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Article by Portia Phelps

How International Students Can Extend Their Stay in Canada

As an international student, you have several options to extend your stay in Canada beyond your study period. Learn about the options to extend.

Extend Your Stay as a Visitor in Canada

As an international student, you might be exploring ways to extend your stay in Canada beyond your study period. Beyond the common options like obtaining a work permit or pursuing further education, there’s another route you can consider: applying for a visitor visa.

What is a Visitor Visa?

A visitor visa is a travel document that allows you to stay in Canada for up to six months at a time. Typically, this visa is valid for up to 10 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. It offers a flexible option for those who wish to remain in Canada temporarily.

Extending Your Stay as an International Student

If you find that six months isn’t enough, you can apply for an extension through a visitor record. This process involves applying before your current status expires, giving you the opportunity to prolong your stay legally.

While a visitor visa allows you to remain in Canada, it’s crucial to understand its limitations:

Visitors on this visa are not permitted to work legally in Canada. Any work done off the books cannot be counted towards permanent residency programs.

Each stay is capped at six months unless an extension is approved.

A Legal Workaround

Some visitors utilize a strategic approach to maximize their time in Canada. By obtaining a U.S. B1/B2 visa, they can leave Canada for a short period (typically 24 hours) and then re-enter for another six-month stay without needing to apply for an extension. This method is entirely legal and can be a convenient alternative for those looking to extend their time in Canada.

Your Journey Continues

Whether through work permits, further education, or visitor visas, there are multiple pathways to help you continue your journey in Canada. Each option has its own set of rules and benefits, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your situation and future.

Stay informed, plan ahead, and make the most of your time in this beautiful country.