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1-Year Masters Program Students Eligible for 3-Year Work Permit in Canada

Robert Cannon



1-Year Master’s Program

For international students eyeing Canada as their educational destination, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released key changes in 2024. These changes particularly favor Canada’s master’s program and doctorate-level programs, exempting them from the annual cap on international student entries.

A spotlight in these reforms is the golden opportunity for students opting for 1-year master’s programs – a choice that not only offers academic pursuits but also opens doors to a three-year post-graduate work Permit (PGWP).

Why Choose a 1-Year Canada Masters Program?

Beyond the evident advantages of cost and time savings compared to traditional two-year postgraduate diplomas, the 1-year master’s programs now offer an enhanced immigration pathway. According to the IRCC reforms, students completing a master’s program become eligible for a three-year PGWP from February 15, 2024, regardless of the program’s duration.

Notably, this is a significant leap forward for students who can now commence their professional journey a year earlier than their counterparts in longer programs.

Spousal Open Work Permits (SOWP) are exclusively available to spouses or common-law partners of students pursuing master’s, doctorate, or professional degrees, adding a family-friendly dimension to Canada’s immigration system. Moreover, Ontario, the largest Canadian province, offers a dedicated Master’s Graduate Stream for permanent residency, affirming the long-term benefits of investing in a 1-year master’s program.


Top 1-Year Master’s Programs Across Canada

The 2024 fall intake sees a plethora of one-year master’s programs across distinguished Canadian universities. While the list provided below is not exhaustive, showcasing just a glimpse of the diverse opportunities awaiting international students. Here are a few standout courses:

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UniversityProgram Offered
Brock UniversityMaster of Professional Accounting (December 2024)
Crandall UniversityMaster of Organizational Management
Lakehead UniversityMaster of Science in Management, Computer Science, and Business Administration
Laurentian UniversityMaster of Forensic Science, Master of Engineering in Engineering Science—Fast Track, Forensic Science—Molecular Biology—Chemistry/Toxicology Business Administration
Nipissing UniversityMaster of Arts in History: Gender History, European History, Environmental History, International History, and Canadian History
Ontario Tech UniversityMaster of Business Analytics and AI
Royal Roads UniversityMaster of Global Management
Thompson Rivers UniversityMaster in Environmental Economics and Management, Master of Science in Environmental Economics and Management, and MBA
Toronto Metropolitan UniversityMaster of Interior Design, Master of Arts in Immigration and Settlement Studies, Media Production, Master of Professional Communication, and more
Trent UniversityMaster of Management: Strategic Change Management, Master of Management, Master of Education in Educational Studies, Master of Arts in Sustainability Studies, and more.
Trinity Western UniversityMaster of Arts in Interdisciplinary Humanities, English, Philosophy, and History
University of AlbertaMaster of Engineering – Chemical and Materials Engineering
University of ManitobaMaster of Finance, and MBA
University of New BrunswickMaster in Quantitative Investment Management, and MBA
University of Northern British ColumbiaMaster of Arts in Gender Studies
University of OttawaMaster of Business Administration
University of PEIMBA in Global Leadership
University of ReginaMaster of Science in Computer Science (Data Science), and Master of Journalism
University of SaskatchewanMaster of Business Administration
University of Victoria – KaplanMaster of Global Business, Master of Arts in English, Master of Arts in Economics, and Master of Management
University of WindsorMaster of Arts in Political Science, Master of Applied Computing, and Master of Education
Wilfrid Laurier UniversityMaster of International Public Policy

Study Permit Caps: A New Era for International Students

Despite these promising changes, recent study permit caps introduced by Immigration Minister Marc Miller have sparked debates. The cap is set at 606,250 study permit applications for the next year, impacting the influx of international students. While aimed at addressing sustainability concerns, the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) expresses reservations about the potential repercussions of this one-size-fits-all solution.

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CBIE President and CEO, Larissa Bezo, acknowledges the cap as a necessary step but emphasizes the need for a strategic and intentional approach. She anticipates challenges in maintaining Canada’s global education brand, with a 35% reduction in student visas sending a signal that Canada might be closing its doors.

Exemptions to the Cap

Certain groups, including those renewing study permits, family members of temporary residents, armed forces members, foreign government officers, sports participants, foreign news employees, and spiritual leaders, are exempt from the study permit cap. These exemptions aim to balance the reduction in study permits, ensuring fairness and considering each province’s population for allocation.


While challenges exist, Bezo remains optimistic about the resilience of Canada’s international education sector. She believes that strategic measures will lead to a stronger and more attractive offer for international students. Despite the cap, Canada remains open to international students, emphasizing a commitment to maintaining its global appeal.

Moreover, the 1-year master’s programs, coupled with extended work permits, provide a fast track to professional success. By choosing a 1-year master’s program, students not only invest in their academic journey but also pave the way for a successful future in Canada.

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