MS in Canada: Work Permit process and PR opportunities (Part 3)

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In the last blog dated 17/08/2020, we learnt about the admission requirements and visa process for masters in Canada. In this final part, we will cover vital information on how to obtain a work permit and apply for a Permanent Residency in Canada.

Work Permit

A Work Permit, or a Work Visa, is issued to eligible international individuals to work in that country for a specific time period (3 years). Unlike the US, you don’t need a job offer in order to apply for a work permit. You can apply for it within 180 days of receiving the post graduate degree. In order to be eligible for a work permit, you need to meet the following criteria:

1) You must complete MS from a Designated Learning Institution (A designated learning institution is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students.)

2) Your course should be at least 8 months long

3) Your study permit should be valid at some point within the 180 days of receiving your MS mark sheet. If you stay in Canada with an expired study permit, you must apply to restore your status as a student before applying for a work permit.

4) You must maintain full-time status as a student. Part-time status does not qualify you for a work permit.

Permanent Residency (PR)

International students can apply for PR while studying in Canada or after completing their MS. Most students apply for the PR while studying. This is popularly called ‘dual intent’ application and is readily accepted by the Canadian immigration law. For PR, each applicant is scored out of 100 on the basis of his/her age, qualifications, English language proficiency and experience.  Generally, applicants who score above 67 get their PR faster than others. Broadly, there are three types of PR programs you can apply for as a student:

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

To qualify for this, students must have at least 12 months of work experience in Canada. While the requisite work experience gained by applying for a work permit is considered, any part-time work experience earned during the program like internships and co-ops does not count as valid work experience for a PR.

Quebec Experience Class (QEC)

Students who have completed their program in Quebec and who have passed intermediate level of proficiency in French can apply for this. This type does not require prior work experience in Canada.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

To be eligible for this, a student must meet the minimum requirements of that province he/she intends to settle in, must have graduated from a Canadian post-secondary education program, and must have a relevant work experience. (This requirement varies for different provinces)

After receiving the PR, you should complete at least 4 years of stay in Canada before applying for the citizenship.

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