Permanent Residency in Canada

After you finish your program of study in Canada, you have a path to permanent residency in Canada. But first, you need a work permit.

There are two types of work permits you can get after graduation.

  1. Post-graduation work permit (“PGWP”)
  2. Other types of work permits

Post-graduation work permit (“PGWP”)

If you graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI), you might be eligible for a “PGWP.” The validity of your PGWP depends on the length of your program of study. If your program was:

  • Less than eight months – you aren’t eligible for PGWP
  • At least eight months but less than two years – the validity is the same time as the length of your program
  • Two years or more – three years validity
  • If you completed more than one program – validity is the length of each program (programs must be PGWP eligible and at least eight months each

Fees – $255 CAN

Processing time:

  • Online – 165 days
  • Paper – 142 days

Other work permits

You may also be eligible for either an employer-specific work permit or an open work permit. By answering questions on this tool, you can determine if you need a work permit, what type of work permit you need, or if there are specific instructions you need to follow.

Your Pathway to Permanent Residency in Canada

Preliminary Matters

By working and gaining experience, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency in Canada. There are several categories that you may qualify for under Express Entry. Before choosing what category is best for you, it is crucial to consider these two factors:

  1. Canadian Language Benchmark (“CLB”) is a standard used to describe, measure, and recognize the English language ability of immigrant adults and prospective immigrants who want to work and live in Canada. Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) is a similar standard for assessing French language.
  2. National Occupation Code (“NOC”) is a list of all occupations in the Canadian job market. It is based on skill type and level and is the primary job classification method for immigration matters.
    1. Skill Type 0 – management jobs
    2. Skill Type A – professional jobs that usually need a degree from a university
    3. Skill Type B – technical jobs or skilled trades that typically require a college diploma or training as an apprentice
    4. Skill Type C – intermediate jobs that usually need a high school diploma or specific training
    5. Skill Type D – labour jobs that give on-site training

Pathways to Permanent Residency in Canada

There are three categories under the Express Entry program for permanent residency:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
    • For skilled workers with foreign work experience who must meet the criteria for education, experience, and language abilities
    • The minimum pass mark is 67 points to be eligible to apply. Once you apply, a different system (CRS) is used to assess your score and to be ranked in the pool of candidates.
    • Skill Type 0, A, and B are considered for “FSWP”.
    • In this category, while a job offer is not required, you can get points for having a valid offer. This can increase your “CRS” score.
  • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
    • For skilled workers with at least one year of Canadian work experience gained in the last three years before applying.
    • According to “NOC”, skilled work experience means professions in Skill Type 0, A, B.
    • If you studied in Canada, you could use it to improve your “CRS” score.
    • You must live outside the province of Quebec.
    • In this category, while a job offer is not required, you can get points for having a valid offer. This can increase your “CRS” score.
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
    • Skilled workers who are qualified in a skilled trade and must have a valid job offer or a certificate of qualification
    • At least two years of full-time work experience in the last five years before applying.
    • Skill Type B and its subcategories are considered for “FSTP”.
    • If you received your trade diploma or certificate in Canada, you could use it to improve your “CR” score.
    • You must live outside the province of Quebec.

Candidates applying through these programs are evaluated under the Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS). The CRS score is used to assess your profile and to be ranked in the Express Entry pool. To be invited to one of these programs, you must score above the minimum limit. While there are some factors you cannot control, there are some ways to improve your score to be more competitive in the pool of candidates, such as improving your language skills or gaining more work experience before applying. Express Entry is usually the most popular program; rounds of invitation draws occur approximately every two weeks. When you are invited to apply for either program, you have 60 days to apply. Therefore, it is crucial to have all your documents ready and completed before the deadline. Completed applications are processed approximately in 6 months or less.

If you are thinking of studying in Canada or applying for permanent residency in Canada, contact Pax Law’s experienced immigration team for help and guidance in the process.

By: Armaghan Aliabadi

Reviewed by: Amir Ghorbani


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