Close
Visas

Canada announces pathway to permanent residence for 40,000 international graduates

international graduates
The international graduate scheme will allow eligible international graduates who studied in Canada to apply for permanent residence. Source: Cole Bburston/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

Some 40,000 international graduates will have the opportunity to become Canadian permanent residents under the country’s new international graduate scheme. This is part of Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino’s announcement on April 14 on pathways to permanent residence for over 90,000 essential workers and international student graduates who are actively contributing to Canada’s economy.

Effective May 6, 2021, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will begin accepting applications under the following three streams:

  • 20,000 applications for temporary workers in health care
  • 30,000 applications for temporary workers in other selected essential occupations
  • 40,000 applications for international students who graduated from a Canadian educational institution

The streams will remain open until Nov. 5, 2021 or until they have reached their limit, said the release.    

Opportunities for international graduates

international graduates

“Our message to them is simple: your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting — and we want you to stay,” said Mendicino. Source: Don Emmert/AFP

The scheme will allow eligible international graduates who studied in Canada to apply for permanent residence. Graduates must meet several requirements which include completing a selected Canadian post-secondary programme from eligible Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) no earlier than January 2017. 

Applicants must also be employed in Canada with valid status at the time of application, and meet the language ability of at least benchmark 5 in English or French in each of the four language disciplines as set out in the Canadian Language Benchmarks or the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens. International graduates must also live in Canada with valid temporary status and be physically present at the time of application, and intend to reside outside Quebec. 


The immigration initiative is critical to Canada’s economic recovery, addressing their labour shortages and adding growth to the country’s workforce. The accelerated pathway to permanent residence will encourage essential temporary workers and international graduates to put down roots in Canada and help the country retain workers, particularly in the healthcare system.

The announcement aims to help the country achieve its 2021 Immigration Levels Plan, which will see Canada welcome 401,000 new permanent residents. The skilled newcomers and international graduates welcomed under the plan will help create jobs and drive long-term growth in Canada. 

“These new policies will help those with a temporary status to plan their future in Canada, play a key role in our economic recovery and help us build back better,” said Mendicino in a media release. “Our message to them is simple: your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting — and we want you to stay.”

Top scholarships in UK for international students