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Wondering how to get Canada PR for students? You aren’t alone.

Canadian permanent residence (PR) is immensely significant for international students studying in Canada. It offers a pathway to long-term residency and citizenship, providing access to various benefits and opportunities. The Canada PR process for students is extensive but achievable.

Best Ways to Get PR for International Students

1. Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) allows international students to transition from temporary to permanent residency in Canada. It allows students who have completed their studies at designated learning institutions to work in the country temporarily.

Obtaining a PGWP is crucial for international students as it enables them to gain valuable Canadian work experience. This experience is often a requirement for various immigration streams leading to permanent residency, such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) under the Express Entry system.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Graduate from a designated learning institution (DLI): To be eligible for a PGWP, the program must be at least 8 months long and offered by a DLI.
  • Full-time student: Students must have maintained full-time status throughout their studies.
  • Apply within 180 days: Students must get their application within 180 days of graduation.
  • Valid immigration status: If applying from within Canada, students need valid immigration status.
  • Permit length: The PGWP lasts up to three years, based on the length of the study program and passport expiry (whichever comes first). There’s an exception for some Master’s degrees under two years (but at least eight months), which may qualify for a 3-year PGWP.

Role in PR Process

The PGWP plays a crucial role in the permanent residency process by allowing students to accumulate Canadian work experience. This experience enhances their eligibility for permanent residency and increases their chances of successfully immigrating to Canada. Therefore, obtaining a PGWP is essential for international students looking to establish their careers and future in Canada.

2. Express Entry System

The Express Entry system is Canada’s flagship immigration management system for economic immigration programs. It was introduced in 2015 to streamline selecting skilled workers for immigration to Canada. Under Express Entry, eligible candidates are ranked based on various factors, and those with the highest scores are invited to apply for permanent residency.

Benefits for International Students

  • Straightforward path to permanent residency: Express Entry offers a clear way for international students who studied in Canada to get permanent residency. Students can leverage their Canadian education and work experience to boost their chances of being invited to apply.
  • More points for Canadian graduates: International students with a Canadian diploma or degree get extra points in the Express Entry system, making their application more competitive.

Related Topic: 10 Benefits of Studying in Canada for International Students

Recent Change for Canadian Post-Secondary Graduates

  • Starting September 2024: Students in programs offered through private colleges under public college curriculums (licensing agreements) will no longer qualify for work permits after graduation. These programs have grown quickly but lack the same oversight as public colleges.
  • Good news for Master’s students: They can now apply for 3-year work permits! Before, the permit length matched the study program length, limiting work experience for Master’s grads.
  • Changes for spouses: Soon, only spouses of Master’s and PhD students will be eligible for open work permits. Spouses of students in other programs (undergrad, college) will no longer qualify.

Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and Its Relevance

The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) ranks candidates in the Express Entry pool. It evaluates eligible applicants by considering factors like education, age, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability. The CRS score is used to rank candidates in the pool and determine their likelihood of being invited to apply for permanent residency.

The CRS is relevant for international students as it provides a transparent and objective way to assess their eligibility for immigration to Canada. By understanding how the CRS works and the factors that contribute to their CRS score, international students can strategically position themselves to maximize their chances of success in the Express Entry system.

3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is a federal immigration program designed to facilitate the transition of skilled workers who have gained valuable Canadian work experience to permanent residency. It is one of the pathways under the Express Entry system and offers a direct route to PR for individuals who meet specific eligibility criteria.

One-Year Skilled Work Requirement after Graduation

One key eligibility requirement for the CEC program is having at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada. This work experience must have been obtained within the three years preceding the application for permanent residency.

TEER stands for Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities. It’s a system used in Canada to categorize occupations based on the required skill level. This categorization is important for Canadian immigration, specifically the Express Entry system.

Here’s a breakdown of TEER categories and their importance for immigration:

  • TEER Levels (0, 1, 2, 3): These are considered high-skilled occupations and are generally eligible for Express Entry programs like the Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker Program, and some occupations under the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
  • TEER Levels (4, 5): These are considered low-skilled occupations and typically don’t qualify independently for Express Entry.

Language Proficiency Requirements

Language proficiency is another essential aspect of eligibility for the CEC program. Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in either English or French by taking a recognized language test. The required language proficiency level varies depending on the skill level of the occupation in which the applicant gained their Canadian work experience.

A higher language proficiency level (Canadian Language Benchmark 7 or higher) is required for occupations classified as TEER 0 or 1, while a slightly lower proficiency level (Canadian Language Benchmark 5 or higher) suffices for TEER 2 or 3 occupations.

Advantages of CEC for Students and Graduates

  • Fast track to PR: The CEC program lets international students and graduates with Canadian work experience apply for permanent residency directly, skipping the need for a job offer. This makes the process smoother, especially for those with valuable Canadian experience.
  • Leverage your PGWP experience: If you have a PGWP and gained work experience in Canada after graduation, you can use that experience to qualify for CEC. Meeting the one-year skilled work requirement and showing language skills strengthens the chances of permanent residency through CEC.
  • Build a future in Canada: Overall, the CEC program provides a clear and appealing path for international students and graduates to become permanent residents, allowing them to stay and build their careers in Canada.

4. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are immigration pathways that allow individual provinces and territories in Canada to nominate candidates for permanent residency based on their specific economic and demographic needs.

PNPs complement the federal immigration system by addressing regional labour market demands and promoting economic development in various provinces and territories across Canada.

Consideration of Canadian Education and Work Experience

PNPs often favour candidates with Canadian education and work experience. Many provinces have specific streams or categories within their PNPs that prioritize candidates with ties to the province, such as graduates of Canadian post-secondary institutions or individuals who have gained work experience there.

Having Canadian education and work experience can enhance a candidate’s eligibility for nomination through a PNP and increase their chances of successfully obtaining permanent residency.

Provinces with Favorable PNP Streams for Graduates

Several provinces in Canada offer favourable PNP streams for international students and graduates. For example, Ontario has the International Student Stream, which allows graduates of eligible Canadian post-secondary institutions to apply for nomination if they have a job offer from an Ontario employer.
Similarly, British Columbia offers the International Graduate stream, targeting graduates of Canadian institutions who have obtained a job offer in a high-demand occupation in the province.

Other provinces, such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia, have specific streams or categories within their PNPs tailored to international graduates. These streams often prioritize candidates with Canadian education and work experience, making them attractive options for graduates seeking permanent residency in Canada.

Overall, PNPs provide additional pathways to permanent residency for international students and graduates, allowing them to leverage their Canadian education and work experience to establish themselves in various provinces and territories across Canada. By exploring PNP options, graduates can enhance their chances of achieving their goal of becoming permanent residents of Canada.

5. Visitor Visa, Study Visa, and Work Permit

  • While not direct PR pathways, these visas and permits can be stepping stones.
  • After graduating from your studies, apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit if you want to work in Canada.
  • Gaining Canadian work experience can enhance your chances of qualifying for PR later.

6. Business Investor Programs

If you are an international graduate entrepreneur or an investor interested in exploring business opportunities in Canada, you may find it helpful to look into specific programs such as the Start-Up Visa Program or provincial business streams.

These programs aim to encourage investment and job creation in Canada and can provide valuable support and resources to help you get started. With its supportive business environment, diverse economy, and highly skilled workforce, Canada can be a great place to start or grow a business.

Get Professional Help with Your Canadian PR Application

Apply for Canadian PR with the Help of Licensed RCIC Experts.

Tips for a Successful PR Application for International Students

Preparing a Strong PR Application

Ensure all required documents are accurate, complete, and organized. Double-check application forms and supporting materials before submission. Highlight relevant education, work experience, and language proficiency to strengthen your candidacy.

Document Requirements

Gather essential documents such as identification, educational credentials, employment records, and language test results. Follow guidelines provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regarding document format, translation, and certification.

Medical Exams and Police Clearances

Undergo medical examinations from designated physicians and obtain police clearance certificates from all countries where you have lived for six months or more since you were 18. Adhere to specific requirements outlined by IRCC to ensure timely application processing.

Seeking Professional Guidance

Consider consulting with an authorized immigration consultant or lawyer for personalized advice and assistance throughout the application process. Professionals can offer insights, address concerns, and navigate complexities, increasing your chances of a successful PR application.

Navigating the PR application process can be complex. Still, with thorough preparation, attention to detail, and potentially professional guidance, you can present a robust application and move closer to achieving your goal of permanent residency in Canada.

Obtaining PR in Canada is an achievable goal for international students post-graduation. By leveraging pathways like the PGWP, Express Entry, CEC, and PNPs, students can embark on their journey toward permanent residency and citizenship. With careful preparation and guidance, international students can build a promising future in Canada, enjoying the benefits of living and working in this diverse and welcoming country.

Need help?

Let Elaar Immigration be your trusted partner on this journey. With our expertise in Canadian immigration, we offer tailored solutions for Business, Study, and Family and Economic Immigration. Contact us today for a seamless experience in securing your permanent residency!

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