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Canada Visitor Visa to Work Visa

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Canada allows individuals to transition from a tourist visa to a work visa through various programs and pathways, primarily to address labour shortages in certain sectors, promote economic growth, and meet the needs of Canadian employers. 

Under a temporary rule effective until the end of February 2025, visitors who receive a valid job offer while in Canada can now apply for a work permit without leaving the country, even if they are on a visitor visa. Transitioning from a tourist visa to a work visa in Canada typically involves several steps and requirements. Here’s a general overview of the process: 

  • Determine Eligibility: Before applying for a work visa, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for the specific work program or visa category you’re interested in. This could include having a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, meeting language proficiency requirements, possessing relevant work experience, and meeting health and security standards. 
  • Find a Job: Secure a job offer from a Canadian employer who is willing to sponsor your work visa application. The employer may need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in some cases to demonstrate that there are no qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents available to fill the position. 
  • Apply for a Work Permit: Once you have a job offer, you can apply for a work permit. The application process may vary depending on the specific program or stream you’re applying under. In some cases, your employer may need to submit documents or information to support your application. 
  • Submit Required Documents: Gather all necessary documents for your work permit application, including your passport, job offer letter, proof of qualifications, LMIA (if required), and any other supporting documents as specified by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 
  • Pay Fees: Pay the required application fees for your work permit application. The fees may vary depending on the type of work permit and processing times. 
  • Submit Application: Submit your work permit application to IRCC either online or through a Visa Application Centre (VAC). Ensure that you complete all forms accurately and provide all required documents to avoid delays or rejection. 
  • Wait for Processing: Wait for your work permit application to be processed. Processing times can vary depending on the volume of applications and other factors. You can check the current processing times on the IRCC website. 
  • Receive Decision: Once your application is processed, you will receive a decision on your work permit application. If approved, you will be issued a work permit to work legally in Canada. 

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements and procedures for the work program or visa category you’re applying under, as they may differ. Additionally, consider consulting with an immigration lawyer or authorized representative for personalized guidance throughout the application process. 

– Lourdes Federis, U Multicultural

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