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Ontario PhD Graduate Stream

Ontario PhD Graduate Stream
The Ontario PhD Graduate stream allows international students who have completed a Ph.D. degree at a qualified university in Ontario to move to the province permanently without needing a job offer.

Applicants who are nominated for the Ph.D. Graduate Stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) may apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence status in Canada.

What are the minimum Eligibility Requirements?
You must meet the following requirements to be considered for the OINP Ph.D. Graduate Stream:

  • Have completed all of the prerequisites for a Ph.D. from an eligible Ontario university, including at least two years of the degree requirements while legally residing and studying in Ontario;
  • Have lived lawfully in Ontario for at least 12 of the previous 24 months prior to the application deadline;
    ○ To demonstrate that this condition has been met, you must provide proof that includes your full name and residence in Ontario. For instance, a phone bill, a motor insurance policy, a hydro/energy bill, a lease agreement, and so forth.
  • Have enough money and/or income to cover your own and their dependent family members’ settlement costs (whether or not the family members are accompanying you or not);
    ○ You can calculate the amount of settlement money they’ll need based on the size of their family. The federal government updates the amount every year. A spouse or common-law partner, children under the age of 22, and their children are all considered dependent family members.
  • You must submit your application within two years of receiving your Ph.D.;
  • Plan to reside and work in the province of Ontario;
  • If you are living in Canada at the time of the application, you must have legal status (student permit, work permit, or visitor record). Potential applicants who are on implied status at the time of application are accepted by the OINP.

How Do I Apply?

What To Do Before Applying
The OINP advises prospective students to check the eligibility criteria, document checklist, and confirm that the application is complete before submitting it. All documents submitted to the e-Filing system in Ontario must be readable and clear.

Applicants in the Ph.D. Graduate Stream may be asked to submit extra documents by the OINP throughout the application review process.
What To Do When Applying
It may take up to two hours to apply for the Ph.D. Graduate Stream when using the OINP’s e-Filing portal.

After submitting an application using the OINP’s online system, the applicant has 14 calendar days to finish and submit the application before it expires and is withdrawn. Before making a payment, applicants are encouraged to complete an application. The applicant will not be able to make adjustments to an application once it has been sent to the OINP.

Any supporting documents which are not in English or French must be translated and notarized by the applicant. The applicant is responsible for locating a certified translator who is a member of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) and/or obtaining a notarization of documents translated by a translator who is not a member of the ATIO.

If you are in Ontario and are unable to locate an ATIO-accredited translator, the translation must be notarized. The application must be accompanied by a letter detailing the cause and efforts made to seek a qualified translator.

The translation must be notarized if you are applying from outside of Ontario. If a translation from a qualified translator accredited by the ATIO is judged insufficient, the OINP may require applicants to get a translation from a certified translator accredited by the ATIO.

Even if these individuals are certified translators, translations made by the applicant, their representative, or those having personal ties to the applicant will not be approved.

What To Do After Applying
Those interested in applying for the OINP Ph.D. Graduate Stream will need to reapply if the OINP considers their application incomplete. If inaccurate supporting documents are submitted or documents that need translation are not verified or notarized, the OINP may deem the application unsatisfactory.

Applicants who think the OINP made an error in their judgment may seek an internal review of their application within a period of 30 days of receiving the decision notice (if they live in Canada) or 60 calendar days if they live outside of Canada.

Unless the evidence was not reasonably available at the time of application, the request cannot contain any evidence that was not provided to the program before the decision was made. The internal review decision of the OINP is final.

Applicants will get a Letter of Nomination (Nomination Approval Letter) and a Confirmation of Nomination (OINP Certificate of Nomination) if their application is successful.

What To Do Upon Nomination
After receiving a nomination from the OINP, the next move is to submit a Canadian permanent residence application to IRCC within six (6) months of receiving the nomination. With their permanent residency application to IRCC, applicants must submit a copy of both the Letter of Nomination and the OINP Confirmation of Nomination.

According to the OINP, a nomination does not ensure that an application for Canadian permanent residency with IRCC will be approved. Nominees must continue to establish their desire to remain in Ontario on a reasonable basis.

While nominations are valid for six months, the candidate may request an extension of the Nomination Certificate if it is no longer valid and meets the following criteria:

  • IRCC rejects the permanent residence application because it is incomplete, needing the filing of a new application; or
  • You are having trouble obtaining supporting documentation for her permanent residency application (such as a police criminal background check) and have yet to apply to IRCC.


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