Canada is now one of the world’s leading destinations for international students with over 800,000 students from all over the world. Research shows that international students are attracted to Canada for the following reasons:
There are over 1,500 universities, colleges, and other educational institutions that are authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to welcome international students. These educational institutions are called designated learning institutions (DLIs) and they exist to help international students learn in Canada and stay in the country after graduation. The list of DLIs that are authorized by IRCC is constantly growing. Please verify that the university, college, or other institution you wish to enroll in is authorized by IRCC by visiting the Canadian government’s official website.
Ontario and Quebec are Canada’s largest provinces by population, and hence, they host the most number of DLIs in the country (nearly 1,000 combined).
Given the large number of DLIs across Canada, you are very likely to find an educational program that meets your needs.
Generally speaking, universities across Canada offer comparable levels of high-quality education. The reason for this is that Canada promotes equity within its education system, meaning that it strives to ensure all students get the best possible education possible, irrespective of which institution that they go to.
Canada also has some 150 community colleges which also offer good quality education. Whereas universities specialize in providing theoretical knowledge and career training in certain professions (e.g., medicine, engineering, law), community colleges offer more applied training to help students quickly integrate into the labour market. College programs are more practical, with the knowledge provided to students meant to help them find work within their area of study.
Just like universities, colleges across Canada tend to offer similar levels of education. International students should take comfort at studying at a Canadian college, since the credential that they gain will support their professional and immigration ambitions upon graduation.
The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Skilled Canadian work experience in Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) categories 0, 1, 2 or 3 that is gained through the PGWP Program helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class within Express Entry.
Only 1 post-graduation work permit is issued during the lifetime of an applicant. To obtain a post-graduation work permit, the applicant must currently have valid temporary status in Canada or have left Canada. They must have graduated from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI). They further must submit clear evidence that they meet all of the criteria noted below:
Within 180 days of the date of applying for the post-graduation work permit, applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:
A bridging open work permit (BOWP) lets you keep working while you wait for the results of your permanent residence application. You may be eligible if you applied to one of the permanent residence programs below.
Commensing January 30, 2023, family members of most foreign workers can apply for an open work permit. A few exceptions may apply to family members of low-skilled workers.
You may be eligible for this temporary measure if you’re a family member of a principal foreign worker in Canada who is any of the following: