Types of Visa 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, visit, or reside permanently?

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

  • Visitor visas – For people who want to visit Canada on a temporary basis, and who do not intend to work in Canada or take up normal residence in Canada.
  • 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.
  • Canadian citizenship – For permanent residents who want to become citizens of Canada.

What is Express Entry?

Express Entry is an electronic system used to manage the applications of skilled workers who wish to become permanent residents of Canada.

Once an interested candidate submits an online profile, the federal government determines if the candidate is eligible for a program managed by Express Entry.

Eligible candidates are accepted into the Express Entry pool and are ranked according to the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The CRS is a points-based system used by the government to assess and rank candidates in the Express Entry pool. The CRS score is calculated based on a candidate’s age, education, work experience, language skills, as well as other factors.

Approximately every two weeks, the Canadian government selects the highest-scoring candidates from the Express Entry pool and provides them with an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

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Study permit

Work permit






TRV, eTA, Super Visa, TRP

TFWP (LMIA, Global Talent, caregivers, seasonal agriculture)

Economic (Express Entry, PNP, Quebec, Business)

Naturalization program



Family Class




IMP (IEC, post-grad, Intra-company, NAFTA, CETA, significant benefit)





6m (TRV, eTA)

Duration of study program + 90 days

1-3 years

Permanent, with residency obligations

Permanent, without restriction


2 years (Super Visa)


1 day to 3 years (TRP)








20 hours per week during the academic term, 40 hours during breaks

All permits have a limited validity, and work may also be restricted by: employer, location, industry

None, can work anywhere in Canada & for any employer

None, can work anywhere in Canada & for any employer



Pre-approval to enter Canada

Letter of acceptance from a DLI

All TFWP and some IMP permits require a job offer, open permits do not

Approval through a PR program

Must have PR first




International student

Foreign worker

Permanent resident / Immigrant

Naturalized citizen / Immigrant



Unlimited (22.1 million arrived in 2019)

Unlimited (402,195 issued in 2019)

Unlimited (404,800 issued in 2019, of which 306.6k IMP and 98.2k TFW)

341k in 2020

Unlimited (250k newly naturalized Canadians in 2019)


351k in 2021


361k in 2022



Visit Canada

Study in Canada

Work permits

PR overview

Citizenship FAQ


What is the next step for you?

If you have identified what you want to do in Canada, it’s time to learn more about exactly which program might be most suitable for your situation. To do this, see our Canada Immigration Guide for types of visa for canada.

In addition, please sign up for updates covering immigration, employment, and settlement by creating a Canada PR Consultants Team

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