Attaining a permanent residency in Canada for international students is a multi-step process. Please read below the details on the first two steps on how an international student who is planning to come and be a permanent resident of Canada.

Step #1: Study Permit

Taking the step to study abroad in a country like Canada and leaving their home country is a difficult decision many international students are willing to make for multiple reasons. It is a decision that is not taken lightly and much thought and consideration is often put into it. Sacrificing one’s time away from one’s family and friends is a sacrifice that is commendable and ideally, they benefit from this big decision.

The goal for many international students is to first obtain their study permit and complete their degree or diploma program at an institution that makes them eligible for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP).

In Canada, not all designated learning institutions (DLI’s) make you eligible for a PGWP. Post-secondary international students may transfer between institutions or change programs, fields, or levels of study without applying for a change to the conditions of their study permit. An example is changing your program from a bachelor’s to a master’s program.

Aside from maintaining good grades, it is important for international students to be active in expanding their social/professional network during the duration of their study. Although it may be intimidating to put yourself out there, it is an investment in your future. Interacting with prospective employers or employees in a company can be your gateway to gaining employment after graduation. Many jobs in the market are not advertised and if a social connection you have made leads you to employment, the time and effort you put into expanding your network will be well worth it.
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Step #2: Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

Once a student graduates from their program of study, and if their institution makes them eligible for a PGWP, that is the next step for them to take.

If the student’s program of study is at least 8 months and less than 2 years, then their PGWP will coincide with the length of the program. If the program of study is 2 years or longer, then the PGWP will be valid for 3 years. This is an important point for students to consider as only one PGWP will be issued in their lifetime. In an ideal situation, their PGWP should be long enough for them to gather experience so they can apply for permanent residency.

The pathway to permanent residency becomes clearer upon obtaining a PGWP. Look out for the next article on details for Step #3, which is about the different options that one has so he can apply for his permanent residency.

Our team at Altadore Law is here to assist interested international students in their immigration process and to help them become a permanent resident here in Canada.

We wish you all the best on this exciting journey you are willing to take!

Shiraz Choudhary is a lawyer practicing in immigration, refugee, and citizenship law. After completing his bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Calgary, he went to Canterbury, England where he earned his Bachelor of Law from the University of Kent.
Shiraz articled and worked with Stewart Sharma Harsanyi, an Immigration Law Firm located in Calgary, Alberta. He worked with clients to resolve their immigration-related concerns.
Shiraz has recently started work at Altadore Law in Calgary, Alberta. This is where he continues his work in the field of immigration law and also assists clients who need help in real estate and wills and estates.
After his parents migrated to Canada in the 1970s from Pakistan, they have resided in Alberta ever since and this is where Shiraz was born.
He has appeared in various levels of courts and tribunals; and has assisted clients in a wide range of applications including:
1. Refugee Claims
2. Permanent Residence under Express Entry
3. Family Class Sponsorships
4. Humanitarian & Compassionate
5. Temporary Resident (Visitor, Study and Work Permit)
6. Temporary Resident Permit
7. Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA)
8. Labour Market Impact Assessment
Shiraz also enjoys spending his free time volunteering in multiple organizations with a focus on humanitarian and disaster relief. He is a big fan of hockey, soccer, and mixed martial arts; and is fluent in speaking Urdu, Hindi.
Shiraz looks forward to assisting his future clients with their immigration needs.