Temporary Resident and Visitor Visas for Canada
Except for Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents, all others require permission to enter Canada as a visitor, with or without a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).
Canada welcomes more than 35 million temporary residents (non-immigrants) each year. Unless they are citizens of a visa-exempt country, individuals who wish to enter Canada for a temporary purpose, such as tourists, temporary foreign workers (work permits) and international students (study permits) must apply for and be granted a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).
The TRV is a document issued by a Canadian Immigration Visa Office outside Canada, showing that the holder has satisfied the requirements for admission to Canada as a visitor. Temporary Resident Visas may be for single entry or multiple entry.
As a general rule, tourists are admitted for a period of six months. Temporary foreign workers and international students are admitted for varying periods of time, as determined on a case-by-case basis. Extensions may be applied for within Canada.
It is important to note that possession of a valid Temporary Resident Visa does not necessarily mean that the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Officer at the Canadian Port of Entry will admit the visitor into Canada. At the Port of Entry, all visitors must demonstrate that the purpose of their visit to Canada is of a temporary nature. Citizenship and Immigration Canada Officers at the Port of Entry will deny admission to all persons who, in their opinion, do not intend to leave Canada at the expiry of their visitor status.
In addition, criminality and medical issues may prevent a visitor from entering Canada. Visitors to Canada must also be able to prove their ability to support themselves during their intended temporary stay in Canada.
The Canada Visitor Visa is a popular choice for applicants wishing to visit Canada for a temporary period of up to 6 months.
Visas are available under three different categories:
A single entry Canada Visitor Visa
This allows you to visit Canada only once (unless travelling to the US or St. Pierre and Miquelon) and is valid for a period of 6 months only. You can apply to extend your Canadian Visitor Visa if needed and will need to make an application for extension at least 30 days before expiry.
A Multiple Entry Canada Visitor Visa
This allows you to enter and depart Canada on multiple occasions and is valid for up to 6 months, depending on the issuing case officer. You will need to specify how long you will require your Canadian Visitor Visa (not exceeding a six month period) and leave it to the case officer to decide if this is necessary.
A Transit Canada Visitor Visa
This visa was initially designed for those people entering Canada for a period of 48 hours or less. For example, if your method of transport has to stop in Canada and you are from a country that requires you to have a visa to visit Canada, you will require a Transit Visa.
You are not permitted to work on any of the above Canadian Tourist Visa categories and some applicants may also need to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa in addition to the above if they come from certain countries. Some basic things to consider before making an application for a Canada Tourist Visa are:
- Health issues (you may be required to undergo a medical examination)
- Funds to secure your stay
- You may need a letter of invitation from a friend of relative currently residing in Canada
- You may require a Temporary Resident Visa
Once you have secured your Visit Visa then you may need to also obtain a Temporary Resident Visa if you come from certain countries, as explained above.