Temporary Visas Overview
Every year, Canada receives around 35 million temporary residents. Individuals travelling to Canada for the intention of visiting, learning, or working may need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) unless they are Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents.
Non-immigrant Visas are divided into the following categories:
You can enter Canada as a visitor or tourist with a visitor visa. As a guest, you can usually stay in Canada for up to 6 months.
A study permit enables a foreign individual to study in Canada at a certain educational institution and program.
A work permit allows a foreign citizen with a job offer from a Canadian company to work in the country for a certain time.
A super visa permits Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents’ parents or grandparents to stay in Canada for up to 24 months without having to renew their status.
Canada Visit/Tourist Visa
A visitor is someone who want to come to Canada for the purpose of working, studying, or visiting. A visitor is not a citizen or permanent resident of Canada. Unless exempted, all visitors must obtain a visa prior to arrival. When arriving at a port of entry, all travelers who require a visa must have it with them.
The necessity of having Electronic Travel Authorization
Before boarding a flight, all air travelers from visa-exempt nations must get an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This includes those passing through Canada on their way somewhere else. It only applies to passengers arriving by plane.
Applying for a visit visa to Canada
Submit your application for a visit visa to the Canadian visa office responsible for your nation or region.
You may be required to attend an interview with a visa officer who will check the following:
- Your motivations for travelling to Canada.
- When the visa expires, you must be able to or willing to depart Canada.
- Your total eligibility for entry into Canada.
You have been granted a visit visa and are welcome to visit Canada. An immigration official will question the applicant at the port of entry to ensure admissibility.
A visiting visa can be used for a single or many entries. Single-entry visas can be given up to six months in advance of the intended travel date. Multiple entrance visitor visas have a maximum validity of ten (10) years or one month before the passport/re-entry visa expires, whichever comes first. A person requesting entry as a guest will usually be granted entry for a duration of six months by POE officers.
It is not banned for a foreign individual who already has an immigrant visa to apply for a temporary residence visa.
Nations that need a visa to visit or transit through Canada
Visas are required for citizens of the following countries and territories to VISIT or TRANSIT Canada:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Brazil (note: some Brazilian citizens may be eligible for an eTA)
- Burkina Faso
- Cameroon, Republic of
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- China, People’s Republic of
- Congo, Democratic Republic of
- Congo, Republic of
- Costa Rica, Republic of
- Dominican Republic
- East Timor
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- Israel (only Israeli citizens holding valid Israeli “Travel Document in lieu of National Passport)
- Ivory Coast
- Korea, North
- Macao S.A.R.
- Maldives Islands
- Marshall Islands
- Micronesia, Fed. States
- Myanmar (Burma)
- Palestinian Authority
- Romania (holder of a non-electronic passport, such as a temporary passport)
- St. Lucia
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines (St. Vincent)
- Sao Tomé e Principe
- Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- Taiwan (except holders of the ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes their personal identification number)
- Trinidad and Tobago
Who needs to give biometrics in order to enter Canada?
Fingerprints and a photo will be required of anyone applying for a visit visa, work permit, study permit, or permanent residence.
From December 31, 2018, applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific, and the Americas will be asked to give biometrics.
Who is exempt from giving biometrics?
- Citizens of Canada, permanent residents of Canada and citizenship applicants.
- Travelers with an Electronic Travel Authorization from visa-exempt countries (eTA).
- Citizens of the United States having a work or study permit.
- Anyone under the age of 14 or above the age of 79.
- On an official journey, heads of state, cabinet members, and those with diplomatic status.
- Those who are travelling through Canada with a US visa.
For all temporary residence candidates who are citizens of one of the countries or territories listed below, biometric screening is already required.
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Saudi Arabia
- South Sudan
- Burma (Myanmar)
- Sri Lanka
- Palestinian Authority
Which nations are exempt from the need for a visa to enter Canada?
- British Virgin Islands
- British Subjects
- Brunei Darussalam
- Cayman Islands
- Czech Republic
- Falkland Islands
- Holy see
- Hong Kong
- Korea (Republic of)
- Latvia (Republic of)
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Romania (electronic passport holders only)
- St. Helena
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- San Marino
- Solomon Islands
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom: British citizens and British overseas citizens (Re-admissible to the UK)
- United States citizens and permanent residents (with evidence of permanent residence)
Other exceptions include:
Citizens of British dependent territories:
Citizens 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, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, or Turks and Caicos Islands do not require a visa to visit or transit in Canada.
If you carry a British National (Overseas) passport issued by the United Kingdom to those born, naturalized, or registered in Hong Kong, you do not need a visa to visit or transit Canada.
If you have a British passport issued by the United Kingdom with the observation that the holder has the right of abode in the United Kingdom, you do not need a visa to visit or transit Canada.
If you have a valid and current Special Administrative Region passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, you do not need a visa to visit or transit through Canada.
If you have a passport or travel document issued by the Holy See, you do not need a visa to visit or transit Canada.
If you have an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes your personal identification number, you do not need a visa to visit or transit Canada.
If you have a national Israeli passport, you do not require a visa to visit or transit Canada.
If you have an electronic passport, you do not require a visa to visit or transit Canada.
Study in Canada
Every year, Canada welcomes more than 350,000 international students. Most foreign citizens must apply for a study permit if they plan to attend a Canadian educational institution. Once awarded, a study permit allows a foreign national to study in Canada for the duration of the specified course or program in an approved institute.
A study permit is not required to attend school in Canada:
- If the course or program you want to enroll in is fewer than six months long.
- If you are a member of a foreign representative’s family or staff in Canada.
- If you are a member of an armed force from another country.
To study in Canada, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have received acceptance from a Canadian school, college, university, or other educational institution.
- You must demonstrate that you have the funds to cover your tuition fees, living expenses for yourself and any family members accompanying you to Canada
- You must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record who poses no threat to Canada’s security. It’s possible that you’ll be asked to provide a police certificate.
- You must be in good health and willing to undergo any necessary medical tests.
- You must convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada when your visa expires.
If the student is from a country where Temporary Resident Visas are required for admission into Canada, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) may be required. Citizens of visa-exempt nations are not required to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa.
Working as a Student in Canada
While you are a student in Canada, you may work through any of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) working programs for students.
In addition, foreign students’ spouses or common-law partners are entitled for a work permit for the same period as the study permit.
A foreign student may apply for a work permit through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program after graduation. The work permit may be issued for the duration of the study program, up to a maximum of three years, under this program.
Any employment experience gained in Canada without a valid work permit will be disregarded. Periods of self-employment or work experience earned while the candidate was enrolled in a full-time education program will not be considered.
Working in Canada with a Canadian Work Permit
A work permit is normally required for foreign people who intend to work in Canada on a temporary basis. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP) are two of the most common programs for obtaining work permits (IMP). Candidates whose employers receive a good Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) are eligible for TFWP work permits.
A positive LMIA confirms that a foreign worker is required to fill the position that no Canadian worker is available. A positive LMIA is not required for IMP work permits. They do ask that the employer submit a job offer through their employer site.
Employer-specific work permits and open work permits are the two categories of work licenses issued in Canada.
Employer-Specific Work Permit
The following are some of the conditions of an employer-specific work permit:
- Employer’s name,
- What is the maximum amount of time an applicant can work?
- The place where a candidate works.
Before applying for an employer-specific work permit, candidates must have a positive (LMIA) or a job offer from their company.
Open Work Permit
An open work permit permits you to work for any employer in Canada, but it’s only given out in certain situations.
Temporary Foreign Workers
The TFWP is designed to assist Canadian firms in recruiting foreign employees in times of labor shortage.
High-skilled workers, low-skilled workers, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, and the Live-In Caregiver Program are the four streams of the TFWP.
Under the TFWP, foreign employees must obtain a job offer and a work permit before arriving in Canada. IRCC collaborates with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) under the LMIA to guarantee that foreign workers do not take employment that are available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Parents and Grandparents Super Visa
Parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who want to visit their close family can apply for Super Visas, which are extended visitors’ visas.
The multiple entry Super Visa has a maximum validity of ten years, or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever comes first. Super Visa holders can stay in Canada for up to two years during that time. An ordinary visitor visa, on the other hand, is usually valid only for six months.
The Super Visa program can be advantageous even for people who are nationals of visa-exempt nations.
People from visa-exempt nations are usually allowed to visit Canada for six months without needing to obtain a visitor visa. A parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is a national of a visa-exempt country can apply for a Letter of Introduction from outside of Canada and present it to a border officer when they arrive in Canada under the Super Visa program. When a Letter of Introduction is applied, a Canadian border official will usually allow the person to enter Canada for two years.
This visa must be applied at a visa office outside of Canada.
To begin, the applicant must meet the requirements for a standard visitor visa. This means that, in addition to being in good health and possessing a valid travel document, the applicant must demonstrate to a Canadian immigration official that they will voluntarily leave the country at the end of their authorized stay, that they have satisfying ties to their home country, such as a job, family, or property, and that they have enough amount of money to support them for the duration of their stay.
In addition, the individual applicant must meet the following requirements:
- They must demonstrate that they are the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- Obtain medical insurance from a Canadian insurance carrier with a minimum coverage of $100,000 for health treatment, hospitalization, and repatriation that is valid for at least one year.
- A medical examination is required.
The applicant’s family members in Canada have to:
- Demonstrate that they are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
- A letter of invitation should be sent to the applicant. This is a letter that includes details on the applicant’s upcoming visit, as well as the occupation and economic situation of the child or grandchild in Canada. Most essential, this letter must include a written and signed commitment of financial support for the applicant during their stay.
- Demonstrate that their income is more than a set minimum.
It’s worth noting that holders of a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa have the same rights and limits as regular tourist visa holders, which means they can’t work or study in Canada.
It’s also worth noting that a Super Visa can be obtained even if a permanent residency application is still ongoing.
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