You do not need to apply for a work permit unless you intend to work.
Okay so just so I'm clear:
For the first six months, you can have a regular visa which you must renew every 30 days.
After that initial six months, you have to apply for a work visa (the cost of which varies, depending on what you'll be doing), or you have to return home.
Or... can you simply stay on a regular visa for a year?
I really really want to find volunteer work for multiple reasons. I know I need a work permit for that and from what I've read, it costs $25 US.
Thank you for clarifying. It's hard to put a lot of pieces together from so many different websites/articles/books/fliers all over the place. It's like a giant puzzle!