Temporary Resident Visa Canada: How to Apply for a TRV, 2024

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) Canada: How to Apply, 2024

temporary resident visa canada
Tons of people travel to Canada temporarily year after year. Some come to study, work, or just to visit and enjoy Canada’s incredible amenities. These people are considered visitors and need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), Canada.
How do you apply for one successfully? You are about to find out!

A Canada Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) covers several categories of visas. This article will go through each of these visas and all you need to know about them. Read on!

What is a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)- Canada?

Let’s start with defining temporary residence. Temporary residence refers to a situation or status where people come to Canada to visit, study, or work. These people are coming to Canada for a temporary period, usually six months or less, so they are regarded as visitors. 

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for Canada is an official document that the visa office issues, which, when placed in an individual’s passport, show they are eligible to be admitted to Canada as a temporary resident. Having a TRV means you will only stay in Canada for a short period.

While you are in Canada, you will not be permitted to apply for Canadian citizenship, claim Canadian benefits like health insurance, or apply to obtain Canadian government documents. You will also not be allowed to work or study for a long period; you can only stay in Canada for the purpose you applied for. 

However, you can attend a study program with a six-month duration or less provided you specified it in your application. Working, on the other hand, is not permitted under any condition. 

Note that holding a TRV does not guarantee you entry to Canada. You have to prove that you intend to return to your home country and stay back in Canada.

Who Needs to Apply for a Temporary Resident Visa – Canada?

All foreign nationals who are neither Canadian permanent residents nor Canadian citizens need a visa to enter Canada unless they have a Canadian visa exemption. The majority of travelers will need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada. 

However, some countries will only need an Electronic Travel Authorization eTA or are completely exempt. So their citizens or residents can Canada enter freely with just their passports without requiring a visa.

Is there a Difference between a Study Permit and a TRV

A TRV grants you permission to enter Canada, while a study permit allows you to remain and study in Canada. Many study permits include the phrase “does not authorize re-entry,” which indicates that you’ll need additional documents, like an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a TRV, to enter Canada.

The final decision on whether to allow someone entry into Canada lies with the  Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Countries That Need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to Enter Canada

Certain countries have more freedom to move around worldwide than others, so they might not need a visa to enter Canada. Instead, they will require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Canada has developed this system electronically, and these applicants will enter their personal information, then the system will use their data to evaluate whether they can go to Canada.

If they fly to Canada, they will only need the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), but if they are entering by land or sea, they will not need an eTA to enter, just their passports. These countries are listed in the table below:

Barbados BahamasBelgium
British citizenBritish overseas citizensBritish National (Overseas)
BulgariaBrunei DarussalamBritish Subject who have a right of abode in the United Kingdom
Croatia ChileCzech Republic
GreeceHungary Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of ChinaHong Kong SAR passport must have a Hong Kong SAR passport.
IcelandIrelandIsrael (they must have an Israeli national passport)
MonacoNew ZealandNetherlands
NorwayPapua New GuineaPortugal
PolandRomania (electronic passport holders only)Samoa
San MarinoSingaporeSlovenia 
SlovakiaSpainSolomon Islands
SwedenSwitzerlandTaiwan(applicants must have an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that also includes the personal identification number)
Vatican City State(applicant must have a travel document or passport issued by the Vatican).United Arab Emirates 

Countries That Do Not Need a Visa nor an eTA to Enter Canada

There are instances where an applicant will neither need a visa nor an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. These groups of people are Canadian visa-exempt. They are:

1. People with a valid Canada visa from a former application.

2. People who have a valid status in Canada and left Canada to visit the United States or Miquelon and St. Pierre.

3. Foreign nationals who are coming from or going to the U.S. on a flight that has to stop in Canada to refuel, and who have:

  • Valid documents that allow them to gain entry into the United States;
  • Been admitted to the U.S lawfully.

4. French citizens living in Miquelon and Saint Pierre are flying to Canada from Saint Pierre and Miquelon directly.

5. Foreign nationals that are on a flight which has to make an unscheduled stop in Canada.

6. Foreigners transiting through a Canadian airport who are part of the China Transit Program or are allowed to transit without a visa.

7. Government of Canada accredited diplomats.

8. Members of the Armed Forces (except civilian components of the armed forces) of a country that is part of the Visiting Forces Act and are coming to Canada on official responsibilities. 

9. Flight crews, civil aviation inspectors, or accident investigators working in Canada will be working while they are in Canada.

  • Suppose you will be traveling between Canada and the United States and won’t be entering any other country. In that case, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations has a TRV exemption policy R190(3)(f) concerning re-entry into Canada. However, if you will be traveling by air, you should have a valid TRV.
  • Also, according to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation, Section 190-3f, if you have a valid study permit and you leave Canada to visit the United States, St. Pierre, and Miquelon, you will not require a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to re-enter Canada, as long as you re-enter Canada before your study permit expires.  

The Two Major Types of Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

There are two major types of a Temporary Resident Visa – Canada that you can get:

  1. A single-entry visa: With this visa, you can only enter Canada once throughout its validity. If you leave Canada (except you are traveling to the United States and St. Pierre and Miquelon), you will need to get a new TRV to return to Canada.
  1. A multiple-entry visa: This visa, on the other hand, allows you to re-enter Canada several times during its validity. However, you have to arrive in Canada on or before the expiry date.

When you apply for a Canada TRV, you do not have an option of selecting whether you are applying for a single-entry visa or a multiple-entry visa. The IRCC visa officer who reviews your TRV application will determine which one to issue you if your application is approved.

Types of Temporary Resident Visa – Canada: Based on the Purpose of Visit

Temporary Resident Visas can be separated into different categories by the purpose of visit. They are: 

  • Visitor Visa/Canada Tourist Visa – This visa allows you to go to Canada on a visit or tourism purposes.
  • Super Visa – This visa is given to parents or grandparents of Canadian Permanent Residents or Citizens to visit their children or grandchildren for a longer period, usually up to 2 years at a time.
  • Diplomatic and Official Visa – This is the visa given to diplomats or governmental officials of foreign countries that enables them to go to Canada on official responsibilities and duties.
  • Courtesy Visa – This is the visa given to individuals who have some ranks or importance but are not diplomats or governmental officials and can’t qualify for the Diplomatic and Official Visa.
  • Business Persons and Business Delegations Visa – This is the visa for businesspeople going to Canada to do business, attend workshops, meetings, trade shows, or conferences.
  • Facilitation Visa – The Canadian Consulate issues a facilitation visa to individuals who are Canadian Citizens with dual nationalities but do not have a Canadian passport. They issue this visa in the passport of their other nationality.
  • Persons wishing to enter Canada to give birth – This is the visa given to women going to Canada for birth tourism. That is, women who want to give birth to a baby in Canada so that the child can automatically become a Canadian citizen.
  • Dual Intent Visa – A dual intent visa is given to people who want to stay in Canada for a temporary period and intend to apply for a permanent visa and claim this in their applications.
  • Intending Organ Donors Visa – This is given to individuals who want to donate an organ to a Canadian Permanent Resident or Citizen.

When Should You Renew Your Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

You don’t need a Canadian visa to leave Canada, but you will need to renew your TRV if you intend to cross the Canadian border and enter Canada. 

If you have a multiple entry TRV, it will continue to be valid for all your entries into Canada till the visa expires. But if you have a single-entry TRV, it is only valid for one entry. The validity period of a Temporary Resident Visa does not usually exceed the validity of your passport or study permit (in the case of international students studying in Canada).

As an international student looking to renew your TRV, you will need to have a study permit that is valid for at least six months when you submit your TRV renewal application.

Therefore, follow this order when renewing your documents: 

  • First: Passport.
  • Second: CAQ for studies (Students in Quebec).
  • Third: Study Permit (and linked work permits).
  • Fourth: Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).

Note: If you leave Canada for the United States, you will not need a valid TRV as long as you did not enter any other country and your study permit is valid when you re-enter Canada. However, if you are returning to Canada by plane, you may not be allowed to board the plane without a valid TRV.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for Temporary Resident Visa – Canada?

You have to meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply for Canada Temporary Resident Visas:

  • You have to be at least eighteen years old to apply as the primary visa applicant.
  • You must have a valid governmental-issued passport with at least one blank page that is not the passport’s last page.
  • Submit court documents to prove that you have a clean criminal record. 
  • If you have documents in other languages apart from English or French, you will have to translate and certify them.
  • Sign and date all the necessary documents where needed.  
  • You have the necessary visa application fee and visa processing fee.
  • You have to fill a Visa Application Center (VAC) Consent Form and sign the form.
  • Submit copies of your present immigration status in Canada or another country.
  • Be prepared to attend an interview or give your biometric information.
  • Have enough funds to cover you throughout your stay in Canada.
  • Go through a medical examination if required by the Canadian Consulate.
  • Prove that you do not intend to work or study in Canada.
  • You must also prove that your stay in Canada is only temporary and you will return to your home country after your visit.

You might have to meet additional criteria if the type of TRV visa you apply for requires it.

What are the Requirements for the Temporary Resident Visa Canada?

The TRV is a category of visas, so there are two types of requirements that potential applicants are expected to fulfill to qualify for any of the visas:

  1. General Visa Requirements
  2. Visa Specific Requirements

1. General Visa Requirements for Temporary Resident Visas

These are the set of criteria that apply to all Temporary Resident Visas, irrespective of your visit’s purpose. You have to submit the following forms when applying for any Canada temporary resident visa.

  • Form IMM 5707, Family Information Form.
  • Form IMM 5257, Application for Temporary Resident.

You might also have to fill these other forms if applicable: 

  • Form IMM 5409, Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union.
  • Form IMM 5475, Authority to release personal information to a designated individual.
  • Form IMM 5476, Use of a Representative.

2. Visa Specific Requirements for TRVs

After you meet the general visa requirements, there are additional criteria you also have to meet depending on your purpose of visit. These criteria differ for each Temporary Resident Visa type. Examples are: 

  • For the Tourist Visa: You must provide an itinerary of all the places you intend to visit in Canada.
  • Business Visa: You have to prove that you work for a company apart from the one you are conducting business with within Canada.
  • Super Visa: You need an invitation letter from your child or grandchild and evidence of your relationship like a birth certificate.
  • Diplomatic Visa: You need to provide documents that show you are a governmental official in your home country and you will be visiting Canada for official duties.

How to Apply for Temporary Resident Visa- Canada?

There are two ways you can apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV):

Online Application:

To apply online, you must have access to a camera or a scanner so that you can create electronic copies of your documents for upload. You’ll also need a valid credit card to pay the fees with.

Paper Application:

The Instruction Guide 5256 contains the details of how to apply on paper. After reading the guide, you can proceed to prepare your application package. Ensure you select the country or territory you will be applying from so you can get your local visa office instructions.

Most application processes are being digitized, so it is recommended that you try and apply online if you can. However, if you apply online and the Consulate requires your biometrics or an interview, you’ll have to go in person. 

On the other hand, if you apply in person, you will have to visit the Canadian Consulate several times to complete the entire process.

Step-by-Step Guide: Temporary Resident Visa Application

Applicants must follow a set of steps for their Temporary Resident Visa application. The application process for the TRV has these steps:

#1. Confirm Your Eligibility for a TRV

The first thing you’ll want to do is confirm if you are eligible for a Temporary Resident Visa-Canada. To do this:

  • Visit the Government of Canada website. Click on the immigration tab. Then click on Visit. 
  • It will take you to a page where you will see a “Find out if you need a visa” link. Click on the link to open a survey.
  • Answer the questions truthfully and choose the reason for your visit. 
  • The questionnaire will scrutinize your answers and determine whether you are eligible for a Temporary Resident visa or if it’s just an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) you need.
  • If you are eligible for a TRV, the page will direct you to how to apply. 
  • Then you can proceed to either apply online or in person. 

Note: you will get a reference code and a checklist of what you need to do to apply after answering more questions on the “Determine your eligibility and apply online” survey.  

#2. Create Your Account

After saving the reference code, you must open an account on the Government of Canada website. You can open your account through your bank account details or a Government of Canada login (GCKey). When you log in, you can start your application. 

#3. Submit Your Application

You can access your answers to the questionnaire and the forms you have to fill using your reference code. Respond to any additional requests for further information and wait for processing. When you submit your application, it will show up on your account within five days. 

The Canadian Consulate will then process the application in the coming few weeks. They might invite you for a visa interview or give your biometric information if they deem it fit. If they do, arrive on time and answer all questions truthfully.

#4. Send Your Passport to Get Stamped

Once they approve your Temporary Resident Visa-Canada, you will see a notification pop up on your online account, or the Embassy will inform you after the interview. Then, the next step is for you to submit your passport for stamping and processing.

If all your procedures were done online, the Embassy will send you an email containing instructions on where you should mail your passport. You must mail the passport along with the processing fees and pay for a return envelope. 

If you go in person, you will pay the fees there at the Embassy and give the Consular Officer your passport.

The Consulate will process and stamp your passport and then return it to you. It will take a few days to arrive if they mail it back, but you can start preparing for your visit to Canada from that moment.

Applying for Visitor Visas for Workers and Students from inside Canada

A study or work permit is not the same as a visa, and you won’t automatically get a visitor visa by extending your study or work permit. You may have to submit a separate application if you need a new visitor visa.

If you meet the conditions below, you can apply for a visitor visa from within Canada:

  • You can apply if you’re already in Canada.
  • You have a valid work or study permit.
  • If your visitor visa has expired or was only valid for one entry.
  • You want to leave Canada and return soon.

You have to apply for a new visitor visa at least two months before you plan to leave Canada.

If you have received a notification that your study or work permit extension has been approved, you can decide to apply for your visitor visa before the permit arrives. But you will have to provide proves that your application has been approved, like:

  • Your application number.
  • A screenshot to show your online approval.
  • Any other document that shows you have a valid and approved study or work permit extension.

International Students: Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for a TRV from Within Canada

Suppose you need to apply for a new TRV and an extension of your study permit from inside Canada. In that case, you will have to complete your study permit extension application first, and then submit the application for a TRV after receiving the new study permit. 

Steps for Online Application

  1. Visit the Government of Canada’s website. Create or sign in to your IRCC account. 
  2. Click on ‘apply to come to Canada’ under ‘start an application in your online account.
  3. Select ‘visitor visa,’ study and/or work permit’ under ‘Determine your eligibility and apply online, and then answer the eligibility questions. 
  4. If your study permit is valid, when the “what would you like to do in Canada?” question pops up, select ‘study’ not ‘visit.’ If you select ‘visit,’ it would generate a visitor extension that will change your status from student to visitor in Canada.
  5. Upload the application form and all your supporting documents on your document checklist page.
  6. Keep all the files you use in your application for records and take a screenshot of your document checklist page after uploads.
  7. Start the process for submission, and then pay the fee by clicking on next.
  8. After the payment has been confirmed, take a screenshot of the payment confirmation page. Download the submission confirmation, payment receipt, and any other letters or messages from IRCC on the application’s status page.
  9. After they’ve processed your application, the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Ottawa will send a link to your online IRCC account . The link will lead you to further instructions for Canada about where, when, and how you can send your passport to them. 

Summary of the Document checklist 

  • Application form IMM5257. You will have to download this form from your online document checklist and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Proof of Enrolment Form from the Canadian school. 
  • The transcript Request Form and the official transcript from the school.
  • Your scanned passport photographs.
  • Your biographical page and all pages that contain your content from Canada or another country, such as visas, stamps, or markings. 
  • Your current study permit and co-op work permit (if it applies).
  • Include your previous passports if you have renewed a passport since the beginning of your studies in Canada.
  • Proof of financial support.
  • Proof of your medical exam (if asked to provide one)
  • Digital photo you’ve taken in the last six months.
  • Family Information form (if applicable). Download it from your document checklist, fill it, print, and sign where required. Then scan the form and upload it.
  • If your answer to the IMM5257 Background Information questions 3-6 was yes, then you’ll include Schedule 1.
  • Letter of explanation or any more documents requested by IRCC. 
  • Biometrics (if requested).

Applying for a New TRV by Mail

Get the application package. This package contains the application guide and all the forms you have to fill out. Keep your official transcripts in a sealed envelope. Note that you have to fill and sign your form, even if you are traveling as a family. But, if you are under 18, your parent or guardian has to sign your form.

After filling your application forms, make sure you:

  • sign and date them, 
  • Add all the documents and proof that paid the application fee in the envelope
  • follow the mailing instructions
  • Send your package to the address- Case Processing Centre–Ottawa Office.

International Students: How to Apply for a TRV from Outside Canada

If you are outside Canada and you are applying for your study permit through the Visa Application Centre in your home country or the Canadian visa office outside Canada or, your temporary resident visa- Canada (TRV) would be issued after the application’s approval. 

Suppose your study permit is still valid, while your TRV has expired and you are outside Canada. In that case, you will have to apply for a new TRV through the Visa Application Centre serving your home country or the Canadian visa office outside of Canada.

Can You Obtain TRVs for Family Members?

Your family members or friends may need a TRV to visit you in Canada, depending on their country of citizenship. If your family members are with you in Canada, they must either have a valid study or work permit before they can apply for a new TRV in Canada. 

This is because a visitor record holder can not apply for a new TRV from within Canada. If you want to apply for more than one family member’s TRV in the same application, you will have to submit a paper-based application by mail. You can only apply for one family member’s TRV online.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Temporary Resident Visa – Canada

What Next?

Now that you know if you need a Temporary Resident Visa Canada and apply for one successfully, what next? Use our detailed Immigration to Canada, Living in Canada, and Study in Canada guides to learn about life in Canada as a visitor, including information on studying and working in Canada

Don’t want the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach? We are here to help! Contact Us for personalized support.

SEE ALSO -> Invitation Letter for Canada Visa (Sample Included)



Charee Oisamoje is the founder of CanadaWiz. She leads the editorial team, which is comprised of subject matter experts that aim to create well-researched, highly detailed content related to studying, working, immigrating, and settling/living in Canada as a newcomer.

Charee's personal experiences as a Canadian immigrant and her professional competencies make her uniquely qualified on the subject matter.

With extensive educational credentials, she is an expert at collecting details, verifying facts, and making complex subjects easy to understand. ✔️MBA in Finance ✔️MScIB ✔️CCEA (#CCG 271) ✔️CPA Candidate ✔️CIP ✔️BSc Accounting

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