Canadian Immigration News

Entering Canada on a Visitor Visa? Explore Options to Extend Your Stay

3 minute read
If you are presently in Canada on a visitor visa, you might be wondering what you can do to keep staying in Canada after your visa expires.
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jun 1, 2023
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If you are presently in Canada on a visitor visa, you might be wondering what you can do to keep staying in Canada after your visa expires.

In today’s article, we will review your options to stay in Canada after your visa expires. Be sure to maintain your legal status in Canada to avoid any immigration issues.

Extending Your Visitor Visa

Before thinking of applying for a different visa, consider extending your stay in Canada on your visitor visa. To do this, you will need to submit an application to extend before your temporary status expires. Additionally, you must complete and submit all requirements before expiration, including any biometric data and application fees. You should apply online to extend your visa. If you meet all requirements, you should be able to remain in Canada until a decision is made regarding your extension application.

Applying online to extend your visitor visa also means applying for a visitor record. A visitor record is issued to extend or limit a temporary resident’s approved length of stay. It could also outline any other conditions or requirements the visitor must meet.

Your visitor visa extension can only be granted as long as your passport or other travel document is valid. Extensions cannot exceed the date of your passport’s expiration.

Visitor Visa to Work Permit

Visitor visa holders in Canada can apply for a work permit if they receive a valid Canadian job offer. In this case, you do not need to leave Canada to switch from your visitor visa to your work permit. This option was made available to immigrants during the pandemic and will remain in effect until February 28, 2025. This option is also great for Canadian employers as their hiring pool grows to include visitors in Canada.

The requirements for visitors to apply for a work permit while in Canada include the following:

  • Have valid visitor status on the date you apply
  • Have a valid job offer supported by a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt job offer
  • Submit an application for an employer-specific work permit by the deadline of February 28, 2025
  • Meet all admissibility requirements

Suppose you are currently a visitor but have had a Canadian work permit before and are looking to become a worker again. In that case, you could be eligible for special authorization to start working before your work permit is officially processed.

Visitor Visa to Study Permit

There is no direct pathway to switch from visitor to student, but applying for a study permit could be your next step toward residing in Canada. In most cases, you have to apply for a study permit while outside of Canada, so you can submit your study permit application after leaving when your visitor visa expires. Before that, you could apply for and get accepted to a Canadian college or university. Once you receive that acceptance letter, your study permit application can be submitted.

You could use your time as a visitor in Canada to explore educational options and see what might be a good fit. You can learn about life in Canada and decide if relocating is the best choice for you.

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