The student pathway to Canada in 2021: Strategies to succeed
Canada is one of the most welcoming countries for international students. We will discuss the student pathway to Canada in 2021 and the best strategies to succeed.
Table of Content
Why Study in Canada
- Canada ranks as one of the best countries in the world: Well, Canada is consistently ranked as one of the top countries in the world to live in. In fact for the last two years straight ranked as one of the best countries to live in according to the UN ranking.
- Quality of Life: Canada is just wonderful. It’s also a great place to study. The cost of living is pretty decent that is beneficial for everyone.
- Inclusive and Diverse: One thing about Canada; it’s an inclusive society and it’s about a very diverse society. Canada has really worked at diversifying its immigrant population. Due to this, you will find a very inclusive society. People from all walks of life are welcome to Canada.
- Benefit from a World-Class Education: Canadian education is a world-class education that is borne out by the number of international students. In fact, Canada now ranks as the number three destination for international students and we’re moving up with a bullet.
- Canada welcomes international students: The government of Canada is working hard to actually attract more and more international students. They’ve set up various different programs for international students. Canada is working hard to diversify the number of types of students that we bring into the country.
- Pathway to permanent residence: Canada doesn’t just want you to come and study. They want you to come to study and then they want to retain your skills. The student stream is a pathway to stay in Canada as a permanent resident. Not just on a federal level but several provinces also have provincial programs where they want to attract students to come to their college or universities. And they want them to stay and be able to apply for permanent residency.
- Must know: How to select colleges to get PR in Canada?
The student pathway to Canada in 2021: Strategies to succeed
Choosing your program of study
Strategic planning in choosing a study program:
The first one is that you need to choose something that makes sense for not only where you’ve come from to where you’re going. Prepare a study plan that let the visa officer know what is your educational background or work experience. How the program you selected will benefit you in the future.
That allows the visa officer to understand the opportunity and what you’re doing.
Private vs Public Education institutions
There’s a lot of different reasons to choose either. But the biggest reason is that there’s certainly a cost difference. The cost can vary depending on the program and the other thing. The general rule is if you’re at a public institution you can qualify for a post-grad work permit. It means after you finish school then you can get a work permit between one to three years.
Designated Learning Institution
When you’re selecting any school in Canada, they have to be a designated learning institution. And a designated learning institution means is that they’ve been certified by the immigration department IRCC to be able to take in international students.
University vs College
Now there’s definitely a difference in terms of cost and also the time factor. Most university programs such as undergraduate going to be a minimum of three years. The tuition fee for an international student is more expensive than for local Canadians.
Another thing is that colleges sometimes offer postgraduate programs that you can do at a college. They’re usually like a one or two-year certificate. Some of the more popular programs in Canada for international students are global business, project management.
Direct vs Regular Application Stream
Study department applications are generally all done through online applications. You must know there are two streams for international students in Canada.
- Student direct stream
- the regular stream
and there are some pretty big differences between these two streams.
Student Direct Stream (SDS)
So I’ll just go over the direct stream a little bit in detail for you.
For residents of 7 countries
Canada has decided students that who are residents of seven specific countries can use the direct stream to submit their online applications.
So if you’re a resident of the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Senegal, Pakistan, Morocco, and China, the direct stream is available to you.
And it’s important to remember the word residence here. If you’re a citizen of the Philippines and you’re living and working in Hong Kong and you want to apply to come to Canada as a student you cannot use the direct stream. You must be living in one of these seven countries at the time of your application.
However, this list is growing, Canada will probably add a few more to this list.
First-year full tuition payment
- You also need to pay your first full year of tuition upfront. so that’s important whether or not you have a one-year program or a two or three-year program. The first full year of tuition needs to be paid upfront.
English/French test result of CLB 7
Canadian language benchmark of 7 as a minimum score to be eligible for this stream.
Guaranteed investment Certificate of $10,000 CAD
And you also have to make a guaranteed investment certificate of C$ 10,000.
What is that? Well, it’s is set up through a Canadian bank where you deposit ten thousand dollars into your account. The purpose of GIC money is that $10,000 will help you with your living costs while you’re here in Canada
Faster processing time
The most important thing about this stream and the beauty of it is that if you can fulfill all of these things and submit your application.
The government of Canada will process the application in 20 calendar days not business days but calendar days.
Generally, processing times for study permits can range from four weeks to 12 weeks depending on what country you’re applying from. But with the direct stream, it’s 20 days and that’s wonderful.
The acceptance rate is also very high.
For everybody else in the world, students for the other 193 countries need to apply through the regular-stream.
The processing times in the regular stream will vary depending on the visa office processing your application. And generally, that’s the country that you are applying from. But there are some visa offices around the world that look at applications from several countries. Can be anywhere from four weeks to 12 weeks.
Best practices for supporting documentation
When you fill out the forms, make sure that they’re all complete. Normally what I would suggest is that when you’re filling out a government form don’t be constrained to what’s in the form. You need to actually give them everything to prove your case. You have to justify your reason for study in Canada
Visa office instructions:
Make sure that you look and you include the documentation that’s required under the specific country guide. Remember that the documentation varies from country to country.
Identifying Documents and Family members:
Identifying documents and family members. Again we strongly suggest for a number of different reasons not only the fact that you don’t want to lie in a government form that you declare all of your family members.
Obviously, these are pretty important. They want to know that you’re a good student for instance That’s one of the considerations that will be looked at if you are were a poor student. But if you don’t have a good transcript don’t worry about it. You can provide reasons for that.
Financial documents for you and/or financial sponsor
They do look at financial documents or a financial sponsor. Again make sure that you are very clear if you’re sending in documents in a local currency or Canadian dollar. The good practice would be to apply the most recent conversion rates to show the amount in Canadian dollars in addition to local currency. If you’re receiving money or support from other people it’s very important that’s documented properly and it’s attested.
Medical and police certificates:
Medical and police certificates depending on the program that you want to get into or depending on what your long-term plans are you’re going to have to make sure that you have a lot of that stuff together.
Translated and notarized documents:
There are specific instructions on how to translate and what needs to be notarized and what doesn’t.
You also want to make sure that those are all presented within the proper format. You must submit documentation in either French or English which are the official languages of Canada. The best practice makes sure everything’s translated because that’s the policy.
An affidavit is a sworn document where you will have it sworn as a sworn statement. And it’s the same as going into a courtroom. An affidavit is a written version of your sworn statement and lying on an affidavit has a penalty
Benefits of the student pathway
An international student with spouse and kids
I’m always surprised at how many people do not realize that the student visa allows you to bring your family to Canada and this is a wonderful benefit of this pathway.
For example, you’re married and got two kids. You want to come and study in Canada. You can apply for a study permit and under the program, your spouse or partner can apply for an open work permit at the same time. And your kids depending on their age require a study permit. You can apply for study permits for them as well.
So while you’re studying in Canada, you can bring your whole family. You’ll be studying, your partner will be working and your kids can go to school.
- Spouses/partners and family members of applicants can accompany you with open work permit and study permit for children
- Must know: 10 Best Cities to Live in Canada for Immigrants with family & kids 2021
Work while you study
. A lot of students don’t realize is that you can actually work while you’re students. You can work up to 20 hours per week while you’re in school attending regular classes. And when you’re not taking classes for the summer months you can actually work full-time. So that’s a real benefit too.
Of course, you can either work on-campus or off-campus. It allows you to build up your work experience in Canada in terms of getting connections to possible future employers.
Recommended: Can a Part-time Job Pay Your Tuition Fee in Canada?
Post graduate work permit
And one of the great benefits for international students is what we call a postgraduate work permit.
Let’s say you go to a designated learning institution that’s eligible for the PGWP which is the acronym for a postgraduate work permit.
- You take a one-year program then you will get a one-year post-graduate work permit. It means you get to work in Canada for a year.
- If you’re in a two-year program or three-year program then you can get a maximum of three years as a post-graduate work permit.
And it’s a one-time deal you can only get a postgraduate work permit once.
Pathway to permanent residence
the wonderful benefit of this is it can set you on a pathway to permanent residency. How? Well, under Canada’s economic programs to come here and stay here we have something called express entry. Express entry is a system used for various programs including a Canadian experience class which is a point system.
By getting that postgraduate work permit you can end up at a qualifying job in Canada. This is important you have to be in a qualifying job that the government recognizes. Also while your spouse or partner is working. And if they’re working in a qualifying job at the same time you get to use those points as well.
A postgraduate work permit is something that is really ideal for those that are thinking about long-term permanent residency. It all has to be planned out though strategically, you don’t want to waste your post-graduate work permit.
How to use the student pathway to immigrate to Canada
Strategic planning and long term goals
The number one reason that people do not succeed in their immigration goals in Canada is that they have no plan. So strategic planning and long-term goals are important. This starts right from the beginning before you file your application, you want to make sure that you have a plan in place
DLI with post-graduate work permit eligibility
If your plan is to stay and you want to have your post-grad work permit because you need the Canadian experience. This starts with the selection of the school.
So many times I’ve seen people make decisions. They go to a school because it’s the cheapest school out there or their agent told them to go here. The agent’s looking out for their own interests because they’re making money from the school. That’s why you need to be aware of this.
Work permit for accompanying spouse/partner
If you have a partner, your partner will come here on a work permit while you’ll only be allowed to work 20 hours a week during studies.
They can work unlimited hours and they will also get another work permit after you graduate. So basically you’re multiplying your one year by two and are getting 24 months of possible experience.
Your partner can actually work themselves to get permanent residence for you.
Postgraduate work permit
One thing that you need to remember is that a post-grad work permit is a one-time deal. And you need to be so strategic on that.
What are you going to use PGWP for? Are you going to use it for the Canadian experience? Do you have the ability to find a job? Do you know what type of job you need to qualify for immigration?
Qualifying Canadian work experience
With a qualifying Canadian work experience, you’re able to get a good chunk of points which could be the difference and a lot of times is the difference for you being able to immigrate here.
There are three main job groups that can be accepted for the express entry program. Find your job group
Canadian experience class through Express Entry
You need one year of Canadian work experience and then you can go through express entry. If you’re a student with Canadian work experience I strongly suggest that you take that over the federal skilled worker. That is because it’s the easiest, most cost-effective, and direct way to go through the immigration system.