Ontario Reopens Graduate Immigration Streams

A Popular Path to Immigration in Canada Has Opened Again for International Students in Ontario

Beyond attracting skilled foreign workers, Canada is an educational centre for students from around the world. Each province has its own immigration streams, including programs for international students. Provinces are able to nominate an allocated number of applicants each year, and various streams will usually reopen periodically throughout the year. These provincial nominee programs help provinces attract talent for various industries, along with a path to permanent residence.

On January 29, 2018, Ontario’s two popular graduate immigration streams reopened. The Masters Graduate and Ph.D. Graduate streams fall under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) and are meant to retain international graduates who studied in the province. Unlike other economic immigration streams, applicants for these graduate streams do not need a job offer.

However, these streams do have a limited number of applications. Furthermore, they operate on a first-come, first-served intake, so they often fill up quickly. The Masters Graduate stream closed within an hour of opening this year, though the Ph.D. stream remained open beyond the first day.

Both streams reopened periodically in 2017, and the Masters stream should stay open until Ontario has fulfilled its allocation for the 2018 provincial nominations. The OINP allocation number for 2018 is 6,600 people throughout the province’s various streams.

Due to research opportunities and quality of education, Ontario is a top destination for international students, especially post-graduates. If applicants are approved for a provincial nomination through these graduate streams, they will receive a ‘base’ provincial nomination certificate and may be able to apply for permanent residency status. Although base streams are not Express Entry-aligned, these streams still provide applicants with a path to obtaining permanent residency.

In an effort to attract the world’s top Ph.D. students, the University of Toronto recently decreased its tuition fees for international Ph.D. students. The dramatic decrease in tuition means most international Ph.D. students will pay the same tuition as domestic students. Tuition for the 2017/2018 school year for international students was $23,692.14 plus additional fees, while tuition was only $8,480.14 plus fees for domestic students.

This significant reduction in tuition for international Ph.D. students could make the University of Toronto even more appealing to students from around the globe. The university has already seen an increase in applications from international students, particularly from the US, India, and the Middle East. This increased appeal for Canadian, and especially Ontario, universities could be directly related to the election of U.S. President Donald Trump and his immigration policies.

In comparison to current US policies, Canada seems much more appealing to newcomers, and students are no exception. The paths to immigration in Canada are accessible to the world’s leading graduate students because we value diversity in our schools, workplaces, and society.