Overview

The Masters Graduate Stream is an immigration stream under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

It gives international graduates with an Ontario master’s degree the opportunity to apply for a nomination from the OINP to permanently live and work in Ontario. To determine whether you are eligible to apply to this stream, please carefully review the Masters Graduate stream requirements.

This stream is now operated under an expression of interest system. You can only apply if you first register an expression of interest and are issued an invitation to apply.

Before you apply

1. Make sure you meet the mandatory requirements

This stream has a number of mandatory requirements you must meet before you can apply.

You should only register an expression of interest if you meet these requirements on the date you register.

The information that you provide in your expression of interest will be used to determine if you are issued an invitation to apply.

You will be required to attest that:

  • you have the qualifications set out in your expression of interest
  • you meet all relevant eligibility criteria

A signed copy of the Attestation Form will be required if you are invited to apply.

If it is determined that any information provided in your expression of interest registration and attestation is not accurate, is incorrect, or misleading, your application may be denied and you may be subject to penalties or prosecution

2. Understand the steps to apply

  1. create a profile in the OINP e-Filing Portal
  2. register an expression of interest for the Masters Graduate stream
  3. if you are selected from the candidate pool and receive an invitation to apply to the Masters Graduate stream, you may submit an application online through the OINP e-Filing Portal by taking the following steps:
    • you must submit your application within 14 calendar days of receiving an invitation to apply
    • the application fee is $1,500, payable by Visa, Visa Debit, Mastercard and Mastercard Debit
    • it takes at least two hours to complete the application. You do not have to complete the application in one session. You can save your work and return to it later
    • you can complete the application yourself or have a representative complete it on your behalf

3. Have your supporting documents ready

Mandatory requirements

After you receive an invitation to apply, you may apply to the Masters Graduate stream. You must meet all the requirements in the categories below in order for your application to be approved. You don’t need a job offer to apply.

Please refer to section 8 of Ontario Regulation 422/17 for more details on each requirement.

1. Expression of interest and invitation to apply

  • You must have received an invitation to apply and applied within the deadline identified.
  • You must demonstrate that you had the qualifications that you claimed you had in the expression of interest that you registered with the OINP and attested to.

2. Education

To qualify, you must have completed the requirements necessary to get a master’s degree.

This means:

  • at least one academic year of full-time study (that is at least 15 hours of instruction per week over the academic year including any period of training in the workplace as part of your studies. Part-time studies may qualify, if the program is equivalent to at least one full-time academic year)
  • the degree is from an eligible university in Ontario (see the the list of eligible Ontario universities below)

You don’t qualify if you are enrolled as a student when you are applying, unless:

  • it is for the purpose of meeting the requirements to be licensed in a regulated occupation in Ontario
  • you are also working full-time in Ontario

You don’t qualify if you have received a bursary, grant or scholarship that requires you return to your home country after you earn your master’s degree. You may only apply after you have fulfilled those commitments and can demonstrate an intention to live in Ontario.

3. Language

You must be able to understand, read, write and speak in English or French at a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 7 or higher.

To prove that you have the mandatory language skills, you must take an approved English or French language test before you submit your application to this stream.

The test must not have been taken more than two years from the time you submit your application, not from the time you received the invitation to apply.

For English tests, we accept:

  • International English Language Testing (IELTS) (General Training test only)
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) (General test only)

For French tests, we accept:

  • Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF)
  • Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF)

Learn more about the English and French language tests.

4. Residency in Ontario

You must have legally lived in Ontario for at least one year in the past two years before you apply.

Note that your one year of residency can be cumulative. This means that there can be gaps provided that all the periods of residency in Ontario add up to 12 months within the past two years before you apply.

5. Settlement funds

You must have enough money to support yourself and your dependent family members when you settle in Canada.

Note that a family member includes your spouse, common law partner and children under the age of 22, including their children.

You can meet this requirement through one or a combination of any of the following:

  1. funds as demonstrated by the balance listed in bank statements, or statements of accounts showing other investments such as non-locked in, fixed term deposits, mutual funds, etc.
  2. annual earnings from ongoing employment in Ontario
  3. a job offer in Ontario

Learn more about the amount of money you must have available in order to apply (see How much money you'll need).

Example: you have checked how much money you must have available and, based on your family size, you must have $29,000 (CAD). You have a job offer in Ontario with an annual wage of $25,000 and you have a balance of $5,000 in your savings account for a total of $30,000. By using a combination of your job offer and bank statement, you would meet the settlements fund requirement.

If you provide bank statements that include a one-time large deposit, we may ask you to provide additional documentation to support that your funds are free of debt or liability.

6. Intention to live in Ontario

You must intend to live in Ontario after you’ve been granted permanent residence. We determine this by examining your ties to Ontario, which can include doing things like:

  • working or having worked in Ontario
  • getting job offers or applying/interviewing for jobs
  • studying
  • volunteering
  • leasing or owning property
  • visiting
  • having professional networks and affiliations, family ties and personal relationships

7. Residency at time of application

At the time you apply, you must be either:

  • living in Ontario with legal status (study permit, work permit, visitor record)
  • living outside Canada

You don’t qualify if you’re living in a province or territory in Canada other than Ontario at the time you apply.

8. Legal status in Canada (if applicable)

If you are applying from within Canada, you must have legal status (a visitor record, study permit, or work permit) at the time you apply and should maintain that status until the time of nomination.

You may apply if you are in ‘implied status’ at the time of your OINP application submission. ‘Implied status’ means that you submitted an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to renew/extend your temporary status document (a visitor record, work permit, study permit) before its expiry date. You can remain in Canada and continue to work or study under the same conditions as your existing permit until a decision is made on your pending IRCC application.

9. Application period

You must submit your application within two years of completing the requirements necessary to obtain your master’s degree.

This means that the date on your degree must be within two years of your OINP application submission date, not the date you received the invitation to apply. For example, if your degree is dated June 1, 2019, you must apply to this stream on or before June 1, 2021.

If you don’t have your degree yet, use the date on the official letter from your university which states when your degree will be granted.

Important: you must have completed your master’s degree before you submit your application.

Supporting documents

You must provide supporting documents to validate the information in your application and to prove you meet the eligibility criteria.

All supporting documents must be scanned and uploaded in your online application.

The Attestation Form must be completed, signed and uploaded in the Required Documents section of the application. The Attestation Form should be signed on the same date that you submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) to the OINP.

Refer to the document checklist for the Masters Graduate stream for a list of mandatory documents.

If a supporting document is not in English or French, you must provide a copy of the document and a translation of the document. Please read Document translation and notarization for more information.

Remember, if you do not upload all the required documents, your application will be returned as incomplete. Please do not include additional, non-mandatory documents as this will delay the processing of your application.

Cost to apply

Your application fee is $1,500 and covers the cost of processing your application.

We only accept Visa, Visa Debit, Mastercard and Mastercard Debit.

Refunds

We will only refund the fee if we find that your application is incomplete, or you withdraw your application before we start processing it.

We will not refund the fee if your application is unsuccessful.

You can check the status of your application through your account in the OINP e-Filing Portal.

Use a representative to apply

Authorizing a paid representative to assist you can be helpful but is not necessary. If you choose to use a representative, please follow the steps on how to appoint one. This will ensure you retain access to, and control of, your online application and allow you to change or end your authorization if need be.

Representatives are not allowed to appoint themselves. This means that you must appoint your representative to act on your behalf using your own OINP profile in the e-Filing system. You must create your profile using your personal email address and phone number. Representatives are not to use any other email address for your profile or create one themselves for the purpose of a registration with the OINP.

Registrations in the expression of interest system that were created by self-appointed representatives are invalid and will be withdrawn by the OINP. This means that if it is determined that you did not create your ONe-key account OR you did not authorize your representative correctly, your registration will be withdrawn.

Applications submitted by self-appointed representatives who created a ONe-key account and/or expression of interest for you are invalid and will be withdrawn by the OINP. Your application will be returned as incomplete and your application fee will be refunded.

The OINP does not manage ONe-key accounts and we cannot help you if you lose access to your account. To keep access to and control of your account, never share your ONe-key password with anyone, including your representative.

Submit an application

To apply under this stream, you must first create a profile in the OINP e-Filing Portal. After creating a profile, you must then register an expression of interest for the Masters Graduate stream.

If you receive an invitation to apply, you may then submit an application for nomination. Carefully follow the application instructions.

Your application will be processed according to current processing times and you will be notified of the decision to approve or refuse your application.

After you apply

Changes in personal information

You must notify us if there are any changes to the information provided in your application, including (but not limited to) changes in:

  • contact information
  • immigration status (expiration or change in work permit)
  • family composition due to:
    • marriage or common-law relationship
    • birth of a child
    • change of custody of a child
    • divorce/separation
    • death

You can make changes to your telephone number, email address and country of residence by logging into the OINP e-Filing Portal and clicking on My Profile on your main page. After the change has been made click Save.

For all other changes or to correct a data entry error (for example, you misspelled your name):

  1. complete and save a Change of Personal Information form
  2. send the completed form by email as an attachment to ontarionominee@ontario.ca
  3. use the subject line “Application Change Notice – [File number]”
  4. if you are requesting a correction to your name or date of birth please also include a copy of the personal details page of your passport to validate your request

If you are nominated

If your application is successful, you will receive a nomination approval letter and a nomination certificate by email.

Once we notify you, your next step is to apply for permanent residence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), within six months.

You will need to include your nomination approval letter and nomination certificate.

Note: A nomination does not guarantee approval of your application for permanent residence with IRCC.

You may request an extension of your nomination certificate if you applied to IRCC but your application for permanent residence was returned due to being incomplete, or you were delayed in gathering supporting documents (for example, police criminal record check) for your application for permanent residence.

Only requests that comply with the above requirements will be granted.

You can request an extension by emailing the OINP at ontarionominee@ontario.ca with the following information:

  • a letter of explanation describing the reason to extend your nomination certificate; and
  • a copy of the incomplete letter from IRCC (if applicable).

Approval of the nomination

Your nomination is subject to the following condition until you receive permanent residence:

  • you must continue to demonstrate on a reasonable basis an intention to reside in Ontario

If you are not nominated

If your application is unsuccessful, we will let you know by email. If you think we made an error in our decision that led to your application being refused, you may ask for an internal review.

To request an internal review:

  1. download and complete the Notice of Request for Internal Review form. Ensure that you carefully read the instructions on the form.
  2. in a separate document, clearly identify an error or errors in the director’s decision or order that, if not made, would have resulted in the decision or order being decided differently (see subsection 10(1)(a) of Ontario Regulation 421/17 (General))
  3. send the completed Notice of Request for Internal Review form and all supporting documents by email to internalreview-revisioninterne@ontario.ca. You must email us within 30 days of receiving your notice of refusal.

Do not include any new information that you did not include in your original application, unless that information was not reasonably available to you at the time the decision or order was made.

New information that you did not include in your application because of an oversight will not be considered.

Internal review requests must be sent by email. We will not accept requests by mail, fax or in-person.

Eligible Ontario universities offering masters programs

To qualify for the Masters Graduate stream, your master’s degree must be from one of the universities listed below:

  • Algoma University
  • Brescia University College (Affiliated with the University of Western Ontario)
  • Brock University
  • Carleton University
  • Dominican University College
  • Huron University College (Affiliated with the University of Western Ontario)
  • King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario
  • Lakehead University
  • Laurentian University
  • McMaster University
  • Nipissing University
  • Ontario College of Art & Design University
  • Queen’s University
  • Royal Military College of Canada
  • Ryerson University
  • Saint Paul University (Federated with the University of Ottawa)
  • St. Jerome’s University (Federated with the University of Waterloo)
  • Trent University
  • University of Guelph
  • University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of St. Michael’s College (Federated with the University of Toronto)
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Trinity College (Federated with the University of Toronto)
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of Windsor
  • Victoria University (Federated with the University of Toronto)
  • Western University
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • York University

Contact us

Ask us a question by email at ontarionominee@ontario.ca or by phone from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at:

Technical problems

If you are experiencing technical issues with applying online, send us an email at ontarionominee@ontario.ca and include:

  • your file number
  • description of the problem
  • screenshots
  • your full name and contact information

We will review your email and respond to you as soon as possible.

Updated: November 02, 2021
Published: January 14, 2019