Visitor visa extension
Extend your stay in Canada as a visitor
If you want to extend your stay in Canada, you must apply to do so. Check your temporary resident status to make sure you apply before the expiry date. This will be on your study or work permit, the stamp in your passport or, if you do not have a stamp in your passport, 6 months from the day you entered Canada. You should apply 30 days before your status expires to:
- extend your visitor, student or work status,
- change your permit type (for example, from a study permit to a work permit) or
- change your permit condition(s) (for example, if you are studying and you want to change schools, or if you are working and you want to change jobs).
If you apply to extend your permit, and your visitor visa expires while you are waiting for a decision, you still have temporary resident (visitor) status. This is known as implied status.
Working or studying in Canada
Most visitors to Canada cannot work or study in Canada without a permit.
If you are visiting Canada and you want to work or study, you have a few options if you still have legal status in Canada.
For a new work permit, you can apply:
- from your home country or another country where you are lawfully admitted. Follow the instructions on how to apply for a work permit, or
- in person or by mail at the Visa Application centre in New York.
For a new study permit, you can apply:
- from your home country or another country where you are lawfully admitted. Follow the instructions on how to apply for a study permit, or
- in person or by mail at the Visa Application Centre in Los Angeles.
You may need to give your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when applying for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit. If you need to give your biometrics with your Temporary Resident Visa, Work Permit, or Study Permit application, you have to go in person to the Visa Application Centre (VAC). DO NOT submit your application by mail. The VAC will collect your biometrics at the same time you submit your application.
Contact me directly if you want to stay longer in Canada and I will make sure your documents are well prepared and submitted on time.
How to Get a Canadian Student Visa
In order to study in Canada, you will need to obtain a Canadian study permit, which serves as a Canadian student visa for the duration of your stay. You do not need a Canadian study permit if your course or program lasts six months or less. Nonetheless, it may be a good idea to apply for a permit before you come to Canada anyway otherwise if you decide you want to continue your studies in another program, you’ll need to leave Canada to apply for a study permit through a visa office.
Once you have a Canadian study permit, you can apply to renew it from within Canada if you decide to continue your studies. For full-time students registered at an accredited higher education institution, a study permit also allows you to work part-time on campus. You may also be able to work off-campus, work as a co-op or intern as part of your program, stay in Canada as a permanent resident or find work after you graduate.
You can apply for a Canadian study permit either online or through a paper application, which can be obtained from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. Paper applications typically take about twice as long, and it’s always recommended to check the processing times well in advance. To apply online, you’ll need a credit/debit card and the ability to create electronic copies of your supporting documents (i.e. using a scanner or camera). The visa office in your country will provide specific instructions about which documents you need to provide; this can vary depending on your location. If you need assistance, you can get help at your nearest visa application center (VAC).
The process for obtaining a Canadian student visa is as follows:
- You must first obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from a recognized higher education provider. Students studying in Quebec must also apply for a certificate of acceptance, known as a CAQ, from the government of Quebec. You must acquire this before you are permitted to apply for a study permit. You can get this online, by printing out a form, or by requesting a paper form from your university, which will also provide advice on this subject.
- The next stage is to get a Canadian student visa application package, either from the CIC website or by contacting your local visa office, or the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country. You may also need to obtain a temporary residence permit if you are from a designated country (find out if you need to get one here), but this will not complicate matters too much as it’ll be processed at the same time as your study permit application.
- In order to get your application package you’ll need to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website. These questions will determine whether you are eligible to apply online for a Canadian student permit, and what documents you’ll need to provide.
- If you are found eligible, you will receive a personal checklist code, valid for 60 days, which you will need in order to submit your application online. Make sure to print out the page containing your code for future reference. The page will also include an application guide, an estimated tuition fees amount, a list of documents you will need to submit with your application, and guidelines for your next steps.
- When you are ready to apply, create a MyCIC account, where you will enter your personal checklist code. You will then receive your personal document checklist which allows you to upload and send your documents to CIC. You’ll need a printer or a scanner to do this.
- Once you have your documents and application form ready and have paid your fees, you can submit your completed application to CIC.
- Some applicants may have to attend an interview at their local visa office.
Additional Canadian student visa requirements
Some or all of the following additional Canadian student visa requirements may also apply:
- Applicants from certain countries will need to provide biometrics (photograph and fingerprints).
- Some applicants may also need to get a medical exam and/or police check before submitting their application. You will not be able to get a study permit if you have a criminal record you may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate as proof.
- Unless you’re from the US or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will need to prove you have a valid passport which allows you to return to your country of origin after your course is complete. Two passport-sized pictures are also required, with your name and date of birth written on the back.
- Canadian student visa requirements also include proof of funds to support yourself. At present this is deemed to be C$10,000 (~US$7,070) for every year of your stay (C$11,000/~US$7,780 if youâ€™re applying to study in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees. You will also need to make sure you have enough money to pay for transportation to return home.
To prove you have this money, you can provide any of the following documents: bank statements, evidence of a Canadian account in your name if the moneyâ€™s been transferred, a bank draft in a convertible currency, proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees, a letter from a person or institution providing you with money, or proof of funding paid from within Canada if you have a scholarship or are undertaking a Canadian-funded program.
- Study and work permit holders from visa-exempt countries who received their permit on or before 31 July 2015 will have to get an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) as of 15 March 2016 to return to Canada. Applicants who get their study or work permit on or after 1 August 2015 will automatically be issued an eTA along with their permit.
Next steps after applying
If and when your Canadian student visa application is approved, you’ll receive a letter of introduction, while students from countries which require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and/or a temporary residence visa will be issued these if required. The eTA will be linked to your passport. It is important that you travel with the passport you used when you applied for your study permit. The eTA will be valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
Present these along with your passport, proof of your finances and your letter of acceptance (and any other documents that you’ve been advised to take) to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in Canada, who will then issue your Canadian study permit and allow you access into Canada.
Working while you study in Canada
If you’d like to get a part-time job to help support yourself while studying in Canada, you can now qualify to work on or off-campus for up to 20 hours during university semesters and fulltime during breaks such as the winter or summer holidays, without the need for a work permit. To qualify, you must:
- Have a valid study permit
- Be a full-time student
- Be enrolled at a designated learning institution at post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at secondary level
- Be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration.
You will also need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs.
Your study permit will become invalid 90 days after you have completed your study program, so youâ€™ll need to acquire a post-graduation work permit if you want to stay in Canada after your studies and seek work. This is valid for up to three years.
To come to Canada as a temporary foreign worker, you must get a work permit. There are different kinds of work permits.
If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you need a work permit to work legally in Canada.
In general, you need to apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)Â or a Canadian visa office before you come to Canada. For these work permits:
- You need to get a job offer from a Canadian employer before you apply.
- The employer must apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
- ESDC will decide whether the employer can hire a foreign worker to fill the job.
There are special work permits for some kinds of workers. For example, there are special work permit programs for live-in caregivers, business people and agricultural workers.
- If You Are in Canada
If you are already in Canada, you may be eligible to apply for a special type of work permit.
- Work Permits are Temporary
You cannot use a work permit to immigrate to Canada. If you want to come to Canada as a permanent resident based on your work skills and experience, see if you qualify to apply as a skilled worker.
- Who can apply for a Canadian work permit?
With few exceptions, work permits are sought by those who have work arranged in Canada. This can include an offer of direct employment with a Canadian employer, contract employment in Canada, or some business activities in Canada. Such work must be described and documented in an application for a work permit.
In limited circumstances, foreign nationals can seek work permits without arranged work in Canada, often referred to as open work permits. Such circumstances most commonly include youth mobility programs, some situations of a spouse/partner accompanying a foreign worker or student to Canada, and protected persons in Canada. Live-in-caregivers and some sponsored spouses or partners also become eligible for open work permits after approval-in-principle of a permanent resident application.
- Is a part time job offer eligible for a work permit?
If the case is subject to the requirement of a LMIA, then a part time job offer may reduce the likelihood of approval of that process, which could in turn limit eligibility for a work permit. If, however, the part-time nature of the position does not affect the foreign national’s ability for self-support, then the LMO application may remain viable.
In cases in which the work permit is LMIA-exempt, a part-time position is not specifically precluded. However, if this contravenes the requirements of a given program, or if it affects the likelihood that the work in Canada could be performed, then this could be a subjective consideration of an assessing officer.
- Where should I apply for a Canadian work permit?
As a general rule, an application for a work permit is submitted to a Canadian visa office abroad if an individual requires a passport entry visa in order to appear at a Canadian port of entry. The responsible visa office is determined by the nationality of the candidate and/or the country of legal residence.
If the individual does not require a passport visa, then it may be possible to submit the application at a Canadian port of entry (i.e., an airport or border crossing), so long as all other requirements are met at that time (including, for example, possession of a LMIA Approval). However, it is important to note that certain types of applications must be processed at a Canadian visa office, even in this latter case. In the case of a port of entry application, centralized foreign worker offices within Canada may render advanced opinions on the eligibility of a given case for a Labour Market Opinion exemption. The case is still processed at the port of entry, however.
On average, visa office applications take the longest to process, whereas a complete application can be processed at a port of entry within a day. Advanced opinions on such pot of entry cases will take one to two weeks to process on average, and visa office applications can take between 30 and 180 days depending on the case and location.
- Is the application process different for each province?
As a general rule, no, the process is the same for the various provinces and territories. The major exception to this rule is in cases of work in Quebeck, which may be governed by a separate application process to the MinistÃ¨re de l’Immigration et des CommunautÃ©s culturelles. To a much lesser extent, there are some cirtcumstances in which individual provinces may apply separate provisions to small subsets of foreign workers (e.g., some provincial nominees).
- Can I apply while I am inside Canada as a visitor?
It is possible to submit an application while in Canada with valid visitor status. However, such an application will generally need to be submitted to a location outside of Canada such as a visa office abroad or a Canadian port of entry (see above). In such a case, the candidate may need to travel outside Canada to attend an interview, if requested, and will need to be present at a port of enty to convert any approval to an actual work permit.
- What documents should I submit in support of the case?
Commonly, evidence of the purpose of employment in Canada (i.e., a job offer) LMIA if applicable; statutory documents such as passport, birth certificate, and marriage certificate; and evidence of professional and academic credentials are required to accompany an application. However, depending on the specific nature of the application, there is a wide range of additional documentation which may be required in support of an application, and individual processing venues have varying requirements.
- How long will it take?
The process of obtaining a Canadian work permit varies in duration depending on the the nature of the qualifications of the applicant, the nature of the job offer, the nationality and residence of the applicant, and the province of the applicant’s destination.
Canadian work permit processing delays can range from a matter of hours to 8 weeks, on average and depending on the location of the application. If HRSDC Confirmation of the job offer is a requirement, then an additional delay may be incurred while this process concludes.
- Can I start work in Canada before I get the permit?
No, you cannot engage in work in Canada until the work permit is received. You may be able to engage in activities that are covered under the provisions of a business visitor visa during this time, however. Work conducted outside of Canada for a Canadian employer is also not subject to the requirement of a work permit.
- Will I need a medical examination?
Applicants who have been resident in a designated country within the past 12 months, and who are seeking a work permit for a period of six months or greater, are required to undergo medical examinations with a designated medical practitioner. Those who will be engaged in work in an occupation in which protection of the Canadian public health is essential would also be required to undergo medical examinations irrespective of the country of residence and/or the duration of the work permit sought.
- How long is a work permit valid for?
A work permit is valid for the duration of the work offered in Canada; the maximum duration of such a work permit may vary from as little as 90 days in some categories, to as many as three years in others. There is no minimum duration of work which would otherwise automatically exempt the need for a work permit (i.e., a work permit may be required for any duration of work in Canada). The circumstances of the case will determine what maximum validity is possible. As a general rule, it is not possible to seek a work permit that is longer than the arranged work in Canada.
Work permit with Lmia
WORK PERMIT â€“ when LMIA is required
What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment?
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker.
A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker is available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.
Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit.
To apply for a work permit, a worker needs:
- a job offer letter
- a contract,
- a copy of the LMIA, and
- the LMIA number.
LMIA will be the screening mechanism for employers wanting to hire temporary foreign workers. Hence, employers are required to provide information about the job application and data required on the LMIA. Employers with 10 or more employees applying for a new LMIA are subject to a cap of 10% on the proportion of their workforce that can consist of low-wage temporary foreign workers. Wage levels replaced NOC as wages are more accurate reflection of occupational skill level and labor market conditions. Jobs with wages below the provincial and territorial median wage are considered â€œlow-wageâ€ while those above the median are considered â€œhigh-wage.â€
Your employer in Canada will be the one who will process the LMIA for you and your work permit. They will also be the one who will pay for the LMIA fees. So if your employer is asking you fees for LMIA, that job offer could not be legit. Always be cautious.
We know as employees, weâ€™re also interested on the process of getting LMIA in Canada so we are sharing here the guide and procedure.
Getting LMIA Requirements â€“ Canada Immigration
Your employer in Canada will be the one who will process and apply LMIA for your job application. Your employer must contact ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada) and ESDC will provide the details of processing and requirements. Since this new rule was just announced recently, apparently the process is related in getting LMO in Canada, only stricter. LMIA fee is $1000 per job position application.
The employer is required to prove this foreign employment will not have a negative impact on Canada labor market and that not enough Canadians can fill up the job position of this job offering.
What to do once you have positive LMIA?
The foreign worker can proceed in applying for a working visa usually in the country he resides, outside Canada. The foreign worker needs work permit, LMIA and some documents required by the Canadian embassy. Medical exams are also included and some overseas and immigration permits upon leaving the country. Check your specific country immigration requirements before flying to Canada.
International Experience Canada
International Experience Canada (IEC) is a program designed to allow youth the opportunity to work in Canada for temporary periods.
Citizens of countries with a bilateral youth mobility arrangement with Canada who are between 18 and 35 years old may be eligible for IEC work permits.
The IEC program is composed of three categories:
- Working Holiday
- Young Professionals
- International Co-op
Participants in this program can receive an open work permit, valid for one to two years. Open work permits allow participants to work anywhere in Canada for almost any Canadian employer. Nationals of some countries may be allowed to stay in Canada for more or less than one year.
Under this program, citizens of participating countries can gain valuable international experience by working for a Canadian company. A signed job offer letter or contract of employment with a Canadian employer related to the applicantâ€™s professional development is required before applying. The job offered must be classified as a National Occupation Code (NOC) Skill Type Level 0, A, or B.
This program allows citizens of participating countries who are enrolled at a post-secondary institution in their country of citizenship to spend a period of time interning for Canadian companies. Participants must arrange co-op placements with Canadian employers before applying. Applicants must be registered students for the duration of the internship.
Eligibility requirements for the IEC program
- be a citizen (passport holder) of one of the 32 countries that have a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada;
- have a valid passport for the duration of their stay in Canada (the work permit issued will not be longer than the validity of the passport),
- be between the ages of 18 and 30 or 35 at the time of application (the upper age limit depends on the applicantâ€™s country of citizenship);
- have the equivalent of $2,500 CAN upon landing to help cover initial expenses;
- be able to take out health insurance for the duration of their stay (participants may have to present evidence of this insurance at the point of entry in Canada);
- be admissible to Canada;
- have, prior to departure, a round-trip ticket or the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket for the end of their authorized stay in Canada,
- not be accompanied by dependents; and
- pay the appropriate fees.
Please note that specific age and eligibility requirements may vary by country.
IEC Overview for 2017 season
The validity/length of each visa type is specified in the three central columns and will depend on the nationality of the applicant and the visa type that he or she has applied for.
|Country||Working holiday||Young Professionals||International Co-op||Age Limit||2017 Opening Date (DD/MM/YY)|
|Australia||Up to 24 months||Up to 24 months||Up to 12 months||18-30||17/10/16|
|Austria||N/A||Up to 12 months||Up to 6 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Belgium||Up to 12 months||N/A||N/A||18-30||17/10/16|
|Chile||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Costa Rica||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Croatia||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Czech Republic||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Denmark||Up to 12 months||N/A||N/A||18-35||17/10/16|
|Estonia||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|France*||Up to 12 months||Up to 24 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Germany||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Greece||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Hong Kong||Up to 12 months||N/A||N/A||18-30||17/10/16|
|Ireland||Up to 24 months||Up to 24 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Italy||Up to 12 months (of which up to six months may be paid employment)||N/A||N/A||18-35||17/10/16|
|Japan||Up to 12 months||N/A||N/A||18-30||17/10/16|
|Korea||Up to 12 months||N/A||N/A||18-30||17/10/16|
|Latvia||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Lithuania||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Mexico||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-29||“The youth mobility agreement between Canada and Mexico is currently under review. As a result, the pools are not open.”|
|Netherlands||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||N/A||18-30||17/10/16|
|New Zealand||Up to 23 months||N/A||N/A||18-35||17/10/16|
|Norway||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Poland||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Slovakia||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Slovenia||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Spain||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Sweden||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-30||17/10/16|
|Switzerland||N/A||Up to 18 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Taiwan||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||17/10/16|
|Ukraine||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||Up to 12 months||18-35||“The youth mobility agreement between Canada and Ukraine is currently under review. As a result, the pools are not open.”|
|United Kingdom||Up to 24 months||N/A||N/A||18-30||17/10/16|
*Citizens can participate in special IEC student summer job initiatives exclusive to their country.
How does the parent and grandparent super visa differ from a visitor visa?
Currently, most visitors to Canada may visit for up to six months when they first enter Canada. Visitors who wish to stay longer must apply for an extension, and pay a new fee.
With the parent and grandparent super visa, eligible parents and grandparents can visit family in Canada for up to two years without the need to renew their status.
The Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that provides multiple entries for a period up to 10Â years. The key difference is that the Super Visa allows an individual to stay for up to two years on initial entry into Canada, while a 10-year multiple entry visa would only have a status period for each entry of six months only.
There are also specific requirements that you must meet to be able to get a super visa.
To apply for the parent and grandparent super visa, you must:
- be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada,
- be allowed to enter Canada and
- meet certain other conditions.
Note: You cannot include dependants in this application.
Immigration officers consider several things before they decide if you can come to Canada. You must be a real visitor to Canada who will leave by choice at the end of your visit. An officer will look at these things when you apply:
- your ties to your home country,
- the purpose of your visit,
- your family and finances,
- the overall economic and political stability of your home country, and
- an invitation from a Canadian host.
You must also:
- prove that your child or grandchild in Canada meets a minimum income threshold,
- provide a written statement from that child or grandchild that he or she will give you financial support,
- have valid Canadian medical insurance coverage for at least one year and
- have an immigration medical exam.
If you want to keep your parents longer in Canada on temporary status, contact me to get more details how to do it and if they qualify.