Last Updated on May 16, 2021 by Ope Quadri
If you entered Canada as a visitor, it means you have a specified date to leave the country once your stay has expired. But here are some of the things you need to do in order to extend your stay and work as a visitor in Canada.
Before processing a visitor visa to Canada, the first thing you want to know is: How long can I stay in Canada?
Specifically, visitor visas allow you to live legally in Canada for up to six months. You’re expected to immediately leave when your visitor’s legal status expired. But you may consider extending your stay in Canada beyond this period.
Here is how to extend your stay in Canada
1) Don’t wait till your visitor visa or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) expires. Submit an application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
What is TRV?
The TRV is Temporary Resident Visa which is an official document issued by a Canadian visa office and inserted in the foreign national’s passport, which certifies that you have met the conditions for entry to Canada as a temporary resident.
2) Then, apply for a visitor record.
What is a visitor record?
A visitor record is a document that have an expiry date, upon which you must leave the country or apply for another extension to remain in Canada legally.
NOTE: A visitor record does not guarantee you will be able to re-enter Canada if you decide to leave.
3) If your current visitor visa expires while your application for an extension is being processed, you’ll be granted what is called “maintained status,” (“formerly known as implied status”). This means that you will be able to stay in Canada until a decision is made.
While you on “maintained status” the conditions of your visitor status will be extended beyond the expiry date. Simply put, you will simply be allowed to stay in Canada as a visitor.
If you receive a stamp in your passport when you entered Canada, you must leave the country by the date indicated on the stamp.
If you’re issued a visitor record, you must leave Canada before the expiry date indicated on the visitor record.
How to apply for a job as a visitor in Canada
There is a temporary policy that was enacted on August 24, 2020, that allows visitors to apply for work permits while on a visitor visa in Canada.
However, you have a valid job offer to apply for an employer-specific work permit.
Until now, visitors would usually need to apply for their initial work permits before coming to Canada.
That has changed as you can now apply for job while on a visitor visa. To enjoy this benefit, an applicant must fulfill the following requirements:
- Valid status in Canada as a visitor on the day they apply;
- Remained in Canada with valid status;
- Have a valid job offer;
Submit an in-Canada application for an employer-specific work permit that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment (no later than August 31, 2021)
Meet all other standard admissibility criteria (e.g medical, criminal checks etc)
How long will this benefit last?
The temporary policy was first introduced to allow visitors who arrived in Canada during the time when coronavirus-related travel restrictions were in place introduced and has since been extended until August 31, 2021.
At the time of this publication, COVID-19 restrictions were still in place in Canada and the Canadian authorities are yet to decide if the privilege granted to visitors to work in Canada will continue even after the end of the restrictions.