Various options for PhD Immigration to Canada in 2020

(Last Updated On: December 30, 2019)

As a part of its immigration drive, Canada is inviting a lot of skilled, educated graduate, post graduate and PhD candidates to apply and immigrate to Canada. PhD graduates certainly hold better score than other graduates holding masters or bachelors degree graduates. This blog post focuses on different ways a PhD holder can immigrate and get a permanent residency (PR) to Canada and become a permanent resident. In addition to regular Federal Express Entry system there are few PNP (Provincial Nomination Programs) for PhD graduates(like OINP PhD graduate stream, International Post Graduate stream of British Columbia(BC)) where every province based on its current business and economic demands, configures it’s immigrants intake policies as per its current needs. We will discuss both the options in detail in this blog post.

Every skilled worker is recommended to complete an Express Entry profile as a first step to permanently immigrate to Canada. But it does not guarantee that you will receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply) for PR (Permanent Residency) as ITA is based on your score in Express Entry pool which is evaluated by CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System).

  1. For Outland Candidates
    • Skilled worker immigration
    • Canadian experience class
  2. For Inland Candidates
    • OINP (Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program) for PhD International Graduate Stream
    • BC PNP (BC Provincial Nominee Program) for International Post-Graduate category under Skills Immigration

1. Outland Candidates

1.1. Federal Skilled Worker Immigration

Federal Skilled worker immigration is one of 3 immigration programs under Express Entry.


  • Minimum 1 year experience in a skilled occupation with NOC skill level 0, A or B.
  • Proven language proficiency in English or French with minimum CLB 7 score.
  • Educational Credential Equivalence (ECA) report stating Canadian equivalency of doctorate degree earned from foreign university.

Note: Additional 5 points are awarded for any previous study in Canada.

1.2. Canadian Experience Class

If you’ve worked in Canada for minimum 1 year in last 36 months and hold a PhD degree, you’re eligible for Canadian Experience Class under Express Entry.


  • Dependening in level of your job, you need to achieve minimum of CLB 5 or CLB 7 of English language proficiency test.
  • Minimum 1 year of experience in Canada.

If you’ve worked in Quebec then Quebec Experience Class is another immigrant program by Quebec which you need to apply to.

2. Inland Candidates

2.1. OINP – PhD International Graduate Stream

PhD Graduate Stream is one of two sub-categories under Human Capital Category of OINP (Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program) which gives international graduates holding Ontario PhD degree, opportunity to live and work in Ontario


1. Apply through OINP e-Filing portal.

2. Ontario government will nominate you for PR.

3. Apply for PR through IRCC Express Entry portal.


  1. You must have legally lived in Ontario for at least one year in the past two years before you apply.
  2. PhD degree must be awarded by eligible university in Ontario.
  3. At least two years of your PhD studies must have been completed while legally living and studying in Ontario.

2.2. International Post-Graduate category of the BC PNP

Master’s or doctorate degree in:

1. biological and biomedical sciences

2. statistics / mathematics

3. engineering / engineering technology

4. computer and information sciences

5. physical sciences

6. health professions

7. natural resources conservation


  1. Within last 3 years, you must be awarded a PhD degree from eligible post secondary institute in BC.
  2. You have legal immigration status in Canada.

In addition to this, there are few other streams by difference provinces which directly or indirectly benefits PhD candidates. Hope this blog helps enlightening the immigration pathways for PhD candidate.

If you hold a PhD and want to immigrate to Canada, we at ImmigrateToCanada can help. Just click the call button at the bottom right of the page to discuss more or even if just to say hi .. 🙂



You can post comments in this post.

  • I m planning to do my PhD in chemistry next year in Canada. Will my PhD be considered there as work experience as i’ll be working for research projects and as TA under my supervisor. So that i can apply for my PR after 1 year, or there’s some other to get PR while studying there as early as possible.

    Khushboo 3 weeks ago Reply

  • I am the Philosophy of the Culture administration management Thailand. And I am Chinese, may I immigrate to Canada?

    Hongjun Zhang 1 month ago Reply

  • Hi,
    I’m a 4th year PhD student (PhD candidate) in agriculture (USA), and I also obtained my bachelor degree in the US. The question is I don’t have the graduate diploma yet, how do I do the education assessment to prove that I’m eligible for the application? Or how does the immigration officers verify my identity? I used WES to do the assessment but they only assess obtained diplomas. So I was wondering of how to prove my PhD status, now?

    Thank you!

    Stephanie 1 month ago Reply

  • Hello
    I am pursuing my PhD from Agriculture University India in subject of Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology with research topic in Nanobiotechnology. I expect to complete it in 2021. What are the chances of getting PR in Canada after that. I want to move as soon as possible and Do I need IELTS GT or IELTS academic test results?

    Sam 2 months ago Reply

    • You will need IELTS academic only if you intend to pursue studies in Canada. All other cases, you will need only IELTS general.

      admin 2 months ago Reply

  • Hi,

    I am a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, from outside Canada. I also have relevant engineering job-experience outside Canada of 2-3 years. I have a prospective postdoctoral opportunity in Quebec, which I will be joining when international travel resumes. After working in Quebec for some time, however, I would like to get to apply for PR and settle in an English speaking province. Will my work-experience in Quebec be a hurdle ? Which province do you suggest for a prospective immigrant like me ?

    RAJIB SHARMA 2 months ago Reply

  • I have recently completed my PHd in data science from India.
    Would like to immigrate to Canada.
    Would like more information regarding that.


    Pratik Ghosh 2 months ago Reply

  • I have a Doctorate degree in Mathematics and a Senior lecturer in one of the Federal Universities in Nigeria. I have the following IELTS scores: Reading 5. 0, Reading 6.0, Listening 6.5 and Speaking 7. 0.
    With the information above, Will I be able to get PR via any route in Canada. Thanks

    John sola k 2 months ago Reply

  • I hold a PhD in management with specialisation in HRM, How do I immigrate to Canada to work?

    Esmond Naalu Kuuyelleh 3 months ago Reply

  • Hi dear Admin
    I have Ph.D. (Microbiology) from Aligarh Muslim University, India and I am working as assistant Professor in Saudi Arabia from last 6 year, For permanent resident (PR) by any rout, IELTS score required or not ?

    Farhan 3 months ago Reply

    • IELTS score is required in almost every route.

      admin 3 months ago Reply

  • I’m doing PhD in livestock extension and i’m from Pakistan. I have 1.6 years of research experience as research associate at University of Agriculture Faisalabad. Is there any chance to get PR in Canada if i apply.

    Salman Asghar 3 months ago Reply

    • Yes, many options are open(there is nothing specific to PhD yet but with your level of education, there could be a lot of other options).

      admin 3 months ago Reply

  • Hi. I got a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences in the US. I have been working in US as a scientist for 5 years. I wonder if I can take the express route. Do I need to take IELTS?

    Jutamas 3 months ago Reply

    • Yes, you will need to take IELTS

      admin 3 months ago Reply

  • Hello,

    I hold a MBA from a french university.

    What is my chance to get the visa for Ontario?

    Thks, Pierre

    Pierre 5 months ago Reply

    • your chances depand on many other factors as well.

      admin 5 months ago Reply

  • I’m doing PhD in Environmental Sciences and i’m from Pakistan. I have 3 years of teaching experience at school and college. Is there any chance to get PR in Canada if i apply.

    Mehwish Gul 6 months ago Reply

  • Hi,

    I’m Currently doing my PhD in mathematics and Statistics in USA. I’m planing to graduate in 2021. I’m seeking for opportunities to work in Canada. What is the best method to immigrate to Canada for me?

    Kosman Rajapaksha 6 months ago Reply

  • I have done PhD in Statistics from India. Have around 5 years of industry experience in Data Science / Data Analytics.
    What are chances of me securing a PR ?

    Rahul Sharma 7 months ago Reply

  • Dear Admin
    I hold a PhD in Medicine from Japan, and cannot go back to Yemen my home country
    what are the chances that I can get a Permanent residency there. ?
    and how long the process will take?
    thank you in advance

    Mohammed 8 months ago Reply

    • Timeline varies from stream to stream. e.g EE takes atmost 6 months, depends upon which stream you apply in.

      admin 8 months ago Reply

  • I am holding ph.d in electronic commerce and cyber crimes, master in electronic commerce and cyber laws and multiple professional qualification as chartered secretary from india and UK, accepted in Canada division, will I be able to get pr in PhD category

    Dr Aqueel Ahmed Mulla 8 months ago Reply

    • I am not sure which category you are talking about, there is no PhD specific category open as of yet.

      admin 8 months ago Reply

  • Hello
    i m veterinarian and PhD currently i m living in south korea i have plan to shift to cananda how much chances i have and do i need GRE general ??

    Waseem Khan 8 months ago Reply

    • You dont need GRE, you will need IELTS to apply to streams such as EE.

      admin 8 months ago Reply

  • I have done my PHD in political science (India). Is there any option for me to get PR in Canada. My ielts overall score in 7.

    Yogesh 8 months ago Reply

    • There is no stream open at the moment which gives advantage for a PhD, you have to go through the normal express entry route.

      admin 8 months ago Reply

  • Hello, I hold a PhD in chemistry, Morocco. Unfortunately, I don’t have work experience, and i want to apply for a postdoctoral or work position in Canada.
    Please tell me how can I get a job, and for which immigration program I should apply.

    Ayman 8 months ago Reply

  • Hi, I have PhD from France and a Master from McGill Canada, both over 10 years ago. Does my education degree wave the language test requirements under Federal -skilled workers?

    Majed 8 months ago Reply

  • Hi,

    I am intent to pursue PhD studies in one of Ontario universities, does this help to get PR while studying their?


    Abdelmalek Messisha 8 months ago Reply

    • It definitely does. Some part of the work hours that you do, can count towards your Canadian experience.

      admin 8 months ago Reply

      • And if a PhD stream opens for Ontario province, you hit a bonanza !

        admin 8 months ago Reply

  • I am a Phd holder on Sociology (Social Science), I did my Phd in France can I get the PR in Canada,? what is the salary range for PhD holders

    Selvarajah Kantharuban 9 months ago Reply

    • There might not be any salary difference on the basis of PhD unless its an extremely niche job requiring a PhD, salary ranges depend more on job profile and experience. HTH.

      admin 9 months ago Reply

  • I am a phd holder
    MAY 1980 BORN

    RIZUWANA PARWEEN 10 months ago Reply

  • Olubods, You should hop on and apply to Express entry. given that you have the right age and education with IELTS, you should be to secure a PR

    admin 10 months ago Reply

  • I wish to immigrate to Canada so do reply with information that might help. I hold a PhD in Computational Chemical Engineering and currently work as a Software developer in Cape Town, South Africa. I spent 4 months in Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario as a visiting researcher in 2012 and wish to live and work there going forward. What re my chances of gaining a PR, what is cost to me. Thanks

    Olubods 10 months ago Reply

  • I have a PhD degree in physics and looking for pr.

    Prashant 10 months ago Reply

    • Hi prashant,

      As of today there are no specific streams open for PhD. You can however try your luck with express entry federal skilled worker stream based on your experience and education.

      admin 10 months ago Reply

  • Hello

    Prit Benny Malgulwar 11 months ago Reply

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