There are many Canadian immigration options for students who are studying in a program in Canada for at least 2 years. Students with previous experience in Canada are more attractive to Canadian employers, and because of the excellent quality of Canadian schools, Canada is eager to retain foreign students that have graduated from its educational institutions.
It is possible to apply for both temporary (work and study) and permanent residence in Canada – this is called dual intent. Dual intent allows students to apply for permanent residence, while at the same time securing their temporary study permit. For students, this makes Canada an even more attractive place to study.
There are a number of programs that offer Canada permanent residency for students after they have completed their degree:
1. Canadian Experience Class
Foreign students who have studied at an accredited post-secondary school on a full-time basis, in a program of at least 2 years, may qualify under this program. The foreign student must have completed the program on a Canadian campus and obtained the educational credential. In addition, the foreign student must have worked for at least 12 months in a full-time, skilled position. The work experience must have been obtained after graduating from the program of study, and unpaid internships or co-op placements cannot count towards the work experience.
2. Quebec Experience Class
Foreign students who have studied in Quebec and completed a CEGEP, Vocational, Bachelor’s or Master’s/PhD level degree and who have intermediate proficiency in French can qualify under this program, without any work experience!
3. Provincial Nomination Programs
Provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia all have programs for foreign students who have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary program. Some of these programs will require a job offer or work experience in the province where the degree was obtained, while some do not. The advantage of these programs is that applicants may receive their Canada permanent residency faster than under other programs.