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You should apply 30 days before your status expires

  • extend your visitor, student or work status,
  • change your permit type (for example, from a student permit to a work permit) or
  • change your permit condition (for example, if you are studying and you want to change schools, or if you are working and you want to change jobs).

Implied status

If you apply to extend your permit, and your visitor visa expires while you are waiting for a decision, you still have temporary resident (visitor) status. This is known as implied status.

Working or studying in Canada

Most visitors to Canada cannot work or study in Canada without a permit. If you are visiting Canada and you want to work or study, you have a few options if you still have legal status in Canada.

For a new work permit

you can apply from your home country or another country where you are lawfully admitted, or by email only to the visa office in New York.

If in Canada by person or by mail at the Visa Application Centre in Los Angeles USA

In some cases, you are allowed to work or study without a permit.

The appellant may be outside Canada. If the appellant was in Canada at any time over the past 365 days, CIC must provide a travel document so that the person can travel to Canada. In other cases, the person may apply to the IAD for a travel document. If the IAD decides that the appellant must be at the hearing in person, it may issue an order. CIC will then issue a travel document to allow travel to Canada for the hearing. Otherwise, the hearing may be held by telephone.

Either way, a member (decision-maker) will hear the appeal according to the IRB tribunal process. The appeal process involves two parties: the appellant and Minister’s counsel who represents CIC. The process also usually public, so media or members of the public may attend or report on the proceedings.

If the appeal on residency obligation is allowed, the IAD will set aside CIC’s decision and the person will keep his or her permanent resident status. If the appeal is dismissed, the person will lose permanent resident status. If the person is in Canada, the IAD must order his or her removal from Canada.

Either the appellant or Minister’s counsel may apply for leave, or permission, from the Federal Court of Canada for judicial review of any IAD decision. The Federal Court of Canada will either dismiss the application or return the case to the IAD for re-hearing.

There are many situations where you may want to apply for your CAIPS notes. If you have been asked to attend an interview, then you may wish to obtain your notes to find out why the interview was requested, so that you can be well prepared for the interview.

Also, if you feel that your application is taking longer than usual, or you have not heard anything from the visa office for a surprisingly long time, then you may consider requesting your immigration file to check that your application is on track. We have often tracked unexplained delays down to missing letters or documents which have been highlighted as soon as the file is obtained. For example, CIC may have written to an applicant requesting additional references, educational transcripts or language tests, but the applicant’s address can be incorrect or outdated.

Finally if you have any other worry about your application status or progress, or are just generally curious as to what has happened so far, then you can obtain your CAIPS notes just to put your mind at rest.

Business travelers may enter the United States using a B1, or ‘Visitor for Business’ Visa. In practice these visas are invariably issued as jointly with B2, or ‘Visitor for Pleasure’ (i.e. Tourist) visa. This practice means that, if a candidate has an old tourist visa, it may be valid for a planned business trip.

For those who come under the visa-waiver scheme, details of which are provided below, there is usually no need to apply for a visit visa at all if the candidate wishes to visit the US for three months or less.

While in the US as a business visitor, an individual may:

  • Conduct Negotiations
  • Solicit sales or investment
  • Discuss planned investment or purchases.
  • Make investments or purchases
  • Attend Meetings, and participate in them fully.
  • Interview and hire staff.
  • Conduct research.

The following activities require a working visa, and may not be carried out by business visitors:

  • Running a business.
  • “Gainful employment”.
  • Payment by an organization within the US.
  • Participating as a professional in entertainment or sporting events.

Obviously there is a considerable ‘gray area’ in between what definitely is allowed and what definitely isn’t. It is advisable to err on the side of caution when bringing overseas persons into the USA on business visitor visas. However, in certain strictly limited cases, paid employment may be possible using a ‘H1B’

Those entering on visitor visas will generally be granted 6 months admission (the maximum allowable is one year) on entry. It may be possible to obtain a six-month extension to the visit visa as long as the candidate will be maintaining visitor status, and there are good reasons to do so. It is sometimes possible to change status to another longer – term visa whilst in the US as a visitor, as long as the candidate advised the relevant US Embassy or Consulate of this possibility beforehand, or there was no pre-conceived intent to do so.

NB: Visit visas should generally be applied for in a country of which the candidate is a Citizen or permanent resident. Applications made in other countries often run a high risk of being turned down. The most common reason for refusal of B1/B2 visas is the applicant showing insufficient evidence of social, family or economic ties to his/her country of residence that would ensure that s/he would return there following the visit to the USA.

If the necessary conditions are satisfied then the applicant can apply for a visa.

The B1 in lieu of an H1B

In certain, limited circumstances the US Consulate may issue an employment-authorized B1 visa where the work to be undertaken would usually require an H1B visa. This provision is particularly applicable to situations where you may need a non-US company to send a member of staff to the US for a limited period in order to undertake specific projects for you, or where you wish to bring in an employee of an overseas subsidiary, affiliate or parent for a limited period. The requirements for acquiring a B1 in lieu of H1B are:-

  • The work to be undertaken in the US must be H1B level – i.e. the worker must be engaged in a ‘speciality occupation’;
  • The worker must permanently employed (i.e. not a contractor) and paid by the employer outside the US;
  • The worker may receive no compensation other than expenses from a US source;
  • The worker must have a degree relevant to the services to be provided– there is no provision for work experience to be considered equivalent to adegree, as there is under the H1B.

The B1 in lieu of H-1 visa generally takes 1 to 2 weeks to obtain, and considerably more supporting documentation is required than for a normal B1 visa. Periods of admission and extension are the same as for the standard B1 visa (i.e. generally 6 months).

It should be noted that in rare circumstances, holders of this visa encounters problems when trying to enter the US. This is because while it is issued by a US Consulate or Embassy, it has not been formally recognized by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For more information, please contact a member of our staff.