Becoming an International Student as Pathway to Permanent Residence
Canada is fast becoming a hub for higher education for International Students. More and more international students are applying for admission to universities and colleges across Canada and these institutions are also changing their models for admission as the demand from the international community keeps increasing.
This is good news for a lot of students outside of Canada who want to come to Canada and avail of the high quality of education offered by universities and colleges.
On top of that, many who come to Canada with a student visa who has a spouse will qualify for an open work permit allowing the spouse/partner to work.
For the international student, there are provisions to allow you to work while studying. You can work in-campus or off-campus. A work permit is not required as long as you are a full-time student and your study permit is valid. This is very important when you are considering to apply for Permanent Residence in the future. You must have worked 12 months of full-time work (30 hours/week) or equivalent if you are to work part-time. With this work experience in Canada, you may be qualified to apply for the Canadian Experience Class (Express Entry). Other categories for permanent resident application are the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Provincial Nominee Program.
If you choose not to work while studying, you may be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). You must have continuously studied full-time in Canada in a study program at least eight months long, you have a document from your school that confirms you completed and passed all your program requirements and you must have a valid study permit when you apply for the work permit.
Remember that all of these have other requirements other than what is stated above. Plan ahead. It is best to consult with a licensed Canadian Immigration Consultant to know about the intricacies of each category.