Choosing the right course in Canada for PR in 2021
We’re going to focus on the best practices in choosing the right course in Canada for PR. We’re gonna look at the bigger picture of how this program will affect your PR application. And we’re gonna zoom in to the details of the program that you should be looking at.
Table of Content
How to choose a course in Canada for PR?
- When choosing your study program make sure to take note of which skill job you want to pursue in Canada.
- And shortlist the course in Canada for PR that will land you that skilled job to help you decide which program is appropriate for you.
- Look closely at each program’s information, the eligibility, the availability program length, the cost, and the employability of the graduates.
- Also, check the accessibility of the DLI location and the living conditions surrounding that school.
- Then do your research about the eligible PNP streams applicable to that program or skilled job.
- And finally, if the OWP holder is the main applicant in your express entry application.
- Consider the employability of your spouse before deciding on the international student’s study program.
Choosing your program of study in Canada is a crucial step to your success in the student-to-PR pathway. There are lots of factors affecting this decision but we’re gonna discuss only the big ones.
Now I want to clarify that it will be a general guide for anyone who is in the process of choosing their program regardless of where they want to study in Canada.
- First, you know your reason why you want to come to Canada.
- Second, you’ve already calculated your CRS score.
- And third, by using the CRS calculator you are already convinced that the student-to-PR pathway is your best bet for Canadian immigration.
Now it’s time to choose your program of study. For some people choosing their program is very easy. They have already decided and they just go for it. But most of us can be very vague.
Let’s try to reverse engineer the process.
- What’s the main goal of your study in Canada? Get your PR status
- How do you get your PR status? Get Canadian skilled work experience
- How do you get that skilled work experience in Canada? choose a program that will land you that skilled.
Do not choose the wrong program
In this thought process choosing your program is a crucial factor to get to your PR goal. It is the starting point of your journey to Canada.
It makes a whole lot of sense to spend time analyzing and researching the best program for you. That’s why I specifically made this article to help you think intelligently about choosing your program of study in Canada.
Don’t be a victim of these common practices in choosing your program.
- First is the trend.
- Second blind recommendations.
- Third self-serving agencies.
Just because you saw a lot of people getting study permit approval when taking that specific program it doesn’t mean it will apply to you as well. And then you’ll go ahead with a program without evaluating your situation. Each situation is unique. So you should do your due diligence before jumping into a decision.
This is similar to the trend but with more credibility. This can come from a friend who was successful in this journey or maybe from someone you ask for help from.
Remember they don’t know your whole story, your background, your skills, and your ultimate goals in life. Only you know however there’s something good that you can take from this situation. You can cherry-pick the good points from their advice then apply and modify it to fit your journey.
Programs suggested by self serving agencies
Before I get into this I want to tell you that not all agencies are bad. There are good ones out there but you have to be very careful in choosing which one.
There are agencies affiliated with schools in Canada. That means they earn a certain percentage if they manage to get a student enrolled in that school’s program.
When you approach the agency for a study permit, they will only recommend that institutions are within their affiliations. They will try to persuade you to choose from that small list.
This could be useful for some of you but know that you are not just limited to what they are recommending. There’s a whole bunch of programs out there available for you as an international student. You just have to do your research properly. That’s exactly what I will discuss today how to choose your program wisely.
How to choose study course in Canada for PR
I’ve listed a few pointers that will help you decide whether that program is good for you or not. Please make sure that you consider carefully if these pointers are applicable to your case or not.
At the end of the day, the best judge for your situation is still you. You know all the details about your application skill job after graduation. This is very important especially if you are the main applicant in your EE application.
You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars studying then the job for that program will not qualify you for express entry. Your job is not considered a skilled job in Canada.
In the worst-case scenario, you can’t find a job because there’s no vacancy for that particular line of work.
Skilled Job after graduation
First, you have to decide what skill job do you want to do in Canada. By deciding what skill job you want to pursue will narrow down your study program options.
Choosing your targeted skill job can be based on your work experience; current or previous. It can be based on your background education outside Canada. It can also be based on your dream career.
The best option will be the first one because there’s a possibility that you can use your work history as leverage later for your PR application.
Plus you already have that existing work experience to include in your resume when you apply for that job after studying. That’s one step ahead of all of the graduates without work experience in that field.
How do you know which job is considered skilled or not?
- Go to this page find your NOC.
- Scroll down to the bottom part does a keyword search.
- Here in the skill level or type. It should say NOC 0, A, or B.
When listing down your targeted skill job, you can shortlist as many as you want and then decide later on.
How to get a job in Canada from the outside?
Canada Job search websites
You can try to search for job vacancies from websites like indeed, Workopolis, or LinkedIn. These websites will roughly tell you if the job is in demand or not. It will also give you an approximate salary range. And probably the job description. Here is the list of Canadian job search websites from outside the country.
Best way to explore a job in Canada
My favorite website for finding a job in Canada is job bank Canada. All the postings there are 100 legit and there are some cool features that I particularly like.
Let me show you what I mean.
- Go to the job bank Canada home page and then click the arrow next to ‘trend analysis’.
- Now choose to ‘Explore the market’ by ‘occupation’ type in your desired occupation.
- Let’s say software engineer then the options will come out choose the right NOC then search.
You’ll see a summary page with a detailed description of job duties. It will give you an idea of the nature of the work that you might be doing if you ended up as a software engineer in Canada.
You can also see a comparison of wages across the provinces and territories.
Job scope and prospect
You can also view this skill of job opportunity for the next three years. Also, available jobs are listed by the province as well. Here you can roughly assess whether that skilled job is in demand in Canada or not.
Probably you can consider studying in that high ranking province. Your employability after graduation is better in that particular province.
Next, this will give you an idea of what program of study you’ll need to take if you want to work. This page also lists the professional certification and licensing bodies for this skilled job.
There is plenty of valuable information on the job bank Canada website. I strongly suggest that you visit this page for your skilled job assessment.
Ask a professional in that skilled job
Another useful way is to ask those who are already working in that profession in Canada for their personal experiences. Remember to ask the reliable ones so you will not be misguided. Gather all the facts then try your best to make a sound decision based on your situation.
Consider Program Information
Now that you have an idea which program to take let’s break down the information you need to check about that particular program.
Designated learning institution or DLI
Make sure that the program being offered is PGWP eligible and the school offering this program is included in the DLI list. It is easy to check this information just go to this website designated learning institutions list. On the page, scroll down where you have option to choose the province.
Here you’ll see the name of the institution or school, the DLI number. And on the right side offers PGWP eligible programs and your school should be on the list.
To further check if your program of interest is eligible for PGWP, go to the institution’s homepage or the school’s homepage and search there. If you can’t find it on their website, you can email the school’s international center.
But make sure before you proceed to that specific program you got the yes for that PGWP eligible program.
Each program has its own academic requirements that you have to fulfill in order to secure a seat. DLIs have unique ways of assessing your background education.
Some will require original copies of your documents to be mailed to them while some of them scan copies are enough. So make sure that you know what applies to your program.
Degree to diploma
The most popular question I get is whether or not it’s okay to study diploma in Canada even if you have a degree?
In my opinion, it is okay as long as you can justify it in your study plan or statement of purpose. You have to make sense of why you are studying this program. Explain in detail how the program will help you in your career progression.
Explain how this diploma program is a value-added credential to your career progression. Be clear and detailed with your explanation in your study plan. If possible include evidence such as comparison tables of courses, pros, and cons of the program, etc.
The visa officer will understand your point of view. Also, do not copy the explanation of others. Please each situation is unique. I suggest that you try to get an idea from other people’s experiences and apply that to your situation. But do not copy to avoid plagiarism.
Cost of study
Program availability in Canada
There are different semesters or intakes depending on the institution. The majority of the programs in Canada start in the fall semester or some winter and spring intakes are also available.
Check your program’s start date so you can plan accordingly. This will give you an idea of when you should start the processing of your application.
Program duration: 1 year vs 2 years
Remember one year program will earn you one year of PGWP and a two-year program will give you three years of PGWP. The length of your program of study should depend on your chances of getting a PR status after studying.
You should plan this carefully because the last thing that you want to worry about is getting out of status because your PGWP expired without getting an invitation to apply for PR.
Know your CRS score
For most mature international students that I know with a CRS score in the high 300s; one year of PGWP is not enough. Because it will only earn them one year of Canadian work experience that is provided they get a job as soon as they graduate.
They earn that one year and then they qualify for the CEC program of express entry. But it doesn’t mean that they’ll automatically get an invitation to apply. It will still depend on their CRS score and the EE draw cut off during that time. There’s a chance that the one-year PGWP status will expire while waiting for ITA.
However, if you studied for two years you will get three years of PGWP, you will have sufficient time to process your PR application without getting out of status.
On the other hand, there are a number of students who successfully got their PR by studying a one-year program.
It is important to know your CRS score before you start studying.
Employability of graduates
This is something that’s good to know. Most universities in Canada conduct surveys to determine the employment rate, salaries, and satisfaction of their newest alumni.
Your Location and living condition
The third topic I want to talk about is the school’s location and the living conditions in that area. As a newcomer in Canada, you should take note that the school’s location and the living conditions around that area are very important.
You’re lucky if you have relatives who can guide you on your first few weeks in Canada. But if you’re a total stranger you have to do a lot of research even before deciding to come in.
And quite frankly you have no escape from the cold weather because almost all locations in Canada have winter seasons. But some provinces are worse than the others.
Living condition in Alberta
For example, you decide to come to Alberta which is by the way considered cold as well. You can either choose Calgary or Edmonton.
These two cities in Alberta have quite similar logistics. Both of them have the allies state in Calgary Nate in Edmonton.
- Both cities have reliable public transit systems like buses and trains that can help you move around even without your own vehicle.
- Also, there’s a good number of rental places near schools. You can quickly search for accommodation.
- Because these are cities, groceries and shopping malls are easily accessible. You won’t have a hard time securing your basic needs, especially during winter times.
- Plus in cities like Calgary and Edmonton, there are plenty of part-time jobs for international students. There’s a chance that you can work for 20 hours per week and generate income for your daily needs.
Eligibility for PNP or provincial nominee programs
This is towards the end of your journey in the student-to-PR pathway but it’s good to know as well. You can use it to your advantage. As I discussed earlier getting a provincial nomination is one way of increasing your CRS score. When choosing a skilled job and your program makes sure that you check the provincial nominee streams available in that province.
Alberta Nominee Program
In Alberta, it is called AIMP or Alberta immigrant nominee program.
There are two streams available for international students which are the Alberta opportunities stream or AOS and Alberta express entry stream or Alberta EE stream.
These two programs have different requirements and eligibility. But both of them are applicable to international students.
Employability of working spouse
- A good strategy if the working spouse or OWP holder will be the main applicant in your EE application.
- First, decide on the location where OWP holders will most likely get the skilled job, then find the program of study for international students.
- Calculate your CRS score
- Spouse with the higher CRS score should be the working spouse OWP holder
- Spouse with lower CRS score should be the international student
- Extra points will come from Canadian skilled work experience
- Increase CRS score, CEC stream qualified, the higher chance of getting ITA
- Remember: Job needs to be considered skilled; NOC 0, A, B
Prioritize the employability of the working spouse
It is wise to prioritize the employability of the working spouse first. Then only consider choosing the international students’ program of study. Decide on which province you want to go to and pick the city that will be based on the OWP employability. Start searching the DLI and the PGWP eligible programs in that area for the international student.
If you are coming to Canada with a spouse this is your best chance of getting a PR status.
Calculate your CRS score
First, calculate each of your CRS scores. Treat it as if each one of you is the main applicant for PR after your calculations.
If one of you scored higher let’s say one is 430 and the other one is 390. The spouse who scored higher should be the working spouse or the OWP holder. While the one with a lower score should be the student.
Why? Because that means that the OWP holder only needs roughly 50 points to reach the cutoff of about 470 to 480 to get an ITA. Of course, it still depends on the CRS cutoff during that time.
But, where will the working spouse get that extra point?
Points for Canadian skilled work experience
This will come from one year of skilled Canadian work experience. It can be obtained because an open work permit allows the spouse to work in Canada.
Increase CRS score, CEC stream qualified, higher chance of getting ITA
After getting that one year of skilled work in Canada CRS score will increase. Moreover, the working spouse will be qualified to CEC stream in the express entry. Hence higher chances of getting an ITA. However, the OWP holder needs to be working in a skilled job in Canada.