World Travel: Here’s How Long Can Visitors Stay In Canada
Millions of immigrants visit Canada yearly.
While some visitors visit to see the incredible sights in the country, some come to spend some time with friends or family. However, there are others who visit Canada for more long-term reasons such as study, work, or business.
Regardless of your reasons for visiting Canada, how long are you allowed to stay in the country at a time? This is a common question that people often ask immigration lawyers in Canada. The answer to this depends on your purpose for visiting the country in the first place.
In this article, we will answer the question of how long you can stay in Canada as an immigrant under different conditions.
1. How long can you stay in Canada on a Visitor’s Visa?
As a visitor to Canada, you can stay in the country for as much as 6 months on a single visit. Generally, there are two classes of visitor visas to Canada. There are single entry visas and multiple entry visas. For the single entry visa, you can only use the visa to enter the country once before the expiration date of the visa. For multiple-entry visas, on the other hand, you will be allowed to enter and exit the country as many times as you want within the validity period of your visa.
For either class of visitor visa, you can stay in the country for up to 6 months. However, the exact duration of your stay will be decided by the immigration officer in charge of your case.
Extending your visitor’s visa
Immigrants in Canada on a visitor’s visa may be able to extend their stay while still in the country. Note that the application for an extension must begin before your temporary visitor’s visa has expired. You will not be allowed to remain in Canada on an expired visitor’s visa unless you have a stay extension in progress. Doing this may jeopardize your immigration applications in the future.
Hence, it is best to start your application for an extension before your visa expires or leave the country as soon as it does. If you have completed the extension application before your visa expired, you will be allowed to remain in the country under an implied status until your application is approved. Another situation that may warrant a stay extension in Canada is through sponsorship such as the case of a civil marriage visa.
2. Staying in Canada on a Super Visa
A super visa is a type of special family visa category for those with children or grandchildren living in Canada. With a super visa, parents or grandparents with kids in Canada may be allowed to stay in the country with their loved ones for up to two years at a time. This is a multiple-entry visa which means you can enter and leave the country multiple times as long as your visa is valid.
There are other provisions for other dependents such as a spouse or children below the age of 18 to enter Canada as a dependent. Speak to a spouse lawyer to discuss situations like this and other similar cases.
3. Staying in Canada on a Business Visitor Visa
If you’re planning to visit Canada for business purposes, you can apply for a business visitor visa. Typically, business visitors stay in the country for just a few days or some weeks. However, you may be able to remain in Canada for up to 6 months on a business visitor visa. Note that this visa class is not the same as a temporary work visa. Thus, you cannot work in Canada on a business visitor’s visa. If this is your intention, you need to apply for a separate work permit.
4. How long can you stay in Canada after studying?
Students who are in Canada for an undergraduate study or pursuing a higher education degree are allowed to stay back in Canada for some time after their studies. The exact conditions for this and the duration of their stay depend on the initial course of study.
International students on a student visa are required to apply for a post-study work permit within 180 days of completing their course in Canada. Only students who have spent at least 8months studying in Canada can apply for a post-study work permit.
For international students who have just completed a 1-year program they can stay back in Canada for about a year after completing their course under a post-study work permit. Undergraduate and post-graduate students who have completed a 2-year program or more can stay back in the country for up to 3 years. In either of these cases, you may apply for an extension after the permit duration expires.
How long you can stay in Canada as an immigrant depends on the specific conditions of your initial visit. It may vary from just a few weeks to months or even years. Be sure to stick to the stipulated duration of your stay on your visa to avoid future immigration troubles.