How to Convert a Visitor Visa to a Work Permit in Canada
Are you looking to work in Canada but already have a visitor visa? If so, you will need to convert your visa into a work permit. This blog post will provide an overview of the process for converting a visitor visa to a work permit in Canada.
We’ll cover the different types of work permits, the documents you will need to apply, and the steps to take to get your permit approved.
Check If You Are Eligible To Apply
To convert your visitor visa to a work permit in Canada, you must meet certain criteria. You must have a valid visitor visa, which includes a valid passport and any other documents necessary for entry into Canada.
Additionally, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and experience to work in Canada, as well as prove that you can financially support yourself while living in Canada.
You must also meet the requirements of the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). The IRPA outlines who is eligible to become a permanent resident or work in Canada, while the IRPR sets out the specific requirements you must meet to be eligible to apply for a work permit.
You should consult with an immigration lawyer or a regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) for more information about the process.
If you meet all of the requirements outlined above, then you may be eligible to convert your visitor visa to a work permit. Be sure to check with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for any updates and changes to the regulations that may affect your eligibility.
Gather The Required Documents
If you’re looking to convert your visitor visa to a work permit in Canada, you will need to submit certain documents along with your application. First, you will need to provide proof of your identity, such as a valid passport or travel document. You may also need to provide other documents such as:
- Proof of funds: To show that you have enough money to support yourself while in Canada.
- A job offer: You must have an official offer letter from a Canadian employer who is willing to hire you.
- A copy of your academic and professional qualifications: You must provide evidence of all your qualifications and certifications, such as university degrees or diplomas, or copies of certificates, trade licenses, or other documents that prove your ability to work in your chosen field.
- Police clearance certificates: You may need to get a police check from the country where you are currently living, or from any other country you have lived in for six months or more during the last 10 years.
- Medical examination: Depending on the type of work permit you’re applying for, you may need to provide a medical examination.
- Biometrics: All applicants over the age of 14 are required to provide their biometrics (fingerprints and photographs).
- Language test results: Depending on the type of work permit you’re applying for, you may need to take an approved language test to demonstrate your proficiency in either English or French.
Make sure you have all the necessary documents before submitting your application. If any documents are missing or incomplete, your application may be rejected or delayed.
Submit The Application
Once you have gathered all the required documents and are ready to apply for a work permit, you will need to fill out and submit the proper application forms.
For most applicants, this means filling out the Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada (IMM 5708).
You will also need to include a copy of your current visa or visitor record, if applicable. Make sure to include any other relevant supporting documents as well.
Once you have filled out the forms and collected all of your documents, you can submit them online using the Government of Canada’s online portal, or by mail.
If you are submitting online, you will need to pay the applicable fees before applying. Once you have paid, you can submit all the required documents.
If you are mailing in your application, make sure to use a tracked service such as registered mail or courier.
Once your application is submitted, make sure to keep track of your application’s status. The processing time varies from case to case, so it’s important to know what to expect. If your application is approved, you will receive an official document granting you a work permit for Canada.
Follow the Instructions For Work Permit Issuance
Once your work permit application is approved, you will need to follow the instructions provided by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the issuance of your work permit. These instructions may include the following steps:
- Provide additional documents: IRCC may request additional documents to be submitted, such as your passport, biometrics, or other supporting documents. It’s important to promptly provide any additional information or documents as requested to avoid delays in the issuance of your work permit.
- Provide a valid job offer: You will need to provide a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, which may include a job offer letter that outlines the terms and conditions of your employment, including your job title, salary, working hours, and other relevant details. Make sure that the job offer meets the requirements set by IRCC, including being from a genuine Canadian employer and complying with the prevailing wage rates.
- Pay the open work permit fee (if applicable): If you are applying for an open work permit, which allows you to work for any employer in Canada, you may need to pay an additional fee for the open work permit privilege. The fee amount and payment instructions will be provided by IRCC, and you will need to include the payment receipt with your application.
- Provide a valid job offer number (if applicable): If your job offer is based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), you will need to provide a valid job offer number issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This number confirms that the employer has obtained a positive LMIA, which is a document that assesses the impact of hiring a foreign worker on the Canadian labor market.
- Review and sign the work permit: Once your work permit is ready for issuance, IRCC will provide you with a copy of the work permit for review. It’s important to carefully review the work permit to ensure that all the information is accurate, and sign it as required. If there are any errors or discrepancies, you should contact IRCC immediately to have them corrected.
- Activate your work permit: Once you have received your work permit, you will need to activate it before you can start working in Canada. This may involve presenting your work permit to a border officer when you arrive in Canada or following any other instructions provided by IRCC. It’s important to comply with the activation requirements to ensure that your work permit is valid and you are authorized to work in Canada.
It’s crucial to follow all the instructions provided by IRCC carefully and accurately to ensure a smooth and successful issuance of your work permit. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s recommended to seek professional immigration advice or consult the official Government of Canada website for guidance.
In conclusion, converting a visitor visa to a work permit in Canada is a multi-step process that requires careful attention to eligibility criteria, submission of accurate and complete documents, and compliance with instructions provided by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
It’s important to review and follow all the instructions provided by IRCC for work permit issuance, including providing a valid job offer, paying any applicable fees, and activating your work permit as required.
Seeking professional immigration advice or consulting the official Government of Canada website can help ensure that you navigate the process successfully and legally work in Canada. Remember to be diligent, thorough, and patient throughout the process, and always comply with Canadian immigration laws and regulations.