A visitor visa (also called a temporary resident visa) is an official document that Canadian Goverement 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:
1. The type of travel document you plan to travel with
- alien’s passport for stateless persons
- permit to re-enter the U.S. (I-327)
- U.S. refugee travel document (I-571)
- other refugee travel document for non-citizens
2. The country that issued your travel document
3. Your nationality
- A dual Canadian citizen OR
- Lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and have an alien registration card (Green Card)
4. Reason to travel to Canada
- Visiting as a tourist, visiting family or visiting friends
- Attending a business meeting, conference or trade show
- Transiting through Canada
5. Your method of travel to Canada for this trip
Find out if you need a visitor visa >>
If you wish to work in Canada – How about your work permit?
- applying work permit for first
- Already have first work permit
- Extended or plan to extend work permit
- Are you eligible to work
Find out if you’re eligible for a work permit >>
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. Use the checklist that applies to you:
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