Stay in Canada Temporarily

Hundreds of thousands of people come to Canada each year on a temporary basis for a variety of purposes included tourism, employment, schooling, cultural emersion and visiting family and friends.

If you are interested in coming to Canada temporarily here are some starting points to consider:

Obtaining an Entry Visa – Tourism/Visiting Family

Depending on what country you are a national of, you may or may not need a visa to enter Canada. A visa is a document that is affixed into your passport that generally must be applied for from outside of Canada, at a Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) visa office abroad.

The officer will be assessing your application based on a number of factors and it is important to understand those factors to have a better chance of being successful with your application.

Your visa, if required, would be valid for a period of time and may authorize you for a single or multiple entries. Generally, when you arrive in Canada, a border official will authorize your entry for a specified period of time.

You may extend your temporary stay in Canada and there are a number of options available for how to do this.

Obtain a Work Permit

It is important to know that there are many types of work permits available and each category will have specific eligibility requirements and required documentation.

Whether you are a Canadian employer trying to understand the process, or an individual, it is recommended you further familiarize yourself with the options available based on the unique situation. You may have more options that you think, some with faster processing times, longer durations of validity, and some with a more simplified process than others. Seeking formal professional advice can be your first step to establishing a viable immigration plan but below is a generalized list of some of the potential options.

An individual can apply for a work permit if they have a job offer from a Canadian employer. However, at the time of your application the employer must have government authorization to hire an international worker. This government authorization is called a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

The spouse/common-law partner of a skilled foreign worker in or will be in Canada, may qualify for an open work permit. This means they would be able to accompany their family member, and work for any employer in any occupation. There are conditions that may apply depending on the individual situation.

These are a different type of work permit application as that do not require an individual to submit a positive LMIA with their application (a job offer may or may not even be required). There are a number of these programs, each with their own set of requirements and conditions.

One of the most popular International Mobility Programs used is a program in which individuals between the ages of 18-35 may be able to obtain a work permit that would allow them to work for any employer in Canada, based on a reciprocal agreement between Canada and their country of nationality.

If you filed your spousal sponsorship application from within Canada, as an In-Canada Spouse, you may qualify for an unrestricted work permit once the application has reached a particular stage.

If you have completed a post-secondary full-time program in Canada that lasted at least 8 months, you may be able to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit, given that a period of time has not passed and your study permit is still valid. This is great opportunity for graduates to obtain valuable Canadian work experience in their field, which can later be helpful in applying for permanent residence.

If you are currently in Canada, have a work permit that will be expiring in the next 4 months, and have reached stage 1 approval of a qualifying permanent resident application, you may be eligible to apply for an open work permit. The restrictions if any, will be relevant to the type of permanent resident application in process.

Obtaining a Study Permit

Canada boasts a world-renowned educational system that attracts thousands of international students every year.

To apply for a study permit there are a number of documents you must include with your application to meet eligibility requirements, including proof of acceptance from a designated learning institution and evidence of financial support.

A benefit to receiving a study permit, is the potential ability to also have authorization to work on or off campus to support yourself and obtain Canadian work experience.

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