Stay in Canada After your Studies

February 9, 2021


  • Robynn Farrell

If you’re reading this article, it means you may have graduated from a secondary school or obtained a higher qualification within Canada and are looking to make Canada your permanent home. Or, you are not qualified yet and would like to take your studies abroad? In this article, we uncover how you can become a Canadian permanent resident after you graduated from a designated learning institution in Canada and why Canada is the number one choice for ex-pat students.  

Becoming a Permanent Resident After You Graduate

The biggest advantage of studying in Canada is the easy road to permanent residency that follows after your graduation. To be eligible for permanent residency after studying in Canada, you only need one year of skilled Canadian work experience in the national occupational codes; A (professional work), O (management jobs) or B (technical/trade jobs). That means you need to switch your study permit for a work permit. But not just any work permit, a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). 

Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

As a recent graduate, you have the unique advantage of applying for a PGWP that serves as an open work permit. A great benefit of an open work permit is the flexibility to work anywhere, and for any employer within Canada. Learn more about PGWP eligibility below: PGWP Eligibility Applicants must have completed a study program:
  • That led to a degree, diploma or certificate;
  • At a designated learning institution (more info below);
  • That was at least 8 months long; and
  • Maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of their study program. 

3 Important Differences Between a PGWP and a Standard Work Permit

Standard Work Permit Open Work Permit (PGWP)
Employer specific Can work for anyone, anywhere in Canada
Employer must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment before they can hire you. Employer does not need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment to hire you.
Work permit valid for 6 months.  Work permit valid for the same period of your studies. For example, a 2-year degree will grant you a 2-year open work permit or more.

Where Can I Study in Canada to be eligible for a PGWP?

As mentioned previously, you must study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) if you want to apply for a PGWP to gain valuable Canadian work experience. A DLI is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. All primary and secondary schools in Canada are DLI’s. Before you apply to study at a higher education institution in Canada, be sure to ask if the institution is a DLI within Canada. 

Why Study in Canada?

Tutor assisting students
Quality education that’s accessible to all - that’s the Canadian way. According to a 2019 US News & World Report, Canada has been named the third-best country in the world for education. It gets better, Canada’s public primary and secondary schools are free of charge for international students with a study permit. On top of that, students looking to further their education will be happy to know that 30 Canadian institutions are counted among the best in the world. The top 5 best universities in Canada include; the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University, McMaster University and the University of Montreal.  Compared to the US, Canada can also provide cheaper study options and more opportunities for permanent residency. 

How We Can Help You 

visa canada flag
Whether you need a study visa, work visa or applying for permanent residence in Canada - we simplify the tedious processes by handling your application on your behalf to ensure it’s fully optimized for success. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) are experienced immigration experts who are certified by the Canadian Government to help you start and successfully complete the Canadian visa or immigration process.