How to get PR in Canada after study

Many international students who studied in Canada stayed back in the country after completing their program.

They took advantage of the country’s favorable post-graduation work opportunities and of course, the friendly immigration policies.

Some of these students are now permanent residents while others are citizens of the country.

If you are currently studying in Canada and wish to stay back after your program, you have the chance to achieve your dream.

Can I get PR in Canada after my studies?

Yes, you can get PR in Canada after your studies as long as your program lasts more than eight months, you have a chance to stay back after your studies and continue your path to permanent residency.

The Canadian government has made enormous efforts to attract and retain international students as long as they wish to stay (who wouldn’t) in the country and build their careers.

Most students stayed in the country not just because of the numerous job opportunities but also due to the inclusiveness of the Canadian system and its high quality of life.

If you wish to stay in Canada and become a Permanent resident after your program, here is a step-by-step guide on how to get PR in Canada after study.

You can follow this guide and you will become a PR holder within a few years in Canada.

The Canadian PR system

Canada has many immigration pathways through which you can become a Permanent resident after your studies.

The most suitable pathway for you depends on your qualifications, work experience, and other factors.

The two common pathways that have proven to favor international students are the Canadian Experience Class operated through the Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

You can explore any of these options but here, we will concentrate on the Provincial Nomination program.

How to get PR in Canada after study

Upon completing your program at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada, you’re ready to move on to the next step which is to apply for a post-graduation work permit.

It is through this program that you will gain Canadian work experience and apply for permanent residency through any of the PR pathways.

Post-graduation work permit (PGWP)

After completing your academic program in Canada, proceed to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) within 180 days of finishing your studies.

The PGWP allows you to work in Canada for a period depending on the length of your program, you can work for up to a maximum of three years.

During this time, you must have gathered enough work experience.

Gain Canadian work experience

With your PGWP, you will gain at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada. When applying for a job, look for jobs that are related to your field of study, the reason is that it will be helpful in the subsequent stages.

Language proficiency

While you work in Canada, invest time in improving your language proficiency in either English or French.

You need a strong language proficiency to gain more points in your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which plays a pivotal role in your PR application.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

If during your work period, you find a province that you would love to reside in permanently, you can explore their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), it is an immigration program offered by different provinces in Canada.

Some PNPs have streams tailored for individuals with Canadian work experience, providing an additional pathway for nomination.

Express Entry profile

To get started with your PNP application, you need to create an Express Entry profile online. During your account creation, you will be asked to provide your details.

Provide every necessary information about you – provide your education, work experience, language proficiency, and other relevant information.

The Express Entry system uses all the information you provided in your profile to calculate your CRS score.

Each piece of information has a point, some will give you more points than others. You need as many points as possible.

Job Offer (optional)

While not mandatory, if you secure a valid job offer from a Canadian employer in your desired province, it will significantly boost your CRS score.

Before you take up any job offer, make sure that the job offer is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) if required.

You can either apply to your desired province directly for a provincial nomination or be invited to apply to the province for a provincial nomination. 

Express Entry draws

Once you have applied, you need to watch out for the Express Entry draws, this is where candidates with the highest CRS scores will be invited to apply for PR.

If you have a great score, then you stand a good chance of getting invited – Draws usually occur every two weeks, and the cut-off CRS score is announced for each draw.

Get an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

If you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) after an Express Entry draw, congratulations! You now have a limited time, usually 60 days, to submit a complete PR application. Get it done fast.

Apply for permanent residency application

After receiving an Invitation to Apply, prepare and submit a thorough PR application within the specified timeframe – 60 days.

Make sure that you include all the documents that are required from you – you will need your educational credentials, work experience records, language test results, and proof of funds.

Include everything in your application.

Medical examination and background check

Go for a medical examination and make sure it’s conducted by an approved panel physician. Additionally, you need to provide police certificates from all countries where you have lived for six months or more since the age of 18 to complete the background check.

Confirmation of permanent residence (COPR)

After submitting your PR application, wait for the government to review your application. Upon approval, you will receive a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR).

If you are outside Canada, there is no need to travel to Canada until you have received your COPR.

Once you have your COPR, you are now a permanent resident of Canada. Congratulations on achieving a Permanent Residency in Canada.

Ways to increase your chances of getting PR after your studies in Canada.

  • Language proficiency: Make sure you improve your language proficiency in English and/or French.
  • Work experience in Canada: Gain Canadian work experience, e.g., through the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
  • Networking: Networking is a great tool, utilize it very well. Build professional networks in Canada, it can help get you through.
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): Explore Provincial Nominee Programs for nomination based on economic contribution.
  • Job offer: If possible, secure a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, it will increase your chances.
  • Maintain legal status: Make sure that you obey immigration regulations and maintain legal status.


Achieving a Permanent Residency in Canada after your study is a great fit – one you will be grateful for, Canada has everything you need to build an excellent career for yourself, and becoming a permanent resident will give you more opportunities to progress in your chosen career path.

Read also:

There are so many benefits to becoming a PR holder in Canada, from more job opportunities to social and career benefits.

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