Most foreign nationals who wish to stay in Canada for six months or less should have a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa. This can be for travel related to study, work, business, or tourism. Travelers from countries that do not need a visa to visit Canada and US citizens and permanent residents are exempt from this rule.
Citizens of visa-free countries can apply for the Canada ETA visa, whereas US citizens and permanent resident status holders can enter Canada with their legal passports and resident permits. There are different types of temporary resident visas. Foreigners who hold one of them can stay in Canada for a limited period.
However, they generally cannot receive health or other benefits accorded to Canadians and cannot apply for citizenship or permanent residency. They are not permitted to apply for work and study programs that are longer than six months. Apart from this, they also have to declare their travel itinerary and return plan while applying for the visa.
As per the Canadian government, a temporary resident visa is a privilege given to certain categories of foreigners and is not a right. It is just an indication that they have met all the requirements for staying in Canada for a short period. The visa is a counterfoil document and will be attached to the receiver’s passport.
Temporary visas can be generally categorized as single-entry visas and multiple-entry visas. Foreign citizens who opt for the former can enter the country only once and have to leave after their permitted stay. If they want to visit Canada again, they will have to go through the application process again.
At the same time, multiple-entry visa holders can leave and re-enter Canada as many times as they want, provided the validity of the visa is not expired. The applicants are not generally required to opt for a definite visa type. They are normally issued multiple-entry visas as single-entry visas are limited and granted only for special conditions.
The Canadian government also offers the following types of temporary visas:
Tourist visa: This is for travel enthusiasts who wish to explore Canada. It is a visitor visa issued exclusively for tourists.
Diplomatic visa: Temporary visa for foreign diplomats, officials, and their family members who are on duty representing their respective governments.
Courtesy visa: This is issued to special guests from foreign countries.
Facilitation visa: This visa is granted to Canadian nationals with dual citizenship.
Birth visa: This kind of visa is granted only in special cases to women who wish to deliver their babies in Canadian hospitals. These infants will automatically become citizens of Canada.
Organ donor visa: As the name suggests, this temporary visa is for those who are visiting Canada for the purpose of donating their organs.
If temporary resident visa applicants intend to apply for permanent residency in the future, they have to mention it in their visa application.
To be eligible for a Canadian temporary visa, the applicants must comply with the terms and conditions prescribed by Canadian law and should be over 18 years of age. For minors, their legal guardians and parents can apply.
The applicants must convince the immigration officers that they will return to their home country once the purpose of their visit is satisfied. They should have enough money to sustain themselves and their family members during their short stay.
They should have absolutely no intention to work or study unless authorized by the government and should be medically and legally admissible.
There are two modes to apply for the visa – online and offline. The applicants can choose the online mode if they are tech-savvy and prefer to do it at a time and place convenient for them. However, if they are required to give biometric details and appear before the Canadian consulate staff for an in-person interview, it is better to opt for the offline mode.
By doing this, they can avoid multiple visits to the consulate. Before proceeding to apply, all foreign applicants must prove their eligibility. For this, they can log into the official website of Canadian Immigration. A detailed questionnaire is provided in the immigration tab on the website.
After completion, they will get their eligibility status and step-by-step instructions to apply for the visa. Note that the applicants need to create an account with the Canadian immigration website to apply online.
The embassy authorities usually take up to five days to process the application and issue the visa. Once the application is approved, a notification will be sent to the applicants’ accounts. The next step is to send their passports for stamping.
Those opting for the offline mode can directly go to the Canadian embassy or consulates in their home country and complete the process. They can also directly collect their passports stamped with a visa from the consulate.
In most cases, the applicants need to give biometric details, including fingerprints. Exceptions are allowed if the applicants are 17 years and younger or 61 years and older. Or if they had submitted their biometrics within the past ten years.
The applicants also need to undergo a medical examination to ascertain their medical admissibility, especially when the applicants are planning to work in industries like healthcare. The Canadian government does not admit travelers treated for certain communicable diseases or who have some medical conditions.
Note that the immigration authorities may ask the applicants to submit additional documents if and when they deem it necessary. Be sure to present correct and sincere information. Misleading details and incorrect information can result in a visa denial.
Foreign nationals who are staying in the country on a Canadian temporary resident visa can extend their visa validity. They need to submit a formal application form requesting the extension at Canada immigration before the validity of the original visa expires.
The decision will be based on the discretion of the immigration officer. The officer may assess the applicants’ reasons for extending their stay. In some cases, the applicants may be called for an in-person interview and medical examination.
A Temporary Resident Visa and a Temporary Resident Permit are two entirely different travel authorizations issued by the Canadian government to foreigners coming under different categories. The travel authorization documents issued to foreign students, workers, and tourists will be clearly marked as ‘VISA’. Such visa holders may or may not have work and study permits.
However, the Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) is granted to foreigners with medical or criminal inadmissibility and their family members in rare circumstances. A TRP can be canceled or discontinued anytime at the discretion of Canadian immigration officers.
In conclusion, the Canadian Temporary Resident Visa enables various categories of foreign nationals to visit Canada for short-term stays of up to six months. This visa caters to tourism, work, study, or business purposes, with certain exceptions for visa-free countries, U.S. citizens, and permanent residents.
The Temporary Resident Visa is a privilege rather than a right, and holders are subject to specific restrictions and requirements during their stay. Available in single-entry and multiple-entry types, temporary visas serve different purposes and necessitate careful adherence to application procedures and eligibility criteria. While the Temporary Resident Visa allows for short-term visits, it must be distinguished from the Temporary Resident Permit, which addresses different circumstances.