A neighbourhood in St. John’s Newfoundland known as The Battery (Shutterstock)

This is one of the easiest ways for international students to get permanent resident status in Canada. It is open to applicants who studied anywhere in Canada, but you must want to build your life in Newfoundland.  If you are nominated for permanent resident status by the province, you must still go through the regular security, health and financial checks done by the federal government.


  • Open to people who studied anywhere in Canada
  • Allows students to apply with entry-level jobs
  • Easy for employers to hire international students
  • You may not need to take a language test


  • Slow
  • The selection process is not clear
  • Tougher rules for applicants who studied outside Newfoundland


The province nominated 105 people in the International Graduate program in 2016, three times more than it nominated in 2015. Nominations are expected to rise again sharply in 2017.


St. John’s, Newfoundland (Shirley Tillotson)


The first step is to get a Post-Graduation Work Permit and then apply for provincial nomination. Your application will be evaluated according to the province’s labour needs, whether officials think you really want to live in Newfoundland, and other factors. If you meet basic requirements, you will be called for an interview. If you are nominated by Newfoundland, then you must apply to the federal government, which will probably take more than a year to review your application. The whole process should take less than two years.


Canadian degree or diploma

You must have graduated from a publicly funded Canadian college or university. If it is your first degree or diploma after high school, the program must be at least two years long and you must do at least half of it in Canada. You can qualify with a one-year program If your Canadian education is a second degree or diploma that builds on your first degree. In all cases, at least half of the study terms for your Canadian degree must be done in Canada. Requirements are easier for graduates of Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic.


No specific standard

Work Experience

Cascade in Gros Morne National Park near Cornerbrook Newfoundland (Shutterstock)

The work requirements are easier in this program than in most immigration programs.

You must have a Post-Graduation Work Permit that has at least six months left before it expires. You must have an offer for a permanent job in Newfoundland or you must have an existing job that is likely to be extended. If your Canadian degree or diploma is from another province, you must work for a year in Newfoundland before applying and your job must relate to your field of study.

Unlike most programs, employers do not have to prove that they tried to hire a Canadian before offering you a permanent job. Your job offer can be for any kind of work. You do not need to be working in a managerial or skilled job to qualify for this program.



Language test only for lower-skilled jobs

Applicants who have a job offer for a managerial or skilled job must show that they have the language skills to do the job, but they don’t have to submit a test. You can show your language skills by getting a letter from your employer or showing that you have studied English or done a degree that was taught in English.

Applicants who have an offer for a semi-skilled or unskilled job  must submit a language test that is no more than two years old.  You may take the IELTS general test, the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) test or the Test d’evaluation de francais (TEF). If you take the IELTS, you need a minimum score of 3.5 in reading, 4.5 in listening and 4 in both writing and speaking. To see conversion levels for the CELPIP and TEF tests click here.

The definitions of managerial, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled work are determined by the National Occupational Classification (NOC).  If your job is is NOC C or D, you have to submit a language test. If it is NOC O, A or B, you do not. For example, an applicant with a job as a chef does not need to submit a language test but an applicant with a job offer as a waiter must submit a test. For an explanation of NOC, click here.


Newfoundland requires that you have enough money to settle in the province successfully, but it says each case is evaluated individually and there are no specific rules about how much money is required. Similar programs in other provinces require that a single applicant have $12,300.


Newfoundland does not charge an application fee for this program. The federal government charges $550 for your application, and additional fees for your partner or children. If your application is approved, you must pay $490 for the official documents. Other costs will vary depending on your circumstances. You may also have to pay different organizations for language testing, an evaluation of a foreign degree, translation of some documents, police certificates and a medical exam.


Moose in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

You must include your spouse or common-law partner and all your children under the age of 22.  After you obtain permanent residence status, you may sponsor your parents and grandparents to move to Canada.


Newfoundland and Labrador joined Canada as the country’s 10th province in 1949. Newfoundland is a large island in the Atlantic Ocean. Labrador is triangle-shaped area of the mainland that reaches north into the Arctic. The province was originally the home of several groups of indigenous people, including the Mi’kmaq, Beothuk, Innu and Inuit. Vikings visited the island more than 1,000 years ago and Europeans began to settle in Newfoundland in the 1500s. The economy was built on fishing, mining and forestry but shifted with the discovery of oil and natural gas. The province has about 500,000 people. The capital, St. John’s, is one of the oldest cities in North America and has a reputation as a cradle of culture, with lively music and many artists.

More than 1,000 permanent residents landed in Newfoundland in 2015, including:

  • 315 people from the Philippines
  • 135 people from Syria
  • 80 people from Eritrea
  • 60 people from China and
  • 50 people from India

Newfoundland is aggressively recruiting new immigrants to the province. It has increased its nominations dramatically in recent years and plans to introduce three new immigration programs for students, entrepreneurs and business investors.

About 16 per cent of all of the university students in Newfoundland and Labrador come from outside Canada. In the fall of 2016, statistics show that 2,386 international students were enrolled in Newfoundland and Labrador universities. The number of international students at Newfoundland and Labrador universities increased by 11 per cent in 2017, with 2,637 students enrolled that fall.

Many international students also attend elementary schools, high schools, colleges and language institutes. Federal statistics show that overall, 3,250 students from outside Canada held a permit to study in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2016. In that same year, 80 people who previously held study permits were approved for permanent residence. Another 40 former students were approved for permanent residence in the first nine months of 2017.

The province also plans to provide website information in several languages and it has promised to set up an online portal for applications.

(Sources: Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, Statistics Canada)

Government Website


Updated: December 1, 2017