Temporary Visa or Permit

1. Study permit & Visa 

2. Work permit & LMIA

3. Open work permit (OWP)

4. Post-graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

5. Visitor visa 

6. Super visa 

1. Study permit & Visa

Difference between study permit and visa

While studying abord, there are two important documents: study permit and visa. If you forget to extend your study permit, you will lose the legal status of studying in Canada; if you forget to extend your visa, then you could not get back to Canada once you return to your original country. So it is very important to note down the expiry date of your study permit and visa and make sure you submit the application of extension at least 2-3 months before the expiration. 

The study permit is a document which allows foreign students to study at designated learning institutions (DLI) in Canada. Generally you should apply before you travel to Canada. However, study permit is not a visa. It doesn’t let you enter Canada. You may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA).

Visa is a document which allows you to enter Canada. If you have a valid study permit and study in Canada, even if your visa is expired, you could still legally study in Canada. However, if you return to your original country, then you could not re-enter Canada. 

Eligibility requirements

You can study in Canada if you are enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI) and have enough money to pay for your own tuition fees, living expenses and return transportation for yourself and family members who accompany you to Canada. In addition, you may also need to provide a police certificate, get a medical exam and prove that you will leave Canada once you finish your study.

​Note 1: If the length of your course or program is less than 6 months, you do not need to appy for study permit. However, you need to finish the course or program in the authorized stay period.

Note 2: If your passport will expire soon, you should renew your passport first before extending your study permit because the length of study permit will not exceed the length of passport. 

Extend Study permit and Visa

There are two ways to extend your study permit and entry visa: online or paper application. Generally online application is much faster than paper application. If you decide to apply online, you need to register for a GCKey, answer questions and upload the documents.  

Contact us today to know the details of registeration of GCKey and the checklist.

2. Employer-specific work permit (LMIA)

Canadian work permit has two types: Employer-specific work permit and open work permit. Application of employer-specific work permit could be inside or outside Canada. 

Eligibility for employer-specific work permit

1. If you are outside Canada, generally you need to prepare the following documents.

  • Job offer or contract 

  • Copy of the positive LMIA 

  • Police certificate 

  • Record of medical exam 

  • Fund proof 

2. If you are inside Canada, ​in addition to provide the above documents, you may need to have a study permit or work permit which allows you to stay legally in Canada (at least 6 months). If you would like to transfer from other types of work permit to employer-specific work permit, you may also need to explain the reason.

To extend the work permit, it is highly recommended to submit an application 1-2 months before the expiration.

3. Open work permit (OWP)

An open work permit is a work permit that is not job-specific. It is issued under the International Mobility Program. It could be divided into two types: 

  • unrestricted (allowing foreign workers to work in any occupation and location)

  • restricted (restricting the occupation or the location)

Open work permits may be issued with occupational or location restrictions.


There are mainly six categories of people who may be eligible for an open work permit:

(1) are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker ( The one with work permit must also meet certain conditions like: approved to work in Canada more than 6 months, meet the miminum requirement of the work and engage in the occupation 0, A or B (NOC:National Occupational Classification). 

(2) are the spouse or common-law partner of an international student

(3) are an international student who graduated from a DLI and are eligible for the PGWP Program

(4) applied for permanent residence in Canada

(5) are a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence 

(6) have an employer-specific work permit and are being abused or at risk of being abused related to your job in Canada

4. Post-graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

Post graduate work permit (PGWP) allows International students to acquire valuable Canadian work experience after graduation. Also, it builds a great bridge for foreign students to transit from temporary resident to permanent resident.

With PGWP, graduates can work full time, part time or be self-employed. 

Determining the length of the post-graduation work permit

The length of the PGWP depends on the length of study, maximum it could be 3 years. Generally, study for 900 hours may gain 8 months' work permit, 1350 hours' study may gain 1 year work permit and 1800 hours' study may gain 3 years work permit. This may subject to change. For details please visit the ICCRC website. 

5. Visitor visa  (temporary resident visa)

A visitor visa is an official document that is sticked in the passport. It proves that you reach the requirements to enter Canada. You may need a visitor visa or an Electonic Travel Authorization to travel to Canada or to transit through a Canadian airport to the final destination. 

How long you can stay

Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada.You might get less or more than 6 months. You might get stamped at your passport or get a document called a visitor record. All of this is decideded by the border services officer.


 To get a visitor visa. You must have a valid travel document, like a passport, be in good health, have not committed crime, 

have enough funds for your stay and promise to leave Canada at the end of visit. You may also need to do biometrics or letter of invitation etc.​

6. Super visa

In 2011, Canada introduced the super visa, which permits parents and grandparents of citizens and permanent Canadian residents to stay in Canada for up to two years without having to reapply. It’s a multi-entry visa with a period up to 10 years.


In addition to meet the basic requirements of visitor visa, you also need to meet the following conditions if you want to appy for super visa. 

(1) Income requirement: The child or grandchild who invites you must prove that their household reaches the minimum necessary income

Low Income Cut-Off (LICO)  (Effective from January 1 to December 31, 2020)

Size of Family Unit                           Minimum necessary gross income

1 person (your child or grandchild) $25,921

2 persons                                             $32,270

3 persons                                             $39,672

4 persons                                             $48,167

5 persons                                             $54,630

6 persons                                             $61,613

7 persons                                             $68,598

More than 7 persons, for each additional person, add $6,985.

(2) A signed document of financial support during your visit 

(3) Buy medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company which is valid for at least 1 year with the coverage of at least $100,000. 

(4) Take an immigration medical exam 

Plan to apply for temporary permit or visa? Contact us today to talk to an ICCRC immigration consultant and  get the checklist!