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PR through Study in Canada

Today, in a second instalment Warda Shazadi Meighen, a Partner at Landings LLP in Toronto, guides international students on the importance of planning ahead if you are considering pursuing Permanent Resident (PR) status in Canada after your studies.

If you are considering permanent residency in Canada in the future while applying for a study permit, there are various factors to consider when securing the best path for you.

First, you must ensure that when you apply for a study permit you have been accepted into a designated learning institution (DLI) that grants you eligibility to apply to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program. Not all educational institutions with DLI status provide eligibility to the PGWP program. For this reason, it is recommended that when you first begin to research schools you look to attend schools that are both a DLI and will grant you eligibility to apply to a PGWP.

(For More information see this earlier blog:

The Post-Graduation Work Permit provides students who have graduated from a DLI the ability to obtain an open work permit that will allow them to gain valuable Canadian work experience. To be eligible to apply for a PGWP you must complete a degree, diploma, or certificate study program at a DLI in Canada that is a minimum 8 months long. You must maintain full time enrolment status during each semester with the exception of your final semester where you can attend part-time. It is important to remember that you can only apply for a PGWP once. Additionally, the Canadian work experience gained through a PGWP will advance a student’s prospects to qualify for permanent residency though the Canadian experience class within the Express Entry program.

Find out if your job prospects make you eligible to apply for Express Entry

To qualify for Express Entry you must meet the required language levels for reading, writing, listening and speaking. You must also have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada in the last three years before applying. Lastly, you must have gained that experience by working in Canada under temporary residence status, such as the PGWP program. For your application to be considered in the Express Entry program, it must first be ranked using a point system. By attending a post-secondary institution in Canada, you can substantially improve your rank in the Express Entry pool.

According to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) to meet the one-year minimum requirement of skilled work experience in Canada the occupational experience gained through the PGWP must fall under one of the following three categories:

  • managerial jobs (skill level 0)

  • professional jobs (skill type A)

  • technical jobs and skilled trades (skill type B)

Therefore, the second factor to consider when thinking of permanent residency at the study permit stage, is to ensure that the program you are choosing to enroll in will provide you with prospective employment that will place you within one of the three occupation categories: Level 0, Type A and B. This can be done by referring to the NOC for job classifications and descriptions.

Permanent residency is a possibility for all study permit applicants so long as they choose the appropriate designated learning institution with eligibility for the PGWP, and a study program that gives you employment prospects that will allow you to qualify for the Express Entry program.

Warda Shazadi Meighen is a Partner at Landings LLP in Toronto.


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