While studying in Canada is an excellent path to permanent residence, there are many immigration landmines an international student will want to avoid along the way.
Here are some pieces of advice we have for students:
Post-graduation work permits (PGWP): Each international student is only allowed ONE post-graduation work permit, so use it wisely! There are no renewals and no second permits, even if you return to study in another full-time program.
Ineligible post-secondary institutions: Not all post-secondary schools or programs qualify under the post-graduation work permit program. It’s important to make sure that both your school and program qualify before investing the time and money into studying.
Working illegally: While your study permit allows you to work in Canada, there are limitations and restrictions that you need to be familiar with. Any period of unauthorized work (even if it happens by accident) can cause serious problems for your future immigration applications – make sure you know your conditions of work before taking on any new job.
Dropping out (and losing status): Thinking of taking a break from school? Your status in Canada will expire 90 days from the date on which you stop studying – even if the expiry date on your study permit comes later. If you are planning to leave your academic program, you may need to first apply for a work permit or visitor record to avoid being without status in Canada.