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for Work

If you are seeking to work temporarily in Vancouver, you must obtain a work permit to be employed in Canada. For certain types of jobs, however, a work permit is not necessary. Check the exemption list.

If you are seeking permanent residence in Canada, do NOT apply for a work permit. See the Immigration section for information on becoming a permanent resident.

The official steps to acquiring a work permit are:

1. You must be offered a job by a Vancouver (or Canadian) employer

2. HRDC (Human Resources Development Canada) must receive a confirmation of the job offer. There are exceptions to this step. For example, if you are:

a NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) professional, trader or investor entering under regulation; 

an entrepreneur or undergoing a company transfer;

employed in Canada as part of a youth exchange program;

a foreign co-op student;

a spouse or common-law partner of a 'skilled foreign worker (PDF)' who has a work permit;

a spouse of a foreign student;

undertaking charitable or religious work;

seeking refugee status;

or accepted for permanent residence in Canada.

3. HRDC confirms a foreign national may fill the job

4. Apply for your work permit 

Once you obtain a permit and are working in Canada, you should know the circumstances of your permit. For example, if your job status changes in any way; you change employers; or need a time extension, you will need to apply to change the conditions of your permit.

For official detailed information, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

for Study

If you are a foreign student wanting to study in Vancouver, you will likely need a Canadian Study Permit. If the course or program you wish to study lasts six months or less, however, you do not need a permit. If you are a family or staff member of a Foreign Affairs or International Trade representative, you also do not need a permit.

If you are coming to Canada for a short-term course, you may wish to obtain a Study Permit anyway, such as if you might want to continue studying beyond completion of the course. In this case, apply for a Study Permit before arriving in Canada, because if you are in Canada without a permit and then want to continue your studies, you will have to leave Canada in order to apply for one.

Another benefit of obtaining a Study Permit is you will be entitled to work part-time on campus at the college or university at which you are registered as a full-time student.

Apply for your permit immediately upon receipt of an acceptance letter from the educational institution. 

You may also be required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa, for example if you are coming to Canada from one of these countries other than the United States. You do not need to apply separately for this visa and it will be issued to you at the same time as your Study Permit.

To qualify for a Study Permit you must:

show proof of financial sufficiency;

pass a medical examination;

have the primary intention to be in Canada to study;

demonstrate that you plan to and will leave Canada at the end of the authorized period of study.

If and when you receive approval for a Study Permit, you will receive a letter of confirmation which you must show to immigration officials when entering Canada and, if applicable, your Temporary Resident Visa. It shows the date by which you must enter Canada, and other reentry conditions. 

Upon entering the country you will be asked to show your travel documents to Customs and CIC officials. These documents include: the Study Permit confirmation letter; your valid passport; your valid Temporary Resident Visa (if applicable); the acceptance letter from the educational institution; evidence of financial support; and any other documents recommended by a consulate in your country, such as letters of reference. 

If all requirements are met, you will be issued your Study Permit at your Port of Entry (airport, boat, etc.). At this point you should verify that all information contained in your permit is accurate and spelled correctly. Your passport will be stamped with the date you are entitled to be in Canada until, and you must follow the conditions stated on your Study Permit.

For official detailed information, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

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