How to Switch from a Visitor Visa to a Work Visa in Canada

A lot of folks who travel to Canada on a visitor visa fall in love with the country’s high quality of life, amazing system, and rewarding work life and they wish to stay.

How To Switch From a Visitor Visa To a Work Visa in Canada
How To Switch From a Visitor Visa To a Work Visa in Canada

Currently, the city of Ottawa, Vancouver, and Toronto rank among the top 20 cities in the world when it comes to the best work-life balance.

That’s amazing!

If you’re currently exploring the stunning landscapes, friendly people, and maple syrup goodness of Canada on a visitor visa, and you wish to transition from a visitor to a worker.

Then, you’re in for a treat, and we will show you exactly how you can achieve this dream here, from getting a job to getting your work visa approved.

This guide will provide you with all you need to switch from a visitor visa to a work visa in Canada.

Switching From a Visitor to a Worker in Canada

Switching to a work visa opens the door to stability and the ability to plan for the long term, you will have no limitations.

With a visitor visa, your stay is limited, and you’re often on the move, you can’t stay more than the authority has allowed you.

But as a worker, you’ll have the chance to settle down, build a routine, and envision your future in Canada.

You can move from “the man with a dream” to building a successful life for yourself without worrying about moving.

Benefits of Switching From a Visitor to a Worker in Canada

Here is why switching from a visitor to a worker in Canada is not just good – it’s great!

Stability and Long-Term Plans

Switching to a work visa opens the door to stability for you and gives you the ability to plan for the long term.

With your visitor visa, your stay is limited (between weeks to a few months), and you’re often on the move.

But if you become a worker, you’ll have the chance to settle down and build a career in Canada for yourself.

Career Progression

As a worker in Canada, you are constantly progressing. Canada’s job market is known for its diversity and opportunities across various industries.

By transitioning to a worker visa, you will position yourself to take advantage of these opportunities.

Whether you’re looking to enhance your skills, climb the career ladder, or explore a new field, working here is a valuable stepping stone, one you don’t want to miss for anything else.

Financial Independence

Being a worker in Canada means you’re earning a steady income (a huge one).

This financial stability not only covers your day-to-day expenses but will also allow you to save, invest, and achieve bigger goals.

Access to Benefits

As a worker, you are eligible for benefits such as healthcare coverage and social services.

These benefits ensure that you and your family are well taken care of while you’re contributing to the Canadian workforce.

You can put your income into other areas as some of your expenses are already covered.

Networking and Connections

Working in Canada gives you the chance to build connections within your industry and expand your professional network.

The majority of the time, these connections lead to valuable opportunities, collaborations, and even recommendations that can further boost your career.

Path to Permanent Residency

As a worker, transitioning from a worker to a permanent resident can also be your goal.

Canada’s Express Entry system and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) offer you pathways to permanent residency as a skilled worker.

Your time as a worker can contribute to your eligibility for these programs, putting you on a path toward calling Canada your permanent home.

If you are ready to switch, follow the guide below.

How to Switch from a Visitor Visa to a Work Visa in Canada

If you are ready to take the step, I am ready to guide you. Let’s go!

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

This is the first and most crucial step, (the cornerstone of your journey to becoming a worker in Canada).

You can’t be a naval officer if you don’t pass the naval class, right? The same applies here, you need to be eligible before you will be approved.

Before you start packing your work boots, make sure you’re eligible for a work visa in Canada.

Usually, (and since you are just a visitor in Canada with limited time to stay in the country) this means you’ll need a job offer from a Canadian employer.

This job offer demonstrates your intent to make the most out of your stay.

It’s like having a stamp of approval, ensuring that your potential employer is up to the task of supporting your transition from visitor to worker.

Step 2: Find a Job and Get an Offer

If you don’t already have a job lined up, it’s time you hit the job market. Look for positions that match your skills and interests.

If you have the skills and certifications to back yourself up, Canadian employers are ready to welcome you, the amazing part?

Canada currently has a huge labour shortage across industries and you may just be one to add to their workforce.

The county is looking to welcome over 1.5 million immigrants (for work) over the next three years.

Lucky you!

You can apply for jobs online or go through recruitment agencies, if you wish to apply online, head to (or other job boards), change your location to Canada and type your area of interest (say Digital marketing jobs if you have an interest in Digital Marketing) you will see tons of jobs to consider.

Apply for as many jobs as possible but be specific and always tailor your CV to fit each job’s description.

Once you find the perfect fit, make sure to get a written job offer from your potential employer.

The job must be LMIA-approved, LMIA approval grants a Canadian employer the right to employ an immigrant.

It satisfies that there is no eligible Canadian ready to take the job. This is like getting a golden ticket to work in Canada.

Step 3: Gather the Right Documents

If you are successful with your job application, (you have gotten a job offer), it’s paperwork time!

Before you can switch to a work visa, you’ll need to collect some important documents.

Don’t panic, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. You’ll likely need your passport, a valid job offer letter, and some personal info (your name and other details about you).

Plus, make sure your visitor visa hasn’t expired yet – you don’t want any surprises.

Step 4: Apply Online (Or the Old-Fashioned Way)

Now, here is the fun part – applying for jobs!

You can do this online or through a visa application center, I prefer online, you don’t have to pay anyone but if you go through the VAC (the old-fashioned way), you’ll need to pay a fee.

The fee can vary, but as of my last update, it’s around CAD 155. Double-check the exact amount on the official website to be sure.

Step 5: Wait Patiently (Or Impatiently, It’s Okay)

Now you have done your part, it’s time to wait for the immigration officers to do theirs.

Waiting for your approval can be a bit like waiting for your birthday – exciting yet nerve-wracking.

Processing times for work visas can vary, but on average, it takes 2 to 4 weeks to get a decision.

So, during this time, keep imagining yourself strolling down a Canadian street on your way to your new job.

It’ll be worth the wait!

Step 6: Get Ready for a New Adventure

Once you get that shiny new work visa, congratulations, it’s time to prepare for your new adventure in Canada!

Make sure you have all your documents handy when you arrive, and get ready to embrace your new work-life journey.


And there you have it, explorer-turned-worker! Switching from a visitor visa to a work visa in Canada is like flipping the page to an exciting new chapter.

You will love working in Canada, the huge salaries, the excellent working condition, and the constant career progression. All in one.

Remember, it’s all about being eligible, finding the right job, getting your documents in order, and applying with enthusiasm.

That’s how you switch from a visitor to a worker in Canada.

Cheers to your new adventure and making the most out of your Canadian work experience!



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