Thinking about applying for permanent residence in Canada?

UVic Global Community Newsletter: March 21, 2022

After having studied, lived and worked in Canada, many international students decide they want to stay here permanently. Fortunately, there are several pathways to immigrate to Canada, so depending on your circumstances and qualifications, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada now or in the future. It is important to be mindful that each individual has a unique situation and it is up to you to determine the pathway(s) most suitable for you.

Temporary resident status: Study, work and stay in Canada

As an international student, you are a temporary resident in Canada. The conditions imposed on your stay, including the length of time you’re allowed to remain in Canada, are noted on your Canadian immigration document (e.g. study permit, work permit, or visitor record). You are required to comply with these conditions for the duration of your stay, and you must also maintain valid status in Canada throughout your time here. This means that before your study permit expires or becomes invalid, you must either leave Canada or apply for a study permit extension if you need more time to complete your program at UVic.

If you will graduate soon, but would like to stay in Canada after you graduate, you must apply for another status (e.g. visitor or worker) before your study permit expires. We strongly recommend you start planning to extend your stay in Canada (including any changes to your immigration status) approximately 4-6 months before your current status expires.

Keep in mind that your study permit will become invalid either on the expiry date printed on the permit, or 90 days after you receive your final grades for your program, whichever comes first.

If you want to stay in Canada and gain some Canadian work experience after graduation, you may be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). This work permit may be valid for up to three years, depending on the length of your program of study. If you are issued a PGWP, the time you spend working may allow you to gain the necessary work experience to meet the eligibility requirements for permanent residence.

If getting a PGWP is not an option for you, you may be eligible for other work permits.

For more information about temporary immigration documents for international students, you can refer to the Living in Canada section of the ICS website. If you have questions about your study permit conditions or need guidance to extend your student immigration documents, you can contact the International Student Advising (ISA) team.

Permanent Residence

If you want to stay in Canada indefinitely, you will need to transition from a temporary resident to become a permanent resident (PR) in Canada. As stated by IRCC, “A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries.

PR status allows you to stay in Canada long-term and enjoy many of the same rights and privileges that Canadian citizens have, with some exceptions as well as requirements you must meet to maintain PR status. There are many different pathways to PR, each of which has different eligibility requirements you must meet and an application process to follow.

Common pathways that UVic international students may consider when applying for PR status include:

Federal Economic Programs
This consists of three programs managed through Express Entry, which is an online application system for skilled workers.

BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)

This program allows the province of British Columbia to nominate international students, foreign workers and entrepreneurs for permanent residency.

Depending on your circumstances, there may also be other options available to you. For general information on permanent residence options and where to find help, please review the following resources:

Can I get advice on permanent residence from International Student Advisers at UVic?

At UVic, International Student Advisers (ISAs) can only advise on a limited range of immigration topics for UVic international students and their accompanying family members. We are specialized in providing immigration advice specifically as it pertains to being a student (e.g., study permits, co-op work permits, post-graduation work permits) or the accompanying family member of a student (e.g. open work permits for spouses of international students).

Our advisers cannot answer questions related to permanent residence applications or assess eligible programs as those questions are out of our scope of practice. Please refer to the resources and information listed above for general information. Alternatively, you can contact IRCC or an authorized representative outside UVic if you have further questions. Keep in mind that authorized representatives such as Immigration Lawyers and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants do charge a fee for their services.

Pathways to Permanent Residence Video and Q&A Session 

While International Student Advisers (ISAs) cannot advise on Canadian permanent residence or citizenship, we do recognize that permanent residence is a goal for many of our international students. For this reason, we regularly invite subject matter experts to provide information on permanent residence programs in Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Outreach Officers will be hosting a live “Pathways to Permanent Residency for International Students” Q&A session on March 23, 2022. Before attending the session, you will need to watch a video recording from IRCC that will provide an overview of the available federal immigration programs in Canada for international graduates. After watching the video recording, you can submit your questions  to IRCC in advance of the live Q&A session, and  there will also be an opportunity to ask questions during the event.

Want to know what else is going on? Join the UVic Global Community Facebook Group to receive regular updates about opportunities and events, both on and off campus.