Temporary resident visa versus temporary resident status

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Visa-required foreign nationals must apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV) to travel to Canada as

  • visitors
  • workers
  • students

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Temporary resident visas

If a foreign national meets the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and is admissible, an immigration officer may issue a TRV, per subsection A11(1), in the form of an official counterfoil document placed in the individual’s passport. The expiry date of a TRV is the date by which the visa must be used to arrive at the port of entry (POE) and seek admission to Canada. The expiry date is not the suggested duration of the visit. A TRV does not guarantee entry to Canada, nor does it grant temporary resident status in Canada.

Upon arrival at a Canadian POE, the foreign national is required to report to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Per paragraph A20(1)(b), to become a temporary resident, every foreign national who seeks to enter Canada must establish that they hold the visa required by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) and will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay. The foreign national must satisfy a border services officer of the CBSA that they have the ability and willingness to leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay.

Temporary residents may apply to change or extend their status in Canada, under certain conditions. For more information, see Eligibility for extending temporary resident status.

Non-automated ports of entry

At non-automated POEs, before admitting the foreign national to Canada by stamping their passport, a border services officer

  • confirms the identity of the foreign national
  • verifies documents, including the foreign national’s
    • passport
    • travel documents
    • TRV
  • ensures that all requirements are met
Sample of official port of entry stamp

The border services officer who examines the foreign national upon entry will determine the duration of the visit. A handwritten date below the stamp indicates the date by which the foreign national must leave Canada.

It is at this point that the foreign national receives temporary resident status.

Automated ports of entry

At automated POEs equipped with a primary inspection kiosk, the CBSA no longer routinely stamps all passports. If there is no stamp or handwritten date in the foreign national’s passport, their authorized period of stay is 6 months, per subsection R183(2). However, a foreign national can still receive a port stamp upon request or if required by CBSA policy or regulations (for example, super visa holders). A handwritten date below the stamp indicates the date by which the foreign national must leave Canada.

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