Everything You Need to Know Before You Come to Canada as a Graduate

Are you a graduate looking for opportunities abroad? Well, don’t look further than the Great North that welcomes eager, young professionals to take advantage of the booming Canadian job market. Cisco Systems, MAC Cosmetics, Google, and Hootsuite are just a few major companies in Canada with big projects underway and are always on the lookout for local and international talent.

Still, figuring out what you want to do? Or are you in the market for something a bit more adventurous like a backpacking trip to explore the Canadian Rockies? Canada is the ideal Gap Year destination with visa programs like the Working Holiday that lets young adults get a taste for work-life while exploring the vast country and meeting new people. Who wouldn’t want to kick-start their careers this way?

Below, three exciting ways how you can come to Canada as a graduate in 2021.

How Can You Immigrate to Canada as a Graduate in 2021?

Young-black-professional-woman-working-on-her-laptop-immigrate to Canada as a Graduate

1. International Experience Canada (IEC)

According to the Erasmus Impact Study, international graduates are more employable because they have the transversal skills that are particularly valued by employers such as adaptability, cooperation, and originality. The IEC is specially designed for young adults from 35 participating countries to work in Canada and gain professional experience that will help them get a headstart in their careers. Take a look at the three IEC categories for international graduates:

3 IEC Categories

Foreign graduates may qualify for the Young Professionals category of the IEC. Through this category, you will be given a Canadian work permit to gain work experience that contributes to your professional development. To qualify, you must have a job offer before you can come to Canada as a graduate.

On the other hand, if you’re still studying and need to complete an internship or work placement as part of your academic curriculum then you may want to look into the International Co-op category of the IEC. Through this category, you can get a Canadian work permit to complete an internship in Canada that’s directly related to your field of study.

Last but definitely not least, the Working Holiday is by far the most popular IEC category. It’s a Canadian work permit issued to young adults such as graduates to come to Canada for both part-time work and leisure activities. It’s the ideal way to spend a gap year after your hard-earned qualification because you get to work part-time, gaining new skills while traveling in Canada and exploring the beauty of the vast country.

2. Provincial Nomination Program: Graduate Streams

Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs) are immigration pathways designed by Canada’s 11 participating provinces. Most PNPs are created with the specific province’s labor market needs in mind and other PNPs help foreign nationals currently working or studying in Canada settle in the country permanently.

You can apply to immigrate to Canada as a graduate through specific PNP Graduate Streams. The Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OINP), for example, has an International Student Stream, and to qualify, you must complete a post-secondary program (outside of Canada) of at least two years and have a job offer from an employer in Ontario.

Good to Know

The majority of PNP Graduate Streams favor international graduates who studied and graduated from Canadian tertiary institutions. For this reason, studying in Canada is a surefire way to become a permanent resident of Canada.

3. Express Entry Canada

The Express Entry is the most popular way to immigrate to Canada as a graduate with work experience of at least one year. The Express Entry immigration system is points-based and the highest-scoring candidates are issued Invitations to Apply (ITA) during routine draw rounds.

You can earn points for your qualifications and work experience, and the higher your level of education, the more points you’ll earn. On top of that, younger applicants as well as those with strong English or French language abilities are typically the most successful candidates!

What Do You Need to Come to Canada as a Graduate in 2021?


1. Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

Before you come to Canada as a graduate, you need to get your qualifications assessed by an approved organization such as the World Education Services (WES). An ECA shows that your qualification (diploma, degree) is on par with Canadian standards. This will allow you to find a job in Canada that much easier, and it’s an important requirement for most visa programs. You can get an ECA from the following designated organizations:

Designated Organizations
Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
World Education Services
International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
International Credential Evaluation Service

2. A Job Offer From a Canadian Employer

Depending on your visa program you may need to arrange employment before you can come to Canada as a graduate for work purposes. The good news is that young professionals from abroad are highly sought after because one in every four workers in Canada is currently retiring.

The Government is hard at work filling gaps in the labor market by means of immigration to keep the Canadian economy globally competitive. In fact, Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino, announced the new immigrant targets that are set at welcoming 1.23 million newcomers by 2023!

Graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) have it particularly easy when choosing to work in Canada because of the Global Talent Stream. It’s a special stream that fast tracks visa application processing for highly skilled workers in as little as two weeks. If you’re job hunting in Canada it’s good to go check where the demand is for your skills, and in which provinces your qualification carries the most weight.

Keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic slowed some industries and fueled others, such as administrative assistant positions that are popping up everywhere.

What is a Valid Job Offer in Canada?

It is an official company letterhead that indicates your job title, duties, salary, and dates of employment. You must also include evidence that you meet the requirements of the job like relevant education certificates or a resume with contactable references. Some applicants may also need to include a copy of their employers’ LMIA which is valid for 6-months only.

3. Language Test Results

If you want to come to Canada as a graduate you need to prove that you can easily integrate into Canadian society and there is no better way to prove it than being able to proficiently speak one of the two official languages - English or French. Taking an approved language test such as IELTS, and scoring well in all four language abilities such as speaking, listening, writing, and reading is an important requirement and will improve your chances of immigration success.

Are you a Graduate? Discover Your Canadian Visa Options

With over 100 immigration and visa options available, it can be difficult to find the right path to Canada. One that will allow you to benefit from the multitude of opportunities in the Great North, and settle in the country permanently for a brighter future. Get an eligibility assessment from a certified visa consultant today to receive a tailored visa plan!

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