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Several International Students keen on Becoming Permanent Residents in Canada

March 2018, 19
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Canada witnesses a major increase in the number of global students who intend to transition to permanent residence.

The Study Permit holders of the past, who acquired permanent residency in 2017 was more than 1,000 when compared to the previous year. The figures of Federal government show that 9,400 former students acquired permanent residency in 2017 when compared to 8,250 in 2016.

This is a result of the push, exerted by immigration authorities, where top priority is given, to global students, and they are treated as important among the new PRs of Canada.  Presently, Canada issues around 400,000 study permits, each year, to meet the demands of the international students.

The approach of the Federal government favors the student rhetoric and is supported by policy changes. Increased points are awarded to the international students in the Express Entry, and many specific streams have been created for attracting graduates under programs like the Atlantic Immigration Pilot.

The message of IRCC to international student community is one of welcome for coming here and studying, and also to greet them to stay and build a career here after completion of graduation.

New PRs who were Study Permit Holders earlier

A process involving three-steps was established in Canada which targets international students. They hold Study Permits while pursuing education full time, and become eligible to have a Post Graduation Work Permit, and finally can use the experience acquired for qualifying to attain the permanent residence.

Canada today is an attractive destination where the foreign students consider various study options. Universities located in Canada show figures of an increase of 10.7 percent in the enrolment of international students.

This focus on international students is apt and timely when the neighboring USA has become a less attractive option for immigrants recently. It means Canada was successful in boosting the strength of foreign students after a strong competition in the backdrop of an anti-immigration administration

Canadian University International Student Cohort, 2017 Increase

Province   2017   Increase (%)

Alberta                 8.8

British Columbia       15.6

Manitoba                     5.6

Newfoundland & Labrador        10.5

New Brunswick              -5.7

Nova Scotia                     4.2

Ontario                           12.7

Prince Edward Island        12.8

Quebec                             9.1

Saskatchewan                2

CANADA                  10.7


There was an announcement in November 2017 that Canada will accept around a million new permanent residents during the next three years. A major chunk of international students are graduates coming out of Canadian universities.

The federal government regards them as a reliable investment, among the permanent residents. They are young and have the advantages a Canadian education, thorough knowledge of the official languages, and possess Canadian work experience besides the awareness of the life in the country. This eases their integration.

The Liberal government has made it easier for the global students to attain permanent residency.

The government has introduced points under Canada Express Entry. In Nov 2016, 30 CRS points were added for possessing a three-year post-secondary, professional or master’s degrees and doctorates and post-secondary diplomas of one/two years carried 15 CRS points. This has benefitted several graduates to achieve the Invitation to Apply.

Atlantic Immigration Pilot

The federal government and provinces promote the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, which has a category for global graduates. It was introduced in 2017 for reversing shrinking labor markets and aging populations in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland, and Labrador.

Provincial International Graduate Programs

Quebec also has an international graduate stream, which is a part of the Quebec Experience Program. It is a provincial program which offers permanent immigration to holders of diploma and undergraduate degree. Having a job offer is not required. It has a norm of possessing advanced intermediate oral French, but this rule is waived when half of the studies of the candidate are completed in Quebec. Candidates must complete the studies in French language or succeed in a French language test to attain permanent residence.

Similar programs

The OINP also has a similar program not requiring a job offer but is inclined towards Masters and Ph.D. graduates. The education requirement is difficult, and the candidates are required to have a proficiency equivalent to Canadian Benchmark Level 7 or higher in English or French. These streams are open for a period throughout the year.

Qualifying norms

Overseas students can qualify to work in Canada after completing graduation through applying for a PG Work Permit. They acquire valuable work experience in Canada through a special work permit which is issued for the tenure of the study program, for three years. This work experience can be used as a norm for permanent residence, through any of the above avenues.

 Requirements for Post Graduation Work Permit

  • Studying full time in the country in a program lasting 8 months,

  • Graduation from an institution of the public in post-secondary, or a private post-secondary institution, or also a private institution, which is authorized, by the province, to confer such degrees,

  • Submission of an application asking for a work permit within 90 days, after receiving confirmation of completion of the study program,

  • Receiving an eligibility notification to obtain a degree/ certificate/ diploma,

  • Possessing a Canada study visa or Canada study permit which is valid,

Many changes have been done to the Canadian citizenship requirements recently, which are of great benefit, to the international students, permitting them to count the time that is spent in Canada, at the time of studies, towards a plus in citizenship application. Holders of Study permit can count half day for a full day that is spent in Canada, in the citizenship application, and a period of one year is permitted.

The requirement of overall physical presence was reduced from four years, in six years to just three years in five years, permitting global students in becoming citizens Canada two years subsequent to becoming a PR.

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