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Study Pathways to Permanent Residence

Many PR programs privilege applicants who either have ties to a specific province, Canadian work experience, or a Canadian educational credential. Students in Canada should ensure they meet the conditions of their study permit throughout their stay because if they violate the terms of their study permit their future immigration applications will be jeopardized. 

Immigration Programs for International Students

The following programs listed below may provide international student graduates with accelerated pathways to becoming Canadian permanent residents:

  • Canadian Experience Class

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program

  • Provincial Nominee Programs

  • Quebec Immigration Options

  • Post-Graduation Work Permits

Canadian Experience Class

This program is for skilled workers who have Canadian work experience and want to become permanent residents. Candidates must have at least 12 months of full-time, skilled work experience, completed in Canada within the previous 3 years. To be eligible, you must:

  • meet the required language levels needed for your job for each language ability​

  • have at least 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada, in the last 3 years before you apply. The work experience must be:

    • full-time or

    • an equal amount in part-time

  • have gained your work experience by working in Canada legally

According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification, skilled work experience means:

  • managerial jobs (skill level 0)

  • professional jobs (skill type A)

  • technical jobs and skilled trades (skill type B)

Your work experience can be in 1 or more NOC 0, A or B jobs.

You must show that you performed the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the National Occupational Classification. This includes all the essential duties and most of the main duties listed.

Federal Skilled Worker

This program is for people who are selected to immigrate to Canada because of their work experience and skills. All FSW candidates must have a minimum of one year of skilled work experience. Because this program does not require a connection to Canada, it is a good option for foreign nationals living outside of Canada. To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Have a job offer; or

  • Be eligible to work in Canada; or

  • Be able to prove that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependents after you arrive in Canada

  • Have at least 1 year of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience

  • Meet minimum language levels in English or French

  • Have a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree

  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

  • Your work experience must be either Skill Type 0, Skill Level A or Skill Level B on the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC).

  • Your work experience must be paid, full-time or the equivalent hours part-time. Full-time means at least 30 hours per week. You must have had that work experience during the last 10 years.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

Each province, with the exception of Quebec, operates several PNP streams. These streams are designed by the provinces to help meet their unique immigration goals, so the eligibility criteria and application procedures vary and all nominations must eventually be approved by the federal government. Depending on the province where an international student completed their program of study, they may be eligible to apply for a PNP within that province.


Post-Graduate Work Permits

PGWPs are open work permits granting foreign nationals the freedom to work for different employers in different locations and does not LMIA. PGWPs also allow recent graduates to gain Canadian work experience. With enough Canadian work experience, many graduates become eligible for PR programs, including one of the following pathways:

  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)

  • Provincial Nomination Programs (PNP)

  • Quebec Immigration Programs


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