BC PNP: STRATEGIC OCCUPATIONS: International Post-Graduates Pilot Project

International Post-Graduates Pilot Project

NOTE: The BC PNP’s International Post-Graduate Pilot Project is a three year pilot ending on May 28, 2013. Applications under this pilot project may be submitted until that date.

This pilot project aims to support BC’s universities in attracting top students from around the globe and to help retain these highly qualified workers in the provincial workforce to facilitate innovation and economic development. International graduates from programs in the natural, applied and health sciences have strong success finding employment following their studies, make a substantial contribution to key sectors such as technology and health services and help address critical skills shortages in BC.

Who Can Apply

Nominee applicants to the International Post Graduate Pilot Project must have satisfied the requirements for an eligible masters or doctorate degree from a recognized post-secondary institution in BC within the last two years. Specifically, an application must be received by the BC PNP within two years of the date shown on the final official transcript. If more than six months have passed since the completion of studies, it is expected that the Nominee Applicant will have obtained a temporary work permit valid for work in BC.

International students in Canada who do not meet the criteria of this category may be nominated under the International Graduates category if they have been offered permanent full-time employment in BC

Requirements & Important Information

The requirements considered for your application as an International Post-Graduate are:


Nominee Applicants in the International Post-Graduate Pilot Project must have satisfied the requirements for an eligible masters or doctorate degree conferred by an eligible post-secondary institution in BC and meet all other requirements before applying.


Eligible Graduate Degree Programs

A graduate degree (masters or earned doctorate) awarded for studies in the natural, applied or health sciences. This includes programs in the following fields of study:

  • Agriculture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services
  • Engineering
  • Engineering Technology
  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Natural Resources Conservation and Research
  • Physical Sciences

Distance learning programs where the Nominee Applicant has not been resident in BC during the period of studies are not eligible.

Eligible Post-Secondary Institution

  • The masters or doctorate degree must have been awarded from a post-secondary institution in British Columbia that:
    1. has been established under an Act of the British Columbia legislature; or,
    2. has completed the required government-mandated quality assessment process and has obtained Ministerial consent under the Degree Authorization Act.
    • Nominee applicants will be required to include in their application the name and contact information of a faculty member or senior administrator of the BC post-secondary institution where they studied for their degree or diploma. This person shall serve as a reference if required.

A list of degree programs offered by BC public post-secondary institutions is available through Education Planner or directly from each institution.

A list of degree programs that BC private post-secondary institutions are authorized to offer is available at the Ministry of Advanced Education website.


Intention to Reside in BC

Nominee Applicants must satisfy the BC PNP of their intention to settle in BC once they obtain permanent resident status in Canada. The evidence that the BC PNP will consider in determining this intention include:

  • Length of any previous and/or current period of residence in BC
  • Connections to BC through work, study, family and other ties
  • Plans and actions taken to settle in BC

A Nominee Applicant/Nominee must inform the BC PNP of their current residence and of any change in residence during processing of their application for nomination and for a permanent resident visa. Should a Nominee Applicant/Nominee cease being a resident of BC at any time prior to becoming a permanent resident, the Nominee Applicant/Nominee must satisfy the BC PNP of their continued intention to settle in BC. Should the BC PNP not be satisfied that a Nominee intends to settle in BC, the BC PNP may withdraw the nomination


Ability to Become Economically Established in BC

Nominee Applicants must satisfy the BC PNP that they have the ability to become economically established in Canada. While the degree that a Nominee Applicant has obtained is a strong indication of this ability, the BC PNP will also consider the following factors in assessing ability of the Nominee Applicant to become economically established, including the Nominee Applicant’s:

  • Past or current work experience (Canadian and/or foreign) including work performed as part of their graduate studies program
  • Plans and actions taken to find employment in BC
  • Connections to BC or Canada through work, study, residence, family and other ties
  • Family unit size (spouse and dependent children)
  • Available and transferable settlement funds (taking into account any obligations)



Information on Work Permits under this Pilot Project

The BC PNP encourages Nominee Applicants/Nominees in this pilot project to apply for a Post-Grad Work Permit from CIC if they do not already have a work permit that will be valid for work in BC during processing of their application for nomination and permanent residence.

After a Nominee in this pilot project has applied to CIC for a permanent resident visa, should an employer located in BC offer the Nominee a job (for a permanent or temporary position), the BC PNP may issue a work permit support letter to assist the Nominee in obtaining a work permit for work with that employer, should the BC PNP be satisfied that:

  • the job offer is genuine and would create economic, social or cultural benefits or opportunities;
  • the employment is not part-time or seasonal; and
  • the wages and working conditions of the employment would be sufficient to attract and retain Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The BC PNP may also issue a work permit support letter to assist a Nominee in renewing a work permit for work with a BC employer, on the same conditions.