Best Provinces for PhD Students Seeking PR in Canada

It is worth noting that the introduction of the Canadian Experience Class visa in 2008 has improved and expedited the visa application process for international students who have studied in Canada. There are many provinces in Canada and in this post, we are going to look at the best provinces for PhD students seeking PR in Canada.

In our discussion of the top provinces for international students seeking PR in Canada, we are going to look at it under three issues, namely:

  1. Provinces with Favorable Immigration Policies
  2. Provinces with Strong Job Markets for PhD Graduates
  3. Provinces with Supportive Education Systems for PhD Students

The criteria for obtaining a permanent residency visa using a PhD are stipulated by Canada Immigration and Citizenship. Read that up with the link above for more info. The chance of acquiring permanent residency in Canada is dependent upon the province in which a student completes his or her PhD. With this particular information, this post will meet your need for the best provinces for permanent residency in Canada.

Related: PhD Students Guide to Canadian PR

Importance of Permanent Residency for PhD Students

Permanent residency (PR) refers to the right to live in a particular province in Canada. It is distinct from Canadian citizenship, which involves an application process that is separate and different from the PR application process. When it comes to PhD students, PR status can shape the whole experience of living and studying in Canada.

The increasing number of international students taking advantage of the high-quality education provided in Canada has been reported by various researchers. There are almost 300,000 students from all around the world currently studying in Canada according to the Canadian Bureau for International Education. This means that competition for PR status may be fierce.

Obtaining PR status is a key stage in the process of settling in Canada – but the benefits of applying and obtaining PR status are numerous. These include:

  1. Canadian permanent residents are entitled to live, work, and study in Canada permanently. When someone has been a PR for long enough they might be able to apply for Canadian citizenship.
  2. PR status means that students can access excellent Canadian healthcare facilities and health insurance plans. Some of these plans are publicly funded, which means that residents do not have to pay directly for medical services – although students and their dependents may need to meet certain conditions to be eligible.
  3. It is also important to note that having PR status can help students to establish credit in Canada. This can be useful – even if students are only in Canada temporarily, for example, while completing a master’s degree – as it can help students buy a car, get a credit card or rent a property.

Top Provinces for PhD Students Seeking PR in Canada

How To Get PR in Canada As A PhD StudentThe choice of getting a PhD in Canada does not only guarantee a quality degree but also serves as a means for international students to get permanent residency (PR). The choice of the appropriate province for your PhD studies can have a substantial influence on your permanent residency opportunities. With this in mind, here are the best provinces for PhD students seeking PR in Canada:

#1. Provinces with Favorable Immigration Policies

International students who seek permanent residency in Canada to start a new life have a host of the best provinces for students seeking PR in Canada to choose from. Among these provinces, some of them offer favourable immigration policies for international students. Join us and let us explore the provinces with a commitment to diversity and inclusivity, guiding prospective immigrants towards their Canadian dreams.

  1. Ontario

There are immigration streams for international postgraduate students who wish to permanently live in Ontario and nominees in Ontario – PhD Graduate Stream. Through the PhD Graduate Stream, international students who have graduated from a PhD program at an eligible university in Ontario can apply and, if nominated, eventually become permanent residents of Canada.

Ontario is an attractive option for international PhD students who want to start or continue their academic career and research adventure in Canada. It is a place with vast opportunities, a great lifestyle, and numerous privileges for permanent residents, which makes it one of the best provinces for PhD graduates seeking to immigrate to Canada.

  1. British Columbia

Many PhD students choose British Columbia to pursue their permanent residency for its high quality of life, well-developed job market, and relatively favourable immigration policies. The immigration program policies in British Columbia provide more flexibility for international students in terms of selecting a major or finding a job.

In British Columbia, most PhD students and recent graduates are allowed to work and apply for the British Columbia Provincial Nomination Program. This is an attractive option to many international PhD students since the federal Express Entry system has a limited selection of eligible occupations.

  1. Alberta

Alberta has been a popular destination for international students, including PhD students, seeking permanent residency in Canada. The Alberta Express Entry Stream is part of the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), through which the province may nominate a person to the federal government for permanent residency.

PhD students considering Alberta as their destination for permanent residency may find the favorable immigration policies, such as the Alberta Express Entry Stream, attractive. Moreover, with the well-established job market for highly skilled professionals with advanced degrees and the various forms of support for innovative and collaborative research in Alberta, students can be confident in planning their career journey in Canada.

#2. Provinces with Strong Job Markets for PhD Graduates

To successfully pull through the professional landscape of Canada as a PhD graduate, you must employ a methodical approach, particularly when taking into account the varied job markets throughout its provinces. To guide you in navigating the job markets in Canada, let us look at some of the top provinces with strong job markets for PhD graduates in Canada.

Whether you are already in academia or considering a transition to industry, explore the Canadian provinces where your PhD can open up a wide range of professional opportunities in the labor market.

  1. Quebec

Quebec is the largest province in Canada and has a population of over eight million people. It is popular among international students and has a strong job market for PhD graduates. Quebec has an initiative called the Quebec Experience Program, which is a fast-track immigration program, and it offers different streams for people who have studied or worked in Quebec.

Students who have obtained a degree in Quebec can receive an open work permit card, which allows them to work for any employer in Quebec and the validity of this open work permit card is three years. After obtaining a degree and once the student has one year of work experience in Quebec, the student can apply for the Quebec Selection Certificate, this allows the student to apply for permanent residence in Canada.

  1. Nova Scotia

The province of Nova Scotia has long been an attractive destination for international students, including PhD candidates. The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) is Nova Scotia’s immigration program that selects applicants who have the skills and experience to boost the province’s economy and it is one of the best routes to Canadian permanent residency.

The Nova Scotia immigration program has a stream specifically designed for international PhD graduates. This stream has numerous benefits one of which is that applicants who have a job offer in Nova Scotia are eligible for an early nomination. With its unique programs, beautiful natural landscapes, a strong sense of community, and dynamic job market, Nova Scotia is indeed an ideal place for international PhD graduates seeking permanent residency in Canada.

  1. Manitoba

Manitoba has been implementing many initiatives and programs to attract new immigrants to settle into the province, including the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. Immigrants in the business or skilled worker stream can apply for nomination in the Manitoba province if they have a connection to the province, which includes having a close relative in Manitoba, having past work experience or education in Manitoba, or being invited through one of the Strategic Recruitment Initiatives from the province.

Many companies are expanding and numerous startups and international corporations have established new offices in the city, offering an increasing number of opportunities for experts and professionals in emerging technologies. Therefore, immigrant PhD students who are graduates from STEM fields are in a good position to start their careers in Manitoba and the favorable immigration policy and the strong job market have made settling into Manitoba a promising choice for these students.

  1. Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan is known for its strong agricultural and mining industries, so the job market for PhD graduates in these fields is quite favorable. Other growing industries such as energy, environment, and information technology, provide more opportunities for graduates. Saskatchewan also has its own Provincial Nominee Program, and the eligibility for the program is quite flexible.

It offers not only the “In-Demand Occupation Category” and the “Saskatchewan Express Entry” category but also the “Students” category, which is tailored for those who have graduated from a recognized post-secondary educational institution in Canada and want to live and work in the province.

In addition, Saskatchewan has a much lower population density compared to other provinces, so it is a great place for those who enjoy the peace and beauty of countryside living. All of these factors have strongly contributed to the increasing attractiveness of Saskatchewan for international students, including PhD candidates, who are coming to Canada.

#3. Provinces with Supportive Education Systems for PhD Students

Planning on getting a postgraduate degree or specifically a PhD? It is essential that you choose the best destinations for your postgraduate studies. Canada is well-known for its exceptional education system, which includes a variety of provinces that provide specialized support and resources to help PhD students thrive and succeed.

Some Canadian provinces have in recent years been acknowledged for their Supportive Education Systems for PhD Students. Let us explore some of these provinces that stand out as exceptional hubs for fostering the intellectual and personal growth of aspiring scholars pursuing their doctoral journey.

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the provinces in the Atlantic region that offers a supportive education system to PhD students. The Memorial University of Newfoundland, one of the institutions in the province, is the largest PhD and master’s degree-granting university in Atlantic Canada. Newfoundland and Labrador is also home to the College of the North Atlantic, the main university of applied arts and technology that offers applied research opportunities for PhD students.

The lower cost of living combined with great research infrastructure and faculty support make Newfoundland and Labrador an attractive option for PhD students.

  1. New Brunswick

The attractiveness of the New Brunswick immigration program is its minimal language requirement, low minimum income threshold, and no requirements for work experience. Successful applicants to the PhD stream of the New Brunswick provincial nominee program will receive a provincial nomination certificate, which can be used to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

With the great support to PhD students from both academic and immigration programs in New Brunswick, choosing to study in this province can lead students one step closer to achieving the goal of becoming permanent residents in Canada.

  1. Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island, located in the tranquil landscapes of Canada, is renowned for its exceptional academic standards, especially for PhD students. The province is well-known for its education systems that provide strong support, creating an environment that encourages intellectual development and research projects. Prince Edward Island is an attractive place for ambitious students who are dedicated to furthering their education and pursuing PhD studies in Canada.


When applying for permanent residency in Canada, it is important to choose the right province. Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and others are recommended for PhD students seeking permanent residency. Factors such as Quebec’s economy, job market, and bilingual environment make it a good choice. Provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick offer low living costs, supportive education systems, and funding opportunities. The Provincial Nominee Program allows students to secure their future in these provinces. However, the information provided may be limited and outdated, so further research and professional consultation are encouraged before making a decision.


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