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How to Get PR in Canada After Study – Eligibility & Process

Updated on 28 February, 2024

Canada offers education and immigration options to international students. Read on to know how you can apply to work permits after studying in Canada 

Considered one of the best countries in the world to study, work, and stay in, Canada is known for offering equal opportunities to all. Canada provides a lavish lifestyle and living with excellent infrastructure, top-notch institutions offering education in various fields, and multiple career opportunities. The immigration-friendly policies are also one of the reasons why the country is one of the favorite choices among students. 

Here’s a detailed insight into why many international students worldwide are moving to Canada for higher studies and strive to get a permanent residency (PR). The article also highlights how to get PR in Canada after study.   

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP) allows international students who have graduated from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to gain an open work permit and work experience in Canada. Open work permit implies that international students have the freedom to work anywhere with any employer. The PGWP is valid for eight months to three years and opens opportunities for Canadian work experience.

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Eligibility for PGWP

A candidate must fulfill the following conditions before applying for a PGWP:

  • They must have attained a minimum of 18 years of age.
  • They must have studied full-time in a program for at least eight months in Canada. 
  • The study program must have been completed at a DLI.
  • International students must apply for a PGWP within 180 days of their program/course completion. 
  • If the student’s study permit is about to expire, they must apply for visitor status first and then for PGWP. 
  • Students who apply for PGWP before the expiration of their study permit expires can begin to work full-time immediately after their PGWP application. 

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The Canada hosts the largest number of international students from across the world. Over the past few years, it has become one of the most popular destinations for studying abroad. Reasons such as best-ranked institutions, excellent support facilities, flexible academic environment, and cultural diversity contribute to making it the most preferred destination amongst students planning to study abroad.

How to apply for the Permanent Residency Program in Canada?

After having adequate work experience in Canada, many international students are eligible to apply for residency programs (PR) in Canada. Here are the PR programs for international students who want to understand how to get PR in Canada after study:

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Canadian Experience Class(CEC)is covered under the Express Entry system and uses the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) to rank the interested candidates. Candidates with competitive CRS scores receive the invitation to apply for the Canadian PR. To be eligible for CEC application, a student must have at least 12 months of full-time skilled work experience in the country. However, work experience gained during the studies is not counted as work experience to apply for CEC. Hence, after completing their studies, the students can apply for PGWP, gain experience, and later apply for CEC. 

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

Provincial Nominee Program(PNP) offers international students an option to apply for Canadian PR who wish to migrate to a specific Canadian territory or province. Each province in Canada has its PNP requirements. Students with a connection to a particular province – study or work, get a higher chance of being eligible to apply for the PNP program.

Federal Skilled Worker Program

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)  Program operates through the Express Entry immigration system. FSW does not require an international student to have prior work experience FSW program is also calculated on CRS score to rank and invite eligible international students to apply for PR after study in Canada.

Quebec Immigration Options

The province of Quebec manages its immigration system that may differ from other provinces. The requirements of the Quebec immigration programs are designed to help international students apply for Canada PR. The PR program has two subcategories for international students:

Quebec Experience Program (PEQ):

It is available to students who have either completed their studies at an institution based in Quebec or are about to complete their course in the next six months. To be eligible for PEQ, the international students must have advanced French language skills.

Quebec Skilled Worker (QSW):

Similarly to PEQ, the international students applying for QSW, must have completed or are about to complete their studies at an institution based in Quebec. But, they are not required to prove their French language skills in QSW; however, they should score and meet the requirements for QSW. 

Top Universities in Canada

OCAD UniversityLaval UniversityBrescia University College
Bishop’s UniversityNipissing UniversityEmily Carr University
St. Francis Xavier UniversityAcadia UniversityUniversity of Windsor
University of SherbrookeLaurentian UniversityMemorial University of Newfoundland

Switching to Work Permit Before Completing Studies

International students who decide to quit studies and gain a work permit need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). But, these students must inform the Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship, Canada (IRCC) if they decide to stop studying and apply for a work permit. In case of a change in status, the international students may have to leave the country before they get their work permit.  To secure an LMIA, the international student must obtain a valid job offer from an employer, and the employer must support the student’s work permit application. The employer must also prove that they cannot find a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident to fill the role. Unlike an open PGWP, a closed LMIA allows a student to be connected to a specific job, location, and employer. 

Documents Required to apply for Canadian PR after Study

The international students must submit the following documents while applying for a work permit and wish to stay back in Canada after their course:

  • Valid Passport
  • Proofs of Education (copies of degrees/certificates/diplomas)
  • Proofs of Work Experience (valid offer letters, appointment letters, relieving letters, pay slips, reference letters from employer (if required)
  • Proof of funds
  • Proofs of dependents (marriage or birth certificates of dependents, if any)
  • Copies of fee receipts
  • Medical certificates
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Current photographs

Study & Settle in Canada – Know where to start

Processing time for Canada PR

The processing time for Canada PR for students can take up to six months. However, it depends on various factors such as the number of applications, province, and type of work permit. The processing time also depends on the existing type of application to the applied type of application. For example, applying from an existing study application for a work permit in Canada may take up to 160 days to process the entire application process. However, this time frame does not include the time required for the biometrics.  

Cost of Applying PR after Study

The international students have to render various fees depending on the categories and requirements. Some of the basic fees that the international students need to submit include:

  • Citizenship application fee – $CAN 630
  • Processing fee – $CAN 850
  • Permanent residence fee – $CAN 515
  • Study Permit including extension – $CAN 150
  • Temporary resident permit – $CAN 200
  • Work permit including extension – $CAN 155
  • Restore work permit status – $CAN 355
  • Biometric fee – $CAN 85


In conclusion, obtaining permanent residency (PR) in Canada after study involves a comprehensive process that demands careful planning and understanding of the eligibility criteria. The pathway to PR typically includes leveraging post-graduation work experience, meeting specific language proficiency levels, and navigating through various immigration programs like the Canadian Experience Class or Provincial Nominee Programs. For international students, this transition from study to permanent residency is an opportunity to establish a long-term future in Canada, benefiting from its high standard of living, inclusive society, and diverse professional landscape. By meeting the eligibility requirements and following the prescribed process, students can successfully turn their Canadian educational experience into a stepping stone towards becoming permanent residents, contributing their skills and knowledge to the Canadian community.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the processing time for PGWP?

PGWP application usually takes 80 to 180 days for processing. However, the candidates can work during the application tenure if they apply for PGWP before the expiration of their study permit. 

Can I apply for PR while studying in Canada?

Suppose you are confused about how to get PR in Canada after studying. In that case, you must know that several permanent resident programs are offered to students to apply for a work permit, like the Canadian Experience Class, Provincial Nominee Program, and Federal Skilled Worker Program. 

Is it easy to get PR in Canada after study?

Getting a PR in Canada becomes less complicated if you have also studied there. Study and work experience together help improve CRS score opening doors for Express Entry profile.

What is Canada’s stay-back period offered to international students?

The international students can stay and settle in Canada via post-study work visa. This can be granted to an international student for up to three years.   


Shweta is a content professional who has spent over a decade in the field and has experience working in varied industries and domains.

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