International Students in Canada

Canada is one of the most sought-after destinations for individuals wishing to pursue post-secondary education. There is a wide range of degree, diploma and certificate programs that are internationally recognized and respected, and international students in Canada have some unique benefits that are generally unavailable to international students in other countries.

These benefits include the following:


You don’t have to leave your family behind

Individuals to want to attend universities or colleges often face a conundrum: should I pursue the career of my dreams, or should I stay home with my spouse and children? If you attend a school in Canada, you do not have to make such a choice. You can apply for your spouse or common-law/conjugal partner to accompany you, along with your children. Your spouse or partner may be eligible for an open work permit which allows him or her to work for any employer in Canada, while your children enjoy the same rights as Canadian children to attend preschool, elementary school or high school.

You can work while studying

Unlike many other countries, Canada allows international students to work while they are studying without having to apply for a work permit. Unless your study permit states otherwise, you are allowed to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic term or semester, and full-time during scheduled academic breaks such as the summer holidays and the winter/spring breaks.

Not only does this give you a way to fund your ongoing studies and/or living expenses, it gives you an introduction to the local labour market.


You can gain Canadian work experience

Once you have completed your studies in Canada, you may wish to stay on and gain experience in the field related to your studies. You can obtain a post-graduation work permit without first securing a job offer. This is an open work permit, valid for up to three years, that enables you to work for any employer in Canada, change jobs as you see fit, and gain valuable work experience.

You have a path to Canadian permanent residence

Just as Canada is a popular destination for international students, individuals who have studied and worked in Canada have demonstrated that they are assets to the country. Several immigration programs exist to encourage them to settle permanently in Canada. These programs include the following:

  • Federal express entry pool, whereby individuals with certain sets of skills and attributes are placed into a pool for certain nomination programs
  • Provincial nomination programs, many of which target international graduates of Canadian colleges and universities
  • Employer-driven programs, whereby individuals with job offers are able to apply for immigration

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