two years. Of course, you must also intend to live and work permanently in Ontario, and not pursue further academic studies.

The Provincial Nominee Programme is for workers who “have the skills, education and work experience to contribute to the economy of a specific province or territory.” “want to live in that province,” and seeks a Canadian PR application.

Ontario PNP

You may now apply for Canadian PR via Ontario PNP at any time. Source: Philip Fong/AFP

Ontario PNP invites more postgraduates to Canada

As CIC News points out, applicants could previously only register their profile when the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) opened its online portal. With the introduction of the Master’s Graduate and PhD Graduate streams, international graduates may now apply for Canadian PR via Ontario PNP at any time. Bear in mind, though, that a successful EOI registration does not guarantee a PR nomination.

You must first submit and build your profile in the EOI system, where it is valid for up to 12 months. You can withdraw it at any time, or renew it once it expires. Then, wait for your invitation to the OINP; at this point, you must meet all eligibility requirements of your EOI stream to obtain PR.

EOI determines candidate eligibility

The Ontario PNP is based on the EOI metric, which ranks candidates based on human capital and labour market factors including age, work experience, and education. This allows the state to identify the best candidates that suit labour market needs. Under the EOI, candidates are able to apply more efficiently to specific immigration streams — as long as their academic qualifications are dated within two years of the OINP application submission.

Previously, candidates could qualify for the Ontario PNP under three systems: In-Demand Skills, International Student, and Foreign Worker streams. The introduction of new postgraduate streams widens the net of opportunity for international graduates; prior to this, they relied heavily on the International Student stream.

Ontario PNP

The new streams are for international postgraduates who want to live and work permanently in Ontario. Source: Olivier Monnier/AFP

Candidates must strengthen EOI profile

Now that the Master’s Graduate and PhD Graduate streams are in the picture, you may be eager to beef up your EOI profile for nomination.¬†As your aim is to settle down in Ontario, you will have to prove your connection to the state. You can do this by sharing records of your employment, education, professional networks, familial relationships, property holdings, as well as job interviews and offers.

As part of your eligibility assessment, your language ability will also be ranked against the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB). So polish your reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English and French; you get points for fluency in each national language.