Visitor Visas

To obtain a visitor visa, applicants must show that they are intending to visit Canada for a temporary period only and they intend and are able to return to their country of residence after the visit is over.

An applicant for a visitor visa must provide to a visa officer, documentary evidence that will satisfy him/her that the applicant has sufficient funds to pay for all expanses while in Canada, and sometime it includes a valid airline ticket and proof of funds.

As a general rule, visitors are admitted for a period of six months. Temporary foreign workers and international students are admitted for varying periods of time, as determined on a case-by-case basis. Extensions may be applied for within Canada.


Persons who wish to work temporarily in Canada are required to obtain a Work Permit.


In many cases employers will need to apply for authorization from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to be allowed to hire a foreign worker before the foreign worker can apply for work permit at a Canadian Visa post in his/her region. The employer will need to prove that they have made unsuccessful attempts to hire a Canadian for this position and that the foreign worker will not be in direct competition with the Canadian labour market.

Once the Labour Market Opinion is granted, the foreign worker is required to apply for a work permit.


Some foreign workers are exempt from the requirement for a Labour Market Opinion.  These exemptions include intra-company transferees, foreign workers applying under NAFTA and other international agreements.  Some professionals are exempt , particularly where there is a labour shortage in Canada for persons of their skills or specialized knowledge.


Applicants in this category are required to have work permits but are exempt from HRSDC confirmation.  This results in a faster and more cost effective processing of their application.

Canada allows the transfer of an employee from a foreign branch to the Canadian branch of an international company. In order to qualify for the Intra-Company Transferee category, a business enterprise must be, or will do business in both Canada and the foreign country.

This category applies to senior managers & specialized knowledge workers.

For a Foreign National, having worked legally in Canada can contribute to a successful outcome of a permanent resident visa application as it allows to accumulate more points for example under the adaptability selection factor.


The NAFTA seeks to liberalize trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada and abolish tariffs and other trade barriers. NAFTA facilitates entry for business persons who are citizens of the United States, Mexico and Canada. It also removes the need for labour market opinion (confirmation) for all business persons covered by the Agreement. It removes the need for a work permit for business visitors, and it expedites the application process by allowing the issuance of a work permit at the port of entry.

NAFTA covers citizens only of the three countries.


The Canada Chile Free Trade Agreement is modeled on the NAFTA, and like the NAFTA it facilitates temporary entry and the movement of business persons, and also it grant temporary entry to four categories of business persons ? Business visitors, Professionals, Intra-Company Transferees and Traders and Investors.



Lani Gozlan

Immigration Lawyer in Toronto, Ontario, Canada