Study Pathways to Permanent Residence

Education offers a route to Canadian permanent resident status.

There are a range of programs whereby international students may apply for permanent immigration. In some cases, this can be done without obtaining a job offer from a Canadian employer.

In addition, international students in Canada may:

  • work for up to 20 hours per week while in school, and on a full-time basis during school breaks;
  • obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit for the equivalent duration of the studies once the program is successfully completed, allowing students to remain in Canada for many years before becoming a permanent resident;
  • bring an accompanying spouse or common-law partner to Canada on an open full-time work permit, allowing him or her to work for any employer;
  • bring accompanying minor children to study in Canada at the same rate that Canadians pay; and
  • become eligible for Canadian permanent residence, either through a Provincial Nominee Program, through Quebec’s immigration system, or through the Express Entry immigration selection system.
  • The steps to becoming a Canadian permanent resident through education are outlined below.

Step 1: Learn the basics and begin your search

Beginning your search offers FREE tools and resources available to help you get to grips with the process.

  • CanadaVisa School Search

The CanadaVisa School Search helps you find the institution best suited to your needs. This resource provides detailed, up-to-date information on each institution’s location, cost, admission requirements, signature programs, and more.

Use the CanadaVisa School Search to browse the best Canadian University, College or institution.

  • SchoolMatch Canada

SchoolMatch provides you with a FREE personalized report to show which Canadian schools match your expectations and goals. Using advanced algorithms, SchoolMatch has helped thousands of students find the right education institution in Canada.

  • Canada Study News

Canada Study News focuses on every aspect of studying in Canada as an international student, from preparation to immigration. With the latest news and analysis, you can get the free Canada Study Newsletter delivered straight to your email inbox each month.

Step 2: Gain admission to a Canadian designated institution

Once you have identified a particular study program, or a shortlist of potential study programs, you will need to gain admission by obtaining what is known as a Letter of Acceptance. While the exact admission requirements and procedures vary between institutions across Canada, our dedicated ‘Get Admission to a Canadian Educational Institution’ page outlines potential requirements for gaining admission to a Canadian designated institution.

Step 3: Apply for a Canadian Study Permit

Once you have gained admission to a study program at a Canadian designated institution. you may begin to apply for a Canadian Study Permit. A Study Permit is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows a foreign individual to study in Canada for a designated period of time. In addition to having already obtained a Letter of Acceptance, an applicant for a Study Permit also needs to satisfy the Canadian Visa Officer that he or she has sufficient funds to pay tuition fees and cover living expenses while in Canada.

Applicants from certain countries may also require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).

Step 4: Complete your study program and obtain an open work permit

Once you are studying in Canada, it is important to maintain your status in the country. This may entail renewing or changing your study permit. After completing your study program in Canada, a typical path from student to permanent resident status in Canada is through taking advantage of something Canada offers that is not available, or more difficult to obtain, in other countries — an open Post-Graduation Work Permit.

This work permit, which allows its bearer to work for any employer in Canada, may be issued upon completion of the study program and is equal in length to the duration of that program, up to a maximum of three years. Thus, a graduate who completed a three- or four-year study program may be eligible for a three-year work permit, allowing him or her to remain in Canada for a total of six years.

Step 5. Become a permanent resident of Canada 

Individuals who have obtained a Canadian degree, diploma or certificate and built up professional experience in Canada may have multiple immigration options through the available federal and provincial programs. There is only one place where you can get an assessment of your immigration options across the more than 80 programs that lead to Canadian permanent resident status — the CanadaVisa immigration assessment form.

Even if you have submitted this form before and been informed that you are likely ineligible to immigrate to Canada, remember that things may change. New programs may be created for which you may be eligible, or existing programs may be amended, which also has the potential to make previously-ineligible individuals eligible.

Individuals who are currently ineligible to immigrate to Canada can take control of their own destiny and begin the pathway to Canadian immigration through education — it may be your best chance to achieve your Canadian immigration goals.

 If you would like to ascertain your eligibility for Canada  visa, you can book an appointment for initial consultation with our Canada Immigration experts. Call us on +91 9633 746454 or email us at