Exploring Canada’s affluent landscapes and dynamic culture usually begins with a Canadian visitor visa, where you get a temporary entry for relaxation, tourism, or family holidays. The Canadian visitor visa or the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), is a document the Canadian government issue to foreign immigrants. However, visitors can now convert their visitor visa into a work permit from inside Canada.
In addition, they are not expected to leave the country to get a work permit for Canada. Immigrants in Canada on a visitor visa can look for jobs themselves and those who receive a valid job offer will be able to apply for the work permit. Furthermore, this visa allows entry and stay in Canada for up to six months and not entering the labor market directly.
A lot of employers are facing substantial labor shortages during this period of economic expansion. As a result of this, a temporary policy was put in place for visitors to be able to work in Canada. However, by 2025, they have to bring in 500,000 Immigrants. Visitors with tourist visas can acquire work permits in Canada until February 28, 2025.
Read on to get more details on how to convert a Canada visitor visa to a Work Permit.
Can a Visitor Work in Canada?
While visitor visas are not supposed to be used as a yardstick to find work in Canada, however, they are not restricted from looking for jobs. Interestingly, Canadian employers usually prefer to meet prospects in person before they employ them. Therefore, searching for jobs from inside Canada may be more practical than trying from overseas.
You should keep in mind the following points if you choose to search for jobs while on a visitor visa.
- Do not hide or misrepresent your reason for visiting Canada from an immigration officer.
- You will need to prove that you’ll return to your country when your visitor visa expires irrespective of the outcome of your job search.
- You will need to establish that you will not work in Canada without a valid work permit.
Performing Business Activities on a Visitor visa
Though you need a work permit to work in Canada, however, you can engage in some business activities on a visitor visa. Meanwhile, you can not directly enter the Canadian labor market. But, you can
- Purchase goods or services for a foreign business from Canadian businesses.
- Visit a business location.
- Obtain training for product use, deals, or other business operations under invitation from a Canadian business.
- Meet and relate with people for starting and concluding a business transaction.
Points to Note When Coming on a Visitor Visa
- You can study a course for six months or less.
- You can apply for a work permit inside the country if your job offer is either approved by LMIA or the respective provincial government authority/regional authority.
- You cannot work while you are on a visitor visa.
- You cannot study a course for more than six months.
Converting a Tourist Visa to a Work Permit in Canada
Canada’s magnificence and guarantee of a good life delight many tourists. However, the allure usually prompts them to consider changing from a short visit to a lasting residence. Below are steps to make transitioning an easy one.
1. Look for Jobs
If you are in Canada on a visitor visa and you want to stay in Canada, you need to look for a Job. Therefore, you should apply for LMIA-approved jobs. Also, there are lots of online Job portals advertising jobs in Canada.
Examples include Jobbank, Indeed, Jobillico, Jobboom, and Talent Egg among others. It’s also good to contact some recruitment agencies in Canada for an easy and stress-free job search.
2. Obtain a LMIA Approved Offer Letter
Ensure you apply for jobs with an employer or in companies that have been LMIA-approved. What are LMIA-approved companies? They are those who are authorized to employ Foreign workers. However, you can find lists of authorized and approved LMIA Employers in Canada published on the IRCC site.
3. Apply for Your Work Permit
Now that the difficult part has been sort out, you already have a job and an offer letter. You can go forth and submit your application for a work permit from within Canada. However, you do not need to leave the country.
Usually, visitors do not have the right to apply for a work permit while in Canada. Fortunately, a temporary measure valid until the end of February 2025 is already in place. This makes it attainable for visitors who accept a valid job offer while in Canada to apply for a work permit.
Before now, if you’re applying to work in Canada, you would normally need to apply for your initial work permit before you arrive in Canada. If they were already in Canada with visitor status when they were approved for a work permit, they would need to leave Canada to be given their work permit. But with this policy in place, leaving Canada isn’t necessary.
4. Work Permit Online Application
You can apply for your work permit online as well, on the IRCC website.
Benefits of a Canadian Work Permit
A Canadian Work Permit, also known as a Canadian work visa, is a valuable document that permits foreign residents to lawfully work in Canada for a restricted time. However, if you have a work permit in Canada, it comes with several benefits which include
- Legal Employment: Possibly the most important benefit is that it permits you to work legally in Canada. In short, this means that you can seek job opportunities, earn income, and gain valuable work experience.
- Social Help: While on a work permit, you may be qualified for certain social benefits, such as healthcare coverage in some provinces, workers’ compensation, and access to social services.
- International Networking: Getting to work in Canada enables you to network with people from different backgrounds and nationalities, both in your workplace and in the broader Canadian community.
- Economic Strength: In addition, Canada is known for its robust economy and steady political environment. This can provide you with a sense of economic safety for you and your family while working in the country.
- Access to Canadian Job Market: Canada has a mixed and strong job market with prospects in various industries. However, if you have a work permit, it gives you access to this job market and the opportunity to also work for Canadian employers.
Documents You Need to Apply For a Work Permit
The documentation required for a work permit can differ depending on the type of permit you are applying for, your nationality, and other factors. Listed below are the standard requirements you’ll need to get a work permit in Canada.
- Job offer.
- LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment).
- Work permit exemptions (if required).
- Temporary Resident Visa (Visitor Visa)
- International passport.
- Online application fees.
- Confirmation of sufficient funds.
- Introduction letter.
Types of Canadian Work Permits
The majority of immigrants need a work permit to enable them to work in Canada. However, there are two ttypes of work permits.
1. Employer-specific work permit
An employer-specific work permit allows you to work in Canada according to the requirements on your work permit, such as
- The name of the particular employer you can work for.
- The duration of the job.
- If necessary, the location where you will work.
Before you apply for an employer-specific work permit, your employer must provide you with
- A copy of your employment agreement.
- Either of the following
- LMIA copy.
- An offer of employment number (for LMIA-exempt workers).
2. Open work permit
An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for one that is
- Documented as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the requirements, or
- Regularly offers striptease, sensual dance, escort services, or erotic massages.
However, you can only acquire an open work permit in specific cases.
Converting your Canadian visitor visa to a work permit can appear daunting, but understanding the process brings clarity and confidence. Furthermore, the starting point for changing a visitor visa to a work permit in Canada is a matter of searching for jobs and compiling the essential documents. However, the payoff is noteworthy, opening doors to many benefits, including healthcare and economic stability in a country known for its high quality of life.
Canada visitor visa is not meant to be a medium for finding jobs, but people with visitor visas are not restricted from pursuing employment. Generally, most Canadian employers prefer to interact with the job prospects directly before being employed. Therefore, it is more useful to search for jobs while you are in the country rather than applying from overseas.