From Student to Citizen; Why a Study Permit might be the Best Path to Canadian Citizenship.
There are several different routes a person can take towards Permanent Residence and then Citizenship in Canada. Each have different eligibility and processing times, each has different expectations of success. Some are (relatively) more straightforward than others--Family Sponsorships, for example-- while others are complex and require significant preparation, time and patience: Refugee applications and Humanitarian and Compassionate cases come to mind.
But in my opinion, the best path to citizenship is through a Study Permit.
I can guess what you're thinking; but I thought a study permit only gave you temporary status in Canada? You aren't wrong, but allow me to elaborate; while a study permit is temporary, it opens the door to permanent residency and then citizenship in a way that most other routes do not. In short, it prepares you for life in Canada and Canadian citizenship.
Think about it. A study permit gives you the Canadian education and Canadian work experience that will give you the advantage over those who do not.
Family Sponsorship? You leave your home country and begin a brand new life in Canada, with an education and work experience often not recognized by Canadian employers. The culture is new. Sometimes the language is new. Other than the family member who sponsored you, you might not know anyone else in your new home country. This is similar to the experience my own wife had coming from South Africa.
Express Entry? Again, you land in a country you are unfamiliar with, and despite your education being verified, many Canadian employers are unfamiliar and therefore unaccepting of your qualifications and work experience. Finding a job is difficult, and the first few years can be very frustrating.
Don't even get me started on Refugees; I can't imagine anything being more difficult than resettling as a refugee.
But by beginning with a Study Permit, you spend years learning the culture of Canada, improving your English, meeting friends and becoming a part of the community. Plus, you earn a degree or diploma that is recognized by Canadian employers. Upon graduation you can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit equal to the length of your studies, earning valuable work experience that you can add to your resume and building your professional networks. After working for at least a year, you can apply through Express Entry, but unlike people applying from outside of Canada, you will earn points for your Canadian education and work experience; you will also have better than average language ability due to your time in the country. This will all but guarantee a quick invitation to apply for Permanent Residency.
And once you have Permanent Residency, the rest is easy. You have already earned Canadian work experience and Canadian education, and have valuable networks of friends and colleagues to help you on the final path to Citizenship. You are completely prepared for your new life in Canada.
Want to know more? Let's talk about it.
Study hard, Thomas Sproat R515846