As a PhD student when can I apply for my PR?


I came to US on H4 with my husband and did my MS here. With our visa expiring without GC processing, we wanted to move to Canada. I have applied for PhD in schools both in US and Canada. However, we prefer moving to Canada. As a PhD student when can I apply for my PR?


Anyone can apply for an express entry (Canada) from anywhere at anytime; all you have to do is clear the CRS score cutoff, get the ITA, and submit documents. That being said, I don’t know if there are any restrictions in Canada for applying for a PR when you are on student visa, like there are in the US. I have read that they encourage you to apply for PR once you are done with education, since you have Canadian education and can probably get nomination from a province. I have also read that you can work in Canada if you find a job and do your PhD side by side (maybe someone else can confirm this?).


Thank You, Anshul.V. Joshi.
Yes, I am aware that Canada encourages students to stay back once they have completed their studies. However, this information that I can work alongside my PhD is new to me. In fact, it will be very helpful if feasible. Any further information on this will be extremely helpful and appreciated.
Thanks again.


From CIC website; it’s highly encouraged you go through this website :grin:


Yes foreign students can work on and off campus in Canada. They need a work permit which if you are a full time student in a proper recognized university is easy to get. During your semester you can work up to 20 hours and full-time on breaks like the summer holidays.

Additionally if say you are a PHD student who is married your spouse can get an open work permit that will allow her to work as she pleases in Canada


Thank you, Anshul. V. Joshi for the link.

Thank you, .
As you have mentioned, that my spouse will be getting an open work permit when I am a PhD student, does he need to apply for the permit after we reach Canada? Is it feasible for him to get it when I get my student Visa?

Thank you again,


Either is fine. However you need to get your student visa first, without that he is not eligible for an open work permit.


Thank you, .
I am waiting for my application results.
I will get back when I apply for my student Visa, in case I need more help.

Thanks again.


I need few suggestions to plan our move. We have been in US for the past six years. We have a house full of furniture, books and kitchen utensils. We must move out of US by April 14th. I am expecting my PhD application results to be out in a month. We will be in India for few months before we go to Canada. All depends on the visa processing time and the date I will be granted my visa from.
Here are my questions.

  1. What are the documents that we might need from US during our visa processing? How long does it take to have them?
  2. Since we will not be moving to Canada directly (we do not think we can) is it possible to have some of our household things shifted there? Is it cost effective?
  3. How can we have our car moved to Canada?

Thank you for helping.
Best regards,

  1. I don’t know enough about student visa’s to answer that question. But I would assume its nothing out of the ordinary (Passport, Marriage Cert, Proof of funds, Admission docs)

  2. You can Fedex / UPS your stuff to Canada. I sent over books, kitchen stuff, clothes, etc cost us about 500 USD

  3. If still under lein you will need a letter from the bank. If not then you will only need a recall clerance doc. Call these guys I used them they are knowelable and will give you all the info.


Based on a friend’s recent experience moving just from Utah to Tennessee, I think it’ll cost you more If you’re planning to move furniture AND everything else. There are companies who will supply you with the container and you pack everything in it and they send it wherever you want, including storage (additional cost). When I checked with UPack, the minimum quote I got from Utah to Toronto was $2000 USD, however I have heard you can negotiate and bring it down (my friend paid $1300 something from Utah to TN I think). Without furniture if might be much less. I haven’t done the actual move so I don’t have personal experience. Also think about the fact that stuffs gonna be more expensive (in just the number without conversion) in Canada so do the cost analysis based on what you own.

Do you have a place there yet? Where will you store all your stuff? If you store it either in USA or Canada in storage its gonna cost you. Also If you don’t have any Canadian visa/immigration status yet it’s gonna be hard to get through customs I presume. @anon25417004 any thoughts ?

For car, also it’s gonna be customs and immigration issue I believe.


I assume if you are sending your stuff over you already have a PR and PR Cards? Moving a car over the border is pretty straight forward use any car moving company they know all the details. You car does have to be free of recalls and you will have to install day time lights in Canada which should cost about 150 CAD. Also the car will land in a bonded warehouse (Mississauga) where you will have to go with your documents and pickup.

@abhirupac.sen do you have any specific questions about moving your car? Happy to answer.


Thanks to both Anshul and for such elaborate answers.
I assume if you are sending your stuff over you already have a PR and PR Cards?
No, we don’t have that. We are taking a roundabout way.
I always had plans for PhD and have applied to multiple schools in Canada. We were aware that my husband would get an open work permit when I move to do PhD. Our experience with Canada companies is similar to chicken or egg (job first or work permit first) situation. So, we thought of taking the academic route especially because I am really interested in it.

As of the books and utensils, we have friends to accept them for us. However, from what you said, transporting the car does not seem very feasible. Yes, the car has to be kept here for a while till our visa gets cleared and we move in from India. Unless we have a friend to keep the car, it will be additional storage charges. Please correct me if I am wrong. We are just thinking of all the options so that we could save some money. Having the car would be a huge help in the initial days. , is the link you provided, of a car moving company?

Thanks again for helping.
Best regards,


I think my question was more basic. You currently don’t have any official status in Canada (no visa or PR). Why will customs allow any of your stuff to enter Canada?


I understand that.
I do not mean to send anything now.

Thanks again.
Best regards,


Technically you can send stuff over you don’t need official status to Fedex or UPS boxes to Canada. As far I can recollect you can even send you car. You need a destination name, address and phone. The boxes will be delivered to that address the car will need to be claimed from a bonded warehouse by the recipient. If that recipient is you then it will be tax free for anyone else they will be taxed. :grinning:


Oh, I did not know this :thinking: . I always thought you need bona fide relation with any country (visa, PR etc) for you to send big stuff over: furniture, car etc


It’s like if someone in Canada bought all your furniture and you ship him his purchase.


Hi , thanks for explaining.

I have a different query. How difficult is it to get a job in Canada with an open work permit?

Check this link on Quora

The first few lines say that you do not get a job unless you have a PR. Is it true?

On Quora, I often read about scary things regarding scarcity of job, reluctance of Canadian companies to recruit. Is it really true that they do not acknowledge people who do not have Canadian degrees?

Thank you for suggesting.
Best regards,


EDIT: I went through the post and read that person’s comments. I have also read some of his other answers and they aren’t very objective and sound very prejudiced. I would read them with a pinch of salt.

Depends on your field and the city you want to live in, in Canada. A lot of posts on Quora are pessimistic in my opinion and are derived from a person’s bad experience. Based on what I heard from others living there, people from other countries get the PR so easily they assume getting a job will be a piece of cake. However it is as difficult as getting the interview calls/landing the offer as it is in the US.

The only thing true about that Quora statement is that some companies who are not willing to sponsor visa or do not know how will prefer to give you an interview if you have a PR already.

The only way you will find this out is if you start applying.