A visitor visa to canada is not sufficient for permanent relocation to Canada. It is very IMPORTANT to ensure that you meet the necessary criteria to change your status while visiting the country (Canada). Keep in mind that Canada does allow applications for a different status during a visit, but specific requirements must be met.
Visitor Visa to Work Permit in Canada.
If you're visiting Canada on a visitor visa, it's now possible for you to apply for a work permit after you must have secured an eligible job. This policy is temporary and it has just been extended to February 28, 2025.
For visitors who want to take advantage of this opportunity, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Hold valid visitor status.
- Secure a qualifying job offer, which must be accompanied by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the employer, or an LMIA-exempt job.
- Apply for an employer-specific work permit.
What this implies is that your visitor visa alone does not grant you permission to work legally in Canada. It's essential to first secure a valid job offer, obtain an LMIA from your employer, and then apply for, and receive a work permit.
The LMIA is instrumental in demonstrating a demand for a foreign worker outside of Canada to fill the job. It confirms that after thoroughly advertising the job, no Canadian worker is available to perform the role.
The process of obtaining an LMIA is certainly challenging, but not impossible.
Furthermore, employers seeking to hire foreign workers temporarily need to pay a processing fee of CAD 1,000 for the LMIA request and a privilege fee of CAD 100. Once you've received the LMIA, you can then apply for a work visa.
Please be aware that the employer is responsible for covering the CAD 1,100 involved in applying for the LMIA. Additionally, under no circumstances can an employer charge a job applicant for a job offer in Canada. So, if you're asked to pay for a job offer and LMIA, please exercise utmost caution.
Once you've secured a legitimate job offer and obtained the necessary documents such as the LMIA from your employer, you are then eligible to apply for a work permit without leaving Canada.
The process of changing your Visitor Visa to Study Permit in Canada.
Applying for a study permit while visiting Canada is possible for those on a Visitor Visa. The process is similar to applying from outside Canada. The steps to follow are as follows:
- Have a valid visitor status and an admission and acceptance letter from a college or university.
- Apply for a study visa online through the IRCC portal.
- Once your study visa application is approved, you will be required to send your passport for a study visa to be attached to the passport.
Afterward, you can either exit and re-enter Canada by air and present yourself as a new student to obtain a Study Permit or go to a land border (between USA & Canada) and obtain the study permit through flag poling.
Remember, when immigrating to Canada on a visitor visa, you are allowed to a limited maximum of 6 months (ONLY) per visit, therefore plan accordingly.
Lastly, exemptions apply to spouses of international students who are in programs eligible for Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) or who already have the PGWP, as well as spouses of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
They do not need a job offer or Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to obtain their own Spousal Open Work Permit.