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You may need a Canadian visitor visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to visit Alberta or other places within Canada for a short time as a tourist, on business or to see family.
If you are from a country that does not require a visa to visit Canada, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). All other visitors need a visa.
For a tourist
To visit Alberta as a tourist, you may need a Canadian visitor visa.
Visitor visas can be single entry or multiple entry and have a wide range of validity dates. The visa must be valid when you arrive in Canada.
For a parent or grandparent visiting family
The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that can be issued for up to 10 years. It lets eligible parents and grandparents visit family in Canada. With this visa, you can visit as often as you want and stay in Canada for up to 2 years on each visit.
For business visits
You must apply as a business visitor if you plan to visit Canada to look for ways to grow your business, invest or advance your business relationships.
Business visitors can stay for up to 6 months. If you plan to stay longer or want to work in Canada, you may need to apply for a work permit.
Extend your stay
When you arrive in Canada, the border officer will determine how long you can stay (usually 6 months). If you want to say longer, you can apply to extend your stay in Canada as a visitor.
Study in Alberta
Alberta's higher education system is internationally recognized for exceptional universities, colleges, technical institutes and innovative research facilities.
If you plan to study in Alberta for more than 6 months at a designated learning institution, you will need a Canadian study permit.
Learn more about studying in Alberta.
Work in Alberta
Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program
The TFW Program is operated by the Government of Canada and allows citizens of other countries to apply to work in Canada for a set period of time.
The program covers all occupations and skill levels. It is used whenever a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident is not available or suitable for the job. Once a work permit is issued, it includes certain conditions, such as:
- where you can work
- who you can work for
- what type of work you can do
- how long you can work in Canada
Use the Come to Canada Tool to find out if you qualify for this program.
How to apply
Step 1: Apply for a work permit (if needed)
Once you have applied, check the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for your application status.
Step 2: Get a job offer from an Alberta employer
Step 3: Get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (if needed)
In most cases, an employer must apply for an LMIA before you can apply for a work permit. If you need an LMIA, get a copy from your employer.
Visit the IRCC Help Centre for more information.
International Mobility Program (IMP)
The IMP program allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers without an LMIA. The IMP is operated by the Government of Canada.
Your occupation must not require an LMIA for you to be eligible for the IMP.
Eligible applicants can apply for one of the following LMIA exempt work permits:
Employer-specific work permit
This work permit means that you can only work for one specific employer. It is for people who can work temporarily in Canada under international trade agreements.
Open work permit
This is an open work permit that lets you work for any employer for a specific time period. It is open to:
- international students who have graduated from a Canadian university or college
- spouses/common-law partners of skilled foreign workers and full-time international students
- eligible foreign nationals who are already in Canada awaiting finalization of their permanent residence application
- young people who want to travel and work (Working Holiday) in Canada through the International Experience Canada program
How to apply
Step 1: Determine if you need an LMIA
Step 2: Read about the employer hiring process
Find out how employers hire through the program
Step 3: Apply for a work permit
Learn more about the application process on the Government of Canada IRCC website.
Find information and resources for immigrants wanting to come to Alberta temporarily to visit, work or study.
- temporary resident support services
- temporary foreign worker guide for employees
- contact information for the Temporary Foreign Worker Advisory Office (TFAWO) (PDF, 276 KB)
For any questions about living and working in Alberta, use our contact form.
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