A Complete Guide to Canada Temporary Visas

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Be it the first time you are visiting or returning to Canada for the purpose of visiting, working, or studying for a temporary period, you will require a Canadian Tourist visa to enter the country. A tourist visa is officially known as Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).

International visitors who wish to visit, study or work in Canada have to acquire a Canada temporary resident visa. There are two kinds of temporary residency visas

Multiple-entry visa; permits you to live in Canada for six months at a time and can be valid for up to ten years.

Single-entry visa; permits you to visit Canada once and it is valid for up to six months from the date of your arrival.

The processing time for visas can take up to 30 days depending on the period submitted, the type of application submitted, and the volume of applicants.


How to apply for Canada temporary visas

Here is the simple step-by-step method to get Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) in Canada.

Step 1: Identify the Canada Visa Needed

Knowing the type of visa you need makes it easy to apply and process it within a short period of time. You can choose to apply for a multiple-entry visa that lasts for 10 years or a single-entry visa that lasts for six months. You can apply either as a visitor, student, or worker.


I recommend you check the official IRCC website to know the type of visa you will need.

Step 2: Check Eligibility

Before applying for a temporary residency visa, check if you are eligible first so that you won’t be disappointed when the application fails. Below are some of the requirements to check if you are eligible.

  • You are 18 and above or a minor traveling with someone
  • Check if you will need a visa from your country to travel to Canada.
  • Have all valid travel documents, like a passport, etc.
  • Be in good health
  • Check if you have no criminal record or immigration convictions
  • Persuade the immigration officer of ties to work, home, financial assets, or family that will allow you to return to your home country.
  • Convince the border official that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit period
  • Make sure you have enough money you will need depending on how long you will stay

If you have satisfied the above requirements, then you are ready to apply

Step 3: Download and Fill Out The Right Forms

Whether you are applying online through the IRCC online application system or in person through a visa application center, you will need to download

  • Document Checklist (IMM 5484) form
  • Family Information (IMM 5645) forms from IRCC official website.
  • Temporary Resident Visa application form [IMM 5257]. You need to fill out this form whether you are in or outside Canada.
  • The general application form can be found at online.
  • Country-specific application forms can be attained from Canada visa offices’ websites.
  • Completing and submitting these application forms is compulsory for every individual including minor children and family members applying for temporary residency visas.
  • Each applicant must complete and state accompanying or non-accompanying family members on the application form
  • Traveling family members must submit their individual application forms together at once

The successful completion of the application forms is a key factor that will determine if your visa will be approved or denied.

Step 4: Prepare the Documents Required

Documentation is a vital phase in applying for a Canadian Temporary residency Visa.  here are the documents you will provide:

  • Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the planned date of entry into Canada.
  • Fill out the appropriate application forms from the official website of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
  • Provide two recent passport-sized photographs
  • Provide financial proof that you have enough funds to cover all your expenses or a sponsorship letter.
  • Provide your travel itinerary such as your flight bookings, accommodation details, and a detailed schedule of your activities in Canada.
  • Explain the purpose of your visit, whether it’s for tourism, visiting family or friends, etc.
  • Proof your strong ties to your home country to assure the visa officer that you will return after your visit.

Depending on your circumstances, additional documents may be required, such as a letter of invitation from a Canadian host, a criminal record check, or proof of educational or professional qualifications.


I recommend you consult with a lawyer who can evaluate your circumstances and application materials to reduce the possibility of visa denial.

Step 5: Pay the Application Fees

The payment methods of visa fees for a tourist Visa whether paying online or in person usually differ depending on the type of visa you want and your current country of residence. You can find the specific instructions for each available country on the official IRCC website.

Basically, there are generally two types of fees: an application processing fee and a biometric fee.

  1. Here is an estimated fee you are paying when you are paying online or applying individually
  2. Processing fee of approximately 68 USD
  3. Biometrics fees per person are approximately 58 USD
  4. Paying through the VFS Global Visa Application Centre:
  5. Processing fee of approximately 68 USD
  6. The Biometrics fee per person is approximately 58 USD
  7. A service fee of approximately 41 USD

Step 6: Processing Time or Waiting Period

The processing time shows how long it takes to process visa applications. As more applications are processed and cleared out from inventories, the period of time used for processing will change. The processing time begins the day you submit your application.

The processing time is usually measured based on how long it took to process more than 80% of applications before.

Your processing time starts the day you send your whole application and ends when the decision is still on. If you apply online, the processing time starts when your application arrives in the mail. And if you are in person, the processing time starts after you submit your application.

During processing time, consider doing the following:

  • Regularly check the official website or contact relevant authorities for visa application updates.
  • Utilize processing time to plan trips, research attractions, and book flights and accommodations.
  • Immigration authorities may request supporting documents for visa application, so prepare them
  • Ensure availability during processing to meet these requests including interviews and medical exams, and ensure compliance
  • Consult an immigration lawyer for accurate visa application advice and answers to any concerns

Remember, Canadian tourist visa processing time differs based on the applicant, so be patient.

Step 7: Unique Tracking Number and Collection

After you have applied for a Canadian temporary residency visa, you will receive a unique tracking number from the visa office. This tracking number is important as it allows you to track the progress of your application online.

The moment your application is approved, you will need to collect your temporary residency visa. The process for collection may be different depending on where you are applying from. You might be required to visit the Canadian visa office to collect your approved visa. You should bring your passport and other required documents listed by the visa office

The visa office will give you a deadline for you to collect your visa. The collection process should be done promptly after your application is approved. If you fail to collect your visa within the given timeframe, your visa might get delayed or canceled. You can arrange for someone to collect your visa on your behalf.

I recommend you check the specific requirements and processes of collecting your temporary residency visa from the Canadian visa office or VAC in your country.                                                                                                                                                                         

Step 8: Prepare For Your Travel

After collecting your Canadian tourist visa, preparing to travel involves several steps to ensure a fun and pleasant experience. Here is a summary of some things you should do:

  • Plan your arrival and departure dates, and book your flights, and accommodations in advance.
  • Prepare photocopies of important documents, including passports, which should be stored separately from the originals.
  • Secure travel insurance to cover your medical expenses and unanticipated events.
  • Prepare enough funds to cover all your expenses during your stay in Canada.
  • Organize your travel documents and make it easily accessible during your travel.
  • Pack the essentials, important items, and appropriate clothing you might need during your stay.
  • Learn about the local etiquette and customs of the city you are traveling to.
  • Keep your country’s embassy or consulate Contact in situations of emergency during your trip.

Remember, these are just a few of the important thing to do to prepare for yourself when travel to Canada with your Temporary Residency Visa.

In Conclusion

Whether you are applying for a tourist visa to visit, study or work in Canada, you should always check IRCC official website and try talking to the representative at the Canadian embassy in your city for the latest information.

As you explore the beauty of Canada and experience its culture and traditions, I hope you have a lot of fun during your stay.


  1. Does everyone need a temporary residency visa to gain entry into Canada?

No. not everyone needs a tourist Visa to visit Canada. If you are a Citizen visiting from a visa exempted country then you don’t require a visa to entre Canada. But all other countries must apply for a temporary residency visa before entering Canada.

  • How do I sign temporary residency visa application forms during online?

You cannot sign the form when applying online. You should just upload it without signing. After which you will be requested to sign your form electronically by simply typing in your name.

  • What to expect when you visit Canada on a temporary residency visa?

You should expect a welcoming country with its natural beauty and vibrant cities. Also adhere to visa terms for work or study restrictions.

  • How to extend your temporary residency visa in Canada?

Check your eligibility for visa category on IRCC website, apply, pay processing fees, complete biometrics, and comply with permit conditions.

  • How to speed up your application process for a temporary residency visa?

To speed up your temporary residency visa application process in Canada you need to have the Complete and accurate documents, pay premium processing, apply early, prioritize service, provide clear information, and consider hiring an immigration consultant.

  • Why did my Canadian temporary residency visa application get denied?

Your Canadian temporary residency visa application may be denied due to incomplete documentation, insufficient funds, and eligibility criteria, lack of ties to your home country, concerns about visa expiration, criminal record, or discrepancies. Review these issues before reapplying.


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