By Nadine Mahabeer

Every year thousands of students from all over the world choose Canada to further their studies. We welcome all our international students to Canada and we wish for you a successful and safe stay in Canada. Please see below for a few reminders:

  • 1) As an international student at a Tertiary Level Institution (College or University), you may be allowed to work 20 hours per week during the school term and full-time during your holidays.
  • 2) Please take note of the expiry date of your current Study Permit – if your permit is expiring before your studies will be completed (this would be the case if your passport is expiring before your studies end), you will need to apply for an extension of your studies. This can be done in Canada. First you will need to contact your local Consulate to get your passport renewed and then apply for your extension.
  • 3) If your programme of study has a Co-Op (work related) portion, you will also need a Co-Op Work Permit (this is sometimes issued at the port of entry). If you did not receive a Co-Op Work permit, you will need to submit an application in Canada for same.
  • 4) For spouses of full-time students at an approved Institution, you may qualify for an Open Work Permit to work full-time in Canada. This application may be done in Canada, provided your spouse is here and has legal status.
  • 5) Dependent children are normally allowed to attend elementary or High School based on their parent’s study permit.
  • 6) Once you have completed your studies from an approved Designated Learning Institution, you will then be able to apply for your Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). You have 90 days from receiving the letter of completion, Certificate/Diploma or Degree to apply for your PGWP – you also want to apply before your current status expires.

Please ensure that you maintain your status while in Canada and know what your options are, in terms of being able to apply for Permanent Residency, if this is your eventual goal. Chances are you may be qualified for Permanent Residency, even before completing your studies. Again, good luck and welcome to Canada.

Nadine Mahabeer is a weekly guest on “Immigration Mondays” on Nationwide 90FM in Jamaica – Monday mornings at 10am – streaming live on the Internet.