Canada has the 11th largest and one of the most stable economies in the world. Understandably, it attracts immigrants, investors and students in large numbers from Asia, Middle East and Africa. Canada has been consistently listed as one of the best places to live.
Every year nearly 70,000 students from over 130 different countries attend Canadian Universities.
Canadian education is globally recognized. The degrees awarded by Canadian Universities are at par with the ones issued by US and Commonwealth nations but the tuition rates for Canadian Universities are the lowest among these nations. For an international student, the average cost of studying in Canadian universities is approximately CDN $14,000 to $16.000 per year compared to USD 23,000 (for state Universities) and upwards of USD 32,000 for private colleges and Universities. Low tuition costs and high quality education is an ideal scenario for a student.
Canada offers world class legal education at both Graduate and Masters levels. There are sixteen (16) law schools in Canada. University of Toronto, McGill University in Montreal, University of British Columbia, Osgoode Hall-York University (Toronto) are some of the top ranked law schools offering excellent JD/LLB and LLM programs. For a foreign student to enter a JD/LLB program, LSAT and IELTS (for foreign students whose first language is not English) scores are required. Admission into an LLM program does not require LSAT. It is recommended to plan taking LSAT well in advance of the admission deadlines. The tuition fees vary from one University to the other and should be checked on the school website. For permanent residents who are foreign lawyers and do not wish to go through a JD/LLM program, they can get their credentials accredited by NCA (National Committee of Accreditation).
The immigration system of Canada is geared towards student employability and creating a smooth path to permanent residency. At the completion of a full time study program, a student can apply for an open work permit for up to 3 years under the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) Program. In order to be eligible for the PGWP, an adult (18 years and above) student must study full time for at least a year ( minimum eight months after reducing the vacation/ holidays time period) in a designated school, college or University. It is important to make sure that that the school is Designated Leaning Institute (DLI). A DLI is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government. A list of DLI’s is available on the CIC website and the Ministry of Education portal. Usually, the PGWP is issued for the same length of time as the course.
This is a very positive support Canada provides to students, as securing a job in a new country can be difficult and daunting. The open work permit can be used to work anywhere while the student continues to look for the job of his/her choice. After one year of working in Canada, one becomes eligible to apply for permanent residency under the Canada Experience Class.
Canada also offers provincial nomination programs that are run by the individual provinces. Provinces can offer jobs and nominate workers which helps in the path to Permanent Residency as provincial nominations can fetch extra points under Canada’s Federal Express Entry Program. In some provinces (e.g. Ontario), International Masters Graduates are eligible to apply for provincial nomination without any job offer.
Canada’s economic Immigration Program for permanent residency is called Express Entry, which is a point system based program. Under Express Entry, points are awarded for education, age, English language skills, work experience, job offer and some other factors. Immigration Canada picks out candidates from a pool of applicants based on their scores, skill shortages and employability. It’s a competitive program as the scores are relative. A student is better placed to score better under the Express Entry program due to Canadian education and a job offer.
Canada has a stable economy and a healthy job market. Moreover, it provides excellent public and healthcare facilities. Canada is also considered one of the safest countries in the world. It has a multi-cultural society and is ranked 7th in the world as per 2017 Happiness Index. Canada is a great place to study, work and live.
Author: Ravneett Brar
Ravneett Brar is an Immigration law and Anti-corruption compliance attorney based in Gurgaon, India. She is a founding partner at BIA Legal. She handles the entire gamut of US and Canadian immigration services ranging from employment related visas (H1B, L visa category, Work permits etc.) to investment related petitions (EB5, Canadian PNP programs) to family immigration based on spousal and parental sponsorships. She is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association.