Method of application for temporary resident visas (TRVs), electronic travel authorizations (eTAs), study permits, work permits and visitor records

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Applicants worldwide are required to submit an application for a TRV, study permit or work permit electronically through the IRCC secure account, IRCC portal or the Authorized Paid Representatives Portal, unless an exception applies. Applicants can submit an online application from anywhere in the world.

The electronic travel authorization (eTA) application is available online only. Applicants can apply using the eTA application form.

Learn more about the eTA process:

Applying from outside Canada

As per ministerial instructions 62 (MI62), all applications for a temporary resident visa (including a transit visa), work permit, or study permit for foreign nationals who are outside Canada at the time of application must be submitted using electronic means—meaning they must apply online. The following are the exceptions to the requirement to apply online:

  • foreign nationals who are outside of Canada and who are unable to apply online, including for reasons of a disability, and require accommodation for the use of electronic means
  • foreign nationals who are in possession of an identity or travel document described in paragraph R52(1)(c) issued by a country that does not prohibit travel to Canada, that the foreign national may use to enter the country of issue, and that is of the type issued by that country to non-national residents, refugees or stateless persons who are unable to obtain a passport or other travel document from their country of citizenship or nationality or who have no country of citizenship or nationality
  • foreign nationals applying for a work permit and intending to perform work under an international agreement or arrangement between Canada and one or more countries concerning seasonal agricultural workers

Applicants outside Canada for whom an exception to applying online applies are required to submit their TRV applications to the visa application centre (VAC) that is responsible for serving

  • the country in which the applicant has been lawfully admitted
  • the applicant’s country of nationality or, if the applicant is stateless, their country of habitual residence

For example, a business person from India visiting London will be able to apply for a TRV at the VAC in London, as long as they were lawfully admitted to the United Kingdom. Similarly, a Chinese student lawfully admitted to Singapore for studies will be able to apply for a Canadian study permit at the VAC in Singapore. A Brazilian national who is physically in Brazil, however, may not submit a work permit application by mail to the VAC in New York City; they must submit it in Brazil.

Applying from inside Canada

In accordance with subsection R9.2, foreign nationals who are in Canada and seeking to extend their temporary resident status or change their temporary resident status (if eligible) must submit their application online unless an exception to applying online applies. For more information, refer to subsections R9.4 and R9.5. See also the list of programs that are exempt from the in-Canada mandatory electronic application requirement.

Foreign nationals who are in Canada, have a valid study or work permit and require a visa may choose to apply for a new TRV counterfoil before leaving Canada. The application must be submitted online, unless an exception to applying online applies.

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