Why Coming to Canada on a Visitor Visa to Look for Work is Still a Bad Idea
If you are thinking of coming to Canada on a visitor visa to look for work, you might have heard of the public policy that allows certain visitors to apply for work permits inside Canada until February 28, 2025.
You might think that this is a great opportunity to come to Canada and find a job without having to go through the hassle of applying for a work permit from outside the country. However, before you pack your bags and book your flight, you should know that this public policy has some limitations and conditions that make it difficult and risky to use. In this blog post, I will explain why coming to Canada on a visitor visa to look for work is still a bad idea and what are some better alternatives to immigrate legally and safely.
It's difficult and risky
First of all, coming to Canada on a visitor visa to look for work is difficult and risky because the public policy only applies to visitors who have a valid job offer that is supported by a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) or an LMIA-exempt offer of employment. This means that visitors who do not have a job offer or who have a job offer that does not meet these criteria cannot apply for a work permit under the public policy. Finding a job offer that meets these criteria can be challenging, especially in the current economic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, it is risky to look for work on a visitor visa because you will have to maintain your visitor status until you receive your work permit, which may take several months. You will also have to undergo medical and security checks, which may delay the processing time. There is no guarantee that your work permit application will be approved or processed quickly. If your application is refused or delayed, you will have to leave Canada or apply for another status before your visitor visa expires. You will also lose the money and time that you invested in your application.
Even if you manage to obtain a work permit under the public policy, you will still face some challenges and risks. You will only be able to work for the employer who made the job offer. This limits your mobility and flexibility in the Canadian labour market. If you want to change employers or jobs, you will have to apply for a new work permit and meet all the requirements again. You will also have no legal protection or rights as a worker in Canada if your employer abuses you, underpays you, or fires you without notice. You will be at the mercy of your employer and risk losing everything if they decide to withdraw their support or report you to the authorities.
It's costly and uncertain
Secondly, coming to Canada on a visitor visa to look for work is costly and uncertain because you will be without an income for an extended period of time. You will have to pay for your travel expenses, accommodation, food, transportation, and other living costs out of your own pocket. You will not be eligible for any social assistance or government benefits as a visitor in Canada. You will also have to pay for your health care expenses, which can be very expensive in Canada if you do not have insurance.
According to Numbeo, the average cost of living in Canada for a single person without rent is about $1,356+ CAD per month. This means that if you stay in Canada for six months on a visitor visa without working, you will need at least $8,136 CAD just to cover your basic expenses. This does not include any unexpected costs such as emergencies, fines, or legal fees. If you do not have enough savings or income from other sources, you will quickly run out of money and end up in debt or worse.
Furthermore, coming to Canada on a visitor visa to look for work will not help you achieve your long-term goal of immigrating to Canada permanently. The public policy only allows visitors to obtain a temporary work permit that is valid for a specific period of time and for a specific employer. If you want to become permanent residents in Canada, you will have to apply for one of the immigration programs that Canada offers and meet all the eligibility and selection criteria. The public policy does not give any advantage or preference to visitors who apply for permanent residence. In fact, it may even hurt your chances of success if you violate the conditions of your visa or work permit.
It's better to immigrate legally and safely
Finally, coming to Canada on a visitor visa to look for work is still a bad idea because there are better alternatives to immigrate legally and safely. Canada has many immigration programs that allow skilled workers, family members, students, refugees, and others to come to Canada permanently or temporarily with the right authorization and documentation. Some of these programs are:
Express Entry: This is a system that manages applications for three federal economic immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class. You can create an online profile and enter a pool of candidates based on your skills, education, work experience, language ability, and other factors. You can then receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence if you meet the minimum criteria and rank high enough in the pool.
Family sponsorship: This is a program that allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are at least 18 years old to sponsor their relatives, including their spouse, partner, children, parents, grandparents, and others to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.
Provincial nominees: This is a program that allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate individuals who have the skills, education, and work experience to contribute to their economy and society. Each province and territory has its own criteria and streams for selecting candidates. You can apply for a provincial nomination directly or through the Express Entry system.
Quebec-selected skilled workers: This is a program that allows Quebec to select skilled workers who want to settle in the province as permanent residents. You have to apply in two stages: first, you have to apply to the Quebec government for a certificate of selection (CSQ), and then you have to apply to the federal government for permanent residence.
Atlantic Immigration Program: This is a program that allows employers in the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador to hire foreign workers who have the skills and experience to fill labour shortages in their regions. You can apply for permanent residence if you have a job offer from a designated employer in one of these provinces.
Caregivers: This is a program that allows foreign nationals who have experience in providing care for children, the elderly, or those with medical needs to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents. You can apply through one of the three streams: Home Child Care Provider Pilot, Home Support Worker Pilot, or Live-in Caregiver Program. Bare in mind these programs are extremely limited and only open for certain windows each year. Pay attention to when they open.
Start-up Visa: This is a program that allows entrepreneurs who have an innovative business idea and the support of a designated organization in Canada to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents. You can apply if you have a letter of support from an angel investor group, venture capital fund, or business incubator; meet the language and education requirements; and have enough money to settle in Canada.
Self-employed: This is a program that allows self-employed people who have relevant experience in cultural or athletic activities to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents. You can apply if you have the intention and ability to create your own employment and make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada.
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot: This is a program that allows smaller Canadian communities to support their local economy through immigration. You can apply for permanent residence if you have a job offer from an employer in one of the participating communities; meet the community-specific criteria; and meet the federal eligibility criteria.
Agri-Food Pilot: This is a program that allows workers in specific agri-food industries and occupations to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents. You can apply if you have a job offer from an eligible employer in Canada; meet the language and education requirements; and have at least one year of non-seasonal work experience in Canada in an eligible occupation.
Temporary resident to permanent resident pathway: This is a limited-time pathway to permanent residence for certain temporary residents who are currently working in Canada and their families. You can apply if you meet the eligibility criteria for one of the six streams: workers in health care, workers in other essential occupations, international graduates, French-speaking workers in health care, French-speaking workers in other essential occupations, or French-speaking international graduates.
These are just some of the immigration programs that Canada offers that are currently available. As with the seasons of change, so too do these programs change. They come and they go, opportunities related to immigration are ever changing and evolving, sometimes to your benefit, sometimes not. There are many more options available depending on your circumstances, specific profiles and goals. You can complete our ASSESSMENT TOOL to learn more about your profile and what immigration programs you may be eligible for based on your answers to the questions asked. We provide you with an industry leading assessment report which details your viable options for you. What more could you ask for.
In conclusion, coming to Canada on a visitor visa to look for work is still a bad idea that can land you in trouble and ultimately, Broke. Still Think its worth it?
Penned by CEO of ICL Immigration, Clinton Emslie
Thinking of Immigrating to Canada? Immigration all starts with eligibility, and until that is determined its very hard to say what will or what wont work for an applicant. As such it is vital for an Applicant to complete an Assessment, so that we can render a feedback report based on your profile and its viable options. That is the starting point of any discussions on your viable pathways to Canada. Click below to submit your assessment to learn about your options.