Which Canadian Temporary Resident Visa is Right For You?

September 13, 2023


  • Shireen Fisher

Each year, millions descend on the Great White North. If you are planning on jetting off to this land of polar bears and poutine, you should know that navigating the world of Canadian visas can be overwhelming. Luckily, finding the right one does not have to be a daunting task. This article will guide you through the types of temporary resident visas available and help you determine which one suits your needs. You will learn which Canadian Temporary Resident Visa is suitable for you in no time, from the country's Multiple entry visa to the Single-entry and Super Visa.

Who is Considered a Canadian Temporary Resident?

A temporary resident is a foreign national legally permitted to enter Canada temporarily. As a foreign national, you will have temporary resident status when Immigration Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) finds that you have met the requirements of the Canadian legislation to enter and stay here as a visitor, student, worker, or temporary resident permit holder. It is important to note that you must physically be in Canada to have temporary resident status.

IRCC processes applications for this under the following categories:

  • Temporary resident visas
  • Electronic travel authorizations
  • International students
  • Temporary workers
  • Temporary resident permits

What is a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

A Canadian Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), also known as a Canadian Visitor Visa, is an official document that validates that you meet the requirements for entering Canada as a temporary resident. It is issued by a Canadian visa office and is placed as an official counterfoil document in your passport.

Things to Note:

  • You must get your Temporary Resident Visa before leaving for Canada. You cannot obtain one upon your arrival here.
  • The expiry date of a TRV is the date by which the visa must be used for entry to Canada - not a suggestion for the length of your visit
  • Having a TRV does not guarantee entry to the country. It also does not grant you temporary resident status here
  • When you reach a Canadian port of entry, you must report to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). To become a Canadian temporary resident, you prove that you have the visa required by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
  • You must also be able to prove that you will exit the country once this has expired.

The Types of Temporary Resident Visa

The Single-entry Visitor Visa

The Canadian Single-entry Visitor Visa, on the other hand, is for entering the country on a once-off basis. You would use this for:

  • Official visits
  • Fee exemptions
  • When you participate in a Canadian event

The Multiple-entry Visitor Visa

Canada's Multiple-entry Visitor Visa, on the other hand, allows entry to the country for up to six months, over a period of ten years, or until your passport expires. You are allowed to apply for a new one when your passport expires.

The Canadian Super Visa

The Canadian Super Visa is a multiple-entry super visa allowing parents and grandparents to visit their children or grandchildren Canada on multiple occasions. To apply for one, you must be a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. If your application is successful, you will be able to stay in Canada for five years per entry.

The Different Reasons For Needing a TRV

Traveling to Canada

The majority of people who travel to Canada will need a TRV or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) but never both of these documents. There are some people who will only need a valid passport. Learn more about eTAs.

Working in Canada

If you plan to work in Canada, it is important to note that a work permit is not a travel document. You will not have the right to travel to Canada with just a work permit. You will need a temporary resident visa or an eTA. Learn how to get a Canadian Work Permit.

Studying in Canada

If you choose Canada as your study abroad destination, you will need a TRV or an eTA to enter the country. If you apply from outside of Canada, a TRV will be issued if your Canadian study permit is approved. Learn how to apply for a Canadian Student Visa.

Requirements For Obtaining a TRV?

To obtain a TRV, you must be successful at convincing an immigration official that you tick all the required boxes set out by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

You must also:

  • Prove that your stay in this land of maple leaves will be a temporary one
  • Convince an officer that you will be leaving the country when your visit is done
  • Provide proof of funds for your stay and ticket home
  • Confirm that you will not work or study in Canada unless you have the permits to do so
  • Have no criminal records
  • Be admissible to Canada
  • Have no medical issues

How to Apply for a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa

Now that you know more about the Canadian Temporary Resident Visa, take a look at how you can apply for one.

Step 1: Gather Your Documents

If you apply for your TRV outside of Canada, use the Document Checklist (IMM 5484) to tick off all documents you must submit with your application. If you are applying from within Canada, use the Applicants in Canada Document checklist – (IMM 5721) to gather the documents. These documents must be included with your application to the Case Processing Centre in Ottawa (CPC-O).

Remember: If all requested documents are not sent off, you may face delays with processing.

Step 2: Complete the Application

If you wish to apply for a TRV, you will have to complete the following application forms:

  • An Application for Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257)
  • Your Family Information (IMM 5707 or IMM 5645)
  • A Document Checklist (IMM 5484) (PDF, 1.12 MB)
  • A Document Checklist – Applicants in Canada (IMM 5721), if applicable
  • A Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union Form (IMM 5409), if applicable
  • A Use of a Representative Form (IMM 5476) (PDF, 1.53 MB), if required
  • An Authority to release personal information to a designated individual (IMM 5475), if required

Note: You must be thorough and truthful when filling out these forms. Incomplete forms will be sent back to you and cause delays.

Step 3: Pay the Required Fees

You will have to pay two kinds of fees when applying for a Canadian TRV: an application processing fee and a biometric fee. Below is a breakdown of these fees to give you an idea of what it would cost:

  • Single or multiple entry temporary resident visa or Super Visa will cost 100 CAD
  • A TRV per family of five or more people will cost 500 CAD
  • Biometrics fees for one person will cost 85 CAD
  • Biometrics for two or more people will cost around 170 CAD

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Before submitting your TRV application, ensure you have completed the Document Checklist (IMM 5484). This must be included in your application package. You can then send your TRV application to a Visa Application Center (VAC) that services your area or apply online.

Note that if your family members also have TRV applications, you are allied to include your entire family's applications in your envelope.


How Can I Change or Extend My Temporary Status in Canada?

You can apply to change or extend your status in Canada under specific conditions.

I Want to Apply to Canada's IEC Working Holiday Program. Will I Need a TRV?

This depends on your country of origin. If you need one, it will be issued with your work permit. Learn more about the IEC Program.