How can apply for Canada Temporary Resident Visa /Visitor Visa
Canada visitor visa (also called Canada temporary resident visa) is an official document that we stick in your passport. It shows that you meet the requirements needed to enter Canada.
Most travellers need a visitor visa to travel to Canada. You may also need one if you’re transiting through a Canadian airport on your way to your final destination.
You can apply for a visitor visa online or on paper.
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.
Make sure you need a visitor visa before you apply
You may need a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization. The entry document you need depends on:
- the type of travel document you plan to travel with
- the country that issued your travel document
- your nationality
- your method of travel to Canada for this trip
After you apply
On this page
- Your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)
- Processing your visitor visa application
- Before you travel to Canada – Documents you need
- Your arrival in Canada
- When you enter Canada
This is what will happen after you apply for a visitor visa:
Your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)
Normally, you need to give biometrics. If your local visa application centre is not open due to COVID-19, there are temporary measures in place for biometrics.
Processing your visitor visa application
COVID-19 – Impact on processing
Canada Immigration prioritizing applications from people who are exempt from COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Will check your application to make sure you have all the documents you need.
If it’s incomplete, we’ll return your application without processing it.
They may also ask you to
- go to an interview with our officials in your country
- send more information
- get a medical exam
- get a police certificate
Will tell you what to do if you need to do any of these.
We process most applications in a few weeks or less. Processing times depend on the visa office and if you need to do any extra steps (listed above).
We’ll return your passport and other original documents to you after we process your application. We won’t return original bank statements or any documents we find to be fake.
If we approve your application
If you applied online
If you applied on paper
If refuse your application
If you applied online
If you applied on paper
Before you travel to Canada – Documents you need
Mandatory quarantine, COVID-19 testing and other requirements
Before you travel to Canada, make sure you know the rules and what you need to do before and after you arrive:
Submit your information to the ArriveCAN app
You must use ArriveCAN before checking in at the airport or crossing the border to submit your
- travel and contact information
- quarantine plan
- COVID-19 symptom self-assessment
Bring your ArriveCAN receipt (electronic or paper) with you to show the border services officer upon arrival.
Proof that you’re eligible to travel to Canada
You must bring evidence that you meet the eligibility requirements to travel at this time, such as
- a negative COVID-19 test result (taken within 72 hours of your departure)
- the evidence you provided in your visa application
- written authorization from IRCC (if you’re required to get it)
- written authorization from the Public Health Agency of Canada (if you’re travelling for compassionate reasons)
If you can’t provide this information, you won’t be allowed to board your flight to Canada or enter at a Canadian land port of entry.
Situations where you may need extra documents on arrival
If either of the following situations applies to you or someone you’ll travel with, have the documents indicated in hand.
You have a child under the age of 18 (a minor child)
In Canada, a child under the age of 18 is considered a minor.
You may need to show
- a letter that authorizes the minor child to travel to Canada, and
- other documents, such as adoption papers or a custody decree, depending on if the minor child travels alone or not
You were invited to come to Canada
If you got a letter from a person or company that invited you to Canada, bring that letter with you. A border services officer may ask to see it.
Your arrival in Canada
A valid visa and travel document don’t guarantee that you can enter Canada. You must also meet the current health requirements due to COVID-19.
We determine if you meet all entry requirements
When you arrive, we’ll check your identity to make sure that you’re the same person who was approved to travel to Canada. We’ll also ask to see your ArriveCAN receipt and quarantine plan.
- We’ll assess your health before you leave the port of entry. If you’re a foreign national and you have symptoms of COVID-19, you won’t be allowed to enter Canada.
- If you enter Canada at one of 4 major Canadian airports
- Your fingerprints will be checked automatically at a primary inspection kiosk.
- The system will check your identity against the information collected when your application was submitted.
- If you enter Canada at a land port of entry
- Your fingerprints may be checked if we refer you to a secondary inspection, where a border services officer will use a fingerprint verification device to check your fingerprints.
You enter Canada
If you pass the identity check, health assessment, and meet the entry requirements, the border services officer may stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. You’re normally allowed to stay in Canada for up to 6 months.
In some cases, the officer may limit or extend your time in Canada, depending on the purpose of your visit. Ask questions if you’re not sure about something.
You won’t be allowed into Canada if you give false or incomplete information. The officer must be convinced that
- you’re eligible for entry into Canada
- you’ll leave Canada at the end of your approved length of stay
If you’re using an immigration agent (consultant, lawyer or Quebec notary), they must be licensed to represent you or give advice.
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