Visa Info

Difference Between a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) and a Status Document After Arrival in Canada

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is a document required for citizens of certain countries who want to come to Canada for a short period of time to visit, work or study. It is a sticker the size of a passport page that shows that:

  • your application has been examined by an officer at a Canadian visa office outside Canada; and
  • the officer was satisfied that you met the requirements to travel to a Canadian port of entry.

If you wish to work or study in Canada, you will also need a Study Permit or Work Permit. A Study or Work permit is not a visa (TRV) and does not allow you to travel to Canada if you are a citizen from a country requiring a visa. When you arrive in Canada, an officer will tell you how long you are allowed to stay.

If you require a TRV to travel to Canada, please consider that:

It is valid for a limited period of time: If the TRV is not used before the expiry date, it is no longer valid. You must therefore come to Canada and present yourself at a port of entry before the expiry date on your TRV. The length of your stay in Canada as a visitor, worker or student is not related to your TRV’s expiry date.

A valid TRV does not guarantee entry into Canada: If your situation has changed between the date you applied for your TRV and the date you arrived in Canada, an officer will decide if you still meet the requirements to enter the country.

Once you arrive in Canada, the TRV might no longer be valid depending on its type: A single-entry TRV is issued so that you may travel to Canada one time, unless it is a multiple-entry TRV.

If you plan on leaving Canada and returning during the validity period of your current status, and require a visa to re-enter Canada, you must send a TRV application to a Canadian visa office outside of Canada:

  • responsible for your country of residence;
  • responsible for your country of nationality; or
  • responsible for the country where you have been legally admitted.

If you have been legally admitted in Canada, you may submit your application to a Canadian visa office in the United States of America.

The application for a TRV is available on Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Web site. You can fill out the application online and print it.

As an exception, you do not have to apply for a TRV if you are returning to Canada after travelling only to the *United States and/or St.Pierre and Miquelon.

*The 50 states only, does not include visits to U.S. territories or cruises.

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) Exemptions
A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is a document required for citizens of certain countries who want to come to Canada for a short period of time. To find out if you need a TRV, check the list of countries and territories on CIC Web site.

You do not need a TRV to enter Canada if you are either:

  • a citizen or permanent resident (Green card holder) of the United States;
  • from a country whose citizens do not need a TRV;
  • a British citizen or British overseas citizen who is readmissible to the United Kingdom (UK);
  • a citizen of a British dependent territory through birth, ancestry, naturalization or registration in one of the British dependent territories;
  • the holder of a valid Special Administrative Region passport issued by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China;
  • the holder of a passport or travel document issued by the Holy See (Vatican); or
  • the holder of an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes their personal identification number.

Business Visitor
Generally, if you want to work in Canada, you need a Work Permit. As an exception, you can work in Canada without a work permit if you are coming to Canada on business.
For example:

  • person providing after-sales service;
  • supervisor;
  • person coming to provide training or installation of equipment for a branch or subsidiary company;
  • trainer; and
  • person attending a Board of Directors’ meetings.

Please note that business visitors must work for a company located outside of Canada. They cannot directly enter the Canadian labour market. It means that they cannot get paid by a Canadian employer.

Course Less Than Six Months
Generally, if you want to study in Canada, you need a Study Permit. As an exception, you can study in Canada without a study permit if:

  • the length of your course or program of study is six months or less; and
  • the course or program of study will be completed within the period for your stay authorized upon entry into Canada.

These short-term courses include self-improvement or general interest courses, such as painting or language courses. You are also allowed to take courses offered at colleges and universities, as long as the courses are not taken as part of a program. Please note that you must apply for a study permit if the main reason for your visit or for your request to extend your stay in Canada is to study.

The information here is meant to assist you in understanding the immigration and citizenship policies and/or procedures. It is a summary of the information contained in the law. For most current information, please visit the IRCC Web site to ensure that you have the most current information on our programs and policies. For any further questions, please visit the IRCC website at www.cic.gc.ca or contact the IRCC Call Centre at 1 888 242-2100