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Visit visa (TRV)

Find out what document you need to travel, visit family and friends, do business, or transit through Canada, and how to extend your stay.

Most people need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization to travel to Canada – not both. Some people may only need their valid passport.

About the document

A visitor visa (also called a 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
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