International students starting their PGWP should create a plan for their time in Canada, and determine their desired job and province.
Having a PGWP is a wonderful thing, especially if it is for a three-year period. You now finally have the freedom to live and work anywhere in Canada. However, the first question you must ask yourself is “what is my future intention in Canada?”
Consider the following:
- Which province is my favourite to live?
- What job would I like to do?
- Do I want residency in Canada or am I here for work experience?
Answering these questions can help you lay out your plan, especially if you intend to get permanent residency.
Unfortunately, students often lack a plan. They work in jobs and live in provinces that may not make them eligible to apply for permanent residency. After a year or two of switching jobs and provinces, students run out of time and do not achieve their desired result. Many students have come to me barely having a year left on their PGWPs, in a panic and seeking a way to gain residency.
Sadly, I see many students who have spent thousands of dollars having to leave Canada and unable to gain permanent residency. Therefore, obtaining that initial assessment and guidance is of utmost importance to your future success.
Here are some tips if you’re planning to acquire Canadian permanent residency:
- Get yourself assessed for permanent residency and check your options after obtaining your PGWP. You may do so even before getting your permit.
- Discuss with your consultant the province in which you would like to live and the ideal job you would like to do. Check if these two will put you on the path to residency.
- If not, you may need to adjust your preferences. For example, your preferred province may not be the place to do your preferred job. Hence you may choose to either opt for your second province of choice or another job that will qualify you to apply for residency.
I see many students performing part-time jobs that have no relevance to their studies, and they continue to be employed in that job full-time even after they receive their residency. With an open work permit, you can seek a higher salary and permanent employment.
However, you need to set out your priorities – are you seeking an easy job? Good pay? Residency? Try to start by getting yourself assessed to apply in the province you studied.
- If you are in a province where you can qualify to apply and if you are doing a job that qualifies for a permanent resident application, then find out if you need your employer’s support in the process.
- Talk with your employer about assisting you in the immigration process and have your consultant assess if your employer qualifies to “sponsor” you.
- Ensure you know which documents are required for permanent residency.
- Ensure you know the police report requirements for the program and how to obtain them in the countries where you need one. Some countries will take longer than others.
- Complete your IELTS general if you chose IELTS for your language proficiency test. When you came to Canada as a student you may have done the academic version.
Most importantly, always keep your focus on your desired result and work toward it consistently.