Canada welcomed close to 450,000 international students in 2021. This country is regarded as one of the best places in the world for international students to pursue post-secondary education. This is due to both the high standard of education and the opportunities for obtaining permanent residence (PR) in the country.

After graduating in a learning institution in Canada, you may be able to apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which would enable you to work for up to three years anywhere in Canada. Even if your PGWP expires while you are awaiting a decision on your application, you may still be eligible to continue in Canada with a Bridging Open Work Permit. You may apply for immigration from inside Canada at any point before your PGWP expires.

Canada offers numerous pathways for international graduates to transition to permanent residency.


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Working While Studying in Canada

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

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Canadian immigration under the Federal Program

International students may immigrate to Canada as economic-class immigrants through Express Entry (EE) under the 3 Federal Immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC).  An international graduate may qualify for numerous program, depending on his or her field of study.


Canadian immigration through Provincial Nominee Programs

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which is run by almost every province and territory in Canada, welcomes qualified people to boost local economies. PNP is now the most common pathway for immigrants to Canada, which makes it a favourite among international students. International students must go through a two-step procedure to get a PR via PNP. Prior to supporting their application for Canadian Permanent Residence with the federal government, applicants must first get a provincial nomination from the province in which they wish to settle.


British Columbia

International graduates can immigrate to British Columbia through the Express Entry British Columbia and Skills Immigration streams. Candidates for both programs must have a genuine job offer. Those who qualify for the International Post-Graduate Category, on the other hand, don’t have to provide a job offer.



Graduates of post-secondary schools in Manitoba are eligible to apply for the International Education Stream. International graduates  are eligible to apply for this stream through one of its three different pathways: the Graduate Internship Pathway, Career Employment Pathway or the Student Entrepreneur Pathway


New Brunswick

The New Brunswick Skilled Worker Stream allows New Brunswick graduates to apply for permanent residency. Many international students who finished their studies in New Brunswick chose this stream, despite the fact that this stream is not exclusively for international graduates. A job offer from an eligible New Brunswick employer, as well as one year of work experience, are requirements for applying for permanent resident status.


Nova Scotia

The International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream in Nova Scotia is open to international students. Graduates must have completed at least two years of full-time study at a Nova Scotia university or college and have operated their own business in the province for at least one year to be eligible for this program.


Newfoundland and Labrador

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador has established two pathways for international graduates. The first is the International Graduate Category, which is for graduates with a job offer from an approved Newfoundland and Labrador employer in their area of study. The second category is for international students who want to launch a company in the province.



Ontario has two pathways for international graduates. The Master’s Graduate Stream and the PhD Graduate Stream are for people who have a Master’s degree or a PhD. Students do not need to have a job offer when they graduate to be eligible for these programs. There is also a subcategory for International graduates in the Employer Job Offer streams.


Prince Edward Island

For recent graduates of the province’s post-secondary institutions, Prince Edward Island provides the International Graduate Stream. International graduates applying under this stream must have a job offer in a skilled profession related to their field of study in the province.



Students who have recently graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution are eligible to apply for permanent residence in Saskatchewan under the Saskatchewan Experience Category. To be eligible to apply for the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), recent graduates must have a full-time job offer from a Saskatchewan employer that is listed on the SINP employer website.



Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) provides a huge opportunity for international graduates and foreign skilled workers to come to Canada. It’s beneficial to all parties: the Atlantic provinces get the talent they need to grow their economy, and foreign workers get to work in Canada and build a better future for themselves.

The four Atlantic provinces that honor this program are Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island.


I need Study Permit Assistance


Here’s What You Can Read Next

An International Student’s Guide to Living in Canada

Working While Studying in Canada

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

Get a Canadian Study Permit

Student Life in Canada