Find Out If You Need a Visitor Visa to Travel to Canada

A visitor visa is often referred to as a Canada tourist visa. Read the information we have provided below to learn if you require a visitor visa to travel to Canada. Then, fill out our immigration assessment form and we will get back to you to discuss your visitor visa eligibility.

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  • Applicants can continue to apply for visitor visas, otherwise known as temporary resident visas (TRVs), via online applications only. Paper applications are not being accepted at this time.
  • Applications will be prioritized for individuals who are currently eligible to travel based on current travel restrictions.
  • If you’re traveling by air, you need to follow all airline requirements and pass a health check conducted by airlines before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.
  • When you arrive in Canada, they will assess your health before you leave the port of entry.
  • You must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days when you arrive in Canada. This is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. If you don’t have a plan, you should not travel to Canada.
  • Only people who provide essential services, for example, truck drivers who regularly cross the border to maintain the flow of goods, are exempt from the quarantine requirements.

For more updates on the Coronavirus, visit our page on the impact the Coronavirus has had on Canadian immigration.

Flag Icon Canada Visitor Visa

What is a Visitor Visa?

What is a Visitor Visa?

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), also referred to as a visitor visa or Canada Tourist visa, is an official document issued by a Canadian visa office that is placed in your passport to show that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident (either as a visitor, a student, or a worker).

Basic Requirements

There are a number for basic requirements for a Canadian visitor visa. This requirements include:

  • have a valid travel document (passport)
  • be in good health
  • have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
  • prove that you have ties such as a job, home, financial assets or family that prove you will be returning to your home country
  • prove that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
  • have enough money for your stay which depends  where and how long you stay

How Long Can a Visitor Stay in Canada

How Long Can a Visitor Stay In Canada

Most visitors are allowed a six-month stay from the day they entered Canada. If the officer authorizes a stay of less than six months, they will indicate in your passport the date by which you must leave Canada. If you want to stay longer than your authorized stay, you should apply for an extension at least 30 days before the authorized end of your stay.

Types of Visitor Visas

Types of Visitor Visas

  • Visit / Tourism
  • Study
  • Work
  • Temporary Resident

Who Can Apply for Visitor Visa?

Who Needs a Visitor Visa?

Visitors are persons who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, and are legally authorized to enter Canada to:

  • visit Canada on holiday (vacation),
  • visit family,
  • conduct business, etc.
  • Visitors are restricted in length of stay and subject to various conditions..

Study as a Path to Permanent Residency

Study as a Path to Permanent Residency

Many international students in Canada finish their studies with the hopes of obtaining work and remaining in Canada permanently. In certain Express Entry categories, students may be eligible for permanent residence without any work experience. Often though, students will apply for work and then a work visa to stay temporarily. After having gained academic and work experience in Canada, they may have more options to apply for Canadian permanent residency.

What You Need to Know About Visitor Visas In Canada

Canada is home to millions of visitors each year. In fact, more than 35 million people visit Canada every year to enjoy the many opportunities our country has to offer, including visiting family and friends. If you wish to come to Canada for a temporary purpose like a vacation, or to visit family or friends, you may need a Temporary Resident Visa, unless you are a citizen from a “visa exempt” country like the USA or Australia.

 Canadian Visitor Visas allow those foreign nationals to visit Canada with the freedom to reunite with friends, family, or even just explore a new country.

Application for a Temporary Resident Visa

Temporary Resident Visa is often referred to as a TRV in our industry. You will most likely need to file Form IMM 5257. Form IMM 5257 is used by individuals who want to apply for a TRV to visit Canada for a temporary purpose such as tourism, visiting family or friends, or business trips.

5 Main Documents You Will Need With Your Canada Tourist Visa (TRV) Forms

There are five major documents you are required to show when applying for a TRV. Note that each immigration case is a little different depending on your specific situation, but generally you should have the following documentation when applying for a ‘Temporary Resident Visa’ in Canada:

  1. Proof of your ties to your home country
  2. Proof of funds for your visit to Canada
  3. ID such as a passport or county resident card
  4. A letter of invitation from the person inviting you to come to Canada
  5. Proof that you will be staying in Canada only on a temporary basis

 

Disclaimer: There may be other documents and information that you may need.Individuals must obtain a TRV before departure from their home country. Individuals cannot obtain a TRV upon arrival in Canada.

Do I Need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?

Before a traveler coming from a visa exempt country boards an airplane, an eTA is required including those going through Canada. The eTA is very similar to the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) in the US. The eTA is valid up to 5 years or when your visa expires, whichever comes first.

Other visa exempt countries include:

  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • France
  • Japan
  • Chile

There are specific travelers who need or don’t need an eTA. Learn more about applying for an eTAs!

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Canada Tourist Visas (TRVs)

Visitor visas have different “features”. Some are single entry visas, which mean that they are for one entry to Canada only. If you leave Canada and wish to return, you will have to apply for another visa unless you are traveling to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon. However, some visas are multiple entry visas which allow people to leave and return to Canada during the validity of their visas.

If you are in Canada on a visitor visa and wish to apply for an extension of your stay in Canada, you need to get visitor status. You can apply for visitor status from within Canada at a Canadian immigration office. However, you should apply before the expiration of your current visitor status. As a general note, when you come to Canada as a ‘visitor’, you will be given visitor status for a six month period. If your visitor status expires but you have already applied for an extension and are waiting for your renewal, you have what is called implied status, until a final decision is made on your extension application. If your application for an extension is refused, you can apply for restoration of status, so long as your application is made within 90 days of the refusal date.

Some people do not require a visa to visit Canada, such as citizens of:

Andorra
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Barbados
Belgium
Brunei
Chile
Croatia
Cyprus
Czechia
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of
Korea, Republic of
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Mexico
Monaco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Papua New Guinea
Poland
Portugal
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Samoa
San Marino
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan, Province of China
United Kingdom
United States of America **
Vanuatu
Vatican City State
Zimbabwe

*If you are a British citizen or British Overseas Citizen who is re-admissible to the United Kingdom; a Citizen of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands you then do not need a visitor visa to travel to Canada.

**If you are someone who has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence and in possession of your alien registration card (USA Green Card), or can provide other evidence of permanent residence, you do not need a visitor visa to travel to Canada, either.

***If you are a Turkish citizen traveling on a diplomatic passport; or a person holding a passport or travel documents issued by the Holy See, you too do not need a TRV to travel to Canada.

Pretty much everyone else who was not mentioned as being exempt will need a TRV to travel to Canada, such as citizens of: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia-Hercegovina, Brazil, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina-Faso, Burundi, Cambodia Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, (The), Democratic Republic of Congo, (The), Cuba, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea,Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, (only Israeli citizens holding valid Israeli orange “Travel Document in Lieu of National Passport”) Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, (former Yugoslav Republic of) Malagasy Republic, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, (Burma) Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pacific, Islands, U.S. Trust Territory Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome e Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovak Republic, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St., Lucia, St. Vincent, Sudan, Surinam, Swaziland, Syria, Tadjikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia,

No one can make any guarantees of how long it will take the Canadian government to process your TRV applications, but we recommend to apply at least 2 months in advance of your planned departure from Canada in order to avoid disappointment. It can be done faster with guidance of professional immigration help. One or more of the following factors could delay the processing of your application:

  • incomplete applications
  • medical exam required
  • background or security checks required
  • criminal record
  • interview required
  • verification of documents needed

How to Extend a Canadian Visitor Visa

If you’re currently in Canada and want to stay longer than your visa’s expiration date, you could file for an extension. In order to apply for an extension, you will need to fill out an IMM 5708 Form.

If your application to extend your stay in Canada is approved, you will receive a visitor record.

A visitor record:

  • is a document that says how long you can stay in Canada
  • includes an expiry date
    • that’s the date that you must leave Canada by

A visitor record does not guarantee entry to Canada. If you plan to travel outside Canada or the United States, you need a valid entry document to return to Canada.

 

What is the IMM 5708 Form?

Form IMM 5708, Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Visitor or Temporary Resident Permit Holder, is the form used by temporary residents to modify some conditions of their residency in Canada.

This form can be used to extend your temporary resident permit as many times as you like, provided you can show that your stay remains temporary.

This form does not affect one’s status as a student or as a temporary worker in Canada. To extend the student or work permits, applicants should use a different application.

What are the Requirements to Extend a Canada Visitor Visa?

  • You need to be currently in Canada
  • You need to hold a current passport that will stay valid for the duration of your stay
  • You will need to pay the associated fee for Form IMM 5708
  • You will need to ensure that any other permits that you hold (Study or work) will stay valid and not interfere with your visitor permit.

Other Important Temporary Resident Visa Information

In order to qualify for a Temporary Resident Visa, individuals must show the officer that they meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, and that they will be in Canada for a temporary stay.

Individuals must also:

  • Satisfy an officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their stay
  • Show that they have enough money to maintain themselves and their family members in Canada and to return home
  • Not intend to work or study in Canada (unless authorized to do so)
  • Have no record of criminal activity
  • Not be a risk to the security of Canada
  • Be in good health (complete a medical examination if required)

Why Seeking Professional Immigration Help is Important

While the procedures for applying for a Canadian Visitor Visa may seem uncomplicated, some applicants apply without seeking any help from an immigration lawyer, thinking that they can ‘do it themselves’. For TRV applications, there is actually a higher risk of refusal in cases where the application is not properly prepared. The standards are very high. We find that the number one reason why applications are denied is due to forms not being correctly filled out. It is a shame when someone can not fulfill their dreams because of one missed ‘dotted i’ or ‘crossed t’. You can increase your chances at getting an approval on your TRV applications with the assistance of professional immigration professionals.

Why Hire Us to Help You With Your TRV Applications

Many of our clients are happy to relieve themselves of the headaches of preparing paperwork and having to deal with government red tape by outsourcing this work to our professional team of immigration professionals. It is extremely satisfying to see our clients enter Canada with a Canadian Visitor Visa to see their family and friends or to travel through Canada’s wonderful landscape without all the hassles of filing tons of complicated paperwork. We have literally helped thousands and thousands of people successfully visit Canada, and even though no one can promise any guarantees, we are certain we can help you increase your chances with our extensive experience.