Is it possible to immigrate to Canada as an international student? Studying in Canada is the first step that will allow students from outside Canada to work in Canada during or after their graduation (depending on the program). The immigration process will be complete after a required number of years of work experience is achieved, all eligibility criteria are met, and a permanent residence card is issued.
In the meantime, the pathway of immigration through education goes as follows:
● Selecting an education program in Canada
● Applying to the higher educational institution that runs the program
● Applying for a study permit
● Completing a degree
● Finding a job
● Pursuing permanent residence
If you are contemplating immigration to Canada through education, first of all, you need to explore your educational options. As of 2021, Canada has 106 universities and 150 community colleges offering over 15,000 study programs, most of which are authorized by IRCC to accept international students. See if you can afford tuition fees, or if you may qualify for a scholarship, and apply for the program of your choice.
Once you receive a letter of acceptance from the university or college of your choice, apply for a study permit to the Government of Canada. To qualify for a study permit, provide proof that you are financially capable to cover your tuition fees and support yourself in Canada.
In most cases study permits allow international students to legally work for up to 20 hours per week during their programs off campus. On campus students typically are allowed to work full-time.
Canadian permanent residence normally requires a three-year Canadian work experience to become eligible for more immigration programs. However, you are encouraged to explore your immigration options during your studies to see if your current skills and experience may qualify you for a provincial nominee program.
Why Should You Get a Canadian Education?
In addition to the high quality and relative affordability of higher education in Canada, here is a list of benefits international students can consider before making a decision to pursue immigration through education:
● You can start getting a Canadian degree right now while staying in your country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most Canadian universities and colleges offer their programs online. If you take a two-year Canadian program online, you will be eligible for a three-year Post-Graduation Work Permit you will require for permanent residence later
● Your spouse or partner will be eligible for an open work permit
● Your children will be able to attend a Canadian public school without a study permit
● Even before you graduate, you will be eligible to get permanent residence under some provincial nominee programs
● After graduation and 1-year Canadian work experience, you will qualify to get permanent residence under the Canada Experience Class program
What are My Options of Getting Permanent Residence?
Once you graduate and get a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), you can opt for any of the pathways for immigration through employment but it will be easier and probably faster due to your English or French language proficiency, Canadian education, and Canadian work experience. Here are the immigration programs for you to consider:
● Express Entry
● Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
● Atlantic International Graduate Program
● The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
Want to Get a Canadian Education?
If you already chose an institution and program to apply, remember that you will increase your college admission changes if you complete your application and prepare the required documents correctly, accurately, and timely.