Visitor Visa

What’s a Visitor Visa

A visitor visa also known as a TRV  (temporary resident visa) allows an applicant to enter Canada at the port of entry (airport, border)

The document gives you the ability to travel to a Canadian port of entry and to be examined for entry to Canada.  Having a visa does not guarantee the right to enter, as a Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) agent retains the ability to refuse entry to people who are inadmissible. Because it authorizes entry into Canada, it is sometimes referred to as an entry visa or visitor visa.

To get a Visitor Visa you have to satisfy the immigration officer that you that you will return home after your visit. This is IRCC’s main concern especially if the applicant is from developing country.

Types of Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

There are two types of Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs) you could get:

  1. A single-entry visa: allows you to enter Canada only once during its validity. When you leave Canada, excluding travel to the United States and St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will need to obtain a new TRV to re-enter Canada.
  2. A multiple-entry visa: allows you to re-enter Canada repeatedly during its validity. You must arrive in Canada on or before the expiry of your TRV.

More information regarding types of TRVs. Not everyone needs a TRV to enter Canada. This visa requirement depends on your country of citizenship

How to Improve Your Application

There are several ways to satisfy an officer that you are a genuine visitor.

The first way will be to show that you’re an established applicant in your home country. This includes your employment stability, assets, proof of funds, associations, family ties, and any other strong ties to your home country. Applicants must also specify why they want to visit Canada. Whether it’s a family event, work-related or purely tourism.

How long can you stay

Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada.

At the port of entry, the border services officer may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months. If so, they’ll put the date you need to leave by in your passport. They might also give you a document, called a visitor record, which will show the date you need to leave by.

If you don’t get a stamp in your passport, you can stay for 6 months from the day you entered Canada or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was I issued a single entry visa instead of a multiple entry visa?

All applicants who are eligible for a multiple entry visa will be issued one. However, not all applicants will be eligible for a multiple entry visa. This remains at the discretion of a visa officer. A single entry visa may be issued in cases where, for example:

  • An applicant is eligible for a fee-exemption and where the purpose of entry to Canada is limited (e.g., for an official visit by a foreign national);
  • An applicant is participating in a one-time special event in Canada (e.g., Pan-American Games); and/or
  • Country-specific procedures or guidelines are in place and approved by IRCC.

Difference between MULTIPLE ENTRY vs SINGLE ENTRY visa

There are two types of TRVs: a single-entry visa and a multiple-entry visa. A single-entry visa allows a person to enter Canada once. A multiple-entry visa allows individuals to enter Canada several times during the period while their visa is valid.

If a multiple-entry visa is approved, it allows people to enter and leave Canada repeatedly during the validity period of the visa. It is not possible to get a multiple-entry visa for a period that ends after the expiry date of an individual’s passport.

How do I get help if my visa application is refused?

There is no formal appeal process if your application for a temporary resident visa is refused. Should you wish to re-apply, you should do so only if your situation has changed substantively or you have significant new information to submit.

I am in Canada on a temporary resident visa. I plan to take a cruise. Do I need a new visa to come back to Canada?

If you are on a cruise ship that departs from Canada or the continental United States and enters international waters and you are not in possession of a valid multiple-entry visa, you will need to obtain a new temporary resident visa in order to re-enter Canada.

How do I help a family member or friend apply to visit Canada?

Anyone who plans to visit Canada must apply from outside of Canada before they travel.

What your friend or family member needs depends on:

  • the type of travel document they will travel with;
  • the country that issued their travel document;
  • their nationality; and
  • how they will travel to Canada.

Before applyingfind out what document(s) they need.

If they need a visitor visa, you may provide your family member or friend with a letter of invitation in support of their visa application. A letter of invitation can help, but it does not guarantee the person will get a visa.

Who can I hire to help me with my application for a temporary resident visa?

You can hire a representative or an agent to help with your application. The representative or agent must be either:

  • a lawyer or paralegal who is a member in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society, or
  • a notary who is a member in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec, or
  • an immigration consultant who is a member in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council

Find out more about who can represent you.

Due to privacy laws, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada cannot discuss your application with someone else without your written permission. If you want a representative or an agent to help you, you must fill out two forms:

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