How You Can Get Permanent Residency by Studying in Canada

There is no denying that Canada values International Students as seen by their growing number every year. According to studies, in the year 2015 – 2016, international education brought about $12.8 billion to Canada’s economic activities, this is around $10 billion additional into Canada’s GDP. This expenditure is not limited to tuition fees but it includes more commerce like lodging, food, travel and transportation, leisure and more indirect activities. International education takes a big part of Canada’s export revenues, as it is technically from overseas, and supports over 150,000 candian jobs. 

More than this revenue generated by international students, Canada places high favour of international student and graduates for permanent residency for 2 simple reasons: 

  1. Being an international student or graduate, you have already been immersed to Canadian culture and lifestyle, meaning you are already (partly) a Canadian resident. 
  2. You are a highly educated individual, and will likely be a skilled professional that will help Canada’s economy. Through, Education  you gain knowledge and skills, which in general, is what makes competitive individuals. 

Canada has an online immigration system where international graduates and skilled workers commonly apply, the Express Entry Immigration System. Express Entry System is an economic driven immigration stream that provides a pathway to permanent residence for skilled workers in Canada or overseas to address most labor shortages.

As mentioned earlier in this article, International Graduates have a lot of advantages as permanent residents. Here are some of the immigration streams under Express Entry where International Graduates can apply. 

CEC – Canadian Experience Class 

CEC or Canadian Experience Class is a federal immigration stream managed under Canada’s main economic immigration system – Express Entry. Temporary residents who have completed at least one year or 1560 hours with valid authorization to work, can apply for permanent residency through Express Entry: CEC. In a simple explanation, international graduates who are eligible for Post Graduate Work Permit can stay and work in Canada and garner the one year work experience required to apply for Express Entry: CEC. 

FSW – Federal Skilled Worker

Same as CEC, FSW is managed through Express Entry, almost same qualifications apply except that under Federal Skilled Worker, you have to have prior related work experience before coming to Canada; or your work experience while studying can also be counted towards your eligibility for FSW if you meet the other requirements.

Provincial Nomination Program Provincial Nomination Program, unlike the first two streams under Express Entry, is managed by the provincial government and not by the federal government. Here are some special immigration stream set by some provinces in Canada specifically for international graduates: 


Alberta Immigration Nominee Program  – International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream 

The AINP – International Graduate Entrepreneur Immigration Stream gives a chance for temporary residents to become permanent residents by nominating international graduates from Alberta post-secondary institutions  who wants to start a business and operate in Alberta. 

British Columbia

Express Entry BC PNP – International Graduate Category 

Through BCPNP International Graduate category, temporary residents who have graduated from an eligible education institution anywhere in Canada and with a valid job offer in British Columbia, they can directly apply in this immigration stream. 

Express Entry BC PNP – International Post-Graduate Category

Through BC PNP – International Post-Graduate Category, international graduates who have completed a valid graduate program of study at an eligible post-secondary institution in B.C. in the last three years, particularly in the sciences (technology, health care, and applied sciences sectors), and has shown their intent and ability to live in B.C. can go through this stream, even without a job offer.


Ontario is one of the top provinces where international students flock to go to. There are two immigration stream In Ontario dedicated to students, one is the master’s graduate stream and the other one is Phd graduate stream. These streams are only open to candidates who have graduated from eligible institutions in Ontario and they must prove their intent to live and work there. 

Atlantic Provinces: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador

The Atlantic Provinces has recently launched the Atlantic Immigration Pilot programs, one of which is intended for international students exclusively called “Atlantic International Graduate Program. Under this stream, students who have finished at least a 2-year degree, diploma, certificate, or trade or apprenticeship credential from a recognized publicly funded institution in an Atlantic province, can apply for permanent residency, given they met all other criteria. 

International students have plenty of shots in getting a Canadian permanent residency – all it takes is to know what is the best path for you to take, and in due time and proper planning, then your Canadian permanent residency is secure.
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