The international students who have just completed their studies in Canada or are studying in the final academic session can consider continuing their stay in Canada legally through three different options:

  • Taking an Employer-Specific Work Permit
  • Taking Open Work Permit
  • Seeking Direct Permanent Residence
Taking an Employer-Specific Work Permit

In this option, finding an employer is important. One has to apply for it and get an employer-specific work permit, to work in Canada, and, in the end, qualify and apply for PR.

An international student experience helps the candidate to build useful contacts with employers before completing the degree. in order to maintain a continuous status, one can apply as soon as study permit expires.

Candidates who are eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit and have a job offer get a long-term work permit.

Taking Open Work Permit

An employer-specific work permit is like an open work permit which allows Candidates to work for an eligible employer anywhere in the country for a period till it is valid. Changing jobs is easier here and the legal status in Canada is not is not attached to the employer /position.

This option is attractive for international students as they have an option to apply for a specific open work permit in the form of the Post-Graduation Work Permit.

Its validity is linked to the duration of the study course. Candidates who have studied in Canada for a period below eight months are ineligible to apply for it. If they have studied in an appropriate course for two years, then they can work for an eligible Canadian employer for three years.

Numerous programs can be combined in it. When a Candidate completes a one-year degree /certificate in Canada and in the next two years, completes another one-year program that counts as two years of studies and a Candidate is eligible for a PGWP which is valid for three years.

All eligible courses are considered together to determine the period of validity. Completing two one-year programs also makes a person eligible for a three-year PGWP.

Candidates have to attend a designated learning institution to obtain a Canadian study permit.

Seeking Direct Permanent Residence

International students are eligible to apply for a Canadian permanent residence, directly without work experience through these programs:

  • Quebec Experience Class
  • International Graduate Stream in the Provincial Nomination Programs
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

If a Candidate has completed studies in the province of Quebec, he/she is eligible to apply directly to the Quebec Experience Class. The requirements to apply are:

  • An eligible degree/diploma from a Quebec institution that is recognized and it must be for the duration of 1800 hours,
  • Being a resident in Quebec for half the duration of the program,
  • Having intermediate knowledge of French,
  • Having an age of 18 years and being a legal resident,
  • Intention to settle in Quebec for hold the job,
  • Applying within 36 months of confirmation of completing degree/diploma.

Fulfilling these norms makes a candidate eligible for applying to a Quebec Selection Certificate. Upon approval, they can apply to the government for getting the permanent residence.

The attractive feature of this program is that a candidate can get permanent residence exclusively on the basis of experience gained as a student in Quebec. PEQ applicants are prioritized by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), and their application is processed speedily. It is a fast pathway to gain permanent residence status in Canada. This option works well if one has studied in Quebec and has proficiency in the French language.


Canadian provinces have immigration streams in the Provincial Nominee Program. PNP applicants who are successful get a nomination from the province, which can be used for applying to get PR Status.

Many provinces have PNP streams to assist international graduates in their provinces which offer a path to get permanent residence. Each program has a set of differences with the other. Some PNP streams need that all applicants must have graduated from an eligible school located in the province itself. Others open the door for graduates from any place in Canada. Some require work experience and others need a valid job offer. Some have a norm that a candidate must remain in the Express Entry pool before they apply.


This Pilot Program was commenced in 2017 as an initiative to boost the economy of the Atlantic region. It manages an International Graduate stream which gives permanent residence to international graduates who have studied from publicly-funded educational institutions recognized in the Atlantic region. Having a valid job offer from a regional employer is compulsory.

This Pilot Program is different from other streams because of the following norms:

  • The job offer must be endorsed by the province,
  • No LMIA is required,
  • A need-based assessment and settlement plan is put in place for the applicant,
  • Employers need to provide support for integration of the applicant (and their family),
  • Prioritized processing is also done in giving a temporary work permit, if the applicant undertakes, to apply for permanent residence, within 90 days.

Thus overseas students in Canada have many options to continue their stay and work in Canada. It is wise to select an option that is suitable for the profile.

If Candidates has a plan to stay permanently in Canada after completing studies, we are sure to guide and help them. You can pursue your dream through us to settle in Canada.

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