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Canada's Temporary Visas

Updated: December 13th, 2022

Canada is a hugely popular destination for work, tourists and immigrants. Its beautiful landscapes, thriving cities, friendly culture, abundant work opportunities and liberal government make Canada an ideal place to visit, work and settle. With over 100 visa and immigration programs offered, there are various ways someone could go to Canada.

While some of these are permanent residency routes that allow foreigners to settle in Canada permanently and access benefits and social support (like the Express Entry system or a Provincial Nominee Program), others allow you to live, work, tour and study in Canada on a more temporary basis.

There are so many amazing aspects of Canada to experience, even if it's only temporary. Various Canadian temporary residence visas offer foreigners the same benefits and rights as permanent residents. For example, a work permit will grant you the freedom to work and a study permit to participate in post-secondary education.

Temporary residence visas allow you to explore Canada and see what the country is like before committing entirely to immigration. Additionally, your chances of being able to immigrate via immigration programs like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) are higher when you've been living and working or studying in Canada for a prolonged period.

There are numerous ways to get a temporary visa for Canada, depending on how long you plan to stay, the purposes of your visit, your country of origin and your links to Canada. To help find the right way for you, here are three ways to get a temporary resident permit in Canada.

Visit Canada

Visit Canada

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada welcomed 18.8 million international arrivals in 2021, according to Statistics Canada. Canada is the world's second-largest country in terms of total area. Its ten provinces and three territories span from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. With so much to see and explore in Canada, it's no surprise that many tourists flock to the Great White North every year.

You can visit Canada in several ways, depending on your country of origin. Usually, you can apply for a Visitor's Visa from your home country by applying online or in person, via a visa office.

When you successfully apply for one, the border authorities will stamp your passport with a Visitor Visa, also known as a Temporary Resident Permit in Canada. It demonstrates that you can enter Canada at a Port of entry (POE), such as an airport, harbour or border crossing.

Most travellers to Canada are permitted to live in Canada for six months. However, the border services officer at the POE may let you stay for less than or more than six months, depending on your situation. If so, they will record the deadline for your departure in your passport.

They may also provide you with a visiting record, which will include the time you must depart, along with other information, such as the condition of your stay. Generally, you cannot work or study on a visitor's visa. Still, you may conduct research for a future business venture and apply for a more extended stay through one of the business visitor visa streams.

Suppose you do not require a visitor's visa. In that case, you may still need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Most visitors to Canada either require a visa or an eTA. Some may require a current passport. Determine what's best for you by responding to a few questions:

  1. What type of travel document do you have?
  2. What is the country code of the passport you intend to use?
  3. What is your country of origin?
  4. Are you a dual Canadian citizen?
  5. If you are a lawful permanent resident or citizen of the US, do you have official proof of this status, such as a green card?
  6. What do you plan to do in Canada?
  7. What is your method of travel (air, ocean or road)?

The answers will determine whether you need a visitor's visa or eTA. The cost of a visitor's visa in Canada is around 100CAD, and an ETA costs around 7CAD

If just visiting Canada is not enough, and six months is too short, you must apply for a more extended temporary residence permit. This allows you to work or study in Canada if that is your purpose.

Types of Visitor Visa

There are two types of Temporary Resident Visas: a single-entry visa and a multiple-entry visa. Each visa is specifically designed for different purposes. Temporary Resident Visas are valid for a fixed period, whether single-entry or multiple-entry visas. You cannot use a visa after its expiry date.

Single Entry Temporary Visas

A single-entry visa allows you to enter Canada once.

When you arrive at the point of entry in Canada, an Canada Border Services Agency officer will ensure you meet the requirements to enter Canada. Then, the officer will authorize your stay by placing a stamp on your passport, issuing an additional document, or both.

If there is no stamp, handwritten date or document in your passport, your temporary resident status will expire six months from when you arrived in Canada. The expiry date is marked on the document if you were given a visitor record, student, or work permit.

If you leave Canada during your authorized stay, you must get a new visitor visa to re-enter Canada. However, you can visit the United States or Saint-Pierre et Miquelon and return to Canada without getting a new visa as long as you:

Return within the initial period authorized by the immigration officer, or Have a valid visitor record, work permit, study permit, or temporary resident permit (authorizing re-entry) and return within the initial period authorized by the officer.

Multiple-Entry Temporary Visas

A multiple-entry visa allows you to enter Canada several times while your visa is valid.

A multiple-entry visa is valid for a maximum of ten years or one month before the expiry date on the passport or re-entry visa, whichever is earlier.

If a multiple-entry visa is approved, it will allow you to enter and leave Canada repeatedly during the visa's validity period. You must arrive in Canada on or before the expiry date of your visa. You cannot get a multiple entry visa for a period that ends after the expiry date of your passport. If your passport expires soon, you should renew it before you apply for your visa.

If you want to visit several other countries or return to your own country before returning to Canada, you will need a multiple-entry visa. A multiple-entry visa is also recommended if you plan to visit Canada frequently.

If you want to determine which visa you need and whether or not you're eligible for one, it's often best to utilize the expertise and experience of a professional immigration consultant. Our team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) take the stress and guesswork out of your visa application, whether you're looking to just have a holiday in Canada or want to become a permanent resident.

Study In Canada

Study in Canada

Education in Canada is some of the highest ranked in the world. Canada's tertiary education, in particular, is very highly regarded with 32 Canadian universities on the Times Higher Education Best Universities in the World list. As a result, it's no surprise that thousands of international students flock to Canada every year to take part in the amazing experience Canada's universities provide. However, to be allowed to study in Canada, you must have a Canadian study permit.

You can study in Canada as an international student if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
  • You can demonstrate that you have the financial means to cover your tuition, living expenses, return transportation, and any family you bring to Canada.
  • You must also abide by the law, have a clean criminal record, and obtain a police certificate.
  • Show you are in excellent health; obtain a medical examination.
  • You must demonstrate to a representative that you will leave Canada when your study visa expires.

As a study permit holder, you will stay in Canada for the time that correlates with your course and work up to 40 hours per week while you study.

You also have the option of renewing your study permit and applying for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) after graduation to remain in Canada temporarily.

Work In Canada

Work in Canada

You can work in Canada by applying for a work permit. This allows you to live in Canada temporarily. There are two types of work permits: open and employer-specific.

Open work permits allow you to work anywhere in Canada and for any employer within the legal limitations set by federal law.

An employer-specific work permit is limited to who you can work for and where you can work. The latter generally requires a valid work contract. A work visa may last you one or two years, depending on your contract length.

Work permits are relatively easy to acquire. However, you need a valid work contract or job offer in Canada to be eligible. To help you get your job in Canada, here's a handy breakdown of the Canadian job application process.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program was established for Canadian employers to fill labour gaps not filled by Canadian citizens or permanent residents. A positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is often required to hire a foreigner to work in Canada. Temporary foreign workers are often employed as academics, in agriculture or as caregivers.

Hundreds of programs allow temporary foreign workers to reside in Canada and make a living. With adequate work experience, temporary workers can apply for permanent residency and stay on a more prolonged basis.

An International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday Visa

A Working Holiday Visa allows citizens or permanent residents of 35 partnering countries to live and work in Canada temporarily. This means you can travel to all four corners of Canada, experiencing everything Canadian life has to offer and work while you travel.

The Working Holiday Visa is the perfect way to explore a country while supporting yourself. Generally speaking, you'll be granted an open work permit to work anywhere in Canada as you travel around.

However, the length of your temporary stay depends entirely on your country of origin. Some visas last up to two years, while others; as little as six months. This will be determined at the POE when you first enter Canada.


Can I Renew My Visitor Visa to Canada?

In most cases, you can apply online to renew or extend your visitor's visa and get a visitor's record. Your visitor status in Canada and the duration of your stay are specified in a visitor record. However, it doesn't ensure you can leave Canada and return. You must adhere to Canada's Entry rules if you intend to travel outside.

Why Should I Apply Online?

There are various benefits to applying online for a visitor's visa:

  • You get your application immediately, with no courier fees or mail delivery delays.
  • The processing of your application might go more rapidly.
  • It assists you in ensuring that your application is finished before submitting it.
  • You can quickly submit more documents online.
  • You can use your online account to receive information on the status of your application.

Can I Stay After My Temporary Resident Permit in Canada Expires?

Once your visitor's visa expires, you will be out of status and must leave the country. However, if you applied to renew your visa or change your stay condition by applying to work or study in Canada, you may remain in the country while you await the results of your application.

Come to Canada

Canada's Temporary Visas

If you're interested in Canada and want to travel, study, work or just get your first taste of Canadian life, the Canadian government has created plenty of pathways to ensure you can do what you need to do in Canada.

There are various ways to get a visa to Canada that will allow you to stay for a short period. To get assistance with your application process, contact an RCIC for advice. RCICs can help evaluate you to ensure you're eligible for your visa program, fill out your application forms, help you with letters of motivation, help you put together the necessary documentation for your visa program and provide you with any advice and guidance you may need during your application process.

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