Studying in Canada: A Pathway to Canadian Permanent Residence 2017-11-08T11:57:24+00:00

Studying in Canada: A Pathway to Canadian Permanent Residence

Education offers a route to Canadian permanent resident status.

Being accepted by a Canadian School, College or University is a great way to achieve permanent residency status. In some cases, this can be done without obtaining a job offer from a Canadian employer.

Many students who come to Canada to study do so with the hopes of someday becoming Canadian permanent residents. Many also study in Canada without this initial intent, but over time decide they would like to work and start a life in Canada. If you are a student in Canada who wishes to become a permanent resident, there are a few pathways you may take toward achieving this status.

Ways to Get Permanent Residence

International graduates may be eligible to obtain Canadian permanent residence through a few different pathways. In certain situations, such as with a Post-Graduation Work Permit or certain Express Entry categories, individuals do not even require a job offer. Within Express Entry, applicants may qualify for Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Provincial Nominee Program. Some of these will require work experience, in which case an applicant should first obtain a PGWP, gain work experience, and apply later. However, others allow recent graduates to apply immediately after graduation if they have the skills desired. One program that allows for immediate permanent residence without work experience is the Quebec Experience Class, for students who have studied in Quebec and meet requirements. Depending on the Provincial Nominee Program, a student may or may not be able to obtain permanent residency immediately.

Post-Graduation Work Permit

One way an International student may stay in Canada and get work experience after graduating is by applying for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). An applicant is not required to have a job offer at the time they apply, and the permit allows international graduates to work for any employer. The length of time a PGWP is valid depends on the length of your study program. If you studied in Canada for:

»Less than 8 months- you are not eligible

»More than 8 months but less than 2 years- your PGWP may be valid for a period of time equal to that of your study

»2 or more years- the PGWP may be valid for 3 years

More than one program- PGWP may be valid up to 3 years

There are a number of requirements an individual must meet in order to qualify for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, including having a valid study permit at the time of application, having all the documentation proving your program completion from a designated learning institution, are 18 and older, and apply within 90 days of your program completion being confirmed.

In addition, international students in Canada may:

  • work for up to 20 hours per week while in school, and on a full-time basis during school breaks;
  • obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit for the equivalent duration of the studies once the program is successfully completed, allowing students to remain in Canada for many years before becoming a permanent resident;
  • bring an accompanying spouse or common-law partner to Canada on an open full-time work permit, allowing him or her to work for any employer;
  • bring accompanying minor children to study in Canada at the same rate that Canadians pay; and
  • become eligible for Canadian permanent residence, either through a Provincial Nominee Program, through Quebec’s immigration system, or through the Express Entry immigration selection system.

The steps to becoming a Canadian permanent resident through education are outlined below.

 Are you eligible?

To discover your options for studying in Canada, and working or immigrating after graduation, complete the CanadaVisa Study Pathway Form today.

Study Assessment Form

Do you need help to find the best Canadian School, College or University for you?

Immigrate4Canada offers customized services to help you find the right program