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July 3, 2024

8 Steps to Transitioning from a Visitor Visa to a Work or Study Permit in Canada

Transitioning from a visitor visa to a work or study permit in Canada can be a pivotal step towards building a future in the country. Whether you’re seeking employment opportunities or pursuing further education, Canada offers pathways for visitors to extend their stay and obtain the necessary permits to work or study legally. In this guide, we’ll outline eight essential steps to help you navigate this transition smoothly.


Step 1: Determine Eligibility


Before proceeding, assess your eligibility for a work or study permit in Canada. Factors such as your intended occupation or course of study, educational background, language proficiency, and financial resources may influence your eligibility.


Step 2: Research Permit Options


Explore the various work and study permit options available in Canada. Determine which permit aligns best with your goals and circumstances, whether it’s a temporary work permit, a post-graduation work permit, or a study permit for pursuing academic studies.


Step 3: Secure a Job Offer or Acceptance Letter


If you’re applying for a work permit, secure a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. Ensure that the job offer meets the requirements set by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). For study permits, obtain an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada.


Step 4: Gather Required Documents


Prepare the necessary documents for your permit application. This may include a valid passport, proof of financial support, educational transcripts and diplomas, language test results (if applicable), a job offer letter, and any other supporting documents specified by IRCC.


Step 5: Submit Application Online or by Mail


Apply for your work or study permit through the appropriate channels. In most cases, you can submit your application online through the IRCC website. Alternatively, you may need to submit a paper application by mail, depending on your country of residence.


Step 6: Pay Application Fees


Pay the required application fees for your permit application. Fees vary depending on the type of permit you’re applying for and whether you’re applying online or by mail. Ensure that you include proof of payment with your application.


Step 7: Attend Biometrics Appointment (if required)


If you’re applying from a country where biometrics are required, schedule and attend a biometrics appointment at a designated location. Biometrics include fingerprinting and a digital photograph, which are used for identity verification.


Step 8: Await Decision and Extend Visitor Status (if necessary)


Once you’ve submitted your application, wait for a decision from IRCC. Processing times vary depending on the volume of applications and other factors. If your visitor status is set to expire before a decision is made on your permit application, consider applying to extend your visitor status to maintain legal status in Canada while awaiting a decision.


Commonly Asked Questions and Misconceptions


  1. Can I work or study in Canada while on a visitor visa?

In most cases, you’re not allowed to work or study in Canada while on a visitor visa. You’ll need to obtain a work or study permit to engage in these activities legally.


  1. Can I apply for a work or study permit from within Canada?

Yes, in some cases, you can apply for a work or study permit from within Canada, particularly if you’re already in the country on a valid visitor visa. However, certain eligibility criteria and conditions apply.


  1. Do I need to leave Canada to apply for a work or study permit?

Depending on your circumstances and the type of permit you’re applying for, you may be required to apply from outside Canada. However, some permits allow for in-country applications.


  1. Can I apply for permanent residency after obtaining a work or study permit?

Yes, holding a valid work or study permit in Canada may open pathways to permanent residency through programs such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).


Transitioning from a visitor visa to a work or study permit in Canada requires careful planning, preparation, and adherence to immigration regulations.

By following these eight steps and seeking guidance from immigration professionals when needed, you can navigate the process successfully and embark on your journey towards work or study opportunities in Canada.