This long-form article includes the following topics:
- What is PGWP?
- Research institutions and programs
- High Demand Sectors in Canada
- Technology and IT
- Health care
- Business and Finance
- Natural resources and environmental sciences
- Engineering and skilled trades
- Meet the language requirements
- How does the scholarship system work in Canada?
- When are the scholarships awarded?
- List of major scholarships
Students may come to Canada with either of the following two objectives:
- Study in Canada and return to their home countries after completing their study so they can find better jobs or earnings.
- Study in Canada and work after graduation so they can earn permanent residence.
We will focus here on the last part where students want to stay in Canada after graduation and apply for permanent residence. In order to be successful, you should take certain steps even before applying for your college. You need to start your study journey by finding Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligible programs.
Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a document that allows international students who have graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada to work in Canada for up to three years after graduation. Not all programs offered by DLIs are eligible for a PGWP, so it is important for international students to choose programs that are eligible when they are applying to study in Canada.
When choosing a program, international students should consider the following factors:
- Length of the program: In order to be eligible for a PGWP, the program must be at least eight months in duration and full-time. This means that it must be a minimum of 8 months long and the student must be registered and attending classes full-time. Part-time programs or programs shorter than 8 months will not make students eligible for PGWP. Find a program that is 2 years or 3 years to maximize your chances of finding a better job and thus an easy path to permanent residence.
- If your academic program was for less than 8 months, you are not eligible to apply for PGWP.
- If your academic program was for at least 8 months but less than 2 years, your PGWP will be equal to the duration of your studies, for example, if you studied Business Administration Diploma which was 9 months of total duration, you may get a work permit that is only valid for 9 months.
- If your academic program was for 2 years or more, you will get a PGWP that is valid for 3 years.
- If you study two academic programs, your PGWP will be equal to the total duration of the two programs combined, however, both of these programs should individually meet the PGWP eligibility criteria such as total duration (not less than 8 months), nature of the programs (non-language), and institution (DLI vs non-DLI).
- PGWP is only issued once, so make sure you study a program which can give you enough time to find a job which can lead to your permanent residence.
- If your passport expires earlier, you must extend it before applying for PGWP, otherwise, PGWP will be issued for the duration of your passport validity date, regardless of how long you have studied. Though you can apply to extend PGWP if CIC informed you, that comes with additional paperwork, so extend your passport before your application.
- If your PGWP is expiring, search CIC or Canada.ca website for temporary public policies whether there is a temporary program under which you can get an open work permit or other special programs for international students in Canada.
- For minute details, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/work/after-graduation/eligibility.html#eligibility
- Type of program: Some programs, such as general interest or language programs, may not be eligible for a PGWP. International students should check with the institution or the Government of Canada website to confirm their eligibility for a program. For example, a certificate program or diploma program may not be eligible for PGWP, while a bachelor’s or master’s degree program is typically eligible.
- Institution: Not all DLIs are eligible for PGWPs. International students should check the Government of Canada website for a list of eligible DLIs. They can also check the institution’s website or contact the institution’s international student office for more information. It’s important to note that some private institutions may not be eligible for PGWP despite being DLIs.
- Graduation date: In order to be eligible for a PGWP, international students must apply for the permit within 180 days of receiving their final marks or graduation. It’s important to plan ahead and apply for PGWP as soon as possible after graduating.
For a long list of eligibility, please go to the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/work/after-graduation/eligibility.html#inside
Not all universities are equal though they may offer similar programs or may have a similar fee structure. Therefore, make sure you research both the institution and the program they offer. Consider the following factors in your research:
- Make a list of institutions and programs that align with your academic and career goals. This will help you to narrow down your options and make the process of applying more manageable.
- Look into the tuition fees, location, and campus life of each institution. This will help you to understand the costs associated with studying at each institution and to decide which institution is the best fit for you.
- Check if the institution or program you are interested in is recognized and accredited by relevant authorities. This will ensure that your degree is recognized by employers and other educational institutions.
- Look into the availability of any scholarships or financial aid that you may be eligible for. This will help you to understand the financial assistance options available to you and how to apply for them.
- Check if the institution has a dedicated support system for international students, such as an international student office or designated advisors. This will ensure that you have access to the resources and support you need to succeed as an international student.
- Research the area where the institution is located, including the cost of living, cultural opportunities, and access to public transportation. This will help you to understand the lifestyle and culture of the area, and how you will be able to navigate it.
- Look into the availability of any English as a second language (ESL) programs offered by the institution. This will help you to improve your language skills and make the transition to studying in Canada easier.
- Research the climate, weather, and seasons of the area where the institution is located, so you can pack accordingly. This will ensure that you have the appropriate clothing and gear for the weather and season.
- Research the types of accommodation offered by the institution and the surrounding area, including on-campus and off-campus options, as well as the cost and availability of each. This will help you to understand the accommodation options available to you and how to apply for them.
- Research the types of extracurricular activities and student organizations available at the institution, and how they can enhance your overall experience. This will help you to get involved in student life and make the most of your time in Canada.
Find programs that are best suiting your career plan, which is also matching with the Canadian job market. The following section provides a list of high-demand sectors in Canada.
This industry in Canada is a rapidly growing and diverse field, with a wide range of opportunities for international students. Some of the specific areas within technology and IT that are in high demand in Canada include:
- Software Development: Canada has a strong and growing software development industry, with a high demand for skilled programmers and developers. This includes positions in fields such as web development, mobile app development, and game development.
- Data Science and Analytics: The increasing amount of data being generated in today’s world has led to high demand for professionals who can analyze and make sense of that data. Canada has a strong demand for data scientists, data analysts, and big data engineers.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Canada is a world leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) research, and this has translated into a high demand for professionals in these fields. This includes positions in fields such as natural language processing, computer vision, and deep learning.
- Cybersecurity: As technology becomes more integrated into our daily lives, the need for cybersecurity professionals to protect against cyber-attacks and data breaches has grown rapidly. Canada has a strong demand for cybersecurity professionals such as security analysts, penetration testers, and incident responders.
- Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is becoming increasingly important for businesses of all sizes, and Canada has a high demand for professionals with expertise in fields such as cloud infrastructure, cloud security, and cloud development.
The healthcare industry in Canada is a large and diverse field that offers a wide range of opportunities for international students. Some of the specific areas within healthcare that are in high demand in Canada include:
- Nursing: Nurses are a vital part of the healthcare system and are in high demand in Canada. This includes positions such as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse practitioners.
- Medical Laboratory Technologists: Medical laboratory technologists are responsible for performing laboratory tests and analyzing samples to diagnose and treat diseases. This field is in high demand in Canada, as they are essential to the diagnosis of many illnesses.
- Physiotherapy: Physiotherapists help patients recovering from injuries, illnesses, and surgeries to regain movement and manage pain. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the population ages, the number of people with chronic conditions increases, and the number of people who require physiotherapy services increases.
- Occupational Therapist: Occupational therapists help people of all ages to overcome the challenges that prevent them from living fulfilling lives. They work with people who have physical, mental or cognitive conditions to help them achieve their goals. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the population ages and the number of people with chronic conditions increases.
- Radiologic Technologists: Radiologic technologists use imaging equipment to create images of the body’s internal structures. These images are then used to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. This field is in high demand in Canada as the technology is advancing and the number of people who require diagnostic imaging services increases.
- Pharmacy: Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing medication, ensuring the safety and efficacy of medication, and providing advice and guidance to patients. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the population ages and the number of people with chronic conditions increases.
The business and finance industry in Canada is a diverse and dynamic field that offers a wide range of opportunities for international students. Some of the specific areas within business and finance that are in high demand in Canada include:
- Accounting: Accountants are responsible for maintaining and analyzing financial records, preparing financial statements, and providing advice and guidance to clients. This field is in high demand in Canada, as businesses and organizations of all sizes require the services of qualified accountants.
- Finance: Finance professionals are responsible for managing the financial affairs of organizations and individuals. This includes areas such as investment banking, financial analysis, and risk management. This field is in high demand in Canada, as businesses and organizations require the services of finance professionals to help them make sound financial decisions.
- Marketing: Marketing professionals are responsible for promoting and selling products and services. This includes areas such as market research, advertising, and public relations. This field is in high demand in Canada, as businesses and organizations require the services of marketing professionals to help them connect with customers and increase sales.
- Management: Management professionals are responsible for leading and directing the activities of organizations. This includes areas such as human resources, operations, and project management. This field is in high demand in Canada, as businesses and organizations of all sizes require the services of management professionals to help them run efficiently and effectively.
- Economics: Economists are responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data, and for making predictions about future economic trends. This field is in high demand in Canada, as businesses, governments, and other organizations require the services of economists to help them make sound economic decisions.
- Supply Chain Management: Supply Chain professionals are responsible for managing the flow of goods, services and information from suppliers to customers. This includes areas such as logistics, procurement, and inventory management. This field is in high demand in Canada, as businesses and organizations require the services of supply chain professionals to help them run efficiently and effectively.
The natural resources and environmental science industry in Canada is a diverse and dynamic field that offers a wide range of opportunities for international students. Some of the specific areas within natural resources and environmental science that are in high demand in Canada include:
- Forestry: Forestry professionals are responsible for managing and preserving forests, and for developing sustainable forest management plans. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the country is home to one of the largest and most diverse forests in the world.
- Mining: Mining professionals are responsible for extracting and processing minerals and other natural resources. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the country is rich in natural resources such as gold, silver, copper, and oil.
- Environmental Science: Environmental scientists are responsible for studying and protecting the natural environment. This includes areas such as air and water quality, waste management, and biodiversity. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the country is committed to protecting its natural resources and preserving the environment.
- Renewable Energy: Renewable energy professionals are responsible for developing and implementing sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the country is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
- Wildlife Management: Wildlife management professionals are responsible for managing and protecting wildlife and their habitats. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the country is home to a wide variety of wildlife species and is committed to preserving them.
- Geology: Geology professionals are responsible for studying the Earth’s structure, composition, and history. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the country’s natural resources are closely tied to the geology of the land
The engineering and skilled trades industry in Canada is a diverse and dynamic field that offers a wide range of opportunities for international students. Some of the specific areas within engineering and skilled trades that are in high demand in Canada include:
- Mechanical Engineering: Mechanical engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and testing mechanical systems and components. This field is in high demand in Canada, as there is a strong demand for professionals who can design and build advanced mechanical systems for various industries, such as manufacturing, aerospace, and energy.
- Electrical Engineering: Electrical engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and testing electrical systems and components. This field is in high demand in Canada, as there is a strong demand for professionals who can design and build advanced electrical systems for various industries, such as telecommunications, renewable energy, and transportation.
- Civil Engineering: Civil engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and managing infrastructure projects such as buildings, bridges, roads, and water systems. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the country’s infrastructure is aging and in need of modernization.
- Industrial Engineering: Industrial engineers are responsible for designing and managing systems, processes, and facilities to optimize efficiency and productivity. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the country’s manufacturing and service industries are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and productivity.
- Skilled Trades: Skilled trades professionals are responsible for performing hands-on tasks such as welding, carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work. This field is in high demand in Canada, as the country has a growing need for professionals who can perform hands-on tasks to build and maintain infrastructure, repair and maintain equipment, and perform other essential tasks.
You will most probably need to take an English language proficiency test such as TOEFL or IELTS to study in Canada. These tests are widely accepted by Canadian universities and colleges as a measure of your English language proficiency. However, please note that TOEFL can not be used for immigration purposes, and is only valid for admission at universities. If you want to choose between IELTS and TOEFL it is better to opt for IELTS, though there are other less popular options available too such as CELPIP. IELTS also has two versions; IELTS academic for university admissions, and IELTS General Training is used for immigration applications.
Consider the following factors while aiming for meeting the language requirements:
- Find out the minimum scores required by the institutions and programs you are interested in. This will help you to understand the requirements for the institutions and programs you are interested in and to prepare accordingly.
- Make sure you meet the language requirements before you apply. This will ensure that your application is not rejected due to insufficient language skills.
- Consider taking an English language course before or during your studies to further improve your language skills. This will help you to improve your language skills and increase your chances of success in your studies once you get admission.
- Look into the availability of any language exchange programs offered by the institution. This will provide you with an opportunity to practice your English with native speakers and to learn about Canadian culture.
- Research online resources and language learning apps that can help you improve your English skills. There are a variety of online resources and apps available that can help you improve your English skills, such as Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, and BBC Learning English.
- Research English language schools and English as a second language (ESL) programs in Canada. They are designed to help international students improve their English skills before they begin their studies in Canada. However, if you want PGWP, this should not be your main study, and should only be taken as side study.
Scholarships in Canada are offered by a variety of sources, including universities, colleges, government organizations, private businesses, and non-profit organizations. They are typically awarded based on merit, financial need, or a combination of both.
Merit-based scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to students who have achieved a high level of academic excellence, often determined by grades, test scores, or extracurricular activities.
Need-based scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate a financial need, often determined by their family income or other personal circumstances.
Combination scholarships: These scholarships are awarded based on both merit and need, and are often awarded to students who have a strong academic record and demonstrate a financial need.
Research scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to students who are pursuing research in a specific field, often determined by the research proposal and academic record.
Athlete scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to students who are excelling in a sport, often determined by their athletic achievements and academic record.
To find scholarships that you may be eligible for, it is important to research the scholarships offered by the institution you are applying to, as well as other scholarships that may be available for students in your field of study or for international students. Additionally, you can check the scholarship databases provided by organizations such as ScholarshipsCanada.com, Studentawards.com, and InternationalStudent.com.
Scholarships for international students in Canada can be awarded at different times depending on the organization or institution offering them. Some scholarships may be awarded prior to a student starting their studies, while others may be awarded during the course of the student’s program.
Many universities and colleges in Canada have their own internal scholarship programs, which may be awarded to students based on academic merit, financial need, or other criteria. These scholarships are typically awarded to students who have already been admitted to the institution and are generally awarded prior to the start of the academic term.
There are also external scholarships offered by organizations, foundations, and government agencies that international students can apply for. These scholarships may be awarded based on a variety of criteria such as academic achievement, leadership potential, community involvement, or field of study. The application process and timing for these scholarships can vary and students should research the specific requirements and deadlines for the scholarships they are interested in.
In terms of whether students can apply for scholarships before coming to Canada, it depends on the scholarship. Some scholarships may require students to be enrolled in a Canadian institution in order to be eligible, while others may be open to international students planning to study in Canada. Students need to research and read the eligibility criteria for each scholarship they are considering.
In general, it’s a good idea for international students to start researching and applying for scholarships as early as possible to maximize their chances of being awarded one. Some scholarships may have early application deadlines, so it’s important to be aware of these and plan accordingly.
A reliable source for finding scholarships is Educanada.ca, visit the following link specifically for a list of currently available scholarships. http://bit.ly/3DSHzH9
This website also has a search feature which can provide a list of scholarships based on your status, profile and country of citizenship. Go to the following link for searching a scholarship: https://bit.ly/3YwhohK
Please note, while there are many scholarship websites, this area is full of scams and fraud, therefore, I will only rely on the official sources provided above.
Here is a short list of some of the featured scholarships available for international students, copied exactly from the above website for your reference:
- Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program:
Global Affairs Canada and the Chinese Ministry of Education are offering short-term scholarships to Canadians wishing to pursue post-secondary academic study, research or Chinese language training or a combination of these activities at participating Chinese institutions.
- Faculty Mobility For Partnership Building Program:
The Faculty Mobility for Partnership Building Program provides Canadian professors with opportunities to create or expand partnerships with Latin American and Caribbean institutions through short-term teaching and/or research activities at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Foreign Government Awards – Korea:
The Government of the Republic of Korea, through the National Institute for International Education (NIIED), is offering four scholarships for study or research at the Masters or Ph.D. level in Korean studies, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and other fields of study.
- Organization of American States (OAS) Academic Scholarships Program:
The OAS offers academic scholarships for study or research at the Master’s or Ph.D. level that lead to a degree at a university or educational institution in an OAS Member State, except within Canada (the nominating country).
- Organization of American States (OAS) – Professional Development Scholarships Program:
The OAS Professional Development Scholarship Program offers opportunities for professional development through short-term courses in specialized areas of training. Professional development courses may be carried out on-site, by distance education or in a combination of both.