The Canadian International Graduates Visa provides an attractive bridging option for foreign students with offers of employment from Canadian employers. International Graduates are provided with the chance to obtain permanent residence while applying their newly acquired skills and education and filling current labour shortages. Individuals who demonstrate their study in Canada and their unique ability to contribute to the economy may be nominated by a designated participating province. Nominees also enjoy priority processing of their applications for permanent residence by Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC).
International Graduates Visa Basic Requirements
The International Graduates visa is currently available through the provincial nominee programs for the following provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. The requirements differ according to the respective program and as outlined below.
For Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan programs, the graduate must have completed a post-secondary educational program within the province (or within Canada for some programs) at an eligible institution, have obtained an offer of full-time employment related to their field of study and provide evidence of having been employed with the same employer for a minimum duration of between 3-6 months prior to the submission of the International Graduate application. Some of these requirements do not apply for certain provinces.
For Ontario, 3 streams of application are available for international graduates; applicants with a job offer, applicants who are PhD Graduates and applicants who are Masters Graduates (offered currently as a pilot project).
For British Columbia, 2 streams of application are available for international graduates: applicants who have graduated from an eligible program at an approved institution, and applicants holding a Master’s or PhD degree awarded for studies in the natural, applied or health sciences (currently offered as a pilot project).
International Graduates Visa Entitlements
Successful applicants and holders of an International Graduates visa become permanent residents of Canada. Permanent residents are entitled to live, work and study in Canada on a permanent basis.
Additional benefits of Canadian permanent residence includes access to government-subsidized education and healthcare (Medicare), as well as unrestricted access to Canada’s labour market and its associated insurance and pension benefits. Permanent residents also have the ability to apply for Canadian citizenship and the opportunity to sponsor family members to join them in Canada.