5 Pathways for an International Student to Get a PR.

Explore the Top 5 Paths for International Students to Attain Permanent Residency.

Getting Canadian permanent residency is tougher for international students due to more competition from people outside and an increase in temporary residents in Canada.

Canada plans to give permanent residency to around 883,635 people in the economic category by 2026, according to the new immigration plan for 2024-2026.

Getting permanent residency is hard for everyone, whether they’re highly skilled and from inside or outside Canada, like international students. Even the immigration minister, Marc Miller, has said clearly that being an international student doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get Canadian permanent residency.

Focus on International Students with High-Demand Skills

Canada is changing its immigration plan to match the needs of the job market for international students. The IRCC Minister shared this on October 31. It goes along with Global Affairs Canada’s strategy to get international students ready for work.

Canada is planning to strengthen the connection between students, universities, and employers. They’re also looking to include practical work experience in the International Student Program.

The minister mentioned they’re updating the Post-Graduation Work Permit

Program to help industries that need skilled workers. This means more

opportunities for international students and work permit holders with sought-after skills to stay in Canada.

Those on the Post-Graduation Work Permit, working in 82 important jobs

recognized by the Express Entry system, have a better chance at permanent residency compared to those in other jobs.

Where is the opportunity for PR?

There are two main ways to get permanent residency in Canada: through Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) or the Express Entry System.

Minister Miller has emphasized their efforts to ease the shortage of workers in important areas like construction and healthcare.

Trades, technology, and healthcare are needed in Canada, and all provinces, as well as the federal Express Entry system, are focusing on these fields.

Moreover, Canadian immigration is also looking for people who speak French well. Learning French can be a great and fascinating experience.

So, these are the main areas that international students can focus on to improve their chances of obtaining Canadian permanent residency.

What is the best approach for international students to get PR?

While the circumstances and profile of every individual are different, to align with current immigration programs, international students can work on one or more of the below-listed possibilities to improve their chances of getting PR.

  1. Get into in-demand sectors
  2. Become bilingual
  3. Program stacking
  4. Target Rural Immigration Programs
  5. Become an Entrepreneur

Get into in-demand sectors: One way is to study in skilled trades, technology, or healthcare. Having a certification in skilled trades can give you an extra 50 points in the Express Entry system, and the required score is usually lower than in regular draws. Moreover, all Canadian provincial nominee programs (PNPs) are giving attention to these sectors in their permanent residency draws.

Become Bilingual: Choosing to learn French can be the least competitive route to permanent residency because many international students might not consider it. However, if you learn French, you can fit into the Francophone immigration category, which typically has the lowest points cutoff for permanent residency in provincial nominee programs (PNPs) or Express Entry.

According to the new 2024–2026 Immigration Levels Plan, the targets for

immigration by Francophones are set at 6% for 2024, 7% for 2025, and 8% for 2026.

Program Stacking: Boost your education level through program stacking. If you initially came to Canada for a 1-year diploma, consider enrolling in another program after graduation. This not only increases your points for permanent residency (PR) but also extends the duration of your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Remember, you can only get the PGWP once in your life.

For instance, if you pursue a 4-year degree in healthcare or another

in-demand sector, you can legally stay for the entire study duration and then receive a PGWP of the same length afterward.

This approach significantly improves your chances of obtaining PR compared

to international students who completed just a one-year diploma and have only one year of PGWP.

Target Rural Immigration Programs: Many international students often overlook rural immigration programs because they prefer big cities. The IRCC is exploring ways to expand the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) to additional towns and is considering making the program a permanent fixture.

Moreover, Alberta has an appealing rural renewal stream that provides

permanent residency options in over 22 rural communities. Likewise, other

provinces have their own rural or regional immigration streams that can assist you in obtaining permanent residency. Not everyone prefers leaving city life, but if you’re committed to getting permanent residency (PR), consider a less common approach and be open to exploring options outside the city.

Become an Entrepreneur: This path isn’t for everyone, but entrepreneurship is like a seed that can overcome challenges and thrive in unexpected situations, defying expectations. If you have a business idea or an entrepreneurial spirit, consider pursuing it and explore the start-up visa program. This program has the potential to help at least five international students achieve permanent residency.

While it may sound appealing, keep in mind that it’s not as

straightforward as it might seem. However, it is a viable option to obtain Canadian permanent residency and potentially settle for life. 

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