Who are Visitors?
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.
What is a Canadian Visitor Visa?
A Canada visitor visa (also called temporary resident visa) is an official document, that shows that you meet the requirements needed to enter Canada.
Most travellers need a visitor visa to travel to Canada. You may also need a visitor visa, if you’re transiting through a Canadian airport, on your way to your final destination.
How Long You Can 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. If you need a stamp, you can ask a border services officer for one. If you arrive at an airport that uses primary inspection kiosks, ask the border officer after you finish at the kiosk.
What are the Requirements for a Visitor Visa in Canada?
You must convince the officer that you meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. You have to prove that you will be in Canada on a temporary stay.
- satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay,
- show that you have enough money to maintain yourself and your family members in Canada and to return home,
- not intend to work or study in Canada unless authorized to do so,
- be law abiding and have no record of criminal activity,
- not be a risk to the security of Canada,
- provide any additional document requested by the officer to establish your admissibility, and
- be in good health (complete a medical examination if required).
For a Visitor Visa or a Temporary Resident Visa, often referred to as TRV, 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 tours.
Documents that you will need for Canada Visitor Visa Application:
There are five major documents you are required to show when applying for a TRV. One must note that each immigration case is different and varies depending on your specific situation, but generally you should have the following documentation when applying for a ‘Temporary Resident Visa’ in Canada:
- Proof of your ties to your home country
- Proof of funds for your visit to Canada
- ID such as a passport or county resident card
- A letter of invitation from the person inviting you to come to Canada
- Proof that you will be staying in Canada only on a temporary basis
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.
How to Extend Visitor Visa in Canada?
If you want to extend your stay in Canada, you should apply at least 30 days before your temporary resident status expires.
When you first come to Canada as a visitor, you use one of these documents to enter:
- a visitor visa (also called a temporary resident visa)
- an electronic travel authorization (eTA)
- a valid passport or travel document
If you want to extend your stay in Canada as a visitor, you need to apply for a visitor record. A visitor record is not a visa.
A visitor record
- is a document that gives you status as a visitor in Canada and allows you to stay longer.
- includes a new expiry date
- that’s the new date that you must leave Canada by.