It is no secret that Canada’s immigration policy focuses on the strategic role of international students in the country’s economic development and prosperity. The federal government links international education to the domestic economy and attracts as many international students as possible by introducing multiple Immigration Programs for Students. Undoubtedly, international students are ideal immigrants to Canada, since having a Canadian diploma, knowledge of official languages (at least one) and, naturally, Canadian work experience allows them to quickly and efficiently integrate into the country’s workforce after the completion of their study program. In addition, usually, students are people of relatively young age, with excellent health, ambitions and ideas!
Canadian Immigration Pathways for International Students
There are many opportunities for international students to immigrate to Canada. Most importantly, the desire to immigrate to Canada and get an education in the maple leaf country does not contradict. From the point of view of immigration rules, such a dual intent is legit and described in the law. Thus, under subsection 22 (2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), “It is legal to have two intentions (one for temporary residence and one for permanent residence).” The main thing is to convince the Department of Immigration that the international student will not violate the conditions of his/her stay in Canada and, if necessary, will leave the country under section 179 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) upon the expiration of his/her temporary residence visa.
Whichever strategy you choose, student immigration is a great way to get permanent residence in Canada anyway.
Most immigration programs target candidates with links to Canada or a specific province and Canadian work experience or education in Canada. International students in Canada have all these advantages in their arsenal.
Canadian Experience Class:
The opportunity to obtain permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class program is one of the main advantages of international students. This program is operated through the Express Entry system and allows you to obtain immigrant status within 6-8 months.
The main requirement for this program is one year of work experience in Canada in a skilled job from the NOC TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3 occupation lists within three years after graduation from a Canadian college or university. Thus, every student who has completed their studies and obtained a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) can apply for this program.
Moreover, international students can receive additional points in Express Entry for having a Canadian diploma. So, a one- or two-year college program will grant an extra 15 points, and a three-year program, bachelor’s or master’s degree, will grant 30 points.
In addition, for one year of work experience in Canada, graduates can earn 40 more points in their profile (or 35 if the student is married). Spouses of international students can also add a few points for Canadian work experience.
An additional bonus of this program is the absence of the requirement to show proof of funds, which is present in the other Express Entry programs (Federal Skilled Workers and Federal Skilled Trades).
Provincial Immigration Programs for Graduates:
With a Canadian college or university diploma, and most importantly, a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP), the graduate can try many provincial programs. When planning immigration through education, the most important thing is to check which PNPs are available in the province you are planning to study. It depends on the degree of the diploma, the qualifications of the graduate, and also on the availability of a job offer.
Immigration programs for students in Ontario:
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) offers three streams aimed at international students: Ph.D. Graduate Stream, Masters Graduate Stream and Employer Job Offer: International Student Stream. The first two programs require candidates only to complete the corresponding program in the province of Ontario. The latter program also requires a job offer from a local employer.
Immigration programs for students in British Columbia:
British Columbia has several immigration streams for international students. For example, within the Express Entry British Columbia and Skills Immigration streams, there are International Graduate categories, which allow graduates who have completed an eight-month program or longer to receive a provincial nomination, subject to a job offer from a British Columbia employer. In addition, the International Post-Graduate category provides an opportunity to receive a nomination for those who have completed a master’s or doctoral program in natural, applied or medical sciences. At the same time, BCPNP does not require a job offer in these programs.
Immigration programs for students in Manitoba:
The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) offers an International Education Stream to university and college graduates in the province. Soon, Manitoba will reform this program, dividing it into three subprograms. Thus, the Career Employment Pathway will serve those who have studied for at least one year or two academic semesters. The Graduate Internship Pathway is aimed at those who have earned a Master’s or Doctorate in Manitoba in the past three years. Finally, the International Student Entrepreneur Pilot is for those who have completed at least two years of study and have started a business in Manitoba.
Immigration programs for students in Saskatchewan:
Saskatchewan’s stream for students is unique. It is the only program that accepts graduates from other provinces. The main requirements for this program are a Canadian diploma of one year or more, a full-time job offer in Saskatchewan, and six months of work experience in Saskatchewan. In addition, the province has established an International Graduate Entrepreneur Category program for graduates who start a business after two years of study at a Saskatchewan educational institution.
Immigration programs for students in Alberta
Currently, Alberta has only one business immigration program aimed at students. Thus, the International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream allows AINP to nominate qualified international graduates who want to start or do business in Alberta.
Immigration programs for students in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia’s provincial program invites former students and now entrepreneurs with their businesses and intent to live in the provinces to immigrate through the International Graduate Entrepreneur Stream. In addition, in 2021, NSNP created the International Graduates in Demand stream, which targets recent international graduates in specific professions. This stream is currently open to nursing assistants and paramedics and early childhood educators and assistants.
Immigration programs for students on Prince Edward Island
The International Graduate Stream is a PEI PNP stream for graduates with a job offer in Prince Edward Island province. This program requires a diploma from a provincial college or university and a valid work permit.
Immigration programs for students in Newfoundland and Labrador
The Atlantic province of Newfoundland and Labrador welcomes graduates from any Canadian institution who have a job offer in the province. If the candidate already works for a provincial employer, the International Graduate stream will also consider such candidates. In addition, a stream under the NLPNP for enterprising alumni who wish to run their business in the province also attracts international graduates.
Immigration programs for students in New Brunswick
The New Brunswick Post-Graduate Entrepreneurial (PGES) Stream is for graduates who complete a two-year program at a university or college in New Brunswick and have created or acquired a business, which they have run for at least one year.
Studying in Canada is one of the safest and most reliable paths to immigration. By investing in your education, you are discovering multiple pathways to obtain permanent residence in Canada.
Book a consultation about Immigration Programs for Students with Oleg Schindler, a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant!