Due to the new immigration policy that was made to attract over 1.4 million immigrants into Canada between 2023 and 2025 as reported by the New York Times, opportunities now call on international students who wish to get permanent residency in Canada to fasten their seat belts and make their dreams come true. Canada is known to be one of the hotspots for international students who wish to study abroad. Many international students continuously make inquiries on How To Get Permanent Residence In Canada As An International Student.
The underlying question of how to get permanent residence in Canada is what has prompted this post. Pay attention as we put you through the step-by-step guide on how to make your dream of Canadian permanent residency come true after your studies as an international student. The permanent residence process in Canada will be exclusively discussed, stay put.
In a statement by the Canadian government, “Temporary foreign workers and international students play an important role in Canada’s economy and that is why the government aims to enable greater pathways to permanent residency.” This means that getting a permanent residency in Canada will no longer be a difficult step if you follow our step-by-step guide to becoming a permanent resident in Canada.
Steps To Get Permanent Residence In Canada As An International Student
Due to the inclusive immigration policies implemented by Canada, a considerable number of students perceive this as an initial stride towards acquiring permanent residency (PR) status, and ultimately, Canadian citizenship. Knowing how to get your permanent residency after studying as an international student in Canada would make all the difference for you as an international student.
International students in Canada can take advantage of the numerous immigration programs towards getting their Permanent Residency status in Canada. Here are a few of the permanent residence processes in Canada for international students.
How To Get Permanent Residence In Canada
Taking any of the following Permanent Residency (PR) pathways for international students in Canada can fasten the actualization of your dream as a Canadian permanent resident.
- Express Entry
- Provincial Nominee Program
- Postgraduate Work Permit
- Family Sponsorship/Family Class
#1. Express Entry
You may have heard about Express Entry, Canada’s main economic immigration system. This entry was introduced in the year 2015 which became more favourable to international students by increasing their percentage yearly number of immigrants from 26% to 35% just in one year and keeps increasing.
This system uses certain criteria to assign points and people with a certain required total point are allowed to become residents. The Express Entry system is an internet-based platform designed to oversee and administer applications submitted by highly skilled individuals seeking to establish permanent residency in Canada. It consists of the following three categories:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
Before you are considered to be eligible for this invitation, you have to qualify for any of these three federal economic immigration programs and enter the Express Entry pool. With this, you will be required to take a test to ascertain your points.
A. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program is designed to cater to individuals who possess expertise in specific fields and have acquired work experience outside of Canada. The primary objective of this program is to facilitate their transition into becoming permanent residents of Canada. If you do not have the patience to take a job for maybe one year or perhaps you couldn’t get a work permit, this would be a better alternative if only you have some work experience back home.
Benefits of The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) As A Permanent Residence Process In Canada
- The Federal Skilled Worker Programme (FSWP) enables individuals to obtain permanent residency status within a relatively short period of six months.
- This stands in contrast to the lengthier processing times associated with other skilled worker programmes available in Canada.
Criteria For Application For Permanent Residence in Canada As An International Student Via The Federal Skilled Worker Program
The following requirements must be met if you wish to get permanent residence in Canada as an international student through the Express Entry: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program. The grade point here is determined using the following major points
- Language Ability: Up to 28 points if you can prove you can Read, Write and Listen effectively in either English or French by writing the test of language tests like IELTS, TEF, or their equivalent
- Education: You don’t need a degree to apply through the FSW program, although having one will help your case. Up to 25 points if you have a doctorate, Master’s 23, postgraduate 22, BSc 21, or Secondary school 5.
- Work Experience: A minimum of one year of uninterrupted work experience in a TEER occupation classified as level 0, 1, 2, or 3 is required. This work experience can be obtained through full-time employment, part-time employment, or a combination of both types of employment.
- Fund: Unless you fall under one of the following categories, you will need proof of sufficient funds to settle in Canada:
- Are presently authorised to work in Canada, or
- Have a legitimate employment offer from an employer in Canada.
- Check that you meet all the other requirements of the program and Create an Express Entry profile.
There is no maximum score to have, it’s just important to score as much as you can. The number of people needed is taken and the cut-off mark is drawn off the least score of the chosen set. Check your score with this app
Steps To Become A Canadian Permanent Resident Via The The Federal Skilled Worker Program
To get permanent residency in Canada as an international student through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, here are the steps to follow:
- Use CanadaVisa’s free online eligibility assessment to determine if you are qualified to participate in the FSWP.
- Register with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and submit an Express Entry profile.
- Check your mail for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency about once every two weeks, IRCC conducts Express Entry drawings.
- After receiving an ITA, send in your completed application for permanent residency to IRCC. After IRCC finishes reviewing your application, you’ll be free to relocate to Canada.
B. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
This category is basically for people who have worked in Canada for at least one year to become permanent residents. This might demand you first go for a work permit after your graduation. The purpose of this is to increase your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) point score.
Benefits of The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) As A Path To Permanent Residency In Canada
- Candidates who possess Canadian experience have the opportunity to acquire a greater number of Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points within the framework of the Express Entry system. This enhances their likelihood of acquiring permanent residency.
- Furthermore, individuals who are successful as candidates under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) through the Express Entry system typically obtain their permanent residence status within six months.
- One additional advantage of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is its distinction from the other two Express Entry programmes. Unlike these programmes, individuals who are successful under the CEC are not required to provide evidence to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that they possess sufficient financial resources to support themselves upon acquiring permanent residency.
Criteria For Application For Permanent Residence in Canada As An International Student Via The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
The following requirements must be met if you wish to get permanent residence in Canada as an international student through the Express Entry: Canadian Experience Class (CEC). The grade point here is determined using the following major points.
- Language Ability: You need to prove that you can Read, Write and Listen effectively in either English or French by writing the test of language tests like IELTS, TEF, or their equivalent
- Education: You don’t need a degree to apply through the FSW program, although having one will help your case.
- Work Experience: A minimum of one-year work experience in a Canada TEER occupation classified as level 0, 1, 2, or 3 is required. The minimum criteria for this programme do not include job experience earned while enrolled as a full-time student (including during a co-op work period).
- Check that you meet all the other requirements of the program and Create an Express Entry profile.
The following above is the step-by-step guide on how to get permanent residency in Canada as an international student through the Express Entry: Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Step To Obtain Canadian Permanent Residence Through The CEC As An International Student
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is the primary pathway for Canadian permanent residency for international students who enrol in and complete an educational programme in Canada that meets the programme requirements. To get permanent residency in Canada as an international student through the CEC, here are the steps to follow:
- You must graduate from an approved college or university in Canada.
- Fill out a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) application at IRCC.
- Earn at least 1,560 hours of Canadian work experience in a NOC TEER category 0, 1, 2, or 3 positions with your PGWP.
- Get a passing score on an IRCC-approved English or French language exam (a CLB 7 for NOC TEER category 0 and 1 job experience and a CLB 5 for NOC TEER category 2 and 3 work experience).
- Register for the Express Entry system. If you are invited to apply, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will try to complete your permanent residence application within six months.
C. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
The Federal Skilled Trades Programme FSTP offers skilled trades professionals an opportunity to pursue immigration to Canada. It is designed to cater to proficient skilled trade workers who aspire to obtain permanent residency status in Canada.
Benefits of The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) As A Permanent Residence Pathway For International Students In Canada
- Successful FSTP applicants can get permanent residency through Express Entry in as little as six months.
- Since FSTP applicants are exempt from proving their level of education, they may have lower CRS scores than other Express Entry pool applicants.
- On occasion, IRCC arranges Express Entry lotteries that are exclusive to FSTP applicants.
- If you are eligible for a provincial nomination, which almost ensures Express Entry success, then you should enter the pool and boost your chances of getting permanent residence.
- A provincial nomination is worth 600 additional CRS points, increasing the likelihood that you will obtain an invitation to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry.
- Candidates for the Federal Skilled Trades Programme who already have job experience in Canada have a leg up on the competition. In the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), IRCC gives preference to applicants who have both worked and studied in Canada.
- When you become a permanent resident of Canada through the FSTP, you will have an advantage in the job market thanks to the information, contacts, experience, and abilities you acquired while working in Canada.
Criteria For Application For Permanent Residence in Canada As An International Student Via Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
The following requirements must be met if you wish to get permanent residence in Canada as an international student through the Express Entry: Federal Skilled Trades Programme (FSTP).To be eligible for consideration, applicants must:
- Possess valid job offers for continuous, remunerated, full-time employment, with a minimum weekly commitment of 30 hours, from a maximum of two employers in Canada, for at least one year. Alternatively, they may present a certificate of qualification issued by a provincial or territorial body.
- Furnish evidence of their proficiency in the fundamental aspects of language, as determined by a designated language testing organisation, meeting the minimum threshold established by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), specifically Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB) 5 for speaking and listening, and CLB 4 for reading and writing.
- Have accumulated two years of full-time work experience, or an equivalent amount of part-time work, within the skilled trade sector, within the five years preceding their application.
- Be capable of demonstrating their skills, experience, and successful performance of the essential duties associated with their occupation.
How To Obtain Canadian Permanent Residence Through The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) As An International Student – A Step By Step Guide
- Use CanadaVisa’s free online eligibility assessment to determine if you are qualified to participate in the FSTP.
- Take an IRCC-approved English and/or French language exam if you want to apply for the FSTP or any of the other Express Entry programmes. You may choose to get an Educational Credential Assessment if you’ve studied abroad in a programme that qualifies for CRS credit. Visit the Express Entry page on CanadaVisa for further details.
- Register for Express Entry at no cost on IRCC’s website.
- Check the IRCC’s Express Entry drawings for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence. The average frequency of draws is once every two weeks.
- If you get an ITA, send your permanent residency application to IRCC by the date it specifies. The average time it takes IRCC to process a permanent residency application is less than six months.
#2. Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
The Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP) is a widely utilised pathway for international students seeking permanent residency (PR). It facilitates the nomination of skilled foreign nationals by a province to obtain Canadian permanent residency. After an individual has been nominated, they have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency.
The Provincial Nominee Programme is operational in almost all provinces and territories across Canada. According to the Canadian government, the provinces and territories that administer a Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP) include
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Criteria For Application For Permanent Residence in Canada As An International Student Via The Provincial Nominee Programme
The following criteria must be met if you wish to get permanent residence in Canada as an international student through the Provincial Nominee Programme. To be eligible for consideration, you must:
- Language Ability: You need to prove that you can Read, Write and Listen effectively in either English or French by writing the test of language tests like IELTS, TEF, or their equivalent. Although the particular test requirement to pass varies within states or provinces.
- Education: Pursue your academic endeavours in Canada
- Work Experience: In certain provinces, it may be necessary to provide a job offer (with specific requirements) as part of the application process.
One option for individuals seeking to immigrate to Canada is to establish an Express Entry profile or to submit a direct application to a specific province.
#3. Postgraduate Work Permit
Individuals who have successfully completed their studies at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada may potentially qualify for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) can be granted for a maximum duration of three years, depending on the length of your academic programme. By utilising this, individuals can remain and engage in professional activities within Canada.
What Is The Process For Applying For A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)?
Eligible individuals have the option to submit an application for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) either within Canada or from a foreign country.
Applicants are granted a maximum period of 180 days to submit their application for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) subsequent to the receipt of their:
- Certificate or Statement of Result for a completed Diploma or Diploma
- Academic Transcript and
- Recommendation Letter(s) from the school they attended.
In the event that the expiration of your study permit precedes the receipt of your academic grades, you will be presented with two alternative courses of action.
- To extend one’s stay in Canada, it is necessary to submit an application for a visitor record.
- It is advisable to consider departing from Canada and subsequently initiating the application process for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
#4. Family Sponsorship/Family Class
The Canadian immigration system permits Canadian citizens and permanent residents to act as sponsors for their immediate family members, facilitating their acquisition of permanent residency status. For example, if an individual possesses a spouse or common-law partner who holds Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, the latter can act as a sponsor, provided that both parties fulfil the eligibility requirements set forth by the Canadian government.
This programme facilitates the reunification of Canadian permanent residents with their immediate family members. Through the act of sponsoring individuals belonging to the family class, sponsors assume the responsibility of providing for the fundamental necessities of their family members, thereby mitigating their dependence on social assistance programmes.
International students are eligible to participate in this programme, as the individual seeking sponsorship may include a dependent child or sibling.
Other Means To Get Permanent Resident In Canada As An International Student
Apart from the above four ways of getting permanent residency status in Canada as an international student, there are other economic class pathways to get Permanent Resident Status in Canada. Canada provides a wide array of distinct economic class pathways, which encompass various avenues that also offer incentives to international student applicants. These alternative pathways within the economic class can be taken into consideration.
1. Atlantic Immigration Programm
The Atlantic Immigration Program offers a viable pathway for individuals who have pursued their education in the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador.
2. Hong Kong
This is strictly for Hong Kong citizens. Canada provides immigration opportunities for individuals from Hong Kong who have pursued their education in Canada.
3. Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot is a programme that grants permanent residency to international students who are currently residing in eligible rural and northern communities throughout Canada.