Immigration for Students – Education-Based Immigration to Canada

There are several safe pathways to immigrate to Canada. Immigration to Canada as an international student is one of the clearest ways to become a Canadian permanent resident. Canada is well-known for its prominent education system. Many Canadian universities and colleges are among the top-ranked learning institutions in the world. In addition, the Canadian government promotes Canadian education and is seeking foreign nationals to apply for higher education in Canada. All this combined makes Immigration for students very easy in Canada!

International graduates are ideal candidates for immigration to Canada, as they possess the skills and knowledge required in the Canadian labour market, they have fluency in the Canadian official languages, and they already are familiar with life in Canada. In 2020, Canada became the third most popular country in the world for foreign students.

Immigration for studentsTo increase your chances of immigration through education in Canada, we recommend you apply for a program that lasts at least two academic years. This will allow you to apply for a work permit after graduation. It is also very important that your program will be in the Designated Learning Institution that participates in the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. Most private colleges do not participate in the program, so graduating from such programs will not allow you to immigrate afterwards.

As an international student in Canada, you have the right to part-time work while studying. Currently, the Canadian government allows foreign students to work up to 20 hours weekly.

If you are married or have a common-law partner and/or dependent children, they can come to Canada with you! Spouses of international students can get an open work permit and your children can get a study permit to attend a public school at the time of your academic program.

Immigration through education is a lengthy process, but it is also the most smooth since adaptation to a new country is gradual.

Immigration for students consists of several stages:

Stage 1: Enroll in the Academic Program

The first step to Immigration for students is to become a student. You will need to be admitted to an academic program in Canada. It could be an undergraduate (bachelor’s degree), postgraduate program (master’s degree or Ph.D.) or postgraduate certificate or diploma. Once you receive a Letter of Acceptance from your college or university, we can prepare and submit your application for a study permit.

Stage 2: Obtaining a Study Permit and other documents

To study in Canada you will need proper documents from the Canadian government. During this stage, you also receive the instructions regarding the documents we will need to apply for a Study Permit and if you are not from the visa-exempt country, you will also need a Temporary Resident Visa (if required). If your spouse and/or children are coming with you, we will also need to apply for a Work Permit for your spouse and a Study Permit for your children.

Stage 3: Study in Canada

Once your application for the Study Permit and other documents has been approved, you will get a Letter of Introduction from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). With this letter, you will be able to get your Study Permit when you arrive in Canada. A study permit will be issued by the border officer when you land in Canada. At this stage, your task is to complete your educational program.

Stage 4: Post Graduate Work Permit Application

When you complete your education program, you become eligible for a Post Graduate Work Permit. It is an Open Work Permit that allows you to work for any Canadian employer. You will also need to extend your Temporary Resident Visa (if applicable) and get new Work/Study Permits for your family members (if applicable). Once you get a Post Graduate Work Permit you can legally stay in Canada for a period of your permit. This time is intended for your immigration.

Stage 5: Choosing your immigration path

Once you become eligible for any immigration program we will prepare and submit your Permanent Resident application. Depending on your situation we will advise the proper immigration path. Immigration for students at this point is possible via Express Entry’s Canadian Experience Class or relevant provincial streams. In the case of the provincial immigration strategy, we will first apply for a provincial nomination and then apply for permanent residence

Stage 6: Application processing

The Federal government will check your application for completeness and make sure that you satisfy all the requirements of your immigration program. During this stage, you will have to pass the medical exam and background check. The background check consists of criminality and security assessments. In some cases, the IRCC may request additional documents to make a final decision.

Stage 7: Becoming a Permanent Resident

Once all checks are cleared, you will receive a Ready for Visa email with the request to send your passports or passport copies to the Visa office. 3-4 weeks after that you will get a Confirmation of the Permanent Residency. With this document, you will be able to do the landing. After the landing, you will be officially a Permanent Resident of Canada.

Key Revisions for International Students Effective 2024

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has overhauled prerequisites and guidelines for international students.

Commencing January 1, 2024, the cost-of-living demand for applicants seeking study permits will surge to CAN 20,635, up from the current CAN 10,000 for sole applicants. IRCC contends that the prevailing cost-of-living criteria, stagnant since the early 2000s, no longer align with contemporary living costs, leaving students arriving in Canada with insufficient funds for sustenance. The new threshold will also apply to the Student Direct Stream, a specialized study permit application process accessible to residents of specific countries.

At the time of application, study permit applicants must substantiate possession of the stipulated minimum cost-of-living funds. Valid proof can include bank statements, evidence of student loans, or proof of funding (for scholarships), among other documentation. Notably, tuition and travel costs are excluded from the cost-of-living funds. This heightened requirement may result in a reduced number of individuals meeting the criteria for a study permit in Canada.

According to IRCC, the cost-of-living threshold will undergo annual adjustments, mirroring the Statistics Canada low-income cut-off, ensuring that an individual’s income is sufficient to avoid spending an unusually high portion on necessities.

Furthermore, IRCC has renewed temporary guidelines for international students initially slated to expire by the close of 2023. These include:

  • Prolongation of the policy permitting eligible international students to engage in off-campus employment in Canada for more than 20 hours, extending until April 30, 2024. During academic sessions until April 30, 2024, international students with a study permit enabling off-campus work authorization will not be constrained by the 20-hour-per-week rule. This policy was initially scheduled to conclude on December 31, 2023. It’s worth noting that foreign nationals who cease their studies or reduce their course load to part-time generally lose eligibility for off-campus work.
  • Extension of the policy allowing international students to have the time spent studying outside Canada not deducted from their Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) duration until September 1, 2024. International students starting their study programs at Canadian colleges or universities before September 1, 2024, will not incur deductions for time spent studying outside Canada from their PGWP duration, provided they complete at least 50% of the program within Canada. This policy was initially set to conclude on December 31, 2023. International students commencing their study programs on or after September 1, 2024, will once again have the time spent studying outside Canada deducted from their PGWP duration.

IRCC has also disclosed plans to introduce targeted pilot programs in 2024 to facilitate international students in pursuing their studies in Canada.

If you want to move to Canada as an international student, please fill in the form and we will contact you for further discussion.

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