As part of Canada’s new plan to ease immigration, it’s now possible for international British Columbia graduates to apply for international student travel and immigration categories. International students can do this with just 50% of their studies completed. This welcome news came from the BC PNP or British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program on 2nd February.
What Does This Mean For B.C International Graduates?
This means good news for the graduates who have completed only half or 50% of their education from their own country. So, students who have completed most of their education in Canada but had to stay in their nation due to Covid-19 restrictions can still immigrate.
However, there are some specific restrictions and notes for this as well. Notably, students who have graduated before 1st March 2020 and have also completed at least 50% of their education while staying in Canada are still eligible for immigration. There is no need for the studies to get conducted again on-campus. To show that a minimum of 50% of education has been completed, students will have to bring documents like bank statements, tenancy agreements, and utility bills.
Applicants need to know that they aren’t eligible for immigration nomination if they are engaged in distance education programs. The current ease in restrictions is only for students who have completed their education almost exclusively through online means. These students are not eligible for immigration since the teachers and students are always separated physically, regardless of the current pandemic.
Is It Safe To Travel To Canada Now?
While the latest immigration news is a welcome one, there is still airport closures in multiple parts of the world. So this is an additional barrier for international students looking to return to Canada. Along with this, PM Justin Trudeau has announced stricter and more extreme travel measures for controlling the pandemic. Instead of this, travellers will have to undergo a PCR or Polymerase Chain Reaction test upon their arrival and reside in a government-mandated hotel for a period of 3-days as they wait for the results. The entire cost for this will be approximately $2000.
How Can You Become Eligible For Immigrating To B.C?
There are four significant ways for international students to immigrate legally and safely to British Columbia. These are:
- Express Entry through B.C. in the International Graduate option category
- Express Entry through B.C. in the International Post-Graduate option category.
- Applicants can make use of the Skills-Immigration Stream too for the International Graduate optional category.
- Along with the above, students can use the Skills-Immigration Stream for the International Post-Graduate optional category.
Applicants should note that the above-stated Express Entry through B.C works with the already present federally aligned Express Entry method. Students need to have a currently valid and working Express Entry personal profile to go through this method. Along with this, students also need to be eligible for any one of the nation’s mainstream economic-class immigration ways. These are the FSTP or Federally Skilled-Trades Program, the CEC or Canadian Experience-Class, and the FSWP or Federally Skilled-Worker Program
What Are The Documents Needed For Immigration Using The Above Streams?
International graduates planning on immigrating using the Express Entry option need to show graduation from a post-secondary Canadian institution. Along with this, applicants must show a valid job offer currently from an eligible and certified employer. They also need to show that the stated job offer is fulfilling the minimum money requirements at least.
If students are using the other Skills immigration option, they need to show the same documents. They also need to show proof of graduation within the past three years and meet the necessary language requirements required for their occupation. People using the Skills Immigration option have to show that they can adequately support themselves and their own families.
Applicants who are international postgraduates can also immigrate legally to British Columbia by using the above-stated Express Entry or Skills Immigration system. They need to show proof of their PhD or Master’s Degree in an approved and eligible field. Some examples of these fields are health professions, engineering, physical sciences, etc. Along with this, such applicants need to show proof of intent regarding their wish to live in British Columbia permanently. Postgraduates can heave a sigh of relief since they don’t need to show any job-offer.
What Other Reforms Has The Canadian Government Made For This Pandemic?
Another welcome reform that will make international students breathe more accessible is the Canadian government’s extension of work permits. This has made international students not face the challenges of getting a job during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Canadian government announced that they are planning on giving students more time to find work. As such, international students staying in Canada with a soon-to-be expired or expired work permit for post-graduation will be able to confidently apply to their employers for a full 18-month long extension. This has already helped international students in the country meet their pre-determined work hours. After all, they need this to be eligible to even apply for a permanent residence. The CIE or Centre for International Experience’s senior director Katherine Beaumont said regarding the work permit extension that:
“The work permit extension gives international graduates another year and a half to contribute to the Canadian workforce. That’s a huge benefit to Canada and the individual students who wish to take it up.”
Canada is planning on welcoming upwards of 300,000 immigrants each year to overcome its demographic barriers. After all, Canada has a low birth rate with a rapidly aging population. Since more Canadians are retiring, the country struggles to replace its position in the national labor market adequately. This is where immigrants are coming in. While there were plans for opening up the country for immigration before the pandemic itself, the current situation has made immigration almost a necessity for Canada. As such, these immigration laws will certainly give Canada an edge over the others.