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签证和许可证有什么区别?Visas and permits: What's the difference?

文/浚滨 来源: FX168北美

作为加拿大移民律师,我所面临的最大挑战之一就是简化移民程序,并使对移民事务没有经验或知之甚少的人易于理解。这个工作有时是困难的,因为加拿大移民法中存在许多普通人无法理解的专业术语。

在与客户合作时,我发现他们中的许多人经常交替使用“签证(visas)”和“许可证(permits)”一词,就好像它们是同一意思。但是,这两种类型的移民文件存在显著差异,因此理解它们的差异对进入加拿大和留在加拿大都非常重要。鉴于当前的疫情继续影响着前往加拿大的国际旅客,以及那些试图离开加拿大的人们,现在是时候了解一下签证和许可证之间的区别了。

“签证(visas)”是加拿大移民、难民及公民部(IRCC)在护照上粘贴的文件,从而允许护照持有人从国外前往加拿大。签证通常对游客有效期为10年,而来加拿大学习或工作的签证有效期则较短,这与预期学习或工作的时间直接相关。同时还有一种叫做“永久居民签证”,这种签证允许持有人前来加拿大并成为加拿大永久居民。

不过,不是所有想要来加拿大的人都需要签证。免签证国家(例如美国、澳大利亚、新西兰、英国和欧盟国家)的公民就不需要签证,而是会获得电子旅行授权(Electronic Travel Authorizations, ETA),通常有效期为五年,这种电子旅行授权同样具备允许持有人入境加拿大的功能。

另一方面,“许可证(permits)”是规定了持有人在加拿大境内可以做什么。所有许可证都有持有人留在加拿大境内的条件要求,包括持有人离开加拿大日期要求。通常情况下工作许可证持有人是禁止留学的,除非另行授权,并且只能在许可证上指明的岗位和地理位置工作。类似的,持有学习许可证全职学习的学生每周工作时间不得超过20小时,除非是在学校假期内工作。

“访客记录(visitor records)”也应包括在“许可证”的广义定义中,因为它们是IRCC签发的另一类移民身份文件。就像留学或工作许可证一样,访客记录决定了访客在加拿大期间可以做什么。访客记录与留学或工作许可证不同,也不像与其相对的签证那样众所周知,因为大多数到加拿大旅行的访客会被自动授予最多六个月的停留时间,只需一个入境印章即可,或者根本没有印章。仅在访客希望在六个月有效期到期之后继续停留的情况下,才需要索取访客记录。

除了互换使用“签证”和“许可证”一词外,我还看到一些案例,客户错误地认为,通过申请签证就会令他们会自动获得相应的许可证,这是不正确的。

最常见的情况是,工作人员或学生最初来到加拿大后,同时拥有有效签证和工作或学习许可证。如果由于工作任务已经延长或学生完成学习需要更长的时间,而需要申请新的工作或学习许可证,会发生什么情况呢?

在这些情况下,重要的是要了解:

即使您的签证即将过期或已经过期,从加拿大境内申请新的工作或学习许可证是可能的。申请新的工作或学习许可证并不意味着您也将获得新签证。获得新的工作或学习许可证将使您可以留在加拿大,直到新的许可证到期为止,但如果离开,将不允许您登机返回加拿大。

如果您需要在加拿大境外旅行(例如家庭旅行或度假),则应尽可能在离开加拿大之前申请签证,以确保可以立即返回加拿大。工作人员和学生可以从加拿大境内申请新签证,而访客则必须从加拿大境外申请。如果您在离开加拿大之前无法获得签证,那么您将不得不从加拿大境外申请签证,并且在签证签发之前无法返回。为了在离开加拿大之前获得新签证,您需要证明您拥有有效的工作许可证或学习许可证,以证明您回加拿大的目的。

如您所见,签证和许可证在加拿大移民法中有不同的目的。签证决定了您能否前往加拿大,而许可证则决定了您抵达后可以做什么和不能做什么。对于那些拥有即将过期的移民身份文件的人,您需要在到期日之前申请新的身份文件,以保持加拿大的合法移民身份。对于那些计划在当前状态文件到期日之前离开加拿大,但由于疫情而无法立即离开加拿大的人,也可以申请延长您在加拿大的逗留时间并获得访客记录,直到可以安全旅行为止。

IRCC已经宣布了特殊措施来帮助那些受到疫情影响的人。请参阅该链接:https://canadian-visa-lawyer.com/coronavirus-draws-special-measures-from-canadian-government

在这个充满挑战的时期,建议您及时了解移民政策的最新动态,并给自己足够的时间来进行必要的申请,以延长您的居留许可证或获得必要的签证。

图:本文作者Victor Ing先生

本文作者Victor Ing为Sas&Ing移民律师中心合伙律师之一。Sas&Ing的移民律师中心提供全方位的加拿大移民服务,包括工作和留学许可,永久居留申请;特快入境,PNP(Provincial Nominee Programs,省提名项目)和家庭类别,临时居留签证,家庭担保,公民身份和公民身份上诉,以及联邦法院司法审查及应用程序。

本文由Sas&Ing移民律师中心授权FX168翻译发布。

One of the biggest challenges in my work as a Canadian immigration lawyer is to simplify the immigration process and make it easy to understand for somebody who has little to no experience with immigration matters. This can be difficult at times because there are many terms and phrases that exist in Canadian immigration law that have no meaning for the average person.

In working with clients, I have found that many of them use the terms “visas” and “permits” interchangeably as though they mean the same thing. However, the two types of immigration documents are significantly different, and it is important to understand what those differences means both for entering and remaining in Canada. Given the current COVID-19 health crisis affecting international travel to Canada and the ability of those who are in Canada seeking to depart, it is an opportune time to review the difference between visas and permits.

“Visas” are the stickers that are placed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in passports that allow the passport holder to travel to Canada from abroad. Visas are typically valid for 10 years for visitors, while those who are coming to Canada to study or work have shorter validity periods tied directly to the length of the expected studies or work. There are also “permanent resident visas” issued to allow somebody to travel to Canada to become a Canadian permanent resident.

Visas are not required for every person wanting to travel to Canada. Citizens of visa-exempt countries such as the US, Australia, New Zealand, UK or any of the European Union countries are not issued visa stickers – they are instead issued Electronic Travel Authorizations (ETAs), which are typically valid for five years and serve the same purpose of allowing the holder to travel to Canada.

“Permits”, on the other hand, determine what its holder can do when they are inside Canada. All permits include conditions on the holders’ stay in Canada, including the date when the person is required to leave Canada. Common conditions for work permit holders prohibit them from studying, unless separately authorized, and to only work in the occupation and location indicated on the permit. Similarly, common conditions for study permit holders prohibit students from working more than 20 hours per week if they are attending school full-time, unless working during a regularly scheduled school break.

“Visitor records” should also be included within the broad definition of “permits” because they are another type of immigration status document issued by IRCC. Like a student or work permit, visitor records determine what visitors can do while inside Canada. Visitor records, unlike student or work permits, are not as well-known as their counterparts because most visitors who travel to Canada are automatically granted stays of up to six months with just a passport stamp on entry or no stamp at all. Only in cases where a visitor is expecting to stay past the six-month validity period would they need to ask for a visitor record.

In addition to the interchanged use of the terms “visas” and “permits”, I have also seen cases where clients mistakenly believe that by applying for either a visa or permit that they will receive the other one automatically. This is untrue.

The most common situation that arises is where a worker or student initially comes to Canada and is in possession of both a valid visa and a work or study permit. What happens if the person needs to apply for a new work permit because a job assignment has been extended or because it will take longer for a student to complete his or her studies?

In these situations, it is important to understand that:

It is possible to apply for a new work or study permit from inside Canada even though your visa is expiring soon or has already expired. Applying for a new work or study permit does not mean that you also get a new visa. Obtaining a new work or study permit will allow you to remain in Canada until the new permit expires but will not allow you to board a return flight to Canada if you left.

If you need to travel outside Canada, such as for a family trip or a vacation, then you should apply for a visa before leaving Canada, if possible, to ensure you can return to Canada without delays. While workers and students can apply for new visas from inside Canada, visitors will have to apply from outside Canada. If you are unable to obtain a visa before leaving Canada then you will have to apply for one from outside Canada and will be unable to return until it is issued. In order to obtain a new visa before leaving Canada, you will need to show that you have a valid work permit or study permit to demonstrate the purpose of your return trip to Canada.

As you can see, visas and permits serve different purposes in Canadian immigration law. Visas facilitate international travel to Canada, while permits determine what the person can or cannot do after arrival. For those who have immigration status documents that are expiring soon you will need to apply for new status documents before the expiry date to remain in legal immigration status in Canada. For those who had planned to depart Canada before the expiry date of their current status document but are unable to do so now due to the health crisis, it is also possible to apply to extend your stay in Canada and obtain a visitor record until it is safe to travel again. IRCC has already announced special measures to help those affected by COVID-19. Please see our blog about these measures: https://canadian-visa-lawyer.com/coronavirus-draws-special-measures-from-canadian-government.

During this challenging time, it is recommended that you stay up-to-date on the latest developments with immigration policies and give yourself ample time to make the necessary applications to extend your permits to remain in Canada or to obtain visas, if they are necessary.

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