Visas for Canada: what are your options?

Visas for Canada: what are your options?


If you want to obtain a visa for Canada, it’s important to know first what you want to do in Canada. Do you want to work, study, or reside permanently?

There are a few Canada visa varieties, which can be broadly segmented into a handful of categories.

  • Study permits – For people who wish to enroll in a study program in Canada for longer than six months.
  • Work permits – For people who want to work in Canada for a period.
  • Permanent residence – For people who want to move to Canada permanently and bring family members with them, if applicable.

The table below will help guide you towards the right visa for Canada for your situation. (If viewing the table on a mobile device, we encourage you to tilt your screen so that you are viewing horizontally.)

Study Permit Work Permit PR
Main Programs

Regular Study Permit

Student Direct Stream

Global Talent
Seasonal Agriculture

Significant Benefit

Express Entry

Family Class


Validity Period Duration of study + 90 days 1-3 years Permanent with residency
Can You Work? Yes Yes Yes
Conditions on Work 20 hours per week during academic term / 40 hours per week during breaks All permits have a limited validity and work may also be restricted by employer, location, industry None.  Can work anywhere in Canada and for any employer
Requirement Letter of acceptance All TFWP and some IMP permits require a job offer; open permits do not Approval through a PR program
Designation International student Foreign worker Permanent resident / immigrant
Learn More Study in Canada Work Permits PR Overview