The International Student Category offered by Opportunities Ontario, Ontario’s provincial nominee program, includes international students who have a job offer from an employer located in Ontario. The International Student with a Job Offer Stream is different from the PhD Graduate Stream and Masters Graduate Stream because it includes international students who are:
- Graduating from two-year undergraduate diploma/degree programs; or
- Graduating from one year post-graduate degree/certificate programs, even if they are not considered Masters-level programs.
An international student may apply under this stream while completing his or her last semester, or within two years after graduation. He or she may also be a graduate of any eligible publicly funded Canadian college or university, not just an educational institution located in Ontario.
In order to apply to Opportunities Ontario as an international student with a job offer, the following must apply:
- Applicants must have completed at least half of their studies in Canada, and be graduating (or have graduated) from an eligible publicly funded Canadian college or university. A list of eligible colleges and universities appears here.
- Applicants must have completed a minimum of a two-year diploma or degree program, while studying on a full-time basis. One-year post-graduate degree programs and certificate programs, which require a previous degree or diploma (which may have been obtained abroad), are also eligible.
- Applicants must have a job offer in a managerial, professional or skilled trades occupation (NOC Type 0 and Skill Levels A or B); they may refer to the NOC Matrix to determine if a particular position qualifies. Surprisingly, the job offer does not have to be related to the field of study.
- Applicants must have a job offer that is permanent and full-time. A full-time job consists of 1,560 hours of paid employment in a 12-month period. The following is not considered full-time work, even if workers are employed for 1,560 hours in a 12-month period:
- Seasonal, cyclical or part-time employees regardless of their working hours
- Subcontractors or agency workers
- Employees who do not work on the company’s premises, such as employees who work from home or employees who work in a “virtual” location and serve the employer by telecommuting
However, the proposed wage must only meet the entry-level wage for the occupation, instead of the normal prevailing wage required for applicants in the General Category (which is used to nominate foreign workers).
- Applicants must apply within two years of the date on which they received their degree or diploma, or in the alternative, during the last semester of completing their degree or diploma (in which case they will have to provide transcripts which indicate that they will be graduating at the end of the semester).
- Applicants must be in legal status, if they are presently in Canada.
International students do not need to have any previous work experience. They may also apply for an approved position from within Canada or from overseas. However, international students subsidized through Canadian International Development Agency grants or a home country scholarship that includes return obligations will not be eligible until such obligations have been fulfilled.
As is the case in the General Category, before an applicant can apply under the International Student with a Job Offer Stream, his or her the prospective employer must first apply to establish that it qualifies and that the proposed position falls under Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B. Prospective employers must:
- Have been in active business for at least three years (corporations, limited partnerships and sole proprietorships);
- Have a minimum of $1,000,000 in gross revenue for the most recent fiscal year (for companies inside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)), or have a minimum of $500,000 in gross revenue (companies outside the GTA);
- Have a minimum of five permanent full-time employees (for companies inside the GTA), or have a minimum of three permanent full-time employees (companies outside the GTA); and
- Have business premises in Ontario where the prospective nominee will work.
Once the prospective employer has been issued an Employer Pre-screen Approved Position Form for the proposed position, the applicant will have 60 days to submit his or her nominee application form. Once the nominee application has been approved, Opportunities Ontario will issue a nomination certificate to the applicant, who can then use it to seek permanent residence at a Canadian consulate abroad.
Blaney McMurtry LLP
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