Visas and Permits
who is not a citizen or a permanent resident of
Canada and who is in Canada legally is called
a temporary resident. This includes visitors,
students, or workers. To stay in Canada legally
as a temporary resident you must have a valid
temporary resident visa. Temporary resident visas
may be helpful in these circumstances.
to allow same-sex partners to be together while
applications are being processed
assist some applicants to meet the requirements
for permanent resident visas as a skilled worker
e.g. working in Canada on a work permit gives
an applicant for permanent residence extra points
Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
from some countries can enter Canada by arriving
at an airport or the border and requesting permission
to visit Canada:
must be a genuine visitor
may need to show that you have the ability to
return to your own country (a ticket or finances)
may need to show that you are able to support
yourself while you are in Canada
countries must apply for a visa before coming
to visit Canada.
some circumstances you may also need to have a
length of time you may stay in Canada depends
on the decision of the officer at the port of
entry. If you are not given a specific amount
of time, you can stay for up to six months without
applying for an extension of your visa.
out more about
visiting Canada on the CIC web site.
study in Canada, most people must apply for a
study permit before leaving their country. To
apply for a study permit you must be accepted
by a qualified educational institute, and show
that you have sufficient funds to pay the fees
and support yourself.
is possible to take a short study program (six
months or as long as the Temporary Resident Visa
is valid) without a study permit. However, it
is not possible to apply in Canada if you decide
to take a longer course.
forms to study in Canada can be found at the
CIC web site.
out more about
studying in Canada on the CIC web site.
people are required to have a work permit in order
to work legally in Canada. Usually, a job offer
from an employer and the approval of Human Resources
Development Canada to be hired for the position
are needed to qualify for a work permit.
are two other ways people may be able to come
to Canada to work temporarily:
International Free Trade Agreements may
allow people who are citizens
of the USA, Mexico or Chile may qualify to work
in Canada. To qualify the person must:
Citizens of other countries may qualify under
the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
which also allows entry for business visitors,
intra-company transferees, and professionals
without obtaining HRDC approval.
transfer may allow senior executives, managers
and individuals with specialized knowledge in
the company to qualify to come to Canada temporarily.
out more about
working in Canada on the CIC web site.
special program gives a qualified person a work
permit for one year to work as a caregiver for
children or persons who are elderly or disabled.
application must be made outside Canada.
employee must live in the home of the employer.
permit can be renewed.
person who completes two years of work in the
first three years they are in Canada can apply
for permanent residence. At this time, they may
also name their common-law partner as a dependent
on their application.
out more about the Live-in
Caregiver Program on the CIC web site.
Extending Your Stay in Canada
is very important to remain in status while you
are in Canada. To stay in status, apply to extend
or change your Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) before
your current TRV expires.
the Guide and Form for Applying to Change Conditions
or Extend Your Stay in Canada on the CIC web
site. The same form is used to apply for an
extension of visitor status, study permit, or
work permit, or to change from one status to
an official fee receipt from the CIC web site.
the guide to complete the form, pay the fee
and mail the application.
recommends that you send in your application one
month before your current TRV expires. In fact,
your application will be processed as long as
it arrives one business day before your current
you send in your application and immigration does
not respond before your status expires you have
"implied status" until they do.
you apply for an extension or change of status
of your TRV:
that you are able to support yourself for the
duration of your stay.
Include a letter of support from your partner.
a convincing reason for wanting to extend your
the officer that you have the intention and
funds to leave Canada when your temporary status
visa extensions are always at the discretion of
an officer. They can always say no.
is usually fairly easy to extend a visitor visa
the first time.
Changing from a student or work permit to visitor
status is usually fairly easy.
you have already done a visitor or student extension,
a second one is harder and subsequent ones are
or Work Permits
you cannot change from visitor status to a study
or work permit, although there are exceptions.
work permit usually has a limit on how long
you may stay in total. Some work permits, such
as post-grad and working holiday permits, cannot
be extended. You will need to change to visitor
status if you want to extend your stay in Canada.
Canada applications in process
you have an In Canada Class permanent resident
application in process the approval of a change
to visitor from student or work permit, or extension
of visitor status is almost automatic. Spouses
and common-law partners of Canadian citizens
and permanent residents, regardless of their
status, will be allowed to remain in Canada
while their immigration application is being
you have an H&C application in process in Canada
with H&C reasons beyond just your relationship,
Immigration will also approve of a change to
visitor from student or work permit, or extension
of visitor status almost automatically.
Class application in process outside Canada
you have an application in process outside of
Canada, Immigration may approve your temporary
resident visa extension but they are not obligated
to do so.
you have overstayed your visa and are in Canada
illegally see Special
Circumstances for suggestions.
Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)
Temporary Resident Permit (formerly called a Minister's
Permit) may be granted to a person who is inadmissible
to Canada, for example because of health reasons.
Partners of Canadians who have
a criminal conviction in their home country and
do not yet qualify to apply
for rehabilitation can apply for a TRP. In
some circumstances a TRP may be granted for people
who do not meet other immigration requirements.
It is recommended that you consult an immigration
lawyer or consultant if you think this may apply