A few of my former students just finished their finals and are getting ready to graduate. I’m so proud of them as it’s been a tough couple of years, including studying remotely, and not being able to travel home.
If you are a soon-to-be grad, congratulations! The world is your oyster. If you plan to settle in Canada, consider these steps.
👨🎓 If you are from an eligible school/program and have met the requirements, apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). You may be eligible to start working while you are waiting for your WP.
👨🎓 Plan your immigration pathways carefully. If you are residing in the province of BC, look into the BC PNP International Graduate program. To be eligible, you must obtain a permanent full-time job offer in a skilled occupation (NOC A, B). You may need to take the language test. Your BC employer also needs to meet the requirements for this stream.
👨🎓 Getting a permanent job offer may be a challenging task if you are a fresh college grad. For those in tech jobs, our province offers a special BC PNP Tech stream with more relaxed requirements – for instance, the job offer does not need to be permanent. BC also conducts special tech-only draws and prioritizes BC PNP Tech application reviews, which means that you may be able to obtain permanent residency sooner. Your job offer must be in a specific NOC – see welcomebc.ca for a list of eligible occupations or contact us.
👨🎓 Finished a grad program (Master’s or PhD) in agriculture, biosciences, IT, engineering, health, math, physics, or natural resources? You won’t need a job offer, to apply for PR if you plan to reside in BC and contribute to our beautiful province.
👨🎓 While there’s no need to wait to obtain work experience if you apply via BC PNP, keep in mind that this is a points-based system and how fast you’ll apply will depend on your job offer, language skills, prior work experience, or the community you choose to settle in.
👨🎓 Besides the provincial programs, BC international graduates may be eligible to submit their profile to the Express Entry pool and apply via one of the federal immigration programs: Canadian Experience Class (after obtaining 12 months of skilled work experience) or Foreign Skilled Worker (if they had prior work experience). The benefits of federal programs are faster processing, & smaller fees. The cons are a high score you need to have, to be invited to apply. Thus your age, work experience, language skills matter.
👨🎓 Can you get the best of both worlds- BC PNP and Express Entry? You bet, you can! Keep in mind, you must meet the requirements for both programs.
If you would like to discuss these options in detail and build an immigration strategy for the upcoming months, please reach out to book a Pathways to PR for International Grads consultation.