To mark the beginning of another school year filled with opportunity, the Ontario government announced that international students graduating with Master’s degrees from publicly funded Ontario universities can apply for permanent residence without a job offer.
This recent change to the Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) comes on the heels of a similar announcement made in April for PhD graduates.
“These changes will help Ontario attract the best and brightest international students, and help us compete in the new knowledge-based economy,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, who made the announcement. “International students bring with them so much talent. Helping them put their skills to work is an economic imperative for Ontario, and it’s the right thing to do.”
In the new global economy, 70 per cent of new jobs will require a post-secondary education. And for Ontario, with its aging population, this means that our labour force needs will increasingly be filled by immigration.
For Ontario to be competitive, it needs to attract and retain the best and brightest international students. International students graduating with Master’s degrees from Ontario universities come with highly marketable skills, and they can easily integrate into Ontario’s workforce.
Successful nominees through PNP, and their dependents, can get permanent resident status within nine to 12 months. Fast-tracking permanent residency for these students gives them the opportunity to stay in Ontario – which is beneficial to them and for all Ontarians.
Yikai Zhang was recently awarded a Master of Laws degree from the University of Toronto, and is an Opportunities Ontario: PNP nominee in the Master’s Graduate Stream.
Ms. Zhang is very grateful to the Provincial Nominee Program, saying, “The door that has been opened for me will lead me to a whole new world. I will do my best to contribute more to Ontario and Canada. Dream big . . . what would life be without dreams?”
More information on the Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program can be found at www.ontario.ca/newcomers.