Permanent Residency in Canada for International Students

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Permanent residency in Canada for international students can be obtained through a number of provincial and federal immigration programs. This maze of options can be overwhelming to navigate. Therefore, we have prepared a set of guidelines and a table of suitable programs to help you make the right decisions.

Think About Your Plan Early

It is a commonplace that international students start researching their options for permanent residency (PR) when they are already studying in Canada. This can be late to prevent complications. 

Keep in mind that each program for permanent residency has different requirements. Your ability to meet them often depends on your choice of a study program as well as the province where you study.   

Review the table below for a list of suitable programs and their main requirements.   

For example, an international student in Ontario, who is enrolled in a one-year diploma program, which does not require a completed degree as an admission requirement, will not be able to apply under any of the provincial programs. The minimum requirement in such situations is completion of a two-year program. Simultaneously, the same student may face problems qualifying for otherwise popular federal Canadian Experience Class program. Having only one-year post-graduate work permit, and providing that such student must still find an employment in NOC 0, A or B level, he or she may not be able to gain full 365 days of work experience, which are one of the program’s prerequisites. Our student is then left with some chance to demonstrate eligibility for Federal Skilled Worker Program or must seek immigration through programs in other provinces. This may, however, pose new challenges. Ideally, a student intending to study only a one-year program would choose a different province to pursue the studies. Review the table below for a list of suitable programs and their main requirements.   

Permanent Residency in Canada for International Students Tree Chart

Rules for PR in Canada for International Students

In order to obtain permanent residency in Canada for international students as easily as possible, you should research the immigration programs in your province or multiple provinces of preference prior to applying for a school. 

Some provinces require that applicants obtain experience and a job offer from a local employer, others facilitate international students who complete specific study programs. Some programs are open only to international graduates from that province. Others are open to anyone but international graduates from that province receive an advantage. 

Often, this advantage is in the form of extra points. These extra points can make a difference between having an opportunity to apply and missing out. Review the table below for a list of suitable programs and their main requirements.   

How Can an International Student Become a Permanent Resident

The answer is simple: through proper planning. Even before an international student applies for a study program in Canada, it is possible to calculate his or her chances to qualify under federal Express Entry programs such as: Canadian Experience Class or Federal Skilled Worker. In addition, a plan can be drawn up, which provinces would provide the most opportunity to gain permanent residency for those who would not likely qualify under federal Express Entry programs or those who would like to have a plan B.    

Table: Permanent Residency in Canada for International Students

Program

Connected to Express Enrty

Job Offer Needed

Qualifying Work Experience

Language Score Needed

Work in the Field of Study

Advantage to Work & Study in one province

Yes

No

1 year in Canada in past 3 years

CLB 7 – NOC 0 or A; CLB 5 – NOC B

No

No

Yes

No

1 year in past 10 years

CLB 7

No

No

No

No

No

7 de l’Echelle québécoise

No

Yes, must graduate in Quebec

No

Yes

Some experienece, minimum 6 months to gain points

No

No

Yes, extra points

Yes

Yes

As per qualifying Express Entry program

As per the qualifying Express Entry Program

No, offer in position that needs post-secondary education

Yes, extra points

No

Yes

No

N/A – NOC 0 & A

CLB 4 – NOC B

No, offer in position that needs post-secondary education

Yes, extra points

Yes

No

As per qualifying Express Entry program

As per the qualifying Express Entry Program

No, but degree must be in:

– agriculture
– biological and biomedical sciences
– computer and information sciences and support services
– engineering
– engineering technology
– health professions and related clinical sciences
– mathematics and statistics
– natural resources conservation and research
– physical sciences

Yes, must graduate in BC

No

No

No

No

No, but degree must be in:

– agriculture
– biological and biomedical sciences
– computer and information sciences and support services
– engineering
– engineering technology
– health professions and related clinical sciences
– mathematics and statistics
– natural resources conservation and research
– physical sciences

Yes, must graduate in BC

Yes

Yes

6 months

CLB 4 – NOC 0, A, B, C and D.

CLB 7 – NOC code 3413

Yes

Yes, must graduate in Alberta

No

Yes

6 months (for SK graduates off-campus work counts)

N/A – NOC 0, A & B

CLB 4 – NOC C

Yes

Yes, work experience during studies may count

No

Yes

6 months for MB graduates

1 year for other provinces

N/A – NOC 0, A & B

CLB 4 – NOC C & D

No

Yes, shorter qualifying work period

No

Yes, must be on in-demand list

No

CLB 7

No

Yes, must graduate in MB

No

No

No, must complete a Mitacs internship

CLB 7

No

Yes, must graduate from Master’s or Doctoral studies in MB

No

Business Plan required

Once conditions of the business are met

CLB 7

No

Yes, must graduate in MB

No

Yes, Noc 0, A, or B

No

No

No, but must complete a two-year program or one-year program that requires completion of a degree for admission

No

No

No

No

CLB 7

No

Yes, must graduate with Master’s in ON

No

No

No

No

No

Yes, must graduate with a Doctoral degree in ON

No

Yes, CLB 0, A, B or C

No

CLB 4

No

Yes, must graduate from a school in NB, PEI, NS or NL

Yes

Yes

1 year in Canada or iternationally

CLB 7

No

Yes, extra points

Yes

No

1 year in Canada in NS

CLB 7 – NOC 0 or A
CLB 5 – NOC is B

No

No

No

No

1 year managerial experience in Canada or internationally

CLB 7

No

Yes, must complete two-year studies in NS

Yes

No

1 year in NOC 0, A or B in Canada or internationally

CLB 7

No

Yes, extra points

No

Yes

1 year in NOC 0, A or B in Canada or internationally

CLB 4 – NOC C and D

No

Yes, extra points

No

Yes

6 months in PEI

No, enough to perform the job

Yes

Yes, only PEI graduates of two-year programs

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