Once you graduate in Canada, there is no guarantee that you will be eligible to remain as a Permanent Resident.
For some, the next step will be obtaining a Post-Graduate Work Permit. These are open work permits which are issued to a graduate who meet the following criteria:
• You studied in Canada on a full time continuous basis in a program that was a minimum of eight months (two semesters) in duration;
• You graduated from a public post-secondary institution, private post-secondary institution, private secondary or post-secondary institution in Quebec which offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or more which lead to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP)
• Be 18 years of age or older when you make your application
• Have a valid Study Permit at the time of making your application
• Apply for your Post-Graduate Work Permit within 90 days of receiving confirmation that you have completed your program
The duration of your permit is based upon the duration of your completed educational program. If your program was less than 8 months in duration, then you will not be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit. If your program was between 8 months and less than 2 years in duration, then your permit will be issued for the same duration as your length of studies. If your program was 2 years or longer in duration, then your Post-Graduate Work Permit will be issued for up to three years in duration.
It is important to keep in mind that if you have previously been issued with a Post-Graduate Work Permit for a previously completed program, you cannot apply for a second one even if you have completed a new educational program.
If your Post-Graduate Work Permit is issued for one year or longer, you may then be eligible for the Canadian Experience Class depending on the type of work you did while on your Work Permit.
Depending on the Province you studied in you may be eligible for a Provincial Nomination Program which will lead to Permanent Residency. You can refer to the different Provincial Nomination Programs here.