April 12, 2024

Is it possible for a visitor to work in Canada?

Although work and study permits are granted for specific activities in Canada, a visitor visa offers a broader scope. Nonetheless, this doesn't imply that there are no restrictions on what you can do as a visitor in Canada.

Work regulations in Canada are applicable to individuals who aren't citizens or permanent residents. If you're visiting Canada with a Visitor Visa, it's vital to understand key considerations before pursuing employment.

In this blog, we'll offer a comprehensive overview of what's permissible and what's not while on a Visitor Visa.

Under a Visitor Visa, you cannot:

1. Stay permanently:

A visitor visa grants temporary legal status in Canada, valid only for the visa duration. You cannot legally remain in Canada once the visa expires.

2. Work in Canada:

A visitor visa doesn't permit employment; a valid work permit is necessary. Avoid any commercial activity directly entering Canada's labor market during your visit.

3. Study in Canada:

Except under specific conditions, visitors cannot study in Canada. A study permit is required for legal study.

4. Apply for a study permit:

Applying for a study permit from within Canada as a visitor isn't allowed. You must return to your country to start the process. An exception applies if a family member holds a valid Canadian study or work permit.

However, Under a Visitor Visa, You Can...

1. Enter and stay in Canada:

Primarily, a visitor visa permits entry into Canada. Once in Canada, it grants temporary legal status, allowing you to reside or travel anywhere within the country. This opportunity enables you to explore various cities, labor markets, job opportunities, cultural experiences, and potential places to settle if you're considering work or immigration. It offers firsthand insight into life in Canada, aiding in your decision-making process for potential future immigration plans. It's important to note that visitor visas are typically valid for up to six months, with the exact duration determined by the issuing officer. Upon visa expiry, your legal visitor status ceases.

2. Search for Jobs in Canada

While visitor visas aren't intended for job hunting, visa holders aren't explicitly barred from seeking employment in Canada. In fact, Canadian employers often prefer in-person interviews, making job searches from within Canada more effective. Yet, if you opt to search for work while on a visitor visa, remember:

  1. Always be honest with immigration officers about your purpose for visiting Canada.
  2. Be prepared to demonstrate your intention to return home when your visa expires, regardless of job search outcomes.
  3. Ensure you won't engage in employment without a valid work permit.

3. Enrol in a Brief Course in Canada

Typically, a study permit is required for studying in Canada. Yet, there are exceptional cases where studying on a visitor visa is allowed if you fulfill these criteria:

  1. The institution isn't a Designated Learning Institute (DLI).
  2. The course or program duration is under six months.
  3. It's a standalone course, not part of a longer program.
  4. You'll finish the course before your visitor visa expires.

4. Request a Stay Extension in Canada

While visitor visas are typically granted for up to six months, you have the option to apply for an extension if you wish to prolong your stay. The decision to grant an extension, as well as its duration, rests with the immigration officer assessing your application.

5. Engage in Business Activities

Although a work permit is typically required for employment in Canada, certain business activities are permitted under a visitor visa, provided they do not involve direct entry into the Canadian labor market. For instance, you can:

  1. Procure goods or services for a foreign business from Canadian establishments.
  2. Conduct site visits to businesses.
  3. Participate in training sessions for product usage, sales, or other business operations upon invitation from a Canadian enterprise.
  4. Engage in meetings and interactions to initiate or finalize business transactions.

6. Explore the Option of Obtaining a Work Permit

Typically, visitors in Canada do not have the ability to apply for a work permit. However, as part of a temporary measure in effect until the end of February 2025, visitors who secure a valid job offer while in Canada can now apply for a work permit without leaving the country. Before this policy change, individuals seeking employment in Canada would typically have to apply for their initial work permit before arriving in the country. If approved for a work permit while already in Canada as a visitor, they would traditionally need to exit the country to finalize the process. This recent policy adjustment eliminates the need for such departure.

How Pelican Migration Consultants Can Facilitate Your Visitor Visa for Canada

Pelican Migration Consultants can offer invaluable assistance in obtaining a visitor visa for Canada. Our experienced team provides guidance on the application process, ensuring all necessary documentation is complete and accurate. We navigate the complexities of visa requirements, helping you present a strong case to Canadian immigration authorities. With our support, you can maximize your chances of securing a visitor visa and embark on your journey to explore the opportunities Canada has to offer. Contact us today to begin your visa application process with confidence.

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