Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Immigration Corner: Thinking of studying in Canada

Published:Tuesday | May 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I heard about a school in Halifax where I can study 'massage and hydrotherapy'. Can you tell me how I can find out if this school is accredited? Can I get a permit to stay in Canada when I finish?

- CR


Dear CR,

It is a good idea to check if a school is accredited or is considered to be a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), before you embark on studies as a pathway to becoming a permanent resident in Canada.

There is a list of DLIs which may be found on IRCC's official website:

On the successful completion of your studies, you may apply for a post graduate work permit (PGT). The work permit will allow you to work in Canada for a specific period of time. The amount of time that you will be granted will be based on the length of your studies. The permit will not be granted for a period longer than the period of study. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you undertake a programme that lasts a minimum of one year. This will allow you to have a minimum of one year's work experience in Canada. You will then qualify to apply under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) via the express entry system.

You should apply for your post graduate work permit as soon as you have confirmation that you have successfully completed your programme. You do not have to wait until you have the certificate in hand. Submit your application before your study permit expires, to ensure that you are not staying in Canada without the relevant permits.

Permanent Residence

In order to qualify under the CEC for permanent residence, you will need to have a minimum of one year post graduate, full-time work experience in Canada or the equivalent number of part-time hours. Work experience as student, intern or under a co-op programme does not count.

Your work experience must fall within one of the qualifying Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes. That means that your experience should be in a managerial, professional or technical job. That is, your job title must fall within the list of NOCs O , A or B.

Since you will have Canadian post graduate certification, you will not need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). However, if you have additional international certification you should get the ECA as it will boost your qualifications. You should also sit the English examinations and ensure that you score is high to maximise your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

Do not just stay in Canada on the completion of your studies without applying for the relevant permits. You want to ensure that you are not deemed inadmissible or become the subject of a removal or deportation order.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to, Subject line: Immigration or call 613.695.8777