Colleges and universities across Canada welcome students from all over the world. If you have completed a program at a public institution (and/or a few private ones) that was at least 8 months in duration, you are eligible for a Post Graduate Work Permit for up to 3 years! This work permit will allow you to work for any employer anywhere in Canada in almost any occupation. By obtaining this work permit you are empowered to find a job that highlights the skills that you have been studying and it is a great way for employers to get to know your skills.
Would you like to stay in Canada permanently? You are in luck! There are several possible routes to achieve permanent residency. If you already have a year of continuous skilled work experience, you may already qualify under the Federal Skilled Workers category. However, if you haven’t gained work experience yet, you can continue to use your Post Graduate Work Permit to gain a year of Canadian skilled work experience. Once this is complete you will qualify under the Canadian Experience Class.
There are also many Provincial Nomination Programs that will lead to permanent residency. In British Columbia, there is an excellent program for students within the International Graduate category called the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). If you have earned a certificate, diploma or degree from a public or private institution anywhere in Canada and you have a full-time, indeterminate job offer, you are eligible under this program — even without work experience! Alternatively, if you have a master’s or PhD degree from a BC university in certain sciences, then the BC PNP International Post-Graduate stream is for you! As long as you are able to show your intent to live in BC then you can submit your application for nomination without a job offer.
Did you know that your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an Open Work Permit? While you are studying, he/she can earn points for Canadian Work Experience and possibly find an employer who will support him/her under the BC Provincial Nominee Program for Skilled Workers. Another bonus, if you have children they are permitted to attend elementary or secondary school while you are studying.
Even if you don’t qualify for a provincial or federal program yet, you can work towards nomination or permanent residency by performing well in school and learning how to speak, read and write well in English. The more you improve your English skills the higher your chances of success are.
A certified immigration consultant at Red Moose Immigration Services Inc., Nicole M-L. Kleemaier-Raaijen, LLM, RCIC, can assist you professionally and competently throughout the entire application process. To set up an appointment, call her by phone at 250.215.9473 or visit Red Moose.