Frequently Asked Questions
As an international student, can you work in Canada without a work permit?

Yes, you must have a study permit and be enrolled full-time in an academic, professional or vocational training program at a DLI.

However, your study permit must clearly state that you have the ability to work off-campus. If so, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while:
-Your program is in session, and
-Full-time during scheduled breaks in the academic calendar.

You may work for any employer in Canada that is not on the list of ineligible employers.

In addition, if your program has a mandatory work component for graduation you must have the appropriate work permit for your co-op.

Can I apply for a work permit without a job offer?

No, before you apply for a closed (employer-specific) work permit, your employer must give you:

-A copy of your employment contract or job offer
-1 of the following:
*A copy of a labor market impact assessment (LMIA)
*An offer of employment number (for LMIA-exempt workers)

How long can I stay in Canada as a visitor?

-If you are allowed to enter Canada, the border services officer may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months.

-If so, they will put the date you must leave in your passport. They may also give you a document.

-If you do not get a stamp in your passport, you can stay for 6 months from the day you entered Canada or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

-If you need a stamp, you can ask a border services officer for one. If you arrive at an airport that uses primary inspection kiosks, ask the border services officer after you finish at the kiosk.

-If you wish to overstay your authorized stay, you must request an extension at least 30 days before the authorized end of your stay. If you are coming from a visa-exempt country (you used eTA to enter), you are still required to extend your stay as a visitor if you need to overstay your original authorized length of stay.

Who can I sponsor?

You can sponsor your parents, grandparents, spouse, domestic partner, children. It is even possible to sponsor relatives such as a brother, sister, aunt or uncle in quite specific and very unusual situations (consult your immigration consultant).You can also sponsor a relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age, if you meet all of these conditions:

-You (the person who wants to sponsor your relative) do not have a living relative to sponsor in your place, such as:
*Domestic partnerspousal partner
*Son or daughter
*Orphaned brother or sister
*Orphaned niece or nephew
*Orphaned grandchild

-You (the potential sponsor) have no relative (aunt or uncle or any of the above relatives), who is:
*Canadian citizen
*Permanent resident
*Indian registered under the Indian Act.

When I extend my work or study permit within Canada, will I automatically be issued a new visa in my passport for the date of the extension?

No, a work permit or study permit is not a visa. You will not automatically be issued a visitor visa if you extend your work or study permit. If you need a new visitor visa, you will need to file a separate application. The visa is required if you want to travel and be able to return to Canada to continue your studies or work. Do not leave Canada with an expired visa (even if your study or work permit has already been extended), because you will not be able to return without a valid visa.

Who can apply for an open work permit to work for any employer?

You may be eligible for an open work permit if:

-You are an international student who graduated from a DLI and are eligible for the PGWP
-You are a student who can no longer meet the costs of your studies (indigent student - conditions apply)
-You have an employer specific work permit and are being abused or are at risk of being abused in connection with your work in Canada (conditions apply)
-You applied for permanent residence in Canada and are in the process.
-Is an immediate dependent relative of someone who applied for permanent residence
-Is the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student the spouse or common-law partner of an Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program applicant.
-Is a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or family member.
-Are under an unenforceable removal order
-Are a holder of a temporary residence permit
-Are a youth worker participating in special international mobility programs (famously known as a working holiday)

In each of these situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible.

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