Ontario’s Masters Graduate Stream is once again closed for registrations. This program has been opened to accept new registrants three times in 2017 with the longest opening only lasting approximately 2 days. The two other occasions it has opened to accept new registrations, May 1, 2017, and October 12, 2017, it has closed the same day. While applicants do not require their entire applications be completed in this short time frame they must be one of the first available to register an account. Once an applicant has registered their profile they only have 14 days to complete the application.
This current mode of application is problematic as it requires that applicants constantly check the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) updates page so that they can ensure that they are aware of the opening of the program. Additionally, applicants who do notice that the program has been reopened and try to register a profile are often put in a queue requiring that they wait for their opportunity to complete the registration process. This method of accepting applications results in a race to the finish line and is not functional for many eligible applicants who are not constantly available and are not able to devote a large portion of their time to following OINP’s updates and waiting to register their profile. Furthermore, while registering a profile does not require that applicants have their applications complete, they have 14 days after registering to complete their application. As such, it is very important that applicants have completed their IELTS examination and have the necessary settlement funds before setting out to apply under this stream. Applicants who do miss the opportunity to register their profiles also may face an issue in continuing to meet the program requirements. Applicants are only eligible to apply for this stream within two years of their Master’s degree be granted to them. For this reason, applicants that do come to Ontario to study for their Master’s degree as a method of obtaining permanent residence must understand that this program is limited by quotas and although they may qualify to apply they may not receive this opportunity easily.