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“Is it possible to convert a visitor visa to work permit in Canada?”

Yes, it is possible. But, the process is quite tricky and won’t work for the majority of the cases. To change the status of your visitor visa to a work permit, you need to follow this step-by-step guide.

Important note: This guide is under the assumption that you have already explored all the other immigration pathways to Canada and have failed. If not, then please contact us, and we will suggest you the best options for you.

1. Apply for a Visitor Visa (TRV)

The first logical step to convert visitor visa to work permit in Canada is to become a Canadian visitor. You need to understand the following requirements before applying for a visitor visa (Temporary Resident Visa – TRV) for Canada.

Visitor Visa Fees and Requirements

  • The application fee for a visitor visa is $100 CAD (~ 5,200 INR), while the biometrics charge is $85 CAD (~ 4,400 INR).
  • A cost of $100 CAD per person is required to extend your visitor visa.
  • You must pay a visa cost of $200 CAD (About 11065.45 INR) to regain your tourist status.
  • Prove that you will leave the country after your visit.
  • Prove that you have sufficient funds to maintain yourself and any accompanying family members while in Canada.
  • Be in good health and be willing to conduct a medical exam if required.
  • Not have any criminal record; be willing to get a police verification done.
  • Be able to provide all supporting documents at the request of the visa officer.

Want to Visit Canada and Get a Work Permit?

Visitor Visa Processing Times

Generally, a TRV application takes 16-20 days to be processed, but due to application backlog, the latest processing time is around 135 days. Though it can be more than that, make sure to provide proper documentation to avoid any delays. If you need help consult us.

Canada Visitor Visa Processing Times

Application Process for a Visitor Visa

  1. Decide whether you want to apply online or in person.
  2. Complete a visa application form with all of the necessary information and papers.
  3. Make a certified check or bank draught payment for the visa processing cost.
  4. Bring your passport, photos, and other documents to the nearest Canadian visa application center.
  5. You must provide your fingerprints and a photograph (biometrics)
  6. Go to the Canada visa application center and submit your visa application form.
  7. Get a receipt from the application center with your unique tracking number on it.
  8. Use this number to track your application online.

2. Getting a Job Offer and a LMIA

After you enter Canada, you have limited time to apply for a job and get a positive LMIA. Not to mention, getting a job offer is an extremely difficult process in itself. So it is better that you do your homework properly. Let’s explain this point in detail.

Research for the Job

  • Understand the labour market opportunities in your destination.
  • Match your NOC code with the in-demand jobs in that area.
  • Apply for Jobs online through Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc.
  • Apply directly to the employer’s website.
  • Friends and family can help to find employment opportunities.

Related Topic: How to Get a Job Offer from Outside Canada?

Get a Positive LMIA

Even after enough job research, there are high chances that you won’t be able to get a job offer from a Canadian employer. Because an employer has to fulfill the LMIA Requirements to hire you, and not many employers are willing to sponsor temporary visitors.

Factors to improve your chances to get a work permit while on a visitor visa:

  • You have exceptional skills that employers won’t find anywhere else.
  • You have enough contacts to support you in Canada.
  • You have hired someone to search for a suitable job for you.

Apply for a Work Permit in Canada

Visitor Visa to Work Permit (without LMIA)

You can get an open work permit without LMIA only:

  • If your spouse / common-law partner has a study permit and is studying in a DLI, you can apply for an open work permit as a temporary visitor.
  • If your spouse / common-law partner has a work permit and is working in occupations specified in NOC 0, A, and B, you can apply for a work permit as a visitor visa holder.
  • If your spouse / common-law partner is waiting for PR and has “approval in principal” status, you may apply for a work permit as a visitor.
  • If you have applied for PR under Spousal Sponsorship, then you can apply for a work permit while you’re waiting for the decision.

3. Converting Visitor Visa to Work Permit in Canada

After you get a positive LMIA from a Canadian employer, you can apply for a work permit from inside Canada.

On February 28, 2023, IRCC announced that foreign nationals currently in Canada on a visitor visa and who have a valid job offer would continue to be able to apply for and receive a work permit without having to leave the country. The temporary public policy has been extended by 2 years until February 28, 2025.

After that, you have to go through a process called Flagpoling. In this temporary, visitors have to go out of Canada through the US border, apply for a work permit, and then re-enter Canada.

Increase in Tourist Visas for Canada

4. Interim Authorization to Work

We have already discussed how we can convert visitor visa to work permit in Canada. Now let’s understand the Interim Authorization to work.

If you have applied for a work permit in Canada under visitor status, you must wait about 132 days to receive it. It means you can’t work until the work permit is approved.

IRCC addressed this problem through an “Interim Authorization to Work.” With that, you can obtain this authorization to work quickly. You can start working immediately if you have received an employer-specific job offer. It is introduced to address the labour shortages, though it is not automatic.

The process for Interim Authorization to Work is as follows:

  • Fill out this IRCC web form available on the official website.
  • Wait for IRCC to contact you. This may take up to 30 business days (6 weeks).

Need help?

We have helped a number of prospective immigrants to permanently settle in Canada. You can contact our experts here. Our team is led by Keshav Sharma, a licensed and regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant with many years of experience. We will help you with your visitor visa application process, work permit, and permanent residence process.

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