International Students: Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid In Canada


Studying in Canada is a transformative experience that can open doors to incredible opportunities. However, for international students, it’s crucial to navigate the educational journey wisely to ensure a smooth transition into the Canadian workforce and, eventually, the path to permanent residence. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the top ten mistakes that international students often make in Canada and provide valuable insights on how to avoid them.

1. Choosing a Non-PGWP Eligible School: Enrolling in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that isn’t eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) can hinder your chances of working in Canada after completing your studies. Always refer to the DLI List and verify the PGWP eligibility of your chosen institution to secure a promising future in Canada.

2. Neglecting Full-Time Student Status: Maintaining full-time student status is crucial for PGWP eligibility. Exceptions exist, such as part-time studies during the last semester or approved breaks. However, failing to adhere to these guidelines can jeopardize your chances of obtaining a PGWP, which is often an integral part of an immigration plan.

3. Opting for Short-Term Programs: Choosing a program that is less than eight months may limit your eligibility for a one-year PGWP. Consider longer-duration programs or multiple programs to maximize your PGWP validity and enhance your prospects for immigration.

4. Timing is Key: Missing deadlines for study permit extensions or PGWP applications can disrupt your journey. Apply for extensions within the appropriate timeframes to ensure a seamless transition and explore strategic options for extending your legal working status beyond permit validity.

5. Completing Studies Abroad: Studying online from your home country may disqualify you from a PGWP. With COVID-related provisions coming to an end, it’s advisable to complete your program, especially if there’s a co-op requirement, in Canada to avoid potential complications.

6. Engaging in Unauthorized Work: Working without proper authorization, such as co-op work without a permit or exceeding the allowed off-campus work hours, can lead to refusals and bans. Be cautious, especially after receiving your graduation notice, as unauthorized work during this period may have consequences.

7. Inadequate Planning for PR Application: Securing skilled employment early on during your studies is crucial for a successful Permanent Residence (PR) application. Start the job search early, focus on skilled work, and prepare for language proficiency tests and proof of funds requirements to enhance your chances.

8. Overlooking Family Considerations: If bringing family, plan accordingly to maximize benefits. Spouses can obtain open work permits, and children can accompany you on their study permits or visitor records. Careful consideration of family dynamics is essential to avoid potential complications in your immigration journey.

9. Failure to Meet Skilled Job Requirements: Utilize the Post-Graduation Work Permit wisely by securing skilled employment. Ensure that your job aligns with National Occupational Classification (NOC) requirements, especially under the updated TEER system, for a successful PR application.

10. Seeking Professional Immigration Advice: Relying on advice from peers or unverified internet sources can be risky. Seek professional advice from reputable sources to develop a personalized plan that considers both current immigration policies and potential future changes.

Studying in Canada offers not only academic growth but also the potential for personal and professional development. By avoiding these common pitfalls, international students can set themselves up for success, making the most of their Canadian educational experience. Remember, meticulous planning and staying informed are key to a seamless transition from student life to a thriving career and, eventually, permanent residency in the Great White North. If you’re an international student in Canada or planning to be one, these insights will guide you towards a fulfilling and successful journey.

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