Immigrating to Canada through education
You can study at a Canadian university for 1-3 years and then stay in the country for permanent residence.
The process of immigrating to Canada under the regular federal or provincial programs is long and difficult. In addition, not everyone has enough points to complete it successfully. There is a way out — study in Canada and subsequent employment, and then obtaining permanent residency.
You can enter a Canadian university or college at any age. As a rule, there are no entrance exams. If you have a complete secondary education or any higher education, you can apply to a college or university. There is no fundamental difference in where to enter.
For admission, you must have the results of a language test. Usually, it is IELTS in English or TCF in French. Requirements may vary, but as a rule, the results must be at least IELTS 6.0.
Language tests should not scare you, as there are many exam preparation courses. You can take ones in your country, in Canada, or online with Canadian teachers. For example, at the ILAC language school, our partner, there is a special University Pathway Program, which is an English course for preparing for admission.
There are several ways to avoid taking the language exam. At colleges, you can find language centers that make it possible to enter without IELTS. Another option is to study online at ILAC, after which you can be enrolled in hundreds of partner universities and colleges without IELTS.
Entering a college or university
Once you have found a suitable educational institution for yourself, you need to apply for the chosen program and receive a confirmation letter. Then apply for a temporary resident visa and study permit. You can do this online or at a visa application center in your country.
After studying at a Canadian university, you will receive a certificate or diploma that is recognized around the world. There are several levels of education in Canada:
- undergraduate: certificate and diploma programs that last for 1 to 3 years, and a bachelor's degree, which can be obtained after 3-4 years of studies;
- graduate: master's degree, which requires 1 to 3 years of post-baccalaureate studies;
- postgraduate: a PhD degree, which is obtained in 3 years or more after the previous stages.
Academic credits in Canada
In Canada, students organize their study schedules, choosing compulsory and optional subjects. In most universities and colleges, the academic year consists of 2-3 semesters: usually from September to December (fall semester) and from January to April (winter semester). Admission of students can be in September, January and May. Many educational institutions also offer courses during the summer holidays (usually from May to August).
Canadian universities and colleges use a system of academic credits, which assigns a certain value to courses, which is taken into account at the end of the program. Roughly speaking, credits are how many hours you spent studying. In the full-time study, a standard semester consists of 15 academic credits, all subjects considered. At the same time, each subject makes some contribution to this amount, depending on how many hours a week you attend it.
Typically, the total number of credits required is as follows:
- certificate or diploma: 30 credits;
- bachelor’s degree: 90–120 credits;
- master’s degree: 45 credits;
- PhD degree: 90 credits.
PR in Canada after studying
After graduation, you need to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit or PGWP. The duration of a work visa depends on the length of study. If you studied for a year, then you receive a PGWP for a year, if you studied for 2 or 3 years, then you receive a PGWP for 3 years.
Canada has many provincial immigration programs that are designed specifically for graduates. Also, after gaining work experience, you will be able to apply for the federal Canadian Experience Class Program or similar provincial programs.
Cost of studying in Canada
The cost of studying at a Canadian university or college is usually around $15,000 CAD per year. You will have to pay another approximately $1,000 CAD for study materials. Usually, the payment can be divided into parts. When applying for a visa, you need to show an additional $10,000 CAD for a year of residence, but it is better if you have more money in your account. Thus, a year of study with living expenses will cost you no less than $25,000 — 30,000 CAD.
Good news for those who plan to stay in Canada after graduation and start working: later you can get some of the money you paid back as a tax credit. Also, while studying, you can work up to 20 hours a week, and during holidays — up to 40 hours a week. This will help partially offset the cost of education.
Let us help
Some people choose an academic program and college based on their preference or lower cost. Very often, this approach leads to a visa refusal. Therefore, we recommend that you book a consultation with an immigration consultant who will assess your chances of obtaining a visa, select the right college or university, and apply for a study visa.