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I’m looking for some help as I’m not too clued up on the best approach for obtaining a Canadian visa with my current situation.

I’m going to be flying over to Canada in a few weeks to join my girlfriend who is a Canadian citizen and lives in Alberta. She is a teacher, she was going to move to join me in the UK but as it would result in something like a 50% pay cut we’ve decided it’s better that I go and join her. She also makes enough money to support the two of us.

It’s probably easier I just list bullet points to explain my situation.

  • I recently quit my job, and I have funds saved.
  • I am from the UK.
  • I have 1 x degree, 1 x post graduate, and 1 x Masters. All in Business and Computing related subjects.
  • I have worked in IT freelance database and website related for the last 15 years or so.
  • I am currently 41.
  • My girlfriend has a job as a teacher
  • We’ve been seeing each other for a few years which has been a lot of flying back and forward. We now wish to progress.
  • I have an Uncle and Aunt who live near Vancouver and have been there for 40-50 years and are Canadian citizens.

As things stand I will go on a tourist visa which should give me 6 months (180 days/179 days to be sure?).

As we are not planning on getting married straight away but are wanting to take things a bit more seriously and maybe buy a house etc.

My question is basically, what is my best approach to obtaining a visa and looking to stay in Canada longer term, years rather than tourist based months? Is it fine to go on a tourist visa and then progress from there? Spousal Sponsorship? Family Visa via my Uncle and Aunt? Or is there something else I should be doing that makes more sense?

Sorry for the very basic questions, I’m not the most clued up with this and don’t want to make an error that I look back on as… oh, I should have done that…?!

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Regards Stuart

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    I don't know whether the rules have changed since I last knew them, so this isn't an answer, only something you should be aware of. When my wife did what you are trying to do, she had to apply from, and then remain, outside of Canada until her immigration application was approved. So, if you move here first, you might end up making things more complicated for yourself. – Ray Butterworth Nov 1 at 14:29
  • While on a tourist visa: DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT WORKING in Canada. That can "earn" you a 5-year deportation order or - the worst case - even a livelong ban. Spousal sponsoring can be possible for a married couple. I'd recommend consulting the Canadian high commission in the UK. There are also comprehensive information on the websites of the Canadian federal government. You should go here first: canada.ca/en/services/immigration-citizenship.html – Steffen Roller Nov 1 at 20:42
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I have the same question as you, but I found this questionnaire on the Government of Canada website.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/come-canada-tool.html

Give it a try, I found it helpful.

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