While visiting the Great White North, you didn’t just fall in love with the landscape—you fell in love with a Canadian. And now your Canadian Visitor Visa is about to expire and you can’t imagine life without your beloved. What can you do?
Don’t assume just because you have a Canadian friend that the process will be easy or simple— all you know is that you’ve met someone in Canada and you’re not ready to leave yet. Now what?
Extend Your Vacation Visa
When you enter Canada, a border services officer will determine how long you can stay as a visitor. This is usually up to six months. Time flies when you’re on vacation, and you might not be ready to go back home or commit to Canada. Can’t your holiday keep going forever?
If you want to extend your visit to see if he or she really is the one, you’ll need to apply at least 30 days before the authorized end of your stay of your Temporary Resident Visa or "TRV" or "Visitor Visa".
A Visitor Visa Extension can take up to 50 days if applied online and 115 days if applied through paper—don’t worry if that’s past your visitor’s end date. You’ll still have temporary resident (visitor) status until your extension is decided.
Work or Study in Canada
So you’re not quite ready to leave Canada or the side of your new love, but your vacation has gone on long enough. You’re itching to get back to something productive, and the employment and study opportunities in Canada are endless. But you can’t simply work or study in Canada with a tourist’s visa. You’ll need to change to a work permit or study permit.
If applying for a work permit, you’ll need to decide if you want an open work permit or an employer-specific permit. An open work permit will generally allow you to work for any employer in Canada.
An employer-specific permit will only allow you to work for a specific employer for a specific length of time and location—you will need to provide proof that you are qualified for your position. A work permit typically takes 12 weeks to be granted.
To apply for a study permit, you’ll need to apply with a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution in Canada. A study permit typically takes 7 weeks to be granted.