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Canada Temporary Visa Overview

Canada Temporary Visa Overview

Canada welcomes more than 35 million temporary residents each year. Unless they are Canadian citizens or Canadian Permanent Residents, individuals coming to Canada for the purpose of visiting, studying or working may need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to enter Canada.

Types of Non-immigrant Visas:

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), also referred to as a visitor visa, is an official document issued by a Canadian visa office that is placed in your passport to show that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident (either as a visitor, a student, or a worker).

You must obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) before your departure. You cannot obtain one upon arrival in Canada. Family members must also complete their own application forms. However, you may submit your applications together online or at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) and use one payment receipt for the total amount.

Your spouse or common-law partner and children must meet all the requirements for temporary residence in Canada.

Biometric (Fingerprints & Photo) Requirements

You may need to appear in person to have your fingerprints and photograph (biometric information) taken at a biometric collection service point. If your family members are also applying, they may need to appear in person to have their biometric information taken as well.

Medical Examination

If you plan to visit or study for six months or less, you usually do not need a medical exam. If you plan to visit or study for more than six months, you will need a medical exam if you have lived temporarily for six or more months in a row in any of these countries or territories or in the one year immediately before the date you want to enter Canada.

Regardless of the length of time you are in Canada, you will need a medical exam if you wish to work in one of the following fields:

  • a designated occupation, such as the field of health services or with children. Examples of designated occupations include hospital staff, clinical laboratory workers, patient attendants in nursing and geriatric homes, and medical and dental students admitted attending Canadian universities.
  • to work in agricultural occupations, you will need a medical exam if you have lived in certain countries or territories.

An electronic travel authorization (eTA) is required for most visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or transiting through Canada by air. It only costs $7.

As of April 26, 2022, lawful permanent residents of the U.S. do not need an eTA to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport. In all methods of travel, they must present their passport and proof of their valid lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.

Foreign nationals wishing to work in Canada on a temporary basis usually require a work permit.

Two of the main programs through which work permits are issued are the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP).

  1. The TFWP offers work permits for candidates whose employers obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A positive LMIA confirms there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job at hand and that no Canadian worker is available to do the job.
  2. IMP work permits do not require a positive LMIA. They do require the employer to submit an employment offer under their employer portal.

Canada issues two types of work permits: employer-specific work permits and open work permits.

Employer-Specific Work Permit

An employer-specific work permit includes conditions such as:

  • Name of a specific employer,
  • How long a candidate can work,
  • The location of a candidate’s work.

Candidates applying for an employer-specific work permit must have from their employer a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an offer of employment before applying.

Open Work Permit

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, but they are issued only in specific circumstances.

Work Permit Exemptions

Certain occupations are exempt from the work permit requirement.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The TFWP is intended to help Canadian employers recruit foreign workers in response to labour market shortages.

TFWP is made up of four streams: high-skilled workers, low-skilled workers, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, and the Live-In Caregiver Program.

Foreign workers must have an approved job offer and a work permit before arriving in Canada under the TFWP.

Through the LMIA, IRCC works with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to ensure foreign workers do not take jobs for which Canadian citizens or permanent residents are available.

The multiple-entry super visa allows parents and grandparents to enter Canada multiple times stay in Canada for a period of up to 5 years on each entry. To apply for a super visa, you must either be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.

You cannot include your dependent children in this application. If your spouse or common-law partner want to come with you, they need to also submit an application.

To apply for a super visa, you need to submit an application to a visa office and provide:

  • a letter of invitation written and signed by your child or grandchild promising financial support for the entire duration of your stay in Canada.
  • You must also include your host child or host grandchild’s family composition (dependents, including spouse, children or other relatives that are financially dependent on your host child or host grandchild).
  • one of the following documents to prove that your child or grandchild meets the low-income cut-off (LICO) minimum (The Canadian or permanent resident spouse or common-law partner of your child or grandchild may co-sign the invitation letter to meet the LICO minimum):
  • The most recent copy of their federal income tax notice of assessment. If your child or grandchild does not have a paper copy of their notice of assessment, they can view (and print) their tax returns as well as other personal tax information using the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Account online service. To register or login, visit My Account.
  • The most recent copy of the child or grandchild’s T4 or T1.
  • An original letter from child’s or grandchild’s employer stating their job title, job description and salary.
  • The child or grandchild’s employment insurance benefit statements if self-employed proof of other sources of income
  • Evidence of the parent or grandparent relationship to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident you wish to visit
  • Proof that you have private medical insurance valid for a minimum of 1 year from a
  • You will be required to appear in person to have your biometric fingerprints and photo (biometric information) taken at a biometric collection service point.