temporary resident
Though they do not share all the rights of permanent residents, temporary residents are well covered in Canada. Source: Cole Burston/AFP

International students hold temporary resident status in Canada — same as other visitors and workers. Each are authorised to be in the country for a certain purpose. Though they do not share all the rights of permanent residents, temporary residents are well covered in Canada. Here’s how.

Temporary residents can work in Canada

Besides the study permit international students hold, there are also work permits issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). International graduates may immediately move on to the post-graduate work permit; it may be easier to obtain a work permit while graduates are within the country. Canada also offers special work permits for selected industries, including healthcare and agriculture.

It’s worth noting that Canada is opening its doors to all vaccinated foreign nationals on September 7. Effective August 9, travellers will no longer have to complete three nights in a hotel upon arrival in Canada. These measures will welcome more returning students and workers beyond autumn 2021.

temporary resident

They may qualify for federal aid

Canada has introduced several aid schemes to support citizens and temporary residents alike throughout the pandemic. International students and temporary workers who have lost a source of income in Canada may qualify.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), for example, covers temporary workers as long as they are residing in Canada during the time they are claiming benefits. Other eligibility criteria include having a valid social insurance number and having a total income of at least 5,000 Canadian dollars for at least a year. Successful applicants will get cash payouts to help out with their expenses for two weeks.

They can become permanent residents

International graduates are encouraged to pursue careers and permanent residence (PR) in Canada as evidenced by the multiple pathways introduced and accelerated in the past few years. The latest open work permit exists for this very reason: to ease the transition from temporary to permanent residence. From July 26, 2021, individuals who have applied for the recently-opened PR pathways will be eligible for an open work permit while awaiting the results of their application.

Individuals whose status is set to expire can extend their work permit under existing programmes or receive a new permit under one of the temporary measures put in place during the pandemic, such as the public policy for post-graduation work permit holders. Temporary residents may apply for this permit four months before their current temporary status expires; for students, this would be four months before your student visa expires. Work permits issued under this policy will be valid until Dec. 31, 2022, leaving open work permit holders with over a year to secure PR status.