Issuing a visa

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

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Multiple-entry visa

The multiple-entry visa

  • allows the holder to seek entry to Canada from any country as often as necessary during the visa’s period of validity
  • is issued with long-term validity to facilitate entry to Canada for legitimate travellers
  • has a maximum validity date of up to 10 years or 1 month before the expiry date on the travel document
  • should now be considered the standard document to issue, and any single-entry visa issuance requires officers to provide an explanation recorded in the application notes (for example, a single-entry visa could be considered when an applicant is participating in a one-time special event in Canada for a very short duration)
  • can still be valid but affixed in an expired travel document (in this case, the holder must also be in possession of a newer and valid travel document and must present both travel documents to the airline carrier in order to travel to Canada and to the border services officer in order to seek entry to Canada).

Guidelines for issuing multiple-entry visas

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continues to promote the issuance of long-term multiple-entry visas to facilitate entry to Canada for legitimate travellers. All applicants who are eligible for a multiple-entry visa will benefit and be issued one.

It should be noted that not all applicants are eligible for a multiple-entry visa and that the decision remains at the discretion of an IRCC officer.

Proof of support and coverage for medical emergencies

Some visitors plan to live in Canada for more than 6 months or up to 1 or more years (for example, the spouses of foreign students or elderly parents of Canadian citizens).

In addition to assessing these applicants against normal temporary residence requirements, officers should also be satisfied that the host is able to support a long-term visitor and that possible medical emergencies have been covered.

In cases where multiple-entry visas can be issued, they should be issued for the maximum validity period according to the passport validity period (up to 10 years minus 1 month).

If a client has applied and paid for a multiple-entry visa and the visa officer is satisfied that the client is a bona fide temporary resident and is not inadmissible to Canada, a multiple-entry visa with the maximum validity period should be issued. This practice, which is already recommended for parents and grandparents with sponsorships being processed, should be extended to other clientele (for example, business visitors).

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