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INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Public Policy for International Graduates closes in just over 24 hours

After the much-anticipated opening of the Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident Pathway on the 6th May 2021, the stream targeting recent international graduates from a Canadian institution closed at 1.04 pm on May 7th, 2021.

In the 25 hours or so the program remained open, over 40,000 applicants applied under this stream. Due to the lax eligibility requirements to apply, many were surprised that the stream did not reach its quote of applications by the end of the first day.

Who Qualified for this Program?

Applicants who met the following criteria were eligible to apply under this new program for permanent residency on the 6th May 2021:

  • Graduated from a Designated Learning Institute after January 2017;
  • Obtained a Canadian Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate at least 8 months in duration;
    OR A degree, diploma, certificate, or attestation issued on completion of a program of any duration leading to an occupation in a skilled trade;
    OR One or more degree, diploma, certificate, or attestation at least 8 months each in duration (min total 16 months) with a combined total equivalent to a 2-year credential; Held a valid study permit throughout their education in Canada;
  • Currently employed in Canada with a valid work authorization to work;
  • Have attained a level of proficiency of at least CLB level 5 in English or French in the last 2 years if applying under the foreign national’s program and at least CLB level 5 in French if applying under the French-speaking program;
  • Reside in Canada with valid temporary resident status (or be eligible to restore their status) and be physically present in Canada at the time the application for permanent residence is received and when the application is approved;
  • Intend to reside in a province or territory other than Quebec.

One major stumbling block for most applicants who otherwise would have qualified to apply, was the requirement to submit language test results on file submission. The announcement of this program mid April 2021 saw both the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) testing centre and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) testing centre websites crash due to the unprecedented demand for both tests.

What If I Didn’t Have Change to Submit My Application?

If you were unable to submit an application under this stream, you still have several options available to apply for permanent residence.

Express Entry

Applicants who have at least 1 year of skilled work experience in Canada can submit a profile to the Express Entry pool under the Canadian Experience Class program. Applicants with Canadian Education can receive up to 30 additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points and 90 CRS points for 1 year of Canadian work experience.

With the 2021 trend of Express Entry Draws, emphasis has been placed on CEC applicants with most being selected from the pool.

French-speaking recent international graduates from a Canadian institution

This stream is identical to the Recent international graduates from a Canadian institution stream apart from the language requirement. Under the French-speaking recent international graduates from a Canadian institution stream, applicants must demonstrate at least CLB level 5 in an approved French test. CLB level 5 is equivalent to basic to moderate proficiency.

Unlike the Recent international graduates from a Canadian institution stream, the French- speaking stream does not have a limit on the amount of applications they will process, so long as the application was submitted prior to the closure of the stream on November 5th, 2021. This gives hopeful applicants 6 months to reach the required French level to submit an application under this stream.

Provincial Programs

Most provinces have provincial programs targeting international graduates currently working in their province with an offer of employment from an employer within the province.

Quebec Experience Program/Programme de L’expérience Québécoise (PEQ)

Graduates from a school located in the province of Quebec, can also apply under Quebec’s PEQ program. To be eligible under this program, applicants must:

  • Intend to settle in the province of Quebec;
  • Demonstrate level 7 in oral French ability;
  • Have obtained an eligible diploma; and
  • Have obtained eligible work experience in Québec following your study program.

Although you may have missed out on this opportunity, international graduates still have many options available to them to make their stay in Canada permanent.

Rebecca Major

Rebecca Major is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and Director of Operations at Canadim Law Firm. She has spent the last 11 years of her career helping thousands of people immigrate to Canada.

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