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Visitor Visa

Canada is a popular destination for millions of temporary residents each year, attracting tourists, business travelers, and those seeking to connect with family and friends, or exploring the possibility of permanent immigration. Over the past several decades, the diversity of travelers to Canada has increased, with individuals from a multitude of countries choosing it as their preferred destination for both business and leisure.

If you are planning to visit Canada for temporary reasons, such as tourism, business trips, or family visits, you may need to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), unless you are a citizen of a country exempt from visa requirements. The TRV, commonly known as a visitor visa, is an official document issued by a Canadian Immigration Visa Office located outside of Canada. This document verifies that the holder has met all the criteria for entry into Canada as a visitor.

TRVs are issued as single-entry or multiple-entry visas. Tourists are typically granted entry for up to 6 months. The duration of stay for temporary foreign workers (TFW) and international students varies by situation and purpose and is determined on a case-by-case basis.

It’s important to note that a TRV or any temporary residency status does not guarantee entry to Canada. All visitors must meet the standard admissibility criteria upon arrival at a Canadian port of entry, where an immigration officer will verify their documents and purpose of visit. Therefore, it is advisable for travelers to ensure that all their documentation is in order and to be prepared to clearly communicate the purpose and duration of their stay in Canada.

Who do not require a TRV (visitor visa)?

The only people, other than Canadian citizens and permanent residents, who do not require a TRV (visitor visa) to enter Canada are citizens of visa-exempt countries. Canada has agreements with several countries that exempt citizens of those countries from requiring a visa to visit Canada for a period of up to 6 months. If foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries wish to visit Canada by air, they require a valid electronic travel authorization (eTA). 

Exemptions where an eTA is not required

  • Visitors arriving by land or sea.
  • Permanent residents (however, they need to travel with their permanent resident card).
  • Citizens of the USA.
  • Travellers with a valid Canada visa.
  • Passengers on a flight (because of an emergency or other unforeseen circumstance, that makes an unscheduled stop in Canada).

How to apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV) from abroad

Applying for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) in Canada requires a clear understanding and careful detailing of your visit’s purpose. Whether your trip is for sensitive personal reasons, professional engagements, or leisurely exploration, explaining the intent of your visit and supporting it with the proper documentation is crucial for a successful application. 


Online Application: The Standard Requirement

All visitor visa applications must be submitted online to streamline the process for efficiency. However, exceptions are made for:

  • Individuals who cannot apply online due to disability.
  • Those traveling with documents issued to refugees, stateless persons, or non-citizens, where paper applications are accepted.


Biometric Information

Applicants from certain countries must provide biometric information, including fingerprints and photographs, to verify their identity. This step can be completed after submitting the online application or during an in-person appointment at a Visa Application Center (VAC).


Review by IRCC

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reviews each application, with a particular emphasis on:

  • Connections to Home Country: Evidence of strong ties through employment, business, family, property, or travel history is crucial, indicating a likelihood of returning to your home country after your visit.
  • Financial Self-Sufficiency
  • As a visitor to Canada, it is extremely important that you demonstrate your ability to support yourself. As part of this process, you will need to provide bank statements, travel insurance, hotel reservations, and invitation letters from Canadian friends and relatives.


Explaining the Purpose of Your Visit

A detailed explanation of the purpose of your visit is critical and carefully assessed. It’s important to:

  • Clearly explain the reason for your visit in the application. Whether it’s for attending a funeral, caring for an ill relative, business meetings, or tourism, your purpose should be explicitly stated.
  • Provide comprehensive supporting documents relevant to your visit. This may include a death certificate, funeral invitation, medical documentation, business correspondence, or a travel itinerary.
  • Include a personal letter, especially when visiting for sensitive reasons. This letter should elaborate on the urgency, your relationship with the individual in Canada, and the specific reasons for your visit.

Extending Your Stay in Canada

If you wish to extend your visit beyond the standard six months allowed by a visitor visa:

  • Apply for an extension at least 30 days before your current visa expires.
  • Maintain your legal status in Canada while your application is being processed.

It is essential that you explain the purpose of your visit clearly and in detail, as well as provide comprehensive supporting documentation. A well-prepared TRV application not only facilitates your personal or professional commitments but also underscores Canada’s commitment to understanding and welcoming.

How to apply for a visitor visa within Canada

Are you currently in Canada wanting to travel abroad and return smoothly? Applying for a visitor visa from within Canada is possible if you meet the following criteria:

Current Residence: You must be physically present in Canada.
Valid Permit Holders: This applies specifically to individuals holding valid study or work permits, including workers and students.
Immediate Travel Plans: You should have near-future plans to travel outside Canada and need to re-enter after your trip.
Visitor Visa Status: You possess a visitor visa that is either close to its expiration date, already expired, or was initially issued for a single entry.


When to Apply (Inside Canada)

Apply Early: It’s wise to apply at least 2 months before traveling.
Wait for Your Visa: Be sure to obtain a new visitor visa before leaving Canada.
What Happens if You Leave Canada Too Soon: If you leave Canada before getting your new visa, you might face:
Extra Steps: You may need to give fingerprints or have a health check.
Longer Wait Times: It might take more time to process your application.
Travel Delays: You can’t return to Canada until you have your new visitor visa, and it’s not guaranteed you’ll get it.


If you leave Canada before getting your new visitor visa

If there’s an emergency and you need to leave before getting your visa:


Tell IRCC Before You Go: Fill out the web form before leaving.
Your Application Might Move: IRCC might send your application to another office in your country of residence.
Follow Outside Canada Rules: IRCC will check if you meet the visa rules for people outside Canada.

How Can X Can Help?

Personalized Consultation: Understand the specific requirements and documents needed for your application.
Complete Application Processing: From form filling to document submission, we manage every detail.
Quick and Efficient Service: Our streamlined processes ensure your application is submitted without delay.
Expert Advice: Gain insights from professionals who understand Canada’s visa policies.
Friendly Support: Our team is committed to providing a welcoming and supportive experience.
High Success Rate: We pride ourselves on a high approval rate for our clients.

Ready to explore the beauty of Canada without the hassle of complicated visa procedures? Make your Canadian journey unforgettable with our Visitor Visa services.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs ) about Canadian Visitor Visa

Visitors can usually stay for up to 6 months. However, a Canadian Border Services Officer (CBSA) may specify a shorter duration upon entry.

Processing times vary based on application volume and the country from which you’re applying. It starts when IRCC receives a complete application.

Yes, you can apply for an extension before your current status expires. If you’ve applied for an extension and are awaiting a decision, you will be in implied status.

You need a valid passport, must be in Canada when applying, and pay the associated fees. A reason for extending your stay is also required.

While there’s no formal appeal process, you can reapply, especially if your situation has significantly changed or you have new information. You may also request reconsideration of the refused visa application. 

Yes, for programs less than 6 months. Other exceptions also exist, but generally, a study permit is required.

Generally, no. To work, you’ll need a work permit and a job offer from a Canadian employer, alongside meeting other program requirements. It is possible, however, for travellers to work without a work permit in certain circumstances. 

You can provide an invitation letter outlining your commitment to cover travel expenses, including but not limited to accommodations and meals. However, an invitation does not guarantee visa approval.

These include incomplete forms, misrepresentation or incorrect information, weak financials and insufficient proof of ties to your home country.

Yes, but it may be more complicated. You might need to prove rehabilitation or obtain a temporary resident permit depending on the crime and how much time has passed.

You must prove you have enough money to support yourself during your stay. This includes covering living expenses and return transportation.

It’s not usually required unless you plan to stay longer than 6 months or have recently visited certain countries.

While not mandatory, it’s highly recommended to cover unexpected medical expenses.

Yes, visiting family is a common reason for applying. Be prepared to provide details about your Canadian relatives.

You should apply for a new passport from an Embassy of your nationality in Canada. If your visitor status is close to expiring, you should also apply for an extension.

Yes, if you violate any stay conditions or are found inadmissible after the visa is issued.

Minors must have the same documents as adults. If traveling alone or with one parent, additional documents like consent letters may be required.

It’s possible but involves a separate application process and meeting specific eligibility criteria.

Yes, biometrics are generally required for a visitor visa and must be provided in person at a designated service point.

Provide evidence like employment, property, family, or financial connections that shows you will return home after your visit.

Yes, if you have a multiple-entry visa. Each entry is subject to approval by the Canadian Border Services Officer (CBSA).


No, U.S. green card holders do not need a Visitor Visa to enter Canada. 

Yes, you can apply for a visitor visa from within Canada if you are currently in the country, have a valid study or work permit, plan to leave and return soon, and your existing visitor visa is about to expire, has expired, or was valid for only one entry.

Workers and students who are currently in Canada with a valid study or work permit are eligible to apply for a visitor visa from within Canada, provided they meet the other specified requirements.

You should apply for your visitor visa at least two months before you plan to leave Canada to ensure you have enough time for the application process and to receive your visa.

If you leave Canada before receiving your new visitor visa, you may face additional requirements such as providing biometrics or undergoing a medical exam, longer processing times, and potential delays in your return to Canada.

If you have an emergency and need to leave Canada urgently, you should complete the web form before leaving. This will help avoid processing delays or the risk of your passport being returned without a visa.

Yes, as soon as your application to extend your work or study permit is approved, you can apply for your visitor visa, even before you receive your new permit in the mail.

You need to provide proof that your permit extension was approved, such as a screenshot of the approval message sent to your online account, your application number, or any other document that confirms you have a valid and approved permit extension.

If you leave Canada due to an emergency, your application might be transferred to one of the offices abroad, and you’ll need to meet the visa requirements for applicants outside Canada.