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How to Convert a Canada Visitor Visa to a Work Permit?


Canada offers many great job opportunities in different industries, making it an attractive place for visitors who want to work there. If you are in Canada on a visitor visa and want to switch to a work permit, you might be wondering if it’s possible and how to do it. Although visitor visas are usually for short stays, there are ways to get a work permit while you are in Canada. This blog will explain how you can change your visitor visa to a work permit and how to apply for a work permit after arriving in Canada.

Understanding Tourist and Work Visa

A travel visa or a temporary resident visa is an official document intended for individuals who wish to visit Canada for sightseeing and recreational activities. It enables the visa holder to discover various regions of the country and demonstrate that you fulfill the eligibility requirements to travel to Canada. However, this visa may be required for airport transit when en route to your final destination. Note that a visitor visa does not authorize individuals to seek employment or work in Canada. In fact, working in Canada while holding a visitor visa is actually prohibited by law.

A work permit, also known as a work visa, constitutes a statutory authorization that permits the employment of a foreign national by a Canadian employer under established legal frameworks. It is an indispensable document for foreign nationals to enable their employment and residency within Canada. There are generally two variants of work permits: employer-specific and open work permits, each delineated by specific eligibility criteria.

How to Transition from Visitor to Worker Visa

1. Understanding Criteria for Eligibility

It is essential to understand the eligibility criteria for a smooth transition to a work permit, which include holding a valid job offer from a Canadian employer and fulfilling the eligibility requirements for a particular program you applied for. Remember, these criteria vary by program, so it is recommended to thoroughly review the prerequisites for a successful application process.

2. Seek Job Opportunities 

Securing employment in Canada is one of the most effective components of the visa conversion process. You can apply through various job portals. You can also consider visiting the company’s official websites to learn more about their recent openings. However, it’s important to note that your resume must follow Canadian standards to maximize your chances of securing employment there.

3. Acquire Labour Market Impact Assessment Approved Offer Letter

The candidates must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment, a document required by Canadian employers to hire a foreign worker. It is typically considered a vital tool that protects the work rights of Canadian Citizens. This crucial document demonstrates a need for a foreign worker to fill a particular job, as no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available to take on the role. A positive LMIA is referred to as a confirmation letter and allows the foreign worker to fill the job and apply for a work permit. 

4. Apply for Work Permit 

Upon meeting the eligibility criteria and acquiring the job offer, you can successfully apply for the Canadian work permit. In this stage, you are also required to fill out an online application, although a paper application is also available for particular circumstances. Ensure your application includes the following: 

  1. A valid email address and telephone number 
  2. Your passport or travel document number and expiration date
  3. The names of other countries you have visited before coming to Canada where you received a visa or work permit
  4. A yes/no response if you’ve been denied entry into any country other than your own 

As part of the work permit application protocol, a mandatory processing fee is required. Subsequently, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada will conduct a legal assessment of your application to determine eligibility for the issuance of the work permit.


Securing employment and meeting eligibility criteria enables the conversion of your Canada tourist visa into a work permit. To prevent delays or rejection of your application, it’s vital to ensure that you have furnished all necessary documents. Dealing with the complexities of acquiring a Canadian work permit can pose challenges in such instances. Relying upon a reputable immigration consultant like Visa Immigration can provide all the necessary resources for a successful work permit application. Get in touch with us today and allow us to help you choose the right work visa that can open the door to new opportunities.