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Study Pathways to Permanent Residence in Canada

International students do intend to remain in Canada after completing their study programs. In as much as the number of international students keeps rising, Canada has the ability to retain as many students as possible.

In fact, Canada employers tend to accept employees who have some experience in Canada, putting international students in a favorable situation. If you wish to permanently reside in Canada after your studies, there are a lot of immigration programs for you to opt-in for.

Study Pathways to Permanent Residence in Canada

Wait! In case you want to know if it is possible to apply for both temporary (work and study) and permanent residence in Canada, yes it is, this is referred to as a dual intent. 

Dual intent in this context is a situation where an international student applies for permanent residence, and at the same time applies for a temporary study permit. 

That’s by the way, it is important for you to know that skilled work experience is required for many Canada immigration programs, hence placing international students at an advantage. Good thing is, you are eligible as an international student graduate to apply for a post-graduate work permit, which allows you to work after graduating and get some skilled work experience.

Immigration Programs For International Students

We have compiled some programs for international students who tend to remain in Canada after their study programs. These programs proffer accelerated pathways for students to become permanent residents in Canada.

It is important for you to know that the Canada Express Entry system powers most of these programs as it is the federal system for running and organizing permanent resident applications in Canada.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

If you wish to quickly go through this process without having Canadian work experience, then you should go for the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program. Unlike the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), with the FSW program, you do not necessarily need to have Canadian work experience, making it a good fit for international student graduates who have gotten some skilled work experience abroad.

The FSW is operated through the Express Entry immigration system and is attained through a merit-based immigration program that uses a points-based Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score that ranks candidates against one another automatically. 

If after you have checked the ranking score and you meet the eligibility requirements as an international student, then consider FSW a great pathway to becoming a Canadian permanent resident.

Note: Applicants may have to prove that they have held a fulltime, continuous, skilled work experience for a minimum period of 12-months in any country, or a part-time experience equivalent to that. If an international student has never entered the workforce, they are advised to try other programs as this may not be for them.

Canadian Experience Class

International students that have studied a full-time course for 2 years in an accredited post-secondary school in Canada may qualify for this program. There are some requirements for this option, and they include: that the international student must have completed their program and obtained the educational credential and that the international student must have a 12 months’ full-time work experience in a skilled position.
Note that unpaid internships or co-op placements do not count and your work experience should be obtained after graduating from the program of study.

Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC)

For you to qualify for this option, you have to get a full-time job offer in a skilled trade from up to 2 Canadian employers or a certificate of qualification from a Canadian provincial or territorial authority. This stream is for tradespersons.

After FSTC, there are a lot of opportunities to build connections for trades students and graduates in Canada.

Provincial Nominee Programs

In Canada, every province runs its own immigration programs, and they refer to this as Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). There are different criteria for getting accepted in a provincial nominee program as each PNP operates differently to meet the objectives of that specific province or territory. The PNPs are normally favourable to applicants who have a kind of connection to the province, connections which include: study completed within the province and work experience gained in the province. 

This is a great way to permanently reside in Canada, as you may receive your Canada permanent residence quickly using this option. Although some provinces do not give preference to international student graduates and Immigrants with worth experience from their province.

Quebec Immigration Options

The province of Quebec just like every other province operates its own immigration system and has it’s own requirements,  procedures and rules guiding it. This might be different from other provinces but is for sure similar to the rest of Canada.

International students are placed at a high priority according to Quebec’s immigration programs, therefore making it easier for them to apply for permanent residence. There are two permanent residence programs designed for international students in Quebec province:

Quebec Experience Program (PEQ): For you to apply through this stream, you may have to be a graduate of an institution in Quebec or be within 6 months of completing your studies at any institution in Quebec. For an international student to qualify for the PEQ, they must have a good knowledge of oral French.

Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW): For you to apply through this stream, you may have to be a graduate of an institution in Quebec or be within 6 months of completing your studies at any institution in Quebec. The QSW is different from the PEQ in the sense that you necessarily do not need to have a good knowledge of oral french as your eligibility is greatly dependent on your points assessment grid score on the program.

Post-Graduation Work Permits

This kind of work permit doesn’t offer a direct permanent residence but allows international students who have graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) to stay back in Canada after they might have concluded their studies and work with any Canadian employer.

What the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) does is to qualify you for the Canadian permanent residence through either the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or an employer-driven Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). 

It is important to note that not every program in the DLIs is eligible for a post-graduation work permit, hence, consider checking if your course of study and program is eligible before applying. See more about Post-Graduate Work Permit

Canada is a great place to live, and will definitely worth every effort you put in to get a permanent residence here.

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