Immigration Corner | Student wants to live permanently in Canada
Dear Ms Powell,
I just got my study permit and will be attending school in Canada for a year. My ultimate goal is to live there permanently. I heard that I can work when I have finished studying. Is that automatic? Will they send me a work permit once I finish school? I want to self-sponsor and bring my family to live with me. What do I do when I finish studying to be able to do that? Thanks for your guidance.
Congratulations, you have chosen one of the many pathways to becoming a permanent resident of Canada. Many individuals have chosen the study-permit route to becoming a permanent resident, especially if they do not meet the requirements to self-sponsor under the express-entry system.
I am pleased that you are being proactive about setting up an immigration plan to achieve your goals. For now, I would recommend that you focus on doing well in school and finding a part-time job while studying. Students are authorised to work up to 20 hours per week when they receive a study permit. In most cases, you do not need to apply for a separate work permit in order to be able to work. Your study permit will also outline the restrictions, if any.
Approximately three months before you complete your studies, I would recommend that you contact an immigration lawyer to review your qualification and to give you a detailed plan of action to achieve your goals.
You should discuss applying for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) when your course is completed and before the expiration of the current study permit. A PGWP is usually granted to students who have graduated from a programme that lasted a minimum of eight. The permit is usually granted based on the time that you spent studying. For example, if you studied for eight months, a work permit is usually granted for eight months. If you graduated from a three- or four-year programme, you could receive a three-year work permit if you are eligible.
You will not automatically be sent a post-graduate work permit. You must apply for one, and if you are eligible, you will be granted the work permit. In order to be eligible for a PGWP, you would need to present proof that you have successfully completed a full-time study for not less than 900 hours or eight months. The programme must be from one of the designated learning institutions (DLI) or participating schools such as a public post-secondary institution; a college, a trade/technical school, university, or CEGEP (in Quebec; or a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions. Your study permit must be valid at the time of the application. Additionally, you will need a letter from the school confirming your successful completion of the programme. The letter must include the duration of the programme and the school's DLI number.
Your application must be made within 90 days of written confirmation of completion of your studies. You do not have to wait until you have the actual diploma in hand to apply provided that you enclose a confirmation letter from the school with the application.
Not all students are automatically granted a work permit when they apply. Some of the reasons that you would not be deemed eligible for a post-graduate work permit are if:
1. Your programme of study was less than eight months;
2. The school you attended was not a designated learning institution;
3. You were previously issued a post-graduate work permit on the completion of another programme of study in Canada;
4. You have a criminal record;
5. Your programme was funded by your country or an international organisation such as Government of Canada Awards Programme, Canadian International Development Agency, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Organisation of American States, an exchange programme;
6. You are bonded by your country or a company in your home country without being released.
Before the expiration of your work permit, you should apply to become a permanent resident of Canada. You may now qualify to 'self-sponsor' under the Canadian Experience Class and the provincial nominee programme. You may be eligible to bring your family with you. The route you take at this point depends on factors such as the length of time you have been in Canada, your age, education, work experience, and your language ability. The age of your children would also be something that has to be examined. This list is not exhaustive. You may consult with an immigration lawyer to assist you with your application for the PGWP and to guide with the best course of action to become a permanent resident, based on the finer details of your case.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practise are in immigration, real estate, commercial, personal injury, family and administration of estates. She is on the roster of Mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org subjectline: immigration, Call 613.695.8777/ 876.922.8899 Facebook: jamaicanlawyer