International Students To Canada – Here’s How To Navigate Canada’s Immigration Website

There are many things that attract international students to Canada: an outstanding higher education system, welcoming immigration rules and a stressless path to post-study work opportunities are some the most well-known reasons for studying in Canada. But applying for a Canada student visa online can be a quite cumbersome and confusing experience.

The IRCC or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website are where the government of Canada usually provides official contents on matters stated in its namesake. The IRCC website should be every prospective international student’s major source of information related to their immigration matters. The role of the IRCC is basically to facilitate and regulates the arrival of immigrants from other countries, provide protection for refugees and offer programs to help new immigrant settle quickly into their new life in Canada.

Since immigration is a broad and extensive process, the IRCC’s website is usually filled with important information on every stage.

But for international students, it can be hard finding specific pages, so here we’ve provided a simple guide to the key pages relevant to studying, working and staying in Canada:

1. Study permit

This website page provides details as per every stage of getting and maintaining a study permit for Canada. A study permit is a document granted by the Canadian immigration Authority which enables foreign nationals to study at a designated or government-approved post-secondary institution. It doesn’t replace a visa – foreign citizens must still put in for a temporary visa or if they are from a visa-exempt country, an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) suffices.

This page also contains links about the process, how to apply, who can apply, what happens after application and how to prepare for landing in Canada. It gives more information about what a study permit is, fees charged, visa processing time, how to maintain legal status throughout your stay and so on.

2. Post-Graduation Work Permit

Do you wish to work in Canada after graduating? You will have to change from a study permit to a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). The post-graduation work permit is eligible for graduates of certain programmes at designated learning institutions.

This page has four links: Eligibility, the application process, how to apply and what next after you apply. One of the most common questions about visas is about duration, specifically, the gap between the expiration time of one’s study permit and the time when one’s PGWP takes effect. The “Who can apply” sub-page explains how an international student can time their PGWP application so there is an easy change from their study permit (student visa) to their work permit.

3. Key factors for Permanent Residence

After graduating and gaining work experience in Canada, you could decide to make this country your home, if you wish. The page above lists some programmes international students can put in for. There’s also the Come to Canada part which can help you find your options.

The program most suitable for you will depend on your language abilities as measured by the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) for French speaker, job offer, work experience (type and amount), educational qualifications and other factors (for example, an employment offer in Atlantic Canada).