Secrets of Permanent Residency in Canada after Graduation

Not only is Canada a great destination for completing the undergraduate or postgraduate study, but there is also a chance to get permanent residency after graduation if your course lasts for a minimum of two years. This makes Canada an even more attractive study destination for international students.

Canada has a number of permanent residence categories that you can apply to, including the Canadian Experience Class, the Provincial Nominee Program, and the Federal Skilled Worker Program. The requirements for each program are slightly different, so be sure to read the information in this article.

If you want to know ‘Secrets of Permanent Residency in Canada after Graduation’. Scroll down and find out about the process and requirements, and work out the visa best suited to you.

Dual Intent

There are different times that a student can apply for residence in Canada. One option is that when you are applying for the student visa, for work and study, you also apply for permanent residence in Canada. This process is called dual intent, as the student intends to both study in Canada and reside there after his/her studies are completed.

Applying after Graduation

Many students wish to apply for permanent residence after their studies are completed. In this case, it is important to bear in mind that some of the permanent residence categories require the applicant to have gained prior work experience in Canada. This means that you will firstly need to apply for the Post Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP).

The PGWPP programme offers open work permits to those students who have gained an undergraduate or postgraduate degree from a Canadian university or institution. Only certain institutions are recognised and eligible for their graduates to enter this programme.

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The skilled Canadian work experience must be obtained in the fields of the national occupations codes A, O or B to be eligible to support the graduate’s application for permanent residence through the Canadian Experience Class Programme.

This means that the skilled work experience needs to be in a management job, such as a restaurant or a mine manager, in a professional job requiring a university degree, such as a doctor or an architect, or in a technical/skilled job/trade requiring a college diploma or apprenticeship training, such as a chef or an electrician.

Applying after Graduation

Application for Express Entry

The first step to permanent residency is completing the Express Entry profile through the Canadian government website. This application will be assessed, and a score and ranking will be assigned to your application using the Comprehensive Ranking System. If your score/ranking is high enough, you will receive an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

The comprehensive ranking system considers your skills and experience, language skills and level of education, Canadian work experience, whether a valid job offer is in place, whether you have close family residing in Canada and whether you have a province nomination. Having the ability to speak French also adds several points to your application.

Canadian Experience Class

This programme is open to international students who have studied on a full-time basis at an eligible tertiary institution for a minimum of 2 years. This program requires that the studies were completed on Canadian soil and that the students both completed their studies and were awarded the education credential.

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To meet the requirements of this programme, the student must also demonstrate that he/she has worked full-time for a minimum of twelve months in a job meeting the requirements of the NOC A, B or O. Unfortunately, internships or course placements do not count towards this requirement. Work experience is only valid if it was gained after graduation from the institution.

Provincial Nomination Programme

This is a popular visa for international graduates to apply for in Canada as permanent residency tends to be granted faster than other visa programmes. Eligibility for this programme will depend on the Canadian province in which you wish to reside.

Some provinces in Canada, such as Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island, have visa programmes for those students that have graduated from a tertiary institution in that province.

It is worth checking the requirements of individual provinces ahead of applying as the requirements differ from province to province. For instance, some of these areas require the graduate to have already received a job offer, while other regions do not have this requirement.

Federal Skilled Worker Programme

There are, again, a number of minimum requirements to meet for this programme. Firstly, you must have skilled work experience in the NOC jobs group of O, A or B. This work experience must have included the essential and main duties listed in the lead statement.

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The experience must also be in the same field as the primary occupation you specify on the immigration application form, and it must have been continuous, paid work undertaken for a minimum of one year.

In addition, you must prove strong ability in either English or French and receive at least a minimum score on the Canadian Language Benchmark test. A degree certificate from a Canadian institution will benefit the application, as will an already offered job.

If you have no job offer at the time of application, you must be able to prove that you have funds for yourself (and any dependents that you may have) to settle, live and work in Canada.

As with other programmes, you must be applying to live outside of Quebec to be successful in this programme. For graduates looking to settle in Quebec, refer to the section below.

Quebec Experience Class Programme

The Quebec Experience Class is the visa application programme option for those students who have completed their studies in Quebec and wish to settle there. However, there are a few mandatory requirements.

Firstly, the student must have studied in Quebec and gained their degree from an institute in the province. Secondly, the student must have completed a Vocational, CEGEP, Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree and, finally, the student must have at least intermediate proficiency in the French language. If you meet these three criteria, then this is a recommended programme for you to apply.


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