See below for a checklist to follow as you come to the completion of your program and transition from being an international student to recent graduate!
1. Stay focused
Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. While it is always a good idea to plan for your future, make sure to continue to fully focus on your academics until you’ve completed your very last exam or project. See BCIT Library – Study Skills: Exams for some great tips to help prepare for exams. Visit HealthLinkBC – Stress Management or make an appointment with BCIT Counselling & Student Development for help with managing your stress.
2. Apply for your credential
Most BCIT students will need to submit an Application for BCIT Credential [PDF] to BCIT Student Records in order to start the process of having your credential audited and awarded. The earliest you should submit this form is the week of your final exam. Understand that thousands of BCIT students graduate each year, and please be patient while your application is being processed. Please see Student Records Customer Service Standards for the most up-to-date estimate for producing a credential. Note that students completing full-time programs along with their cohort do not need to submit this form. If you are unsure of whether you need to submit the form or not, you should check with your program area or Student Records.
3. Request an ICOG letter
If you plan to apply for a PGWP , you will need to request an International Confirmation of Graduation (ICOG) letter and pay the $20 letter request fee. The earliest you should request this letter is the week of your final exam. Note that an ICOG letter can not be issued to you until your credential has been awarded.
4. Apply for a PGWP
If you are interested in staying in Canada and gaining valuable work experience after graduating, this may be your best option. Visit our Post-graduation work permit (PGWP) page to learn more and to find out if you may be eligible.
5. Understand your work eligibility timeline
After completing your final exam you may continue to work on-campus or off campus up to 20 hours per week if:
- your study permit is still valid; and
- you were eligible to work off-campus while you were studying.
Once your graduation has been processed by Student Records and your credential has been awarded, you must stop working immediately. To see if your credential has been awarded, check your unofficial transcripts by logging in to your myBCIT account, clicking Student Self Service > Transcript – unofficial and request official > View unofficial transcript and then looking in the “Credential Information” section.
If you submit a PGWP application while your study permit is still valid, you may be eligible to work full-time while you are waiting for a decision to be made on your application.
6. Get ready for your career
There are a number of things that you can do to prepare for a successful career after your graduate from BCIT, and this should be among your top priorities while waiting for your credential to be awarded. Visit our Career Development and Job Search pages for useful information.
7. Connect with the Alumni Association
Visit BCIT Alumni Association to learn more about groups, events, and special offers available to BCIT alumni or sign up for their E-newsletter.
8. Register for Convocation
Visit the Convocation page to register or learn more. Enjoy the ceremony and your special day – you’ve earned it!
9. Order transcripts
Students and alumni may access unofficial transcripts or order official transcripts through myBCIT.
10. Update your MSP & purchase temporary medical insurance (if necessary)
Follow the next steps after completing studies on our MSP page for important information about MSP that you should be aware of as you are graduating. You will also find information about purchasing temporary private medical insurance if necessary to maintain continuous medical insurance coverage if you are staying in Canada and applying for a PGWP.
11. Explore immigration pathways
Learn about pathways to permanent residence in Canada for international students at the IRCC Help Centre.
12. Treat yourself!
Graduating from BCIT is a major accomplishment! After many months of hard work, take this opportunity to treat yourself to something special and memorable. If your situation allows, take a vacation or try something new and fun! Visit HelloBC for information about the many beautiful destinations throughout British Columbia and exciting activities to try. If you don’t have the time or money for a vacation just yet, even just a special meal with friends or family can be a nice way to celebrate.