Immigrating to Canada as a Recent Graduate

Published on: May 3rd, 2022
Last updated: May 4th, 2022

Canada’s low employment rate, high quality of life, and boundless opportunities make it a great country for new graduates. If you’ve just completed a foreign post-secondary credential and are considering immigrating to Canada as a recent graduate, here are a few pathways to consider.

Express Entry

Express Entry is Canada’s fastest and most popular immigration pathway. Among other minimum requirements, you must have at least a year of work experience, in Canada or abroad. If you worked part-time during your foreign studies, the full-time equivalent may be counted toward your eligibility. Eligible work experience must have also been paid, and in NOC skill type A, B, or 0.

Being eligible to submit a profile does not guarantee that you will be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence. Factors such as a Canadian job offer, Canadian work experience, and high language proficiency can help to increase your chances of success.

Find out if you're eligible to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry

Canadian study permit

If you don’t have enough work experience for Express Entry, but want to come to Canada right away, you may consider completing another post-secondary credential in Canada. Canada offers an internationally recognized education and is known as one of the top countries in the world for international students.

Completing a Canadian post-secondary credential from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) can also render you eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). This permit will allow you to work anywhere in Canada, gaining valuable experience that can help when applying for permanent residency.

Find out if you can come to Canada as an international student

Entrepreneur immigration

Each province operates its own nominee programs for entrepreneurs interested in starting a business or buying an existing business in the region. Each program has its own minimum eligibility requirements and process for entrepreneur immigration.

If you are interested in starting a business in Canada as a recent graduate, your first step will be to check the eligibility requirements of the province you would like to settle in.

Many provinces require at least two years of relevant management or business ownership experience. However, some provinces, like Alberta, operate an entrepreneur stream aimed at recent foreign graduates. These programs typically have lower work experience requirements, as little as 6 months.

The Canadian government also offers a Start-Up Visa immigration program for certain innovative businesses that can help Canada compete on a global scale.

Want to learn more about the best entrepreneur program for you? Complete our free online assessment form and a member from our business immigration team will get in touch with you to discuss your options.

Find out if you can immigrate to Canada as an entrepreneur

How much does it cost to immigrate to Canada as a recent graduate?

When immigrating to Canada as a recent graduate, it is important to plan accordingly to ensure you meet the minimum fund requirements.

Almost all Canadian immigration programs require you to show that you have a minimum amount of money in your bank account to support you and any family members once you arrive.

There are also processing fees to consider, which will vary depending on the program you are applying under. Check out our Canadian Immigration Processing Fees page to determine how much your application will cost to process.

Finally, you will need to take into account any additional fees related to the eligibility requirements of a program. This could include the language exam, Education Credential Assessment (ECA) report, police report, and medical assessment required for a permanent residence application.

If you’ve completed a credential outside of Canada, you will need to obtain an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) to determine its Canadian equivalent. This will play an important role in determining your eligibility for many Canadian immigration programs.


Interested to know more about how you can immigrate to Canada as a recent graduate? Get started today by completing our free online assessment form!

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