Get a Temporary Resident Visa (Visitor Visa) for Canada.

Since We Last Checked: The date of 21 November 2022

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  • Overview
  • Formalized Country Checklist
  • Normal Questions and Answers


In order to enter Canada for a short period of time, visitors, temporary foreign workers (individuals with work permits), and international students (individuals with study permits) must apply for and be granted a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), unless they are citizens of a visa-exempt country.

  • Visit this link to see if you need a TRV before entering Canada.

Prior to their flight to Canada, citizens of visa-exempt countries are required to apply for and obtain an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). A TRV or electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is not required for U.S. citizens to enter Canada, but U.S. Green Card holders do need one in order to enter the country. If you need a TRV, you can skip out on getting an eTA, and vice versa unless you fall into one of a few special categories.

The Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is proof that an individual has completed the steps necessary to enter Canada as a tourist. It is issued by a Canadian Immigration Visa Office located outside of Canada. TRVs can either be used for a single entry or multiple entries. Tourists are typically allowed to stay for a maximum of six months. Case-by-case policies determine the length of stay granted to temporary foreign workers and international students. One can file for an extension from anywhere in Canada.

The Officer at a Canadian Port of Entry has the discretion to grant entry to any traveler, regardless of whether or not they have a valid TRV. Anyone entering Canada must be able to provide evidence at the border that their stay will be brief. Any person who, in the officer's opinion, does not plan to leave Canada when their visitor status expires will be denied entry.

The following points are worth noting:

  • Some applications might necessitate a physical exam. Some people who have recently traveled to certain countries, and others who want to work in specific professions in Canada, are affected by this. Click here for more information.
  • Those wishing to visit Canada may be denied entry due to their criminal history or their health.
  • Visitors to Canada are required to show proof of financial stability for the duration of their visit.
  • Certain countries may require citizens to submit biometric data. To see the list of countries that this affects, go here.

Visas for Temporary Residents Across Countries

Residents of some countries need to have a TRV. The following table details who must present a TRV and who must present an eTA in order to enter Canada.

Use these letters to navigate: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Important Documents and Permissions Needed
Rpublique Democratique du Congo
Israel (citizens with passports)
Visitors to Israel who hold a valid passport waiver
Both (documents are not needed to cross borders).

Any citizen or permanent resident of Canada is entitled to a visa-free visit to their home country. It is possible that other visitors to Canada, such as tourists, students, and workers, will require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in order to enter the country.

No If you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country, you can visit Canada without worrying about securing a Temporary Resident Visa. However, you will still need to apply for and receive an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before boarding your flight. It is not necessary for a visa-exempt traveler to have a TRV or an eTA to enter Canada via land.

Every person who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must obtain a Temporary Resident Visa to enter the country.

Find out what you have to do to visit Canada with our helpful Visiting Canada Tool.

No Study Permit is needed if your time spent in Canada will be less than six months. In addition to a Temporary Resident Visa, students who are not from a visa-exempt country will need to apply for a Study Permit in order to remain in the country for longer than six months.

Obtaining a work permit can be done in a number of different ways. The Canadian employer may be required to show that no Canadian citizens or permanent residents were available to fill the position in certain circumstances.

There is currently no formal means of appealing a denied TRV application. You also can't reapply unless a lot has changed or you have a lot of new information.

A temporary resident visa (TRV) for Canada must be applied for in person at the visa office responsible for the applicant's country or region. A Letter of Invitation detailing your assistance in arranging a visit to Canada may be provided. You might offer to cover travel expenses or hotel lodging. There is no assurance that a Tourist Reciprocal Visa will be granted, even if a Letter of Invitation is included with the application.

To apply for a visa, you'll need to submit the appropriate application form, payment, a passport photo, proof of sufficient funds, a copy of your return ticket or travel itinerary (if applicable), and any additional documentation requested by the visa office in charge of your country or region.

No In order to enter Canada legally, all you need to do is show your passport and Green Card when you arrive at the border. An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is required for air travel into Canada.

Forms must be completed and signed by all family members individually. Those under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian fill out and sign the forms on their behalf. A single payment receipt covering the application fee can accompany multiple applications submitted in the same envelope.

Your temporary resident status in Canada will expire six months after the day you enter the country if there is no stamp, handwritten date, or other document in your passport indicating an expiration date.

To request a visa extension as a temporary resident, you can do so either electronically or on paper. To be eligible for a Canadian visa extension, your application must be received at the Canadian visa office at least 30 days before your current status expires. Your eligibility to remain in Canada under maintained status will not be affected if your temporary resident status expires after you apply for an extension but before you hear back. Until a decision is made on your new application, you will remain in this status.

In order to enroll in a school in Canada, international students typically need a study permit. There are, however, a number of notable exceptions to this generalization. While a study permit is not required for Canadian students enrolled in programs lasting less than six months, it is strongly recommended in case the student decides to extend their studies in Canada. Also, if you are a family member or employee of a foreign representative accredited by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, you do not need a study permit to study in Canada. If you want more information, you should contact your country's Canadian embassy. There is no need to apply for a student visa if you are a member of a foreign armed force thanks to the Visiting Forces Act. Your loved ones must fulfill specific criteria in order to study in Canada. Finally, if you are in Canada on a work permit or a student visa, your minor children are eligible to enroll in secondary or elementary school. Before entering Canada, they will need to obtain a visitor visa.

There are a few exceptions to the rule that a foreign national needs a Work Permit to work in Canada.

In the same way that any other visitor to Canada would, those from countries where visas are required must apply for a TRV before entering the country. Applying is the same as getting a tourist visa. Go to the Business Travelers page of our site for more details.

In search of expert help to obtain your TRV in Canada? Please contact the Law Offices of Cohen, Immigration Consultants. We offer over 45 years of Canadian immigration expertise

To have your question answered by our legal team, please fill out the short form on this page. We'll have one of our attorneys get in touch with you to set up a no-cost phone meeting.

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