Temporary Resident Visa
The visitor class includes travelers, tourists, and family members of Canadians who desire to come to Canada for brief periods of time. Most foreign nationals require a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to travel to Canada. In some cases, foreign nationals may only need a valid passport. A temporary resident visa is an official document issued by an officer from a Canadian visa office or a regional processing center, such as a Canadian consulate, embassy, or high commission outside Canada that processes immigration applications.
A foreign national must show to the satisfaction of the officer that she/he or they will comply with all the restrictions imposed by the visitor visa. In general, a visa may be issued only if an examination establishes that the foreign national:
- Used the appropriate application documents required for the temporary resident class;
- Applied to the appropriate office;
- Will leave Canada by the end of the authorized period of stay;
- Paid the processing fees;
- Holds a passport or similar document that may be used to enter the country that issued it, or another country;
- Meets the medical examination requirements or an exception;
- Meets the requirements applicable to the temporary resident class; and
- is admissible to enter Canada.
Types of Visitor visas
Single-Entry Visa. A single-entry visa allows a foreign national to enter Canada only once, usually for not longer than six months.
Multiple-Entry Visa. A multiple entry visa allows a foreign national to enter Canada from another country multiple times during the validity of the visa. The maximum validity period that a multiple-entry visa can be issued is matched to the maximum validity for the length of the passport, up to ten years, minus one month.
Transit Visa. A transit visa is for travel through Canada to another country. The foreign national must be able to show travel tickets and is authorized to remain in Canada for up to 48 hours.
Super Visa. Foreign nationals who are the parents or grandparents of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can apply for a Parent and Grandparent Super Visa. The Super Visa is generally issued for a ten-year period, allows for multiple entries, and permits the foreign national to remain in Canada for up to two years at a time.
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
In general, foreign nationals who are visa-exempt are required to obtain an eTA if they desire to fly or transit through Canada. An eTA must be obtained by each member of a party flying into Canada regardless of age or dependency. However, an eTA is not required by foreign nationals traveling into Canada by way of boat or car.
To apply for an eTA, you must do so online. The online application process requires a foreign national to have a valid passport, credit card, and email address. The foreign national needs to complete the online form, and generally may be approved within minutes. If further processing is required, the foreign national will receive an email outlining the additional steps to be taken.
Extending your stay in Canada
If you want to extend your stay in Canada, you must apply to do so. Check your temporary resident status to make sure you apply before the expiry date. You should apply 30 days before your status expires to extend your visitor status.
If you apply to extend your permit, and your visitor visa expires while you are waiting for a decision, you still have temporary resident (visitor) status. This is known as implied status.