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An Overview of Immigration Programs for International Graduates in Canada

Austin Campbell



International Graduates in Canada

With many possibilities for potential immigrants like international graduates who want to stay in Canada after graduation can immigrate through various Canadian immigration programs. Students post-graduation may get a chance to work anywhere in Canada for up to three years by getting a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), whereas students can also choose the best immigration programs, depending on several factors like:

  • Your location in Canada
  • Your intended location in Canada
  • Educational Credentials
  • Valid Domestic Work Experience
  • Language Proficiency
  • Estimated Application Processing Time
  • Your budget for paying application fees

Here is a list of top economic immigration pathways for international graduates in Canada

Express Entry

Canada’s Express Entry immigration program is the fastest and most popular option for economic-class immigrants. Candidates that apply under this system can receive their permanent residency status as soon as six months later. Express Entry uses a point-based Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to assess and score a candidate’s profile. Over the next three years, Canada plans to invite over 240,000 immigrants through these three Federal High Skilled Immigration Programs

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program

Provincial Nominee Program

Canada plans to welcome 84,000 immigrants through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Different nominee programs have varying eligibility criteria for Canadian Provinces’ labor market. Getting a provincial nomination from the province allows you to get a Canadian permanent residence.

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PNPs for International Student Graduates

Ontario has two programs to offer to International graduates, without any condition to have a Canadian job offer. The two streams are;

  • Masters Graduate stream
  • Ph.D. Graduate Stream

International students who have graduated from the province’s post-secondary university can opt for Manitoba’s International Education Stream. The stream has 3 categories:

  • Career Employment Pathway
  • Graduate Internship Pathway
  • Student Entrepreneur Pathway

International students who have graduated from Canadian post-secondary institutes may apply under the Saskatchewan Experience Category program. However, a full-time job offer from the province’s employer is required to be approved by the province.

British Columbia
British Columbia has its Express Entry British Columbia stream and the Skills Immigration stream for International graduates. However, students need to have job offers to apply under the sub-streams of these programs. For International Post-Graduate Category, you do not need to have a Canadian job offer.

New Brunswick
New Brunswick Skilled Worker Program is for foreign candidates who have attained a job offer from the employer of the province. Moreover, this stream is not uniquely made for international graduates, however, they invite candidates with a one-year program completed at the province’s post-secondary university.

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Nova Scotia
International Students who have graduated with a minimum of 2 years of full-time education at the province’s university, can apply under International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream. In addition, the candidate must have run his own business in Nova Scotia for at least 1 year.

Prince Edward Island
P.E.I’s International Graduate Stream is the only provincial stream for fresh graduates who have graduated from P.E.I post-secondary institutes and have a job offer in the province.

Newfoundland and Labrador
International students can apply under two provincial streams after graduation;

  • International Graduate Category is for Canadian institution graduates who are currently working or have a job offer in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur Category is for the province’s graduates who wish to have a business in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Quebec with its own economic immigration stream allows international graduates to apply under Quebec Experience Program (PEQ). The candidate must have a job offer, relevant work experience, and proficiency in the French language.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot
Atlantic Immigration Pilot is a pathway program for international students to apply under the Atlantic International Graduate Program. Candidates may get permanent residence in the four Atlantic provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.



PNP Draws & Updates

British ColumbiaJuly 971 invitations
OntarioJuly 91,666 invitations
QuebecJuly 81,528 invitations
ManitobaJuly 4126 invitations
British ColumbiaJuly 376 invitations
Check Out the Full List of PNP Draws➜

Canada Immigration News Podcast


Recent Express Entry Draws

DrawNumber Of InvitationsMinimum CRS Points
303 (PNP)1,391670
302 (French-Language)3,200420
301 (Healthcare)3,750445
300 (Trade Occupation)1800436
299 (PNP)920739
All Express Entry Draw Results ➜


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