Study abroad in Canada!

World-class education is at your fingertips.

International students choose to study at countless Canadian universities, colleges and polytechnics, which offer hundreds of study programs.

Most of these programs are open to international students. The vast selection allows everyone to find a program that fits his/her career goals. 

However, equally important is to consider long-term immigration implications of a particular study program and school.

What To Pay Attention To

Apart from choosing a suitable field of study, it is essential to consider the immigration side of your selection. Continue reading to learn what you should pay attention to if you want to obtain a study permit, work during studies, gain additional Canadian work experience after graduation and become a permanent resident.

Designated Learning Institutions

No matter if you plan to leave after the completion of your studies in Canada or if you would like to stay after graduation and obtain permanent residence, all foreign applicants must make sure that their school is a ‘Designated Learning Institution (DLI).’ A foreign applicant, who has been accepted to study at a school that is not a DLI, will not be able to obtain a study permit.

Foreign nationals can however take a course that is shorter than 6 months and study without a study permit. In such case, it is not required that the school is a DLI institution. Many professional development courses fall under this category. Note that students of such courses cannot automatically work during their studies and the completion of such course will not lead to a post-graduation work permit. There is also no benefit towards the person’s permanent residence in Canada.

Study Abroad Canada Fact #1

"In order to obtain a study permit, you have to be accepted to study at a Designated Learning Institution."

Work During Studies

Study abroad in Canada comes with a few perks. Most international students appreciate that they can earn extra money and gain work experience while studying. Importantly, work experience during studies counts towards the qualifying experience under some Provincial Nominee Programs for permanent residence. In addition, building a work relationship during studies may help obtain a full-time job offer from the employer after graduation. A full-time offer is often a requirement of permanent residence programs. Eligible international students can work on-campus or off-campus without a work permit.

Work On-Campus

In order to work on-campus, international students must:

Work Off-Campus

In order to work off-campus, international students must:

Study Abroad Canada Fact #2

"To work off-campus, you must be enrolled in a program longer than 6 months that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate."

Work in Canada After Graduation

Work in Canada after graduation is the goal of many international students. For most of them, it is also the only way to qualify for permanent residence. In order to obtain a ‘Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)‘, international student must complete a program that is at least 8 months in length. In addition, they must graduate from a DLI school from a program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate. Finally, the study program must be PGWP eligible.

Study Abroad Canada Fact #3

"To qualify for a Post Graduation Work Permit, you will need complete a program of at least 8 months in length."

Length of Studies in Canada

The length of the study program is crucial because it co-determines whether an international student is eligible for a PGWP. Importantly, it also determines the length of time the PGWP will be valid for. If an international student takes a program that is 8 months to less than 2 years in length, the PGWP will likely be issued for the same period of time. For example, if a program officially takes 18 months to complete, the PGWP will likely have 18 months of validity. Graduates of study programs, that are are at least 2 years in length, will likely receive a PGWP with validity for 3 years. Longer the validity of the PGWP, more time international students have to gain experience and/or find employment to qualify for permanent residence.

Study Abroad Canada Fact #4

"The length of a Post Graduation Work Permit depends on the length of your study program."