As an international student studying in Canada, completing your studies does not have to mean you have reached the end of your time in Canada. In fact, studying in Canada is considered to be one of the fast-track options to gaining permanent residence in Canada.
Many students use their studies as a stepping stone for temporary work and permanent residency in Canada.
Post-Graduate Work Permit
Many international students who complete tertiary education in Canada normally stay and obtain Canadian work experience. Once students have completed their studies in a program at an eligible Canadian tertiary institution, they can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit, which allows them to work in Canada.
The Canadian Government has recently made changes to the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program to make it more flexible and responsive to the needs of international students. Under the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program, international graduates can now obtain a three-year open work permit, which allows them to work for any Canadian employer in any industry. They are not required to have a Canadian job offer at the time of application.
Stay in Canada After You Graduate
If you decide to stay in Canada after you graduate, there are a number of programs that you can apply for.
A post-graduation work permit will allow you to gain valuable Canadian work experience, which in turn gives you access to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) visa. This program can be issued for the length of your study program, for up to three years duration.
For example, if you graduate from a four-year degree program, you could be eligible for a three-year work permit if you meet the criteria. If you graduate from an eight-month certificate program, you would be eligible for a work permit that is valid for no more than eight months.
The Canadian Experience Class visa gives graduates the opportunity to make a successful transition from temporary to permanent residence. This is open to candidates who are familiar with Canadian society and can contribute to the Canadian economy. A knowledge of English or French, as well as qualifying work experience, is a must.
Canadian Experience Class
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration category for Canada’s temporary foreign workers who wish to become Permanent Residents. Temporary foreign workers are also ideal candidates for Canadian immigration and Permanent Residency.
Canadian Experience Class applications are processed through the new Express Entry selection for immigration to Canada. Candidates who are eligible must express an interest in immigrating to Canada, create an online Express Entry profile and receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence before they make an application.