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Study, work, Immigrate

Process of Immigrating to Canada for Students

Studying in Canada is a common goal for many students from other countries. A wide variety of academic opportunities, world-class research institutions, and an enviable standard of living can all be found in this nation. Getting a student visa in Canada is a multi-step procedure, so it’s crucial to know what to expect before applying.

Before starting, keep in mind it will take you about 2.5 to 6 years to immigrate completely to Canada. Here’s TL;DR

Apply to and be accepted at a Canadian school

3 to 6 months

Get a study permit

1 to 3 months

Complete your study

8 or More months

Complete your study 

1 to 3 months

Get a work permit

18 to 30 months

The first thing to do is decide what you want to study and then pick a school in Canada that offers that major. The Study in Canada portal is where prospective international students can research academic opportunities in the country. After deciding on a course of study and school, the next step is to submit an admissions application.


An international student must:

  • Take the realms of job and education into account.
  • Comply with the program’s application guidelines and submit your materials on time.
  • Give some thought to the ideal programme that can guarantee their future immigration status.
  • Discover what educational opportunities are available in Canada and where to start your quest.
  • Think about the job prospects in that major.

Students seeking a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) must enrol in a programme at a college or university approved by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as a Designated Learning Institution. 

Thus, pupils may want guidance from a seasoned expert in order to get this initial step right.


You should apply for a student visa as soon as possible once you have been admitted to a programme. To the extent that your programme requires it, this document grants you permission to enter and remain within Canada. Complete the online application form and send it, along with the relevant documents, to the Canadian government to apply for a study permit. Acceptance letters from schools, evidence of funding, and a current passport are all examples of documentation that may be required.

All of the following must be met for a student to be granted a study permit on their first try:

  • Permission to Continue Regular Academic Study
  • Attendance at a Specially Designated School or College (DLI)
  • Possess a DLI registration receipt indicating payment in full
  • Provide for your own support while studying in Canada
  • No history of criminal activity
  • Have no major health problems
Additional information regarding a study permit includes:

Once your application has been submitted along with your biometric details, it will be assessed by a visa officer. The visa officer will review your application and decide whether to grant or deny your visa based on the details you supply. If your application for a student visa is successful, you will be issued a study permit. You can enter Canada legally as a student as long as you maintain this permit. However, the visa officer can forfeit your Visa if it is faulty.

Students must first apply for and be granted a study permit before they may travel to Canada to begin their studies. It is crucial to apply to institutions and apply for study permits without missing deadlines, as the approval process can take months. If they don’t, they may ask the school for a postponement until the next semester or the following academic year.

If a student is enrolled in a programme that will last longer than two years, they may be required to apply for a new study permit. It’s possible that IRCC won’t grant you a study visa that will last the duration of your programme. 

The Canadian government allows the spouse of an international student to apply for an “open work permit.” Before you even receive your diploma, your spouse may be eligible to petition for permanent residence through Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs). If you’re married and planning to further your education, your spouse can help with the cost of living while you focus on your studies.


A Post-Graduation Work Permit is available to international students who have earned a qualifying degree or diploma (PGWP). Some students can skip the work permit and visa processes altogether. We’ll go into greater depth in the following part.

Students need either a letter from their school or a transcript from their university stating that they have finished the programme to apply for a work visa. If a student has met the necessary qualifications, they may apply for a PGWP before receiving their physical diploma.

How long you are permitted to work in Canada is a crucial topic for prospective employers and recent grads alike. Following is the formula used to determine the length of time a PGWP is valid:

Your PGWP validity will be the same length as your programme of study if it is between 8 months and 2 years in length.

A PGWP is usually valid for 3 years if your programme of study lasts 2 years or more.

Suppose you have finished two or more PGWP-eligible programmes in rapid succession. In that case, the total length of those programmes will determine the PGWP validity period, which cannot exceed three years.


Getting here is the final requirement for reaching the destination. Permanent residence in Canada is now available for international students. Applicants to Canada have a choice between a federal and a provincial route.

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program are all federal immigration alternatives. Express Entry applications have the shortest processing times across the board.

  • Provincial Nomination Programs are one type of immigration option available at the provincial level (PNPs). There are over 80 Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in Canada. 

These programmes actively recruit and select talented workers and entrepreneurs who are interested in settling in the nominating province or territory and who will contribute to its economic growth. As you’ll see below, there are a few that don’t call for prior work experience at all.

These immigration forms are popular among applicants.

  • The New Brunswick Skilled Worker Stream is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) that permits international students to move to New Brunswick after finishing a one-year or longer programme without prior job experience.

  • The International Postgraduate Stream at the University of British Columbia likewise doesn’t necessitate prior work experience. Students who get a Master’s or Doctoral degree in the province may qualify for immigration.

  • Under Express Entry’s Canadian Experience Class, applicants can earn additional points for completing Canadian education (at a minimum of 30 points) and Canadian work experience (at most 380 points) to get their total score up to the 450-470 range necessary to be invited to apply. Amongst students, this is the most preferred choice.

The Ontario Masters Graduate Stream and the PhD Graduate Stream are both identical to the aforementioned curriculum in that they do not necessitate prior work experience to apply. Students can seek permanent residency in the province after completing a Master’s degree programme or the first two years of a Doctoral programme.