Can foreigners in Canada hold a valid study permit and work permit at a time?

Yes, foreign nationals in Canada can hold study and work permits simultaneously under some circumstances. Both study and work permits have separate eligibility requirements; therefore, the applicants who want to have both permits will have to meet the eligibility criteria of each permit separately.

To know the eligibility criteria for a Canada work permit and study permit, you can contact registered immigration consultants in Dubai. Additionally, the applicants must be able to persuade the immigration officer that they can manage to work and study simultaneously.

Immigration consultants can also assist you in the visa process and help you prepare for visa interviews. The consultants can also help you draft a letter of explanation required to prove that you can study and work simultaneously and give details on how you will balance your studies and work schedule simultaneously.

Things to know

An individual can hold two permits at the same time. However, certain foreign nationals may be eligible to study in Canada without a study permit if they have a valid work permit issued on or before June 7, 2023. It’s important to note that holding two permits may impact an applicant’s eligibility for other programs, such as the Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) program.

International students who have plans to apply for a PGWP after their degree must ensure they continue to satisfy all PGWP requirements while they hold two permits at once. They have to maintain full-time status as a student during all semesters of their study program, even while working·

Impact on Permanent Residence Application

For those looking to eventually apply for Canada Permanent Residence, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) doesn’t recognize work experience while holding a study permit for PR programs. Therefore, the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) can only be slightly boosted through the Express Entry Program.

Canada admits foreign skilled workers as permanent residents through three programs:

  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)

None of these programs managed by the Express Entry application management system count Canadian work experience gained while the applicant is a full-time student.·

The FSWP, however, conditionally can allow applicants to use work experience in Canada acquired while owning a study permit toward meeting the minimum requirements of the program and eligibility if the work must:

  • Have been full-time or part-time paid by wages or commissions
  • No gaps in employment for at least one year
  • Meet all the other eligibility criteria of the program

However, the minimum eligibility points are different in nature of recognition from CRS scores· While such work experience can improve minimum eligibility points, it will not boost CRS scores.

Seek proper guidance

Holding two permits at once can be complex due to the different eligibility criteria for each permit type. It can also be challenging to write a convincing explanation letter proving to IRCC that a candidate can work and study in Canada simultaneously.

Immigration consultants can advise you before applying for two permits at once. Working with a Canadian immigration lawyer benefits them to solve complexities. Immigration lawyers are regulated professionals who can help newcomers with various permit-related tasks, including fully and accurately completing applications, communicating with the Immigration department of the Canadian government regarding work and study permit applicants, and ensuring that applicants avoid glitches during the application process.

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