Visitor Visa FAQs
What kind of visa should I get to travel to Canada?
If you are a citizen of a visa-required Country, one that is not visa exempt and requires documentation to enter Canada, you should apply for a Temporary Resident Visa, which is commonly known as a visitor visa. There are two types: a single-entry visa and a multiple-entry visa. Both are valid for a fixed period and cannot be used after they expire.
A multiple-entry visa lets you enter and leave Canada repeatedly while it is valid. It can be valid for up to 10 years at the officer’s discretion or one month before your passport expires, whichever is earlier. You must arrive in Canada on or before the expiry date on your visa.
A single-entry visa allows you to enter Canada only one time. Once you have left Canada, excluding travel to the United States and St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will need a new visa to travel back to and enter Canada.
If your visa is still valid and you are travelling only and directly to the United States (including its Territories and Possessions) or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you do not need a new Temporary Resident Visa (Visitor Visa) to return to Canada. If your visa expires prior to returning to Canada from this area, and you do not have any other valid status, such as a valid visitor record, work permit, study permit, or temporary resident permit, you will need to obtain a new temporary resident visa.
Do I need a visa if I am travelling through Canada without stopping or visiting?
Citizens of certain countries and territories must have visas when they enter Canada. If you need a visa to visit Canada, then you will need a Transit Visa to travel through Canada without stopping or visiting. This is true even if you are in Canada for less than 48 hours. There is no fee for a Transit Visa.
You may not need a transit visa if you are travelling to or from the United States. The Transit Without Visa program (TWOV) and the China Transit Program (CTP) allow certain foreign nationals to travel through Canada on their way to and from the United States without a Canadian transit visa, if you meet these requirements:
- For TWOV: you are from Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan or the Philippines; OR
- For CTP: you are from China and leave from one of the following cities before arriving in Canada:
- Hong Kong
You must also:
- hold a valid U.S. visa;
- travel on an approved airline; and
- transit through a participating Canadian international airport.
How do I help a family member or friend apply to visit Canada?
Anyone who visits Canada from a temporary resident visa-required country must initially apply from outside the country. Your friend or family member must apply to the Canadian visa office responsible for his or her country or region. A visa officer will review the application and decide whether to issue a visa.
You may provide your family member or friend with a letter of invitation in support of their application. It should explain how you will help the person. For example, you may offer to pay for plane tickets or accommodation. A letter of invitation can help, but it does not guarantee the person will get a visa.
How do I get help if my visa application is refused?
Unfortunately, there is no formal appeal process if your application for a Temporary Resident Visa is refused. However, you can always re-apply and take into consideration the reasons for refusal. If you are able to address them and put together a stronger case, you will be able to increase your chances for success.
I have a visa. What can I expect when I arrive in Canada?
When you arrive at the port of entry in Canada, the border services officer will make sure you meet the requirements to enter Canada. The officer will authorize your stay by stamping your passport and/or issuing another document. If there is no stamp, handwritten date or document in your passport, your temporary resident status will expire six months from the day you arrived in Canada.
If you received a visitor record, student or work permit, the expiry date is marked on it.