Temporary Resident Visas (Visitor Visas) and eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) for Canada
Over 35 million temporary residents (non-immigrant visitors) visit Canada each year. Except for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, all visitors require permission to enter Canada and require either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an eTA (electronic Travel Authorization), unless they are US Citizens.
The following foreigners need either a TRV or an eTA Canada Visitors Visa:
- Temporary foreign workers (individuals with work permits)
- International students (individuals on study permits)
- Business Visitors
TRV or an eTA? You only need one of them, not both.
Citizens of visa-exempt countries intending to travel to Canada by air are expected to have applied for an obtained an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before their departure to Canada.
Exception: Citizens of the United States do not require a TRV or an eTA, but Green Card holders in the United States, require an eTA to come to Canada, regardless of their nationality.
If you are NOT a citizen from a visa-exempt country, you WILL need a TRV to enter Canada.
What is a eTA (electronic Travel Authorization)?
As of March 15, 2016, visitors with passports from countries that are visa-exempt who enter Canada by air will need an eTA.
The authorization is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
What is a TRV and how to apply for one?
The TRV is a document issued by a Canadian Immigration Visa Office outside Canada, showing that the holder has satisfied the requirements for admission to Canada as a visitor. TRVs may be for single entry or multiple entry. As a general rule, visitors are admitted for a period of six months. Temporary foreign workers and international students are admitted for varying periods of time, as determined on a case-by-case basis. Extensions may be applied for from within Canada.
It is important to note that possession of a valid TRV does not necessarily mean that the Officer at the Canadian Port of Entry will admit the visitor into Canada. At the Port of Entry, all visitors must demonstrate that the purpose of their visit to Canada is of a temporary nature. Officers at the Port of Entry will deny admission to all persons who, in their opinion, do not intend to leave Canada at the expiry of their visitor status.
Items to note:
- Certain applicants may need to undergo a medical examination. This pertains to some individuals who intend to remain in Canada and have recently visited certain countries, as well as persons who intend to work in certain occupations in Canada.
- Criminality and medical issues may prevent a visitor from entering Canada.
- Visitors to Canada must be able to prove their ability to support themselves during their intended temporary stay in Canada.
- Citizens of certain countries may need to provide biometrics information. To learn which countries this applies to, click Canada Immigration Biometrics Requirements
Country Checklist: Non-Visa Exempt (TRV) or visa-exmept (eTA)
TRVs are required for citizens of non visa-exempt countries. The chart below outlines which citizens require a TRV and which citizens need an eTA in order to travel to Canada.