Immigrate as a Student



Canada offers students like you the chance to study, work, and live in the country as long as you are able to satisfy all the requirements to get study permit and post-graduation work permit. Continue reading so you know the opportunities that await you in Canada.


As an international student, you can apply for permanent residence, pursuing either the IRCC Express Entry System or the BC Provincial Nominee Program. However, work experience is requisite under the IRCC Express Entry System.


If you’ll be taking the IRCC Express Entry System pathway, you will have to go through the same process as the others. However, you can now earn Comprehensive Ranking System or CRS points as an international student above high school in Canada.

Step 1: Take a language test in one of the IRCC-approved agencies. Keep the test result as you will need this during the creation of the Express Entry profile.

Step 2: If you work in Canada for at least a year, it is still recommended that you have your educational credentials assessed even if your work experience is already sufficient as this can help in improving your score.

Step 3: Know if your work experience satisfies one of the two federal programs under the Express Entry System:

Federal Skilled Worker Program

Canadian Experience Class

Keep your National Occupational Classification (NOC) code.

Step 4: Check if you are eligible by visiting Come to Canada. Keep the reference number.

Step 5: Create an account in the IRCC website. Keep the number as you will use it to sign in.

Step 6: Create your Express Entry profile.

Step 7: Register with Job Bank if there’s no job offer or no nomination from your territory or province.

Step 8: If you will be in the Express Entry pool of candidates and you got a high score, you’ll receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence. You have 90 days to do this.


The steps are similar when you apply for immigration to Canada as a nurse through BC Provincial Nominee Program. The streams, Skills Immigration and Express Entry BC, are the same, but the categories are different:

Skills Immigration International Graduate

Skills Immigration International Post-Graduate

Express Entry BC International Graduate

Express Entry BC International Post-Graduate

For International Graduates: After graduating as an international student from a university or college in Canada (in the previous three years), you may be eligible for BC PNP. Work experience is not requisite – but a job offer from a BC employer is. This job offer must be for an indeterminate full-time position that should meet all the requirements for the National Occupational Classification.

For International Post-Graduates: After earning master’s or doctoral degree in the applied, natural or health sciences from a BC post-secondary institution recently, you can be a potential candidate for the BC PNP under the International Post-Graduate category. It’s important to note that, unlike in the International Graduate category, a job offer is not necessary to apply.

Here are the steps to take:

Step 1: Check the requirements for the international graduates or the international post-graduates in  BC to know which stream of the BC PNP can pave the way for your permanent residence status in BC, Canada.

International Graduates:

BC PNP Skills Immigration or the Express Entry BC Program General Requirements

Skills Immigration or Express Entry BC Requirements for International Graduate Category

Minimum Income Requirements

Language Ability Requirements

International Post-Graduates:

BC PNP Skills Immigration or the Express Entry BC Program General Requirements

Skills Immigration or Express Entry BC Requirements for International Post-Graduate Category

Minimum income is not a requirement under the International Post-Graduate category, regardless of the stream. The language test is a requirement under the Express Entry BC stream. Under the Post-Graduate category of the Skills Immigration, the language test may not be requisite, but providing valid test results may help with your registration score.

Note: If you will register under the Express Entry BC Program and not with the Skills Immigration, you also need to provide an IRCC Express Entry Profile number, as well as a Job Seeker Validation Code, indicating that you satisfy the criteria for one of the federal economic immigration programs under the Express Entry System of the IRCC.  

Step 2: Go to BC PNP to register. (If you are an international post-graduate student, you are not required to register. You can already jump to Step 5.)

Step 3: Check your email if you receive a confirmation of registration and the BC PNP registration number. You will also get your registration score.

Step 4: If you meet all the qualifications, wait for an invitation to apply.

Step 5: Submit an application and pay the processing fee.

Step 6: Receive a provincial nomination. Visit IRCC to apply for permanent residence.

Check both of your eligibility here:
Express Entry Online Assessment
BC Provincial Nominee Program Eligibility Assessment

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If you want to study in Canada, you can apply for a study permit right in your home country. You just need to know the steps to follow:

Step 1: Determine your eligibility to study in Canada.

Step 2: Choose one from among the list of designated learning institutions. Secure a letter of acceptance from the school.

Step 3: Gather the required documents.

Step 4: Apply for a study permit and pay the processing fees. Find where the Canadian visa office is in your home country. You can also do this online.

Step 5: Wait for your application to be processed and reviewed – if you submitted a complete application. Otherwise, it will be returned to you.

Step 6: Wait for the outcome of your study permit application: approved or not approved.

Step 7: If approved, you will receive a letter of introduction, which you need to bring with you when you travel to Canada. You will present it to the immigration officials. An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and a visitor visa will also be issued, if necessary.

Step 8: If disapproved, call the visa office that sent you the letter of refusal. Inquire about your application and the reason for rejection.


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Soon as you receive your study permit, take note of its expiry date so you will know when you are expected to leave Canada. More often than not, you’ll be given additional 90 days so you will have enough time to prepare to go back to your home country – or to apply for an extension. Make sure you do this 30 days before the expiry period.

Apply for an extension online or get the application package:

Fill out and sign the forms.

Pay the processing fees.

Send your application to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta.    


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A Post Graduation Work Permit will allow you to work after you have completed your program or degree from a participating post-secondary institution in Canada. More important, this can be your way of qualifying for permanent residence.


Step 1: Determine your eligibility.

Step 2: Download the application package. Understand the Instruction Guide and fill out, sign and date the forms.

Step 3: Complete the documents listed in the checklist.

Step 4: Apply within the time allowed.

Step 5: Submit your application.

Step 6: Pay right after you submit your application.

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