Published on : February 15, 2021
International graduate students having studied remotely can now immigrate to British Columbia. However, they need to complete at least 50% of their studies in B.C. Canada to be eligible for international student immigration categories.
The British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) announced this on 2 February 2021.
This is for international graduate students who stayed back in their home country during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will be eligible to immigrate to British Columbia if they have completed at least half studies in the province and the other half remotely.
These students can use documents like utility bills, bank statements, and tenancy agreements to demonstrate that studies were completed in Canada.
This amendment comes in response to the coronavirus pandemic as travel restrictions were imposed both in Canada and abroad to curb the spread of the virus.
However, international students having attended distance learning programs will not be eligible for provincial nomination since they are almost exclusively completely online.
International students are exempted from travel restrictions within Canada. It is so only when their Designated Learning Institution (DLI) obtains approval of the government’s COVID-19 response plan.
Since travel was still difficult for various reasons like airport closures, several institutions across Canada chose the online learning platform. Many international students, for this reason, chose to attend classes from their home country.
Another reason discouraging students from travelling to Canada is the PCR test.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that all travellers arriving into the country would have to undergo the PCR test and stay at a government-approved hotel for at least three days till the results are out.
The PCR test can additionally cost international students an estimated $2,000.
British Columbia province is committed to immigration. BC PNP draws held regularly and recently invited 216 immigration candidates.
There are four pathways to immigrate to B.C. as international students.
The EE BC PNP stream is aligned with the Federal Express Entry system. International students should have a valid Express Entry profile to be eligible for this stream.
There are three main economic class immigration programs in Express Entry.
International students wishing to immigrate to B.C. through Express Entry must have graduated from an eligible post-secondary DLI in Canada.
They must also have a job offer from an eligible employer within the province. Additionally, the job offer must meet the minimum income requirements.
International graduates must meet the same requirements to be eligible for the Express Entry-aligned BC PNP stream. Moreover, they should have graduated within the last three years.
They should also have the language skills required for a particular job and show that they can support themselves and their family in the province.
International postgraduate students wishing to immigrate to B.C. through any of the above two streams must have completed a Master’s or PhD degree in an eligible field. It could be physical sciences, health professions, or engineering, among others.
While a job offer is not required for international postgraduates, they are required to prove that they are willing to permanently live in British Columbia.
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