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Apply for a Canada visitor visa

Can I convert a visit visa to a job visa in Canada?

Converting a visit visa to a job visa in Canada directly is not possible. However, there are pathways you can take while in Canada on a visit visa to transition to a work visa. Here’s a detailed explanation of the process and requirements:

Understanding the Basics

  1. Visit Visa: A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) that allows you to stay in Canada for a short period, typically up to six months, for tourism, family visits, or business.
  2. Job Visa (Work Permit): A permit that allows you to work in Canada, typically tied to a specific employer, job, and location.

Steps to Transition from a Visit Visa to a Work Permit

  1. Job Offer: Secure a job offer from a Canadian employer. This is a crucial step as the employer will need to support your work permit application.
  2. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): In most cases, your employer must obtain a positive LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The LMIA demonstrates that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available to fill the position.
  3. Application for Work Permit: Once you have a job offer and, if required, a positive LMIA, you can apply for a work permit. This application is typically made from outside Canada, but there are exceptions.

Exceptions Allowing Application from Within Canada

While the general rule requires you to apply for a work permit from outside Canada, there are exceptions where you can apply from within Canada:

  1. Spouse or Common-law Partner: If you are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker, an international student, or a participant in certain programs.
  2. Recent Graduate: If you have graduated from a Canadian educational institution and have a valid study permit.
  3. Temporary Resident Permit Holders: If you have a valid temporary resident permit.

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

If you have applied for permanent residence under certain immigration programs, you might be eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), allowing you to work while your PR application is processed.

Detailed Process

  1. Secure a Job Offer: Network, apply online, and use job boards to find employment in Canada. Employers willing to hire you must support your work permit application.
  2. Employer Applies for LMIA: Your prospective employer applies for an LMIA if required. Not all jobs need an LMIA; certain exemptions apply (e.g., intra-company transferees, NAFTA professionals, etc.).
  3. Apply for a Work Permit:
    • From Outside Canada: Submit your work permit application at a visa office outside Canada.
    • From Inside Canada (if eligible): If you meet the criteria for an internal application, apply from within Canada.

Alternative Pathway: International Mobility Program

Some work permits are LMIA-exempt under the International Mobility Program (IMP). Categories include:

  • Intra-Company Transferees
  • Significant Benefit
  • International Agreements (e.g., CUSMA)

Tips for a Successful Transition

  1. Research: Understand the job market and visa requirements thoroughly.
  2. Networking: Leverage professional networks, job fairs, and online platforms.
  3. Legal Advice: Consult with an immigration consultant or lawyer to navigate complex cases.
  4. Documentation: Ensure all documents (job offer, LMIA, personal documents) are complete and accurate.


While you cannot directly convert a visit visa to a work visa in Canada, securing a job offer and applying for a work permit with your employer’s support can enable you to transition from a visitor to a worker. Ensure you meet all requirements and seek professional advice to streamline the process.

Apply for a Canada visitor visa

Applying for a Canada visitor visa, also known as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), involves several steps. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you through the process:

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a Canada Visitor Visa

1. Determine Your Eligibility

Before applying, ensure you meet the following basic requirements:

  • Have a valid travel document (passport).
  • Be in good health.
  • Have no criminal or immigration-related convictions.
  • Convince an immigration officer that you have ties (such as a job, home, financial assets, or family) that will take you back to your home country.
  • Convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit.
  • Have enough money for your stay. The amount of money you will need can vary depending on the length of your stay and whether you will stay in a hotel or with friends or relatives.

2. Gather Required Documents

You’ll need several documents to support your application. These typically include:

  • Application Form (IMM 5257): Completed application for a temporary resident visa.
  • Family Information Form (IMM 5645 or IMM 5707): Information about your family.
  • Passport: Valid for the duration of your stay in Canada.
  • Photos: Two recent passport-sized photos as per specifications.
  • Proof of Funds: Bank statements, pay stubs, employment letters, or other proof showing you can support yourself during your stay.
  • Ties to Home Country: Documents that prove you have reasons to return to your home country (e.g., employment contract, lease, family obligations).
  • Travel Itinerary: If you have already booked flights, accommodation, and other travel details.
  • Invitation Letter: If you are visiting family or friends, include an invitation letter from them.
  • Purpose of Travel: Explanation of why you want to visit Canada (e.g., tourism, family visit, business).

3. Complete the Application Forms

Fill out the necessary application forms accurately:

  • Application for Visitor Visa (IMM 5257)
  • Family Information (IMM 5645 or IMM 5707)
  • Additional forms may be required depending on your circumstances.

4. Pay the Application Fee

The application fee for a Canada visitor visa is CAD $100. If you need to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photo), there is an additional fee of CAD $85. You can pay these fees online.

5. Submit Your Application

You can apply either online or by paper:

  • Online Application: Create an account on the IRCC website and submit your application electronically. Upload scanned copies of your documents and forms.
  • Paper Application: Download and print the application forms from the IRCC website, complete them, and mail them along with your documents to the appropriate visa application center (VAC).

6. Provide Biometrics

If required, visit a visa application center (VAC) or application support center (ASC) to provide your biometrics. You will receive a biometric instruction letter with details on where and how to provide your biometrics after submitting your application.

7. Wait for Processing

The processing time for a visitor visa can vary depending on the country you are applying from. Check the current processing times on the IRCC website.

8. Submit Passport for Visa

If your application is approved, you will be asked to send your passport to the visa office so they can stamp your visitor visa. Follow the instructions provided by the visa office for submitting your passport.

9. Receive Your Visa

Once your passport is returned to you with the visa stamp, you are ready to travel to Canada.

Tips for a Successful Application

  • Accuracy: Ensure all information is accurate and truthful.
  • Completeness: Submit all required documents to avoid delays.
  • Proof of Intent: Clearly demonstrate your intention to return to your home country.
  • Financial Stability: Show that you have sufficient funds for your visit.

By following these steps and providing all necessary documentation, you can increase your chances of successfully obtaining a Canada visitor visa.

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