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Potential Immigration Benefits of Studying in Canada

Studying in Canada

Studying in Canada can help you achieve permanent resident status. Well while studying does not automatically make you eligible for permanent residence in Canada, it can improve your chances in at least two important ways.

First, studying in Canada may allow you to legally work here which can, in turn, help you obtain permanent residence. As an international student, you may be able to work while you’re studying. Many international students can work up to 20 hours a week during your regular academic sessions and full-time during any regularly scheduled breaks. Many colleges and universities in Canada break from May to August, meaning you could be able to work full-time as much as four months a year while studying.

Once you graduate you may be able to obtain what’s called a post-graduate work permit if you completed a program of at least eight months at a public institution in Canada. This work permit is considered an open work permit, meaning that it will allow you to work in essentially any field or occupation, even those unrelated to your program of study, anywhere in Canada and for an unlimited number of hours per week. The postgraduate work permit will usually be valid for the same duration as your program of study, but if your program of study was two years or longer, you may be eligible for a three-year work permit.

Work Permits Permanent Residence

Most importantly, they provide you an opportunity to obtain Canadian work experience and Canadian work experience can help you, in turn, obtain permanent residence. Some immigration programs, such as the Canadian Experience Class and some provincial immigration programs require Canadian experience in a skilled occupation to be eligible to apply. Studying can also help you obtain permanent residence in a second important way, which is that it can improve your chances of being invited to apply through the Express Entry system.

To be able to apply for permanent residence under the three main economic immigration programs, you must first create an online profile in the Express Entry system and then receive an invitation to apply. Only those who receive an invitation are able to submit an application. Invitations are issued depending on the point score given to you by the Express Entry system and additional points are issued for both completing a program of study and working in Canada. Your point score may also increase in other indirect ways. For example, studying may improve your points for highest level of education and allow you to improve your language test scores.

A Spouse and Children

Fortunately, Canada has options for them too. If you’re a full-time student at certain post-secondary institutions in Canada, your spouse may be eligible to apply for what’s known as an open spousal work permit, which allows them to work in essentially any occupation anywhere in Canada and for an unrestricted number of hours. This way they can not only help support you financially but also gain Canadian work experience that increases the chances of both of you becoming permanent residents.

Note that open spousal work permits are available not only to married couples but also common-law partners, meaning that you’ve lived together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. You can apply for study permits so they can accompany you while you’re in Canada and in some cases, they may even be able to study without paying international student fees, but this will depend on what province you’re going to and what you’re studying. It’s important to note that not every student will be eligible for every work permit option. Also remember that studying in Canada does not guarantee that you will obtain permanent residence, nor is it a good option, or even the best option, for everyone.

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