A visitor visa (also called a temporary resident visa) is an official document that we stick in your passport. It shows that you meet the requirements needed to enter Canada.
Most travelers need a visitor visa to travel to Canada. You may also need one if you’re transiting through a Canadian airport on your way to your final destination.
How long you can stay
Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada.
At the port of entry, the border services officer may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months. If so, they’ll put the date you need to leave by in your passport. They might also give you a document, called a visitor record, which will show the date you need to leave by.
If you don’t get a stamp in your passport, you can stay for 6 months from the day you entered Canada or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. If you need a stamp, you can ask a border services officer for one. If you arrive at an airport that uses primary inspection kiosks, ask the border officer after you finish at the kiosk.
Make sure you need a visitor visa before you apply
You may need a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization. The entry document you need depends on:
- The type of travel document you plan to travel with
- The country that issued your travel document
- Your nationality
- Your method of travel to Canada for this trip
You must meet some basic requirements to get a visitor visa. You must:
- Have a valid travel document, like a passport
- Be in good health
- Have no criminal or immigration-related convictions
- Convince an immigration officer that you have ties—such as a job, home, financial assets or family—that will take you back to your home country
- Convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your visit
- Have enough money for your stay
- The amount of money you will need depends on how long you will stay and if you will stay in a hotel, or with friends or relatives.
You may also need a medical exam and letter of invitation from someone who lives in Canada.
Some people are not allowed to enter Canada
Some people are not admissible to Canada, which means they are not allowed to enter the country. You can be inadmissible for several reasons, including being involved in:
- Criminal activity
- Human rights violations
- Organized crime
You can also be inadmissible for security, health or financial reasons. Find out more about inadmissibility.
Minor children travelling to Canada
Make sure you know what to do if your minor children (children under the age of 18) will be travelling with you, with someone else, or alone.