Stay in B.C. after studying

Last reviewed: March 12, 2024 

Apply for a post-graduate work permit

If you have recently graduated from a post-secondary school in British Columbia, you may be eligible to get a post-graduate work permit (PGWP). The Canadian work experience you gain while on this temporary work permit may count towards your application for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class or the BC Provincial Nominee Program.

Visit IRCC’s website to apply online for a PGWP.

If you’re not eligible for a PGWP, you may still be eligible to work in Canada after you graduate. Visit the IRCC website to find out if you’re eligible for another type of work permit.

Immigrate to B.C. after graduation

Do you want to make your temporary stay in B.C. permanent? You need to apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residence. There are several options for getting permanent residence in Canada.

BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

One option for getting permanent residence is to have B.C. nominate you through the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). The BC PNP offers a pathway to permanent residence for international graduates, skilled and semi-skilled workers, and their family members who intend to settle in B.C. To be eligible, your skill sets need to meet B.C. labour market needs. Most categories require a valid job offer from a B.C. employer.

Federal Express Entry

If you are a worker in a managerial, professional, technical, or skilled trade job, you can apply for permanent residence through IRCC’s Express Entry. Express Entry is an electronic system to manage applications for permanent residence under the following programs: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, Canadian Experience Class and a portion of Provincial Nominees. You need to meet the eligibility criteria for at least one of these programs to apply through Express Entry.

Become a Canadian citizen

Once you have been a permanent resident in Canada for several years, you may be able to apply for Canadian citizenship.