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Pathways to Permanent Residency in Canada for International Students

The Canadian government has set a target to welcome 12 lakh immigrants from 2021 to 2023, which has intensified curiosity among students to know the pathways to permanent residency in Canada. Specifically, in the next three years, Canada will target 4,01,000 permanent residents in 2021, 4,11,000 in 2022, and 4,21,000 in 2023. It will directly benefit Indian students, as they account for one-third of Canada's international students.

Canadian federal and provincial governments offer various immigration pathways out of which some also require a job offer or work experience, which can be earned through Post Graduation Work Permit.

Post-Graduation Work Permit

PGWP is a crucial component for international students as it allows them to stay back in Canada for up to 3 years after completing their study programs. During this period, they find suitable jobs, earn valuable experience, and then apply for PR.

The fastest way to settle in Canada is through Express Entry.

Express Entry

The Express Entry is an online system that manages PR applications primarily for three economic immigration programs - Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.

To participate in one of these programs, qualified candidates submit their profiles to the Express Entry pool. IRCC awards CRS points to applicants based on their profile, including age, education, language proficiency, work experience, and so on. Approximately every two weeks, IRCC issues Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence to the highest-scoring candidates.

International students who graduate in Canada may get up to 30 additional Points on top of the points they obtain for their education level.

Canadian Experience Class

CEC is one of the fastest ways to settle in Canada. To apply under CEC, at least 1 year of full-time or an equal amount of Part-time work experience is required. The work experience must not be older than 3 years and should be as per the National Occupation Classification code 0, A, and B. Students should also note that the part-time work experience gained during the study program is not valid for eligibility.

Federal Skilled Worker Class

Some international students also lodge their PR application under FSW. The main benefit of FSW is that the Candidate's job experience does not require a Canadian connection. However, it must be as per the National Occupation Classification code 0, A, and B. Also, No job offer is required, but candidates may get selection criteria points if they have a valid job offer.

National Occupation Classification (NOC) is a list containing all the occupations in the Canadian labor market. The classification is based on skill type, which is as follows.


occupation type

Qualification required

Skill Type 0

Management jobs

Skill Level A

Professional jobs

a degree from a university

Skill Level B

Technical jobs and skilled trades

a college diploma or training as an apprentice

Skill Level C

Intermediate jobs

high school and/or job-specific training

Skill Level D

Labour jobs

require on-the-job training

Management Job Skill type fall into the following categories


Business, Finance, and Administrative Occupations


Natural and Applied Sciences and Related Occupations


Health Occupations


Occupations in Social Science, Education, Government Service, and Religion


Occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation, and Sport


Sales and Service Occupations


Trades, Transport and Equipment Operators and Related Occupations


Occupations Unique to Primary Industry


Occupations Unique to Processing, Manufacturing, and Utilities

Canadian Provincial and territorial governments can also recruit candidates from the Express Entry pool as per their local labour market needs through their Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Quebec selects candidates through the Quebec Experience Program.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Canadian Provinces and Territories have over 80 PNP streams focusing on specific needs of the region. Some streams allow the local governments to directly recruit immigrants through Express Entry, also known as Enhanced Provincial Nomination. The EPN also awards 600 additional points to the applicant under the Comprehensive Ranking System, which is usually sufficient for an Invitation To Apply (ITA). The EPN usually takes less time than the Base Provincial Nomination, which is Regular PNP streams outside the Express Entry. Nunavut and Quebec run their separate immigration programs.

Major Provincial Nominee Program in Canada
  • Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
  • British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)
  • Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
  • New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
  • Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)
  • Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
  • Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
  • Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
  • Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
  • Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)
Quebec Experience Program (PEQ)

PEQ is a popular immigration program among the students who complete their degrees in Quebec. To apply under PEQ Graduate Studies Stream, qualified students must have at least 12 months of full-time Quebec work experience in jobs that fall within National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 0, A, and B.

Canada considers international students an ideal candidate for permanent residency. To study in Canada, students need to apply for a Canada study visa, for which they can call 92563-92563 or visit any of Pyramid’s nearest branches.

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