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PNP Immigration Options for International Students in 2023

Published on: April 17th, 2022
Last updated: May 5th, 2023

If you want to come study in Canada as an international student, you might be wondering which province you should study in. Are there benefits to studying in some provinces? Is it easier to immigrate permanently in some provinces after you’ve studied? We’ve put together a list of some of the provinces with significant immigration benefits for international students!

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Which province should I study in?

There are so many options to choose from when you’re trying to select a school in Canada. Some people want to experience the bustling city, so they might apply to study in Toronto or Vancouver. Others might want a quieter experience with an ocean view, so they’ll select a school in Atlantic Canada. We can’t make these big decisions for you. However, we can help to give you the information you need to choose what’s right for you!

In this article, we’re going to review some of the provinces that offer immigration advantages to international students. When starting your Canadian education journey, you should also consider other factors when deciding where to study. Which schools are the bestWhich programs will get you the best job? Make sure you do all your research before deciding on a province!

Staying in Canada after you study

After spending a couple of years studying in Canada, many international students fall in love with the country and want to stay permanently. Thankfully, Canada wants international students to stay as well! That’s why there is a range of immigration options for international students available.

Most PNPs targeting international students will require that the student has a valid post-graduation work permit. Students at accredited institutions who have completed a study program of at least one year are eligible to apply for this work permit after they graduate. However, you only have 90 days to apply for the post-graduation work permit after you graduate – so be sure to act fast!

Once you have your post-graduation work permit, you’ll be eligible to live and work anywhere in Canada, so that’s a great benefit! Now, which provinces are best suited for permanent immigration?

What are the best Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) for international students who have studied in that province?

Provincial Nominee Program, or PNP, is a provincially operated immigration program. PNPs allow a province to nominate a foreign national for Canadian permanent residence. Once a person has a nomination, they are eligible to submit an official application for permanent residence!

Every province and territory has a few different PNPs since the streams are tailored to fit their unique economic and demographic needs. Here are a few of the provinces with PNPs tailored to international students who have completed studies inside that province.

Manitoba Career Employment Pathway:

If you complete a post-secondary educational credential in Manitoba, you might be eligible for an immigration pathway under their Career Employment Pathway. Your educational program must have been at least one year in length and completed within the last three years. Candidates must have a full-time job offer from an eligible Manitoba employer in one of the province’s in-demand occupations.

BC International Post-Graduate Category:

If you complete a master’s degree or a doctoral degree at an eligible institution in British Columbia, you can use this stream to apply directly for a provincial nomination. The advantage of this stream is that it doesn’t require a job offer to apply.

Ontario Masters & PhD Graduates:

If you complete a master’s degree or a doctoral degree at an eligible institution in Ontario, you can apply for provincial nomination through this stream. Interested graduates may submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) profile to Ontario’s pool of candidates for the chance to be invited to apply for nomination.

Atlantic Provinces:

While not technically considered a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) is another option for international students wanting to transition to permanent status in Canada. The program, which was recently made permanent after starting as a pilot, hosts a stream especially for international graduates that have graduated from an educational institution in one of the four Atlantic provinces.

AIP is aimed at recent graduates who have completed a qualifying program of at least 2 years in one of the Atlantic provinces. Qualifying graduates must also hold a job offer in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador. The benefit of this program is that eligible international graduates are not required to meet the work experience requirements. This allows qualifying candidates to apply right after graduating before they even start working.

Atlantic provinces are all also in the process of implementing new study to stay programs. These programs assist international students throughout their Canadian studies, giving them career guidance, training, and networking opportunities. As well, most of these provinces have their own PNP streams, designed to help international graduates obtain permanent residency!

What Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are available for international students who have studied in Canada, but not in the province hosting the PNP?

A lot of international students might graduate from an institution in one province and then get a job offer in a different province. Don’t worry! There are a number of PNPs designed for this specific situation. The PNPs listed below are designed for international graduates from schools anywhere in Canada.

All of these programs require you to have two things. First, you’ll need your valid post-graduation work permit. Second, you’ll need to be working for an employer in the province where you’re applying. The employer must also be willing to provide you with an official offer of employment to continue working there.

Newfoundland and Labrador International Graduate:

If you’ve completed a post-secondary program of at least two years, anywhere in Canada, but you’re currently working in Newfoundland and Labrador, you may be eligible to apply for provincial nomination through this program! Newfoundland and Labrador offers the program for graduates that have been working in their province for at least one year on a post-graduate work permit.

BC International Graduate:

If you completed a post-secondary program anywhere in Canada and you currently have an offer of employment from a company in British Columbia, then this program might be an option for you. In order to be eligible, you also must have 2 years of full-time work experience in a similar position to your job offer.

Ontario International Students:

If you graduated from a post-secondary program in Canada and you have a valid job offer from an Ontario employer, then you might be eligible for this PNP. Your Canadian education must have been for a program of study at least 2-years in length or a 1-year program that required a previous degree as a prerequisite!

Other Options

Keep in mind that PNPs are only one of many ways that you can become a Canadian permanent resident. You should also check out the criteria for the programs contained with Canada’s Express Entry system. After you have one year of Canadian work experience, you may be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class of Express Entry!

To find out if you’re eligible to study in Canada and to learn more about the best study program to fit your needs, simply complete our free student assessment and one of our Educational Counselors will contact you to discuss your options!

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