Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) – Open work permits for Master’s or PhD graduates/nominees
This Operational Bulletin has expired.
Effective as of the date of this publication, Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will use its R204(c) authority under the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement and its Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Annex to facilitate the issuance of open work permits (WPs) for Master’s and PhD graduates who have been nominated by the Province and are awaiting finalization of an application for Permanent Residence (PR).
The purpose of this Operational Bulletin (OB) is to inform officers of Opportunities Ontario: PNP use of its authority under the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement and its TFW Annex to facilitate the issuance of open WPs for Master’s and PhD graduates who have been nominated by the Province under the International Student Category of the Ontario PNP.
The Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement states:
3.2 Canada and Ontario agree that, pursuant to section 204(c) of the IRPR, Canada may issue work permits to TFWs destined to Ontario without requiring a labour market opinion (described in section 203 of the IRPR) when Ontario has provided CIC with a written recommendation to do so.
3.3 In exercising this authority, Ontario may recommend the entry of TFWs whose presence in Ontario will promote economic development priorities in Ontario such as securing significant business or industrial investments, encouraging business competitiveness and productivity, advancing scientific research and development, and encouraging the commercialization of research.
Ontario’s PNP would like to provide assistance to certain graduates who require a means of maintaining or establishing status in Canada while they transition to PR in Ontario. An open WP issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) would provide a bridge from student to worker for those nominees whose temporary authorization to remain in Canada following graduation would expire between the province’s nomination and the anticipated finalization of the student’s PR application. In certain cases, Ontario nominees will have already lost status or left Canada; an open WP would allow those nominees to return to Ontario and to obtain employment which would assist their successful establishment as PRs.
The Foreign Worker Manual (FW 1) will be updated with information regarding this Ontario PNP initiative.
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for an open WP under this initiative:
- Must be a foreign national who is a Master’s or PhD graduate and nominee in Ontario under the Pilot Master’s Graduate Stream or the PhD Graduate Stream of the International Student Category;
- Must either currently reside in Ontario or intend to reside in Ontario for the duration of the WP;
- Must currently hold valid status as a Temporary Resident (TR), or be eligible to apply for restoration of TR status, if in Canada;
- Note: R199 prescribes that only certain foreign nationals may apply for a WP at an inland office of CIC.
- Must apply for their open WP at a visa office overseas or at a Port of Entry (POE) (if eligible), if they have already departed Canada or if they are not described in R199;
- Must have received a letter of support issued by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. (See Appendix A for a sample of this letter.)
Open Work Permit Issuance
- Applications can be submitted to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta (CPC-V) by mail (if applicant is currently in Canada and eligible to apply inland); at a visa office overseas; or directly at a POE (if exempt from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa).
- The letter of support issued by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and a copy of the applicant’s Opportunities Ontario Letter of Nomination must be included with the application.
- The Labour Market Opinion exemption code is T13 in conjunction with R204(c) of the IRPR. (A reminder to officers that exemption code T10 is no longer in use.)
- The work permit should specify that it is only valid for work in the Province of Ontario.
- REMARKS should include the text “TFW-PNP / R204(c)”.
- The duration of these open WPs is eighteen (18) months, or until the expiry date of the applicant’s travel document, whichever is shorter.
The usual work permit fee of $155.00 is applicable.
Appendix A – Sample letter
See Appendix A (PDF, 558 KB) for a sample of the following letter.
Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Provincial Nominee Program
400 University Avenue
Toronto, ON M7A2R9
Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program Certificate Number: [Nfile]
Date of Issue: IssueDate
Exemption Code: T13
Dear Immigration Officer:
The above-named applicant for permanent residence to Canada, a citizen of [Citizenship], was approved as an Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program Nominee. [Name] will be submitting or has already submitted his/her application for permanent residence.
The applicant is nominated under Pilot Master’s Graduate Stream of the International Student Category and is required to reside in Ontario to continue meeting their obligations under the program. To assist this nominee in maintaining his/her temporary authorization in Canada while their permanent resident application is being submitted and processed and to support his/her transition to gainful employment in the province, Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program requests that his/her application for an open work permit in Ontario be processed as soon as possible, pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, R204(c) and section 3.2 and 3.3 of the Temporary Foreign Worker Annex of the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement. This nominee‘s presence in Ontario will promote economic development priorities and have a positive labour market impact on Ontario.
The nominee was instructed to submit this letter and a copy of his/her Opportunities Ontario Letter of Nomination (approval) with an application for the Temporary Work Permit. Given the processing times for permanent resident applications, we suggest an eighteen month validity period for the temporary work permit, unless there are other factors, such as passport expiry date, which would limit this period.
Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program
Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Government of Ontario
- Date Modified: