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Can I Apply For PR While Studying In Canada

9 min read
Blog Summary Decode the possibility of applying for Permanent Residency (PR) while studying in Canada. Gain insights into immigration pathways and the steps to secure your future in this diverse

If you are an international student in Canada and would like to apply for a Permanent Resident status while studying, you can do so. However, you should be able to meet the conditions set forth by the Canadian Immigration Program under which you apply.

When you apply for a Canadian student permit and Canadian PR status, you are doing a "dual intent". This is commonly done by international students and is accepted by Canadian Immigration Law.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

This program is for international students with at least 12 months of work experience in Canada in a skilled occupation.

You must apply within 3 years of obtaining one year of qualifying experience.

The requisite work experience in Canada can be obtained by applying for a Canadian Post Graduation Work Permit.

However, part-time work experience earned during studies internships, co-ops, and other parts of the study program will not be counted towards the Canadian work experience requirement.

Factors Being Considered in Point Requirements:

  • Age
  • Language Skills
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Arranged Employment in Canada
  • Adaptability

Required points for Canadian Experience Class (CEC) = 462 points

Quebec Experience Class (QEC)

This category is meant for international students who got their education in Quebec and completed the CEGEP, the College of General and Vocational Education.

Applicant must have completed a Bachelor's, a Master's, or a PhD degree.

Have work experience in Quebec. Proficiency in French qualifies the applicant for QEC even without work experience.

This program has the fastest processing time compared to other immigration programs in Canada.

All programs under Immigration Quebec require 2 processing steps:

  • Apply for an Immigration Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) and then to the Federal Government to receive their Canadian immigration visa. The Federal Government will evaluate the application for security, criminal, and medical background checks.
  • Meeting the age requirement that the applicant should be at least 18 years old and intends to settle permanently in the province of Quebec.

Applicant must be able to provide for himself and his spouse and dependent children (if any) for at least 3 months after the PR visa has been granted.

Applicant must demonstrate proficiency in oral French.

The application must be filed within 36 months from graduation from a Quebec institute. After 36 months, the applicant becomes ineligible for the program.

Applicant must have at least 12 months of work experience in Quebec in a managerial, professional, or skilled position within the 2 years that follow the date of the application. The job must be on the list of occupations acceptable under this program.

Applicant must work in Quebec and possess legal status as a temporary resident in the province.

Required points for Quebec Experience Class (QEC):

  • Single applicant - 50 points
  • With spouse - 59 points

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is second to Express Entry as a leading way for skilled workers to immigrate to Canada. Most Canadian provinces and territories have a PNP program welcoming skilled workers from other countries to aid in strengthening their economies.

Under the Constitution of Canada, the Federal Government, its provinces and territories have the same authority to administer the Canadian immigration system.

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows these provinces and territories to appoint individuals wishing to immigrate to Canada and settle in a particular province.

The eligibility requirements for each province will be different from each other. It will also depend on the program where you applied for relocation.

Some provinces that have an immediate need for a skilled workforce adopt swift processing of applications for Canada PR visas.

The exceptions to this program are the Northern Canadian territory of Nunavut and Quebec, which have established their criteria for economic immigration.

Required points for Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) = 400 points

Point System for Canadian PR

To apply for a Canada Permanent Resident visa through the Express Entry System, you must be able to clear the 67 points eligibility system. Under this system, you will be granted points of 100 points total. The points award will be based on your educational qualifications, age, adaptability, and others. Clear a minimum of 67 points allows you to create your profile in the Express Entry program.

Canadian immigration is a point-based system. To get an ITA (Invitation to Apply) for a Canada PR visa through the Express Entry system, you must be able to clear the latest CRS (Comprehensive Rating System) point cut-off. These CRS scores are the basis of ranking your profile in the Express Entry pool; and will be based on factors such as work experience, language proficiency, age, level of education, etc.

Language Ability - Maximum 28 points

24 points maximum are awarded for the first official language plus another 4 points for the second official language. Additional 5 points will be awarded if your spouse/common-law partner has proven their language proficiency. IELTS is the language test for English, and TEF is for the French language test.

Educational Qualification - Maximum 25 points

Level of Education


Doctoral level


Master’s level or professional degree


2 or more post-secondary credentials, one of which has a duration of 3 years or longer


3 years or longer post-secondary credential


2 years post-secondary credential


1 year post-secondary credential


Secondary school


Work Experience - Maximum 15 points

Work Experience (In Years)








6 or more


Arranged Employment - Maximum 10 points

This category awards 10 points if you can meet anyone of the following conditions: 

  • You are currently working in Canada on a LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) - based work permit in a skilled occupation, or
  • You are currently working in Canada on a LMIA-exempt work permit; can also be a work permit issued under agreement with a province or territory,
  • You are holding a valid Canadian work permit or you have authorization to work in Canada.

Adaptability - Maximum 10 points

Adaptability Factors


Previous work in Canada in a skilled occupation (1 year or more)


Previous study in Canada


Arranged employment in Canada


Relatives in Canada


Spouse/Partner previous work in Canada


Spouse/Partner previous study in Canada


Spouse/Partner language ability

(CLB- Canadian Language Benchmark or higher)


How can i Apply for Canadian PR?

Step 1: Get an Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA). This will prove that your education is on the same level as Canadian education.

Step 2: You need a language proficiency report with the IELTS score to demonstrate your English language skill following the CLB.

Step 3: File your Express Entry Application. Once you have gathered all the required documents, scan and upload them. Create an online profile in the Express Entry System. Pay your fees.

Step 4: CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System Score. After filing the application form, you will receive a CRS score which will serve as a cut-off to evaluate the application. You are eligible for a Canada PR visa if you got the required CRS score.

Step 5: Wait for the Express Entry pool draw. This draw is done at regular intervals.

Being above a specific rank entitles you to receive an invitation for PR.

Step 6: ITA (Invitation to Apply). If you are above the rank, you will receive an Invitation to

Apply, which you should do within 60 days.

Step 7: Final PR application. Send in the final PR application with the necessary documents. Processing of applications may take about 6 months. Once you are approved, you will receive your Permanent Resident authorization. 

The system will reject your application if it does not include all the documents required and its mandatory fields are not properly filled out.

Important changes in your application such as contact information, births or deaths in the family, adoptions, marriages and divorces, new educational credentials, changes to your job or job offer, and new and updated language test results should be reported immediately.

Unless you are an expert in complex immigration programs, forms, deadlines, and more, you might find the above requirements and processes overwhelming. This is where AECC enters into the picture. We can help you succeed in your goal to settle in Canada as a permanent resident.

AECC  is a highly reliable firm with an outstanding track record of thousands of successful PR visa applications. We have qualified and experienced immigration experts that have helped individuals and families with their applications through Express Entry. Our team is equipped with the efficiency of accurately assessing your profile and suggesting the most suitable course of action to serve your needs better. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and let's discuss how we can help you with your immigration efforts.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can international students apply for permanent residency (PR) while studying in Canada?
Yes, international students in Canada can apply for permanent residency while studying through various immigration pathways designed to retain skilled graduates.
What are the common pathways for international students to obtain PR in Canada?
Common pathways include the Express Entry system, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and family sponsorship. Each pathway has specific eligibility criteria.
How does the Express Entry system work for international students?
Express Entry is a points-based system that considers factors like age, education, work experience, and language proficiency. International students can earn additional points for Canadian education and work experience, enhancing their PR prospects.
Are there any specific requirements or conditions for international students applying for PR in Canada?
Requirements vary by immigration pathway, but generally, students need to have completed a qualifying program, meet language proficiency requirements, and have sufficient funds. Some pathways may require job offers.
What are the benefits of obtaining PR in Canada for international students?
PR holders in Canada enjoy benefits such as access to most social benefits, the ability to work and live anywhere in Canada, and a pathway to Canadian citizenship. It offers stability and long-term opportunities in the country.

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