How to stay in Canada permanently after studying
If you graduated from a university or college in Canada, you can become a permanent resident and then a citizen.
Entering a Canadian university or college is a popular and reliable way to permanent residency in Canada. There are several reasons for this:
- If you have studied and/or worked in Canada, you get extra points in many immigration programs, which increases your chances for permanent residency.
- While you are studying, your spouse or common-law partner can work in Canada on an open work permit and your children can attend public school. So the whole family can go to Canada together.
- Finding a job after graduation from a Canadian institution is much easier.
Many immigration programs are designed specifically for college and university graduates. Thus, in some cases, graduation is already sufficient to apply for immigration.
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But often graduates opt for another way, namely get Canadian work experience first. For example, it makes you eligible to apply to the federal program for candidates with Canadian work experience. The advantage of this program is that applications are processed fast and applicants can apply no matter where in Canada they studied.
You can work in Canada on a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). It lasts from one to three years, depending on how long your program of study lasted. To get a PGWP, you must meet several criteria:
- complete a minimum 8-month program at one of the eligible institutions called Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs);
- obtain a degree, diploma, or certificate from that institution;
- stay in Canada as a student for the entire period of study.
After working in Canada for a certain amount of time, you can apply for permanent residency under one of the federal or provincial programs. The period of work can vary: 6 months, 9 months, 1 or 2 years. Most often, you need to work for a year.
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