A visitor visa (also called a temporary resident visa) is an official document that shows that you meet the requirements needed to enter Canada.
Duration of the visa
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.
You must meet some basic requirements to get a visitor visa. You must:
- have a valid travel document, like a passport
- be in good health
- have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
- convince an immigration officer that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets, or family—that will take you back to your home country
- convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
- have enough money for your stay (depends on how long you will stay in Canada, and where)
- You may also need a medical exam and a letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada.
Applicants can apply online, as paper applications are not being accepted at this time.
Types of visitor visa
There are two types of Canadian visitor visas: single entry visas and multiple entry visas. A single entry visa allows foreign nationals to enter Canada for one-time only. A multiple entry visa allows holders to enter and leave Canada as often as they want as long as the visa is valid.
The Canadian Work Permit Visa allows business people, permanent workers, temporary workers, students, and others to work in Canada.
Types of work permits
Employer-specific work permit
An employer-specific work permit lets you work in Canada according to the conditions on your work permit, such as:
- the name of the specific employer you can work for
- how long you can work
- the location where you can work (if applicable)
An open work permit lets you work for any employer in Canada, except for one that:
- is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions or
- regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages
Eligibility requirements for all applicants
In case you are applying from outside Canada, you must:
- prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires;
- show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home;
- obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (we may ask you to give us a police clearance certificate);
- not be a danger to Canada’s security;
- be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed;
- not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions;
- not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and
- give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.
In case you are applying from inside Canada:
You can only apply for a work permit from inside Canada if
- you have a valid study or work permit;
- your spouse, common-law partner or parents have a valid study or work permit;
- you’re eligible for a post-graduation work permit and your study permit is still valid;
- you have a temporary resident permit that is valid for six months or more;
- you’re waiting on a decision on an application for permanent residence from inside Canada;
- you made a claim for refugee protection;
- you’ve been recognized as a convention refugee or protected person by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada;
- you’re allowed to work in Canada without a work permit but you need a work permit to work in a different job (this does not apply to business visitors).
Post-graduation work permit
You may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) if you graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) and want to stay in Canada temporarily to work.
The study permit is a document we issue that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada.
How long can you stay in Canada with a study permit?
A study permit is usually valid for the length of your study program, plus an extra 90 days. The 90 days let you prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend your stay.
You can study in Canada if you
- are enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI)
- If you’re coming from outside Canada to study as an international student, your DLI must be on the list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.
- prove you have enough money to pay for
- your tuition fees
- living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and
- return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
- obey the law, have no criminal record and get a police certificate (if required)
- are in good health and get a medical exam (if required) and
- prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires
While studying in Canada you must:
- make progress towards completing your program
- respect any conditions listed on your study permit and
- stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements
Depending on your case, there may be conditions on your study permit such as:
- if you’re allowed to work in Canada
- if you’re allowed to travel within Canada
- the specific date you must leave Canada
- where you can study (a specific DLI listed on your permit) and
- You can’t study at a DLI other than the one listed on your permit.
- whether you need an immigration medical examination.
You need these documents to apply for a study permit:
- proof of acceptance
- proof of identity, and
- proof of financial support
You may also need
- a letter of explanation
- a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ)
- a custodian declaration (minors only), or
- other documents