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Demystifying V-1, B-1, WX-1, and SX-1, Canada Visa Category Codes

You will encounter a myriad of new immigration terminologies if you are aspiring to migrate to Canada. Knowing about a few important visa categories will be helpful as you prepare to start your dream journey to Canada, a beautiful land of fascinating opportunities.

Consulting a knowledgeable immigration expert will help you sail through the immigration process without hassles. Keep reading to know the basic requirements for traveling to Canada besides the differences between V-1, WX-1, SX-1, and B-1 visa categories. 

Crucial documents for reaching Canada

It is a no-brainer that one must have a passport to travel to Canada. Depending on the country of your citizenship, you will also require a visa. A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is the most basic requirement for entering Canada, whether you are traveling to Canada as a visitor, worker, or student.

 After getting a valid Temporary Resident Visa, your immigration officer will put a counterfoil having a specific code besides other data. The visa counterfoil has one of the several codes describing the visit purpose or the type of visitor. The ultimate decision to allow you into Canada depends upon the Border Services Officer (BSO).

The V-1 category code

A V-1 Category Code on the counterfoil means the purpose is only to visit and not work or study. There are multiple reasons to Visit Canada, such as:

  • Business meeting with a prospective partner
  • Visit relatives or friends in Canada
  • Leisure or tourism
  • Traveling with a relative 

Visa applicants must tick the box matching their purpose of visit. The immigration officer enters the relevant category code after the applicant mentions the visit purpose in the visa application.

Meaning of the B-1 category code

The individual visits Canada for business if the visa counterfoil mentions the B-1 category code. The category is not a substitute for a study or work permit. The B-1 category visa entitles the visitor to conduct activities not available to the V-1 category visa holders. These are a few highlights of the B-1 category visa:

  • The principal purpose is to carry out international business
  • The visitor is not receiving any remuneration from a Canadian establishment
  • The visitor will not engage in training or employment activities outside the purview of their business
  • Visitors will not sell any services or products 

Understanding the WX-1 category 

A few circumstances may allow a visitor to travel to Canada and work without a work permit, according to Section 186 of Immigration Regulations. The visa applicant mentions the purpose of working as per the section. Section 186 covers select categories of work with a restricted scope and duration. A few of these are:

  • Event speakers who may visit Canada to deliver speeches for a maximum of five days
  • Performing artists taking part in a live event
  • Professional aviation expert inspecting the crash site

Sometimes a visitor with a WX-1 visa may qualify for a work permit. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allows applicants of Canadian Experience Class immigration to include such work experience AS PART OF Canadian work experience.

Knowing about the SX-1 category

The SX-1 category refers to a few extraordinary situations that allow individuals to study in Canada without a study permit. Students pursuing distance learning programs, auditing courses, and self-improvement courses may be eligible to apply for the SX-1 category visa. A study permit is not mandatory for study programs under six months.

How long can you stay in Canada with V-1, B-1, WX-1, and SX-1 visas?

The standard duration of stay within Canada is six months for individuals having a V-1, B-1, WX-1, or SX-1 visa. The Border Services Officer may use their discretion to allow the person to stay over a six-month duration in case of a B-1, WX-1, or SX-1 visa. The V-1 category visa rarely entitles the holder to stay beyond six months. You must apply for a visa extension from within Canada before the expiration of the visa. If an overstay exceeds 90 days, you cannot restore the status resulting in the removal order.  

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