Types of Canadian Visas

You need to know exactly what is allowed and prohibited by a particular visa to avoid violating the country’s visa regime.

Depending on the visa system of a particular province, there are cases where holders of a tourist visa are allowed to study, and where those who have entered on a student visa are allowed to work.

As for Canadian visas and permits, they are of the following categories:

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Visitor visa

Visitor or tourist visa — for those who want to visit relatives/friends or just get to know Canada. A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) can be either a single entry or multiple entries. The usual duration of such a visa is six months. With it, you can study, but the course should not exceed six months.

We also clarify that even a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) pasted into a passport does not give the right to enter the country. The final decision on being allowed to visit Canada is made by the immigration officer at the port of entry. It is the officer who makes the final decision and stamps the date of departure.

As a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) holder, you will not be able to work, but you are allowed to look for an employer (go to interviews, meet recruiters). However, when changing the status from tourist to working, it will be necessary to explain to the visa officer why the intent to stay in Canada changed.

More information about this type of visa can be found by following this link.



Study Permit

It will need to be obtained if you plan to study in Canada for more than six months. The duration of the study permit is equal to the period of the course,  plus 90 days.

Important: A study permit is not a visa. A visitor visa (TRV) is automatically issued based on an already approved study permit to enter Canada.

Study permit holders are allowed to earn extra money while studying (20 hours per week) and work full day during vacations (40 hours per week).

The right to a part-time job is not guaranteed by a Study permit. A visa officer at the border also approves a permit for the opportunity to earn extra money, and sometimes must be asked about it. When arriving in Canada, it is important to consider this because if you do not obtain such a permit, you will not be able to work while studying.

To obtain this type of permit, you will need an invitation from an accredited university (DLI – Designated Learning Institution). This accreditation is awarded to educational institutions by provincial or territorial authorities. If the university is a DLI, it is assessed, verified and suitable for admitting and training international students.

It is also necessary to prove the availability of sufficient financial resources to pay for the first year of study and cover basic living expenses.

Also, you will need to provide documents confirming the absence of a criminal record, good health and the intention to return home upon completing the training course.

A more detailed list of documents and a detailed description of this type of permit.

Read more about study permit in our article



Work Permit

Everything is simple here: if there is an intention to work in the country, it is necessary to get a Work Permit.

Important: A Work Permit is not a visa. A Visitor visa (TRV) is automatically issued to enter Canada based on the already approved Work Permit.

The usual duration of a Work Permit is from one to three years. Working conditions may be limited by a specific employer, location or line of business.

To obtain a work permit, you must provide several documents proving you are an honest citizen who does not violate the law and intend to return to your homeland after completing a work contract in Canada. Also, you will probably have to go through a medical examination and not work with an employer from the List of Ineligible Employers.

A detailed description of the requirements for a Work Permit can be found here.

Read more about Work permit on our website

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

It is a work permit available to graduates of Canadian universities.

To apply for this type of work permit, you need to:

  • Comply with the time frame and have time to submit documents for PGWP within 180 days of receiving the diploma (final marks);
  • Be a graduate of a university that is not only on the DLI (designated learning institution) list but also has PGWP available to its graduates.

Duration of Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP):

  • If the program lasts less than 8 months, the graduate cannot count on a PGWP;
  • If the program lasts from 8 months to 2 years, a PGWP is issued for a period equal to the duration of the training program;

For example, upon completing a 9-month program, a PGWP may also be issued for 9 months;

If a student has completed a program that is 2 years or longer, the PGWP can be issued for 3 years.

Since education in Canada is often viewed as a path to further immigration, choosing a study program longer than 12 months to obtain a PGWP for at least 12 months to continue through an immigration program (usually a Canadian Experience Class) is recommended.



Permanent residence

Permanent resident status is for those planning their future life (and the life of their family, if relevant) in Canada and planning to move.

A permanent resident who has passed all stages of the immigration process is issued a permanent residence card. A permanent resident can travel and confirm his or her status while in Canada.

What a permanent resident can count on:

  • Enjoying almost all the social benefits available to Canadian citizens, including free health care;
  • Being able to live, work and study in Canada;
  • Being able to apply for Canadian citizenship.

Canadian citizenship

For permanent residents seeking Canadian citizenship. Here are some of the requirements for those who aspire to become a citizen of Canada:

  • Have permanent resident status;
  • Have spent three out of the last five years in Canada before applying for citizenship;
  • Pay the required taxes (if applicable);
  • Pass the citizenship exam;
  • Confirm sufficient knowledge of English or French.

The Canadian visa process requires the submission of biometrics. After the Canadian immigration authorities accept the visa application, a letter (BIL – biometric instruction letter) comes with a request to submit biometrics (fingerprints and photos). Where this can be done and when is specified in the letter. For biometrics, you usually need to register at one of the visa centres in Canada in advance. For most Canadian visas, biometrics are considered valid for 10 years.

The above is the procedure for submitting documents online. Please note that the process for submitting a paper application in person to the VAC (visa application centre) may differ.

The process of obtaining any Canadian visa is not straightforward or hassle-free. You will have to collect a solid package of documents and justify your intentions and goals of visiting the country. This kind of careful selection aims to protect the citizens of Canada. Therefore, we urge you to respect the thorough document verification you will have to go through to enter this undoubtedly picturesque and safe country.

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