Will I be too old to immigrate after my degree?

The Question

I am 27 years old now, and have worked as a software engineer for five years. I am excellent in my field. I want to immigrate to Canada. I got a student visa to Vancouver. Is it likely I will get permanent residency or a Work Permit after graduation, considering my age?

Polestar's response

There is no age limit on the Post-Graduation Work Permit. If you went to a public university or college in B.C. and studied for at least two years without taking any time off, you should be eligible for a three-year work permit after graduation. Check our page here for more details on that.

However, you’re right that it is easier to qualify for many of the immigration programs if you are younger. It’s also important to remember that there are more than 70 different programs that lead to permanent resident status and the rules can change quickly. (The rules for the Post-Graduation Work Permit can also change quickly.)  It isn’t possible to tell you if you would qualify for permanent resident status after graduation.

If you study in British Columbia, that province has a special program to help technology students immigrate to Canada. You can see that program here.

If you are a qualified and experienced software engineer, you might look at whether you qualify for immigration without Canadian work experience or if you qualify for a fast-tracked work permit so that you can gain Canadian work experience. Here’s the link to the federal site that describes one path to permanent resident status for skilled workers. There are two programs that might be useful to you if you have a job offer from a Canadian employer. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot allows employers to sponsor IT professionals for permanent resident status. The Global Talent Stream fast-tracks work permits for software engineers who have job offers in Canada. (You can’t initiate the process as an employee; only employers can start the process for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot or the Global Talent Stream.)


Answered by Kelly Toughill, RCIC on January 7, 2018 Kelly Toughill, RCIC

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