Sun | Aug 1, 2021

Immigration Corner | Can a visitor apply to stay in Canada?

Published:Tuesday | April 2, 2019 | 12:25 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

Can a visitor to Canada apply to stay as a student without returning to Jamaica to put in an application for study or work permit? Your guidance would be appreciated.


Good day JJ,

A lawful visitor to Canada may apply for a study permit, provided that at the time of your application, you have not passed the time granted to you for the initial visit. Usually the time granted for a visitor’s permit/temporary resident visa is six months. However, there are times when the time granted is less. It is your duty to verify the exact date of departure that you were given and ensure that you are not acting in breach of the immigration rules.

How long have you been in Canada? Which school are you planning to attend? How long is your programme? Your answers to these questions will determine whether or not you need to submit an application to change conditions or extend your stay as a student.

In order to study in Canada, your first step would be to ensure that you have a letter of acceptance from the school that you would like to attend. If your programme is less than six months, you do not need to apply for a study permit. If your long-term goal is to live permanently in Canada, you should ensure that the school you choose to attend is a designated learning institution.

Once you have that acceptance letter, you will be required to pay the required fee as an international student. That proof of payment of tuition fees will be required in order to submit an application to Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You will also be required to submit the acceptance letter, proof of available funds to cover your living and other expenses.

Your study permit will grant you authorisation to work on a part-time basis, up to 20 hours per week, during the school term and on a full-time basis during the holidays. You do not need to submit a separate application for a work permit.

I highly recommend that you contact an authorised Canadian lawyer to assist you with your application or visit the IRRC’s website for additional information on how to submit an application.

The key to remember is that work permit, study permit and visitor’s visa are temporary permits to enter into Canada for a short period of time. Upon the expiry of those permit, you will be required to return to your home country, unless you apply to extend your stay or stay permanently.

It is important to ensure that you are able to show valid proof of your ability to afford the temporary stay, as well as,your genuine intention to return to your home country at the end of the time granted. So you must be prepared to submit all the usual supporting documents, as you would, if you were making the application from your home country. You must be able to show proof of strong ties to your home country as part of the application process.

So will need to be able to submit documents such as bank statements, letter from sponsor, birth certificate, marriage certificate, proof of ownership of assets in your home country and proof of education, to name a few.

If you would like to become a permanent resident at the end of your studies and plan to stay in Canada, you must submit the relevant application to become a permanent resident before your permit expires. It is important not to overstay and ensure that you follow the rules to achieve your long-term goals.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, commercial, family, and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to: Subjectline: Immigration. Tel: 613-695-8777. Find her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer