Best Ways to Change Your Visitor Visa to Canada PR

Best Ways to Change Your Visitor Visa to Canada PR

Manmeet Kaur Manmeet Kaur
[Published 07 May, 2024 | 05:33 PM]
About Author - 10 min read

Visitor Visa to PR? That’s not possible!

Visitors are supposed to head back to their home country once their allowed time is up.

While there is no direct route from a Visitor Visa to Permanent Residency in Canada, the Canadian government offer other immigration pathways to change your temporary resident status to permanent residence, provided you meet the eligibility requirements for Canada PR.

Apply for Canada PR from India

What You Can and Cannot Do on a Visitor Visa

Here’s a breakdown of what you are and aren’t allowed to do in Canada as a visitor:

Cannot do:

  • Apply for PR: A visitor visa is a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), allowing you to stay in Canada for up to six months. You must return to your home country before it expires or apply for an extension.
  • Work: You cannot engage in any commercial activity where you are involved with the Canadian labour market directly.
  • Study: On a visitor visa, you cannot study or apply for a study permit either within Canada. For that, you must return to your home country and apply from there. Except, if you have a family member on a Canada study or work permit, you can apply for a study permit.

Can do:

  • Explore Canada: As a visitor to Canada, you can live and travel anywhere in the country as long as your visa is valid. Explore Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and other cities, experience the culture, and build memories of a lifetime.
  • Look for work: You can search for work as a visitor as many Canadian employers prefer to meet the individual they are hiring in person. You must be truthful about your intentions about working in Canada and prove you will return to your home country once your visa expires and apply for a work permit from there.
  • Join a course: If you wish to study in Canada, you can join a short-term course under certain conditions - if your institution is not a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), the course expires before your visa, and is not part of a longer program.
  • Extend your visa: As said, a Canada visitor visa from India is valid for six months. You can extend your stay by applying for a visa extension at least 2 weeks before your current status expires. The final decision is in the hands of the immigration officer reviewing your application.
  • Attend business: As long as you are not directly involved with the Canadian labour market in any way, shape, or form, you can purchase goods and services from Canadian businesses, visit a business site, meet other businessmen, and get business training for product use, sales, or other business functions.
  • Apply for a work permit: Visitors can apply for a work permit as per a temporary policy, valid until the end of February 2025. If you have a valid job offer while in Canada, you can get a work permit as a visitor without leaving the country.

What You Can and Cannot Do on a Visitor Visa

Change Your Visitor Visa to Permanent Residence in Canada

If your goal is to stay in Canada permanently, opt for strategic ways to obtain permanent residency in Canada:

Scenario 1: If you are a skilled worker

Enjoy your Canada visit and once your visa validity is nearing its end, return to India. If you’ve been working in India in a skilled profession, be it in healthcare, information technology, engineering, or other, you can apply for a Canada PR visa from India as a skilled worker under the Express Entry or Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

  • Express Entry is one of the fastest ways to apply for PR, with a quick processing time of 6 months. Check your eligibility using a 67-point calculator and get 67 out of 100 points to be eligible. Submit your profile in the pool where you will be assigned a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. The higher your score is in the CRS score calculator, the higher your chances of getting an ITA. If your score is low, try retaking the language test, gaining more work experience, or applying for a nomination - which is your second-best option.
  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are designed to invite candidates with in-demand skills and experience from the Express Entry pool by sending a “notification of interest”. If you get a nomination, 600 CRS points are added to your profile, guaranteeing an ITA. You can apply directly for a PNP outside the Express Entry system too.

Scenario 2: If you have a job offer

While on a Canada visitor visa, you are allowed to look for jobs. If you manage to get an LMIA-approved job offer, you can apply for a Canada work permit as per a temporary policy.

The temporary policy says foreign nationals who are visitors to Canada and have a valid job offer will be able to apply for and receive a work permit without having to leave Canada. This policy is valid till February 28, 2025.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have a valid visitor visa in Canada on the day of applying.
  • Have a valid LMIA-supported job offer or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment.
  • Submit an application for an employer-specific work permit - no later than February 28, 2025.
  • Fulfil all other standard admissibility criteria.

After working in Canada for at least 12 months and gaining work experience, you will be eligible for Canada PR via Express Entry managed streams or the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

Scenario 3: If you are a student

If you wish to pursue higher studies in Canada but are currently on a visitor visa, you can explore the universities and types of programs you are interested in studying. Once your visa expires, return to India and check your eligibility. If you are eligible, apply to Canadian universities and get a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) before you submit a complete application for a study visa.

After graduating from a course of a minimum of 8 months, you will be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) and gain work experience for 12 months at least. With Canadian work experience, you can apply through various pathways for converting your study visa to Canada PR like Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), provided you meet the eligibility criteria. The study to PR journey takes 2 to 3 years.

Scenario 4: If you are a businessman

Canada offers many investment-based PR visas in exchange for permanent residency for the individual and their family members. In fact, Canada is planning to welcome 17,000 PRs under the Start-Up Visa program in 2024.

The top 4 pathways to apply for Canada PR by investment include:

  • Entrepreneur Program: Ideal pathway for Indian entrepreneurs who wish to settle in Canada and start their own businesses. To be eligible, you must hire at least one citizen or permanent resident, excluding the entrepreneur or his family members.
  • Start-Up Visa Program: Ideal pathway for businessmen who wish to open a business in Canada while being able to apply for PR. To apply, you must have a qualifying business and minimum funds of CAD 75,000.
  • Self-Employed Persons Program: Ideal pathway for Indians who wish to establish or purchase a business in Canada that will hugely benefit the country’s economy. To be eligible, you must be willing and sufficient to be self-employed in Canada.
  • PNP Business Programs: Ideal pathway for Indian investors, entrepreneurs, or self-employed persons to immigrate to Canada from India with low IELTS scores or educational qualifications, but good financial capacity to invest.
Scenario 5: If you have a family member in Canada

If you have a family member living in Canada who is a permanent resident or citizen, they can sponsor you for Canada PR from India. Only spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, parents and grandparents can be sponsored under the Family Sponsorship class. Both you and the host (PR or citizenship) must meet the eligibility requirements to apply.

Talk to an Expert

If nothing works out and you wish to stay in Canada a little longer, explore these:

  • Extend your visa: Submit an application to extend your visitor visa for up to an extra 6 months. You must submit this application at least 2 weeks before your current status expires.
  • Implied Status: If your visitor visa expires while your application for visa extension is under review, you will be granted implied status – allowing you to stay in Canada legally until a decision is made on your application.

From Refusal To Approval - Canada Visitor Visa Approved in just 45 days!

Changing your status from visitor to PR is tricky but with the right guidance, strategy, and planning, it is possible. Connect with Nationwide Visas, one of the best immigration consultants in Mumbai. The team will evaluate your case, offering the best solutions to apply for Canada PR from India. Whether you need help with your application, documentation, finding jobs, or else, we’ve got you covered!

Get a free consultation session and determine the best option to apply for your situation.

Call us@ +91 92 92 92 92 81 or email us at

Read More: Canada Immigration: From Temporary Resident to Permanent Residence


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