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Pathways To Permanent Residency For International Students in Canada

There are over 100 immigration pathways to permanent residency for international students in Canada. The journey from transitioning from being an international student to a permanent resident is never an easy or straightforward path. Back in the day, all you needed was one-year work experience, apply and in 6 months you become a permanent resident. The times have changed since Covid particularly for international students who want to become a permanent resident in Canada, processing times are longer and the CRS scores are higher. International students are now forced to consider other pathways.

As an international student migrating to Canada, your journey to permanent residency in Canada should be like this below

Overview of Student Immigration Journey to Permanent Residency in Canada

  1. Complete your university program
  2. Apply for your post-graduate work permit
  3. Work a job for at least one year in NOC 0, A or B
  4. Take the language test
  5. Apply for Permanent Residency

As an international student, you may ask – Which permanent residency immigration program should you apply for?  The answer depends on what you qualify for. The best way to become a permanent resident as an international student is by going through the Canada Experience Class under the express entry program. However, there are other pathways which are:

Immigration Pathways To Permanent Residency For International Students in Canada

Express Entry 

The express entry program has 3 immigration programs which are:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program – The program is for foreigners who have at least one year of foreign work experience in Canada.
  2. Federal Skilled Trades Worker – This program is for foreigners who have at least 2 years of experience in NOC B job.
  3. Canada Experience Class (CEC) – The program is for temporary residents in Canada that have at least one-year work experience in Canada.

Years of experience and age play a huge role in your ability to receive an invitation to apply (ITA).

Provincial Nomination Program (PNP)

This program nominates foreigners, temporary residents and international students to apply to move to specific provinces. All provinces except Quebec have this program. Here are a few ways to get a provincial nomination:

  • You can apply directly via the specific province’s website
  • If you create an express entry profile, there is a chance that a province might express an interest in you. 
  •  A draw is done directly from the express entry pool.

Best PNP programs for international students:

  1. New Brunswick International Student Program
  2. Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program
  3. Manitoba Career Employment Pathway
  4. BC International Post-Graduate Category
  5. Atlantic Immigration Program

Spousal Sponsorship

This applies to international students who have a spouse or common-law partner who is a PR or citizen. All you need to do is submit an application proving you are married or living with a common law partner for at least a year. I have a detailed post on spousal sponsorship in Canada.

Quebec Immigration Options

The province of Quebec has its own immigration program that caters to international students and temporary workers. Here are the two programs under this stream for international students:

  1. Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW): This program is for skilled workers in Quebec which include international students & foreigners who want to live in Quebec.
  2.  Quebec Experience Program (PEQ):  This is for international students who have completed their education and have had a job in Quebec in the last 6 months. You will have to fulfil a french language requirement.

If your application for permanent residency has been approved, you will now be on your journey to becoming a citizen of Canada.

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