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