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Immigration to Canada through Education

Immigration to Canada through Education

How to study at a Canadian college for 1-3 years and then stay in Canada to work and live.

The immigration process to Canada through federal or provincial programs is lengthy and complex. Moreover, not everyone is able to gain the points required. There's an alternative: studying in Canada, followed by employment, and subsequent permanent residency.

General Requirements

You can apply to a Canadian educational institution at any age. If you have completed secondary education or any higher education, you can apply to a college or university.

Generally, there are no entrance exams. However, depending on the institution, program, or specialty, admission may require a certain grade point average (GPA) from your previous education, relevant education or work experience, an essay, or a motivation letter.

Language Exam

To enroll, you also need to prove proficiency in the language of instruction. This is typically done through language test results. Usually, applicants take the IELTS for English or TCF for French. Requirements may vary, but generally, test scores should be no lower than IELTS 6.0 or its equivalent in other testing systems.

Language tests shouldn't intimidate you, as there are numerous preparation courses available. You can take them in your home country, in Canada, or online with Canadian teachers. For example, ILAC language school, which we partner with, offers various English courses: general English, preparation for international tests, and business English.

If you prefer not to take an English language test, there's a solution for that as well. ILAC offers a special preparatory course for admission to foreign universities called University Pathway. ILAC collaborates with many Canadian institutions, and they accept the certificate from this preparatory program as an alternative proof of language proficiency. This way, you can enroll in a Canadian college or university without taking a language exam.

Applying to College or University

After choosing a suitable educational institution, you need to apply for your chosen program and receive a confirmation letter. Also, starting from late January 2024, obtaining Provincial Attestation Letters (PAL) is mandatory for admission to certain programs. These letters confirm your place at a specific provincial institution under the cap on international students.

After this, you can apply for a student visa and study permit. Our company, Immigrant.Today, assists future Canadian students with applying for these important documents.

Example of a student visa received by our client:

Student visa to Canada

After studying at a Canadian institution, you'll receive a certificate or diploma recognized worldwide. Canada has several levels of education:

  • Certificate and diploma programs lasting 1 to 3 years, and bachelor's degrees that take 3-4 years. You can apply for these programs with a high school diploma.
  • Postgraduate certificates and diplomas lasting 1-2 years, which require a previous college or university degree. These programs teach additional professional skills but are not equivalent to an academic degree.
  • Master's degree, requiring 1 to 3 years of study after a bachelor's degree.
  • Doctoral degree, obtained in 3 or more years after previous levels.

Academic Credits in Canada

In Canada, students organize their own study schedule, choosing mandatory and elective subjects. In most universities and colleges, the academic year consists of 2-3 semesters: typically September to December (fall semester) and January to April (winter semester). Student intake occur in September, January, and May, depending on the program and institution. Many schools also offer courses during summer break (usually May to August).

Canadian institutions use an academic credit system. Credits represent the hours you spend studying. For full-time study, a standard semester consists of approximately 15 academic credits, covering all subjects. Each subject contributes to this total, depending on how many hours per week you attend it.

Generally, the total number of credits required for graduation is as follows:

  • Certificate or diploma: 30 credits;
  • Bachelor's degree: 90–120 credits;
  • Master's degree: 45 credits;
  • Doctoral degree: 90 credits.

Moving with Family

You can move to Canada with your family. Your family members can accompany you on work or tourist visas. If you enroll in a master's or doctoral program, as well as certain other educational programs, your spouse can apply for an open work permit. Children can get tourist or student visas depending on their age.

Example of a Canadian work visa received by an accompanying spouse:

Work visa to Canada

Permanent Residency in Canada After Studies

After completing your studies, you need to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The duration of the work visa depends on the length of your studies. If you study for one year, you'll get a one-year PGWP; if you study for 2 or 3 years, you'll get a 3-year PGWP.

From February 2024, master's and doctoral program graduates receive a 3-year permit regardless of their study duration.

Canada has numerous provincial immigration programs specifically designed for graduates. Also, after gaining work experience, you can apply through the federal Canadian Experience Class program or similar provincial programs.

Cost of Studying in Canada

Tuition fees at Canadian universities typically cost around $15,000 CAD per year. You'll need to budget an additional $1,000 CAD for study materials. Usually, you can pay these fees in installments. When applying for a visa, you must also have $20,635 CAD in your bank account to prove you can support yourself while studying in Canada. If you plan to bring your family, the required living expenses will be higher.

Good news for those planning to stay and work in Canada after graduation: in subsequent years, you may be eligible for a tax credit on part of the tuition fees you've paid. Also, starting September 2024, international students can work up to 24 hours per week during the academic year and up to 40 hours per week during holidays. This can help offset some of your study expenses.

Admission Assistance

Some people choose their study program and college based on personal preferences or lower costs. However, this approach often leads to visa rejections. We recommend booking a consultation with an immigration consultant who can assess your chances of getting a visa, help you select a suitable college or university, and assist with your student visa application.

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