Skip to content


Ontario’s PhD Graduate stream is for individuals who have a doctoral degree from an Ontario university and want to immigrate to Ontario as permanent residents. This is your complete guide to the OINP PhD Graduate stream.

Successful applicants to this Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will receive a provincial nomination from Ontario, allowing the applicant to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent resident status. The spouse/common-law partner of the applicant, as well as any dependent children, may also be included on the application.

Do you prefer to learn by video? Check out this webinar on the OINP presented by Moving2Canada in partnership with Doherty Fultz Immigration — an immigration consultancy based in Ontario — and one of Moving2Canada’s trusted partners!

Eligibility requirements

Please note: this stream uses a points-based ranking system to invite candidates to apply for nomination. Meeting the minimum eligibility criteria does not guarantee you will receive an invitation. Refer to the section below for details on the points breakdown.

In order to be eligible for the OINP PhD Graduate stream, candidates must meet the following requirements:

PhD degree from an eligible university in Ontario

Candidates must have completed the requirements to obtain a PhD degree from an eligible Ontario university. To qualify for the OINP PhD Graduate stream, at least two years of the PhD studies must have been completed while legally living and studying in Ontario. The PhD must have been completed at one of the eligible Ontario universities listed here:

Eligible Ontario universities — OINP PhD Graduate stream

Language proficiency test

You must take an approved language test demonstrating proficiency in either English or French consistent with (or above) the Canadian Language Benchmark of Level 7 (CLB 7). This test must be less than two years old at the time you submit you application.

Settlement Funds

You must have enough money to support yourself and your dependent family members when you settle in Canada. You can meet this requirement through one or a combination of:

  • 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.
  • annual earnings from ongoing employment in Ontario
  • a job offer in Ontario

The required funds are as follows:

Settlement Funds

Other eligibility criteria

Candidates must meet several additional eligibility criteria in order to apply:

  • have the intention to reside in Ontario
  • have lived legally in Ontario for at least one year in the two years prior to applying
  • apply within two years of completing the requirements necessary to obtain the master’s degree
  • be medically and criminally admissible to Canada

Application procedure

To apply to the OINP PhD Graduate stream, candidates must follow these five steps:

Step One: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)

The OINP PhD Graduate stream uses a points-based ranking system to invite the top-ranked candidates to apply. In order to be considered for an invitation to apply (ITA), candidates must begin by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) using the OINP e-Filing Portal.

After submitting an EOI, candidates will receive a score based on the OINP EOI Selection System.

Step Two: Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

Periodically, the OINP will conduct a draw for candidates. In these draws, invitations will be issued to candidates who have submitted EOIs and received a certain threshold of points.

Step Three: Submit an application for provincial nomination

Once a candidates receives an invitation to apply (ITA), they are given 14 calendar days to submit an application. These applications can be submitted electronically using a ONe-key account. Applications require extensive personal information and supporting documentation — ensure you’re ready if you receive an ITA.

Step Four: Receive a provincial nomination

The processing time varies for OINP applications. Generally, an application will be processed somewhere between 30 and 150 days. If an application is approved, the applicant receives a formal provincial nomination from the province of Ontario.

Step Five: Submit a federal application for permanent resident status

With a provincial nomination, candidates are eligible to submit an application to the federal government for permanent resident status. This application will include extensive personal information and supporting documentation — similar to the application for provincial nomination.

Notably, the PhD Graduate stream is not aligned with Canada’s Express Entry system — this means that the applications are processed at a slower pace. Applicants should be prepared to wait more than one year for applications to be processed.

Ontario’s EOI selection system — points breakdown

The OINP PhD Graduate stream uses a points-based ranking system to assess Expressions of Interest (EOI) submitted by candidates. Periodically, Ontario will invite candidates with a certain threshold of points to apply — refer to the draw history for more details.

The points breakdown is as follows:

Ontario's EOI Selection System — Points Breakdown

OINP Draw Results — Masters Graduate & PhD Graduate streams

These are the most recent draw results for the OINP Masters Graduate and PhD Graduate streams:

OINP Masters & PhD Graduate streams

Want to be the first to find out about the latest PNP updates? Register for a free Moving2Canada account. It only takes a minute and give you access to our newsletters, plus tons of Canadian immigration resources.

About the author

Rebecca Major profile picture
RCIC logo

Rebecca Major

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Rebecca Major is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (R511564) with nearly 15 years of licenced Canadian Immigration experience, gained after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in the UK. She specializes in Canadian immigration at Moving2Canada.
Read more about Rebecca Major
Citation "Ontario International PhD Graduate Stream." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation