Effective April 19, 2012, Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will be able to provide assistance to certain graduates who require a way to maintain or establish status in Canada while they transition to permanent resident (PR) status in Ontario.
An open work permit 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 work permit would allow those nominees to return to Ontario and to obtain employment, which would assist their successful establishment as PRs.
Who can apply
You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for an open work permit 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 work permit;
- Must currently hold valid status as a temporary resident (TR), or be eligible to apply for restoration of TR status, if in Canada;
- Must have received a letter of support issued by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
How to apply for an open work permit
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 port of entry (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 duration of these open work permits will be eighteen (18) months, or until the expiry date of the applicant’s travel document, whichever is shorter.