Immigration programs for international graduates in Canada

There are numerous immigration programs for international graduates to stay in Canada. Having a Canadian degree plus work experience within Canada makes you a top applicant for immigration programs. After graduation, you can get a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), which allows you to work anywhere in Canada. Anytime before the expiration of this permit, you can immigrate from within Canada, but even if your work permit expires, you will have the option of staying in Canada with a bridging work visa. The best immigration program for you depends on various factors such as the following:

  • Location in Canada
  • The place you plan to stay in Canada
  • Highest degree
  • The amount of work experience
  • Type of experience
  • Proficiency in the official language of Canada
  • The length of time you can wait for your application to be reviewed
  • Pay as much as you want for your request

In the following, we discuss some of the 100 economic migration paths for international graduates:

Express Entry

You can be eligible for multiple programs and file in the Express Entry pool. Entrance to the pool is free, but to get permanent residence, you have to pay the desired amount.

Provincial selection program

The Provincial Selection Program (PNP) has a two-step process. First, you select a province from the desired province and then, if selected, your application for permanent residence in Canada will be supported. Only the federal government can grant permanent residency status. In the following, we will discuss some of the provincial programs – not all of them – for international graduates.


Ontario has two streams for international graduates, neither of which require a job offer: the Master’s Graduate Stream and the Doctoral Graduate Stream.


The Manitoba International Education Stream is for graduates of post-secondary educational institutions in the province, with three sub-categories: Employment Pathway, Graduate Internship Pathway, Student Entrepreneurship Pathway.


Recent graduates of Canadian educational institutions may be eligible for the Canadian Experience Group for Student Subgroup by requiring a full-time job offer from an approved employer in Saskatchewan and submission of employment confirmation from the provincial government along with an application for SINP.

British Columbia

British Columbia offers several immigration options through the British Columbia Express Entry stream and the specialized immigration stream that require a job offer, but no job offer is required for the international graduate group.

New Brunswick

The New Brunswick specialist labor stream is for applicants with a job offer from an employer in New Brunswick and is not specific to international graduates, but if they complete a one-year post-high school education in this province, the requirement of one year of work experience is removed.

Nova Scotia

The International Graduate Entrepreneurship Stream is for graduates with at least two years of full-time education at a Nova Scotia college or university, one year of self-employment in the province, and the intention to reside in Nova Scotia.

Prince Edward Island

The flow of international graduates is for new graduates of post-high school educational institutions who have a job offer related to education in this province.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The international graduate group is for graduates of qualified Canadian institutions who are working or have a job offer from an employer in this province, in the field of their studies. The international graduate entrepreneurship group is for graduates of this province who want to run a business in this region.


With its special economic immigration program, Quebec considers international students from Quebec, with a job offer, work experience and high French language skills, eligible for the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ).

Atlantic Migration Pilot

Graduates from educational institutions in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick may be eligible for the Atlantic Graduate Program, which allows them to apply for permanent residency without work experience.

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