Canada is a country known for its welcoming approach to immigrants, attracting people from all over the world to live, work, study, and visit. They want to find out how long can they legally stay in Canada? Understanding the distinction between a visa and status in Canada is essential for immigrants, visitors, students, and workers alike. To find an answer, we need to understand the difference between two terms "visa" and "status" which could be confusing for a layman.
A visa is generally pasted as a counterfoil on your passport by the Canadian government that allows you to enter the country temporarily for a specific purpose, such as tourism, work, study, or family visit. It is a sticker or stamp placed in your passport by a Canadian embassy, consulate, or visa office outside of Canada. A visa is not a guarantee of entry but rather an authorization to travel to a Canadian port of entry (e.g., an airport or border crossing).
Some of the important points to remember about visa:
1. Temporary Permission: Visas grant permission to arrive at Canada's port of entry (POE), however, it does not guarantee admission into Canada. Unlike permanent residency or Canadian citizenship, the Canadian visa is temporary in nature.
2. Single or Multiple Entry: Some visas allow for a single entry, meaning you can only enter Canada once during the visa's validity period. Other visa types permit multiple entries, allowing you to come and go from Canada as long as your visa remains valid.
3. Purpose-Specific: Each visa type has a specific purpose, such as a work visa for employment or a student visa for studying. You must adhere to the conditions of your visa, including the purpose and duration of your stay.
Status, in very simple terms, means that you have acquired the authorization to remain in Canada for a duration of time. The status provides you with the legal rights to remain in Canada. It is determined by the Canadian government and is tied to the purpose for which you entered the country. Once you arrive in Canada, you transition from having a visa to having a status, and you must maintain that status to stay legally in the country.
Some of the important points to remember about status:
1. Temporary or Permanent: Status can be temporary (e.g., as a student or worker) or permanent (e.g., as a permanent resident or Canadian citizen). Permanent status grants you the right to live in Canada indefinitely.
2. Conditions Apply: Different statuses come with specific conditions, such as work permits for temporary workers or study permits for international students. You must comply with these conditions to maintain your status.
3. Renewal or Extension: If you wish to continue staying in Canada beyond the validity of your current status, you may need to renew or extend it, depending on your situation.
The Relationship Between Visa and Status
Your visa and your status are interconnected. While a visa allows you to travel to the port of entry of Canada, your status allows you to enter Canada and governs your legal presence within the country. When your visa expires, it does not mean you must leave Canada immediately if your status is still valid. However, if your status expires while you are in Canada, you could face serious consequences, including deportation or difficulties in re-entering Canada in the future.
It is crucial to adhere to the conditions and regulations associated with your visa and maintain your status by renewing or extending it as needed.
In conclusion, a visa allows you to travel to the port of entry of Canada, while a status allows you to enter and remain in Canada.