Permanent Residence in Canada is not guaranteed for international students

This year has seen a variety of changes that have significantly altered the landscape of studying in Canada as a foreign student.

These changes help highlight a fact about immigrating to Canada as an international student/graduate: permanent residence (PR) is not guaranteed.

While Canada offers multiple pathways to work and even permanently settle in the country after graduation, this is far from a given, especially when considering Canada’s own immigration priorities.

Discover your options to study in Canada

Why is permanent residence not guaranteed for international students?

International students who graduate from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada must still jump several hurdles before obtaining PR in Canada—even if they are good candidates.

First, graduates must often gain work experience to build eligibility for many economic PR programs—usually through obtaining a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which enables graduates to work for most employers in most industries, anywhere in Canada. PGWPs are usually issued corresponding to the length of study that a student has undertaken—however new changes may be on the horizon for this program.

After building eligibility, graduates who wish to stay in Canada permanently, must apply to a relevant PR program. Often international graduates apply to the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program, within the Express Entry system—a PR stream made for those with Canadian education and work experience. However, graduates may also find themselves eligible for other routes, such as Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) within their province or territory of residence. Some PNP streams even target international graduates directly after graduation.

This seemingly simple transition to PR is often filled with wait times, and now features a prioritisation system according to Canada’s labour market and demographic needs. For example, the Express Entry system recently began incorporating a system of category-based selections; with emphasis candidates with French language ability, and/or professional experience in one of five in-demand sectors—granting them preferential selection for PR. What this means is that Canada’s federal immigration system can now prioritise candidates who fit these categories rather than those with higher Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores. A similar dynamic can be observed in various PNP streams, wherein those with sought after professional experience, demographic traits, and even family in the province/territory can receive PR status over those who simply have high ranking scores.

These factors can work against an international graduate in their bid to gain PR. Often international students are also bound by the length of their PGWP to stay in Canada. If a international graduate does not obtain PR within the length of their PGWP validity—and they are unable to obtain a new temporary residence status—they will have to leave Canada. While their Express Entry profile will remain valid if they still meet eligibility criteria of their program, this can pose yet another hurdle to international graduates looking to remain in Canada.

How can students best place themselves to receive PR?

While the above remains true, international graduates of Canadian DLIs continue to be some of the strongest candidates for Canadian immigration. One of the best things that international students can do to maximise their eligibility for PR is to closely look at in-demand professional experience, and/or developing language ability that the government values in newcomers.

Under Express Entry category-based selection for example, candidates who meet any of the following definitions can be prioritised to receive PR—with less emphasis put on their CRS score:

  • Healthcare professionals;
  • STEM professionals;
  • Trades professionals;
  • Transport professionals;
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food professionals; and
  • Individuals with a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 in all aspects of French.

International graduates pursuing PR may find utility in maximising their eligibility under one of these categories, to further enhance their chances at receiving PR.

In addition to looking at the federal system, international graduates can also explore the eligibility of their local provincial programs as well—for example the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) in Quebec. Here are some programs that target international graduates in different provinces:


  • Graduate Entrepreneur stream;
  • Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur stream; and
  • Alberta Opportunity stream;

British Columbia

  • International Graduate category; and
  • International Post-Graduate category.


  • Manitoba Work Experience pathway;
  • Employer Direct Recruitment pathway;
  • International Education stream; and
  • Graduate Internship pathway.

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • International Graduate category; and
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur category,

Nova Scotia

  • International Graduate In-demand stream; and
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur stream.


  • Human Capital category;
  • Master’s or PhD category; and
  • Employer Job Offer category.


  • Saskatchewan Experience category—Student sub-category; and
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur category.

Discover your options to study in Canada

Share your voice

Did you find this article helpful?

Thank you for your feedback.

Did you find this article helpful?

Please provide a response

Thank you for your helpful feedback

Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.

  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at

Join our free newsletter. Get Canada’s top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.

Note: This article have been indexed to our site. We do not claim legitimacy, ownership or copyright of any of the content above. To see the article at original source Click Here

Related Posts
Why the passport needs an upgrade | Karoli Hindriks thumbnail

Why the passport needs an upgrade | Karoli Hindriks

It's time to give paper passports a digital upgrade, says entrepreneur Karoli Hindriks. Looking to Estonia's technology-driven government for inspiration, she envisions a world where immigration is no longer hindered by bureaucracy and needless repetition. Travel with her to a future beyond borders where universal digital passports replace paper ones -- and where outdated systems…
Read More
Crawford names squad for qualifiers against Luxembourg and Montenegro thumbnail

Crawford names squad for qualifiers against Luxembourg and Montenegro

Republic of Ireland under-21s manager Jim Crawford has named his squad for the European Championship qualifiers against Luxembourg and Montenegro. Crawford has named a squad of 24 players for the game against Luxembourg in Tallaght on October 8th but the Ireland boss has an extended squad on standby for the trip to Montenegro on October…
Read More
Canadian border agency issues new scam warning thumbnail

Canadian border agency issues new scam warning

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has issued a new scam warning. According to the agency, scammers posing as CBSA officials are using emails, websites, text messages and telephone calls to ask for money and personal information such as social insurance numbers. “The methods and messages used by the scammers are varied and ever-changing, but always…
Read More
OBEC reveals 71 provinces infected with 5,397 cases of Omicron thumbnail

OBEC reveals 71 provinces infected with 5,397 cases of Omicron

วันที่ 10 ม.ค. 2565 เวลา 14:28 น. กรมวิทยาศาสตร์การแพทย์เปิดผลตรวจสายพันธุ์โควิดเจอติดโอมิครอนแล้ว 5,397 คนแล้วกระจายตัวใน 71 จังหวัด ขณะที่การสุ่มตรวจช่วงวันที่ 2-8 ม.ค. พบสัดส่วนโอมิครอนถึง 70.3% เมื่อวันที่ 10 ม.ค. พญ.สุมนี วัชรสินธุ์ ผู้ช่วยโฆษกศูนย์บริหารสถานการณ์โควิด-19 (ศบค.) เปิดเผยถึงสถานการณ์การแพร่ระบาดของโควิด-19 ว่า สัดส่วนการตรวจ ATK รายวันทั่วประเทศเมื่อวันที่ 9 ม.ค. มีการตรวจทั้งหมด 52,329 คน พบผลเป็นบวก 1,262 คน หรือคิดเป็น 1.23% ซึ่งมีแนวโน้มเพิ่มขึ้นจากสถานการณ์ช่วงก่อนหน้านี้ทั้งนี้ มีรายงานจากกรมวิทยาศาสตร์การแพทย์ ว่า ขณะนี้ผลจากการสุ่มตรวจการกลายพันธุ์ ซึ่งเป็นสายพันธุ์ โอมิครอน พบแล้ว 5,397 คน กระจายไป 71 จังหวัด โดยตั้งแต่เดือน พ.ย.2564 จนถึงวันที่ 9…
Read More
Index Of News