International Student Services

Pathways to Permanent Residency

Visitors, study permit holders, and work permit holders are considered temporary residents. The Federal Government and the Provincial Governments in Canada have developed various pathways to allow such temporary residents to become “Permanent Residents” (PR) and remain in Canada “permanently” as a first step towards becoming Canadian citizens.

International students studying at the University of Alberta usually have the option to apply for a PR under one of these common economic immigration programs:

Federal Economic Programs managed through the “Express Entry” online system:

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP paper application):

To comprehend the requirements for these programs; you first need to understand:

Express Entry (EE): An online system used to manage PR applications for eligible skilled workers under the Federal Economic Programs

National Occupation Classification (NOC): A system used in Canada to classify jobs/occupations. For immigration purposes, the main groups that are eligible under the Federal Economic Programs, are those with skill types 0 (management jobs), A (professional jobs usually requiring university degree) or B (technical jobs usually requiring college diploma).

Below is information on the above-listed programs to help determine the right program for you:

  • Alberta Opportunity Stream

    Skilled Work Experience

    • PGWP holders need a minimum of 6 months of full-time work experience in AB related to field of study and matches previous work experience within the last 18 months 
    • Most NOC 0, A, B, C & D are eligible
    • Work must not be listed in the AOS Ineligible Occupations list and the High-wage and low-wage occupations list 

    Language Ability

    For all jobs, proof of a valid language test score of CLB 4 (after June 14, 2019, required score will be CLB 5)

    For NOC 3413 jobs (nurse aides, orderlies, patient service associates) CLP of 7 is required

    Education

    PGWP holders need to have an approved certificate/ diploma/ degree issued by an approved AB institution

    Other Selection Factors

    PGWP holders may use their paid co-op work experience towards the 6 months work experience required if their co-op meets the following conditions:

     • Was part of a program of study at an AB institution

     • Was full-time (minimum of 30 hrs/wk)

     • Was gained in AB

     • Is directly related to current occupation

    Other Considerations

    Find out more about the planned criteria changes (2018 – 2021)

    If your AOS application is approved and you get a nomination certificate, you will then be required to apply for PR using the paper application method

  • Canadian Experience Class

    Skilled Work Experience

     • A minimum of 1 year of full-time Canadian work experience or equivalent in part-time equal to 1560 hours within the last 3 years
     • Work experience was gained with proper authorization (but not during full-time studies)z
     • Work experience does NOT have to be continuous or in the same NOC to be considered

    Language Ability

    Proof of a valid approved test score of

     • CLB 7 in each ability for applicants using NOC 0 or A work experience
     • CLB 5 in each ability for applicants using NOC B work experience 

    Education

    Education is not required, but it is necessary to improve your CRS under Express Entry (see “Education” factor for EE)

    Other Conditions

    No.

    Other Selection Factors

    Get a competitive Comprehensive Ranking System score (CRS) to be selected from the Express Entry pool; your CRS score is calculated based on: 

     • Skills
     • Education
     • Language
     • Work experience
     • Other factors (such as having a Canadian degree or a sibling who is a citizen or PR of Canada)

    Other Considerations

    If eligible, applicant can set up an online Express Entry profile by signing into your account on the Government of Canada website

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program

    Skilled Work Experience

     • A minimum of 1 year of full-time work experience or equivalent in part-time equal to 1560 hours within the last 10 years
     • Experience needs to be in a paid job that is NOC skill type 0, A or B
     • Can be gained in Canada or abroad
     • Work experience has to be continuous and in the same NOC type to be considered

    Language Ability

    Proof of a valid approved test score of CLB 7 in each ability

    Education

     • Have a Canadian certificate, diploma or degree
    OR

     • Have an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report for your foreign education

    Other Conditions

    Score a minimum of 67/100 on the FSW selection factors:

     • Age
     • Education
     • Work experience
     • Whether you have a valid job offer
     • English/French language skills
     • Adaptability

    Other Selection Factors

    Get a competitive Comprehensive Ranking System score (CRS) to be selected from the Express Entry pool; your CRS score is calculated based on: 

     • Skills
     • Education
     • Language
     • Work experience
     • Other factors (such as having a Canadian degree or a sibling who is a citizen or PR of Canada)

    Other Considerations

     • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and your family
    OR
     • Proof you are currently able to legally work in Canada
     • You have a valid job offer
     • If eligible,  set up an online Express Entry profile by signing in to your account on the Government of Canada website

In addition to these requirements, all applicants applying under the previous programs have to:

  • Be admissible to Canada
  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec (note: in the case of applying under the Alberta Opportunity Stream; you need to be living in the province of Alberta)

Frequently asked questions: Express Entry


I have a job offer using my Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP); will I get the additional 200 points towards my CRS score?
No. In most cases, a valid job offer must be supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which the employer would have to apply for through Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada. The job offer you get because you hold a PGWP is LMIA exempt thus not considered “eligible” for additional points under the CRS.


What happens after I create an Express Entry profile?


What am I supposed to do while I’m in the Express Entry pool?

  • Start preparing the required supporting documents. It can take time to secure, such as police certificates (for you and any of your family members who are 18 years old or older) and employment letters (more information on supporting documents below).
  • Keep your profile up to date (e.g., you start a new job, get married/divorced, adopt/have a new child)
  • Improve your CRS score to increase your chances of being invited (e.g., find a valid job offer, improve your language score, and gain more relevant work experience).


What happens if I get an invitation to apply for PR?

Accept your invitation and apply for PR through EE. Your EE invitation remains valid for 60 days. 

The online PR application form and all other supporting documents need to be uploaded within that time; supporting documents include:

  • Passport or travel document
  • Language test results
  • Proof of your work experience: letter(s) from previous employer(s) confirming the length of your experience, job title, and duties (duties must reflect most of the main duties listed under respective NOC)
  • Education credential assessment report if:
    • You’re applying through FSW program OR
    • You want points for the education you got outside Canada
  • Written job offer from an employer in Canada (if you have one)
  • Police certificates
  • Medical exams (through a designated Panel Physician)
  • Proof of funds 


How much does it cost to apply through Express Entry?

There are no fees to set up your Express Entry profile; however, you are required to pay the fees for the language test and, if applicable, the credential assessment report

If you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you need to pay:

  • The non-refundable processing fees for you and your family members upon submitting your PR application online ($550/adult and $150/ dependent child)
  • The right of permanent residence fee upon receiving PR approval and before any PR documents are issued ($490/person excluding dependent children)


How long does the process take?

You cannot determine how long it takes from the time you set up your EE profile till the time you get an ITA; however, the higher your CRS score the better chance you have of getting an ITA. You can compare your CRS score with past minimum CRS scores of lowest-ranked candidates invited to evaluate your chances.

Once you receive an ITA; you have 60 days to submit your PR application. Once submitted, it usually takes about 6 months to process your PR application


How long will the EE profile remain active?

It automatically expires within 12 months of submitting your EE profile, after which, it will be removed from the system

You need to create a new profile to be considered under EE, so we suggest to print screenshots of your profile to make it easier to re-enter your data the second time


Will my work experience during the time I was studying full time at the University of Alberta count towards my CRS score for Express Entry?

No. Work experience gained while studying full time is not considered “eligible” Canadian work experience and is not considered when your CRS score is calculated (see section 15(7) of the respective Ministerial Instructions)