Getting a temporary resident visa is not difficult, but how to apply for a temporary resident visa is a common question we receive. In reality, this is not a difficult process, although you will need to meet all the requirements for admission. If this is the case, your visa officer will have no issues giving you the visa, and you will be able to travel to Canada in almost no time. 

When it comes to the temporary resident visa (sometimes also called a temporary immigrant visa), you will need to see if you are eligible. We will be covering the eligibility criteria later on. Once you are sure that this is the case, you can make your application, and go to the nearest visa application center or collection center to give your biometrics once called in. That’s pretty much it, but since there are many more details to learn, let’s go and consider these visas close up. 

Temporary Resident Visa: What Is It and How Does It Work?

A temporary resident visa is an official document issued y the Canadian government. It specifies that you have met the eligibility criteria to enter Canada for a short period of time. It does not provide you with the right to permanently settle in Canada. This type of visa is issued with a study permit to students, workers, and to all other temporary visitors or tourists. 

Unless you come from a visa-exempt country, you will need your temporary resident visa to come to Canada. You will also need it for transfers through Canada and in Canadian airports. In some cases, such as the visa-exempt countries, you will still need an eTA – Electronic Travel Authorization to enter the country. 

When applying and if the visa is issued to you, it will be placed in your passport. With this document, you can travel to Canada and within Canada within the time period specified in the visa itself. This way, with this temporary visa, you can visit many places at once, but you have to pay attention to the allotted number of entries: a single-entry TRV (Temporary Resident Visa) allows you to enter Canada once, while a multiple-entry TRV allows you to enter many more times. 

How to Apply for a Temporary Resident Visa in Canada?

When applying for a TRV, you will need to use the Canadian immigration programs suited to your needs. As the TRV is issued to students, workers, and other temporary visitors, there are several ways to apply for it. When making the application process, make sure you follow the document checklist so that the application process is smooth and there are no delays. Some visa applications can take months to resolve, so make sure to present all the documents you can at once to avoid any further delays. You can apply online, or using the form. 

Online Application

The online application is the fastest way to apply for the TRV. You will need to create an IRCC account to apply, and you will be filling in the questionnaire and submitting the documents and all the supporting documents here. Once received, the application takes a while to process. For students, the processing time can be as short as 20 days, while other types of TRV applications can take quite a while. In any case, the online processing time is much faster than the form application.  

Apply Through Form

When applying through form, you will need a bit more patience and a sharp eye, as making a mistake in filling in the documents can cost you your application and the processing fees – which are non-refundable. The main reason for the longer processing time of paper applications or form applications is that the paper documents need time to be delivered to the visa office responsible for handling them – this adds time, which is only multiplied if you forget a document or two. 

When applying in paper form, you will need to fill out the IMM 5257 document – Application for Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa). You will also need to submit some basic documents outlined in the document checklist.  

Depending on your needs and specific case, you may need to submit other documents, such as the full itinerary of your travels, a letter of invitation, or other supporting documents. The thing is that the visa officers need to be sure that you will come back to your country of residence BEFORE the expiry of your TRV. 

Is a Temporary Resident Visa Required?

Many people think that for as long as they are enrolled in a program of study, they can travel to Canada and stay there for the duration of their studies/work/trip. However, this is not always the case. Every category of visa has its own prerequisites, and every reason for a visit has its own requirements and eligibility criteria. So, you may even need multiple documents at a time. 

If you are a student, you will need to have your study permit. However, this permit allows you to stay in Canada, not to enter the country. A TRV is used for this. So, if you would like to work or study in Canada, you will need a visa to enter the country first and this is the TRV. The only way not to obtain a TRV and still be eligible to enter Canada is if you are there already or if you come from a visa-exempt country. With this in mind, let’s consider some requirements for obtaining a Canadian TRV. 

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a TRV?

As a primary visa applicant, whenever looking for temporary entry visas, you will need to show to the officer that you plan to return to the country of your permanent residence or citizenship. You will also need to prove that you meet all the requirements to get that type of visa. All the requirements are outlined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). You should also: 

  • show that you have enough fees to cover the expenses during your stay in Canada, including the application fee (the processing fee) and the biometrics
  • that you do not plan to work or study in Canada if you are visiting as a tourist. If you do plan to work, you will need to apply for a work permit at the same time. If you plan to study, you will need to be enrolled in an educational program in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and you will need to have your study permit. Current students can always extend their TRV instead of asking for a new one
  • follow all the laws and regulations
  • have no criminal record on your side – this could lead to a refusal
  • have no associations with any terrorist or criminal organizations, including any organizations or activities that could harm Canada or any of its citizens
  • provide additional documents that the immigration officer may ask you for
  • be in good health. If you have travelled to high-risk zones for up to a year before applying for the Canadian Temporary visa, you will need to present medical examination results to the immigration officer
  • as a worker, you will also need a valid job offer or contract, or proof of funds if you plan to seek employment once in Canada

Documents Needed

Your TRV is not only intended for those looking to visit Canada but also if you only need it as a transit visa. In fact, a transit visa may not be needed for all, so you should check out the list of visa-exempt countries. However, there are some documents that you should always be able to present, regardless of the reasons that you are visiting Canada: 

  • Your valid travel document, issued by your country of citizenship
  • Your valid study permit if you are applying for the TRV as a student
  • A passport-style photo of you (it should have your name and the date it was taken on the back – the photographer is the person to put in these details, with their stamp, if they have one)
  • Letter of Acceptance for students or a Valid Job Offer/Work Contract for workers, or an Invitation Letter or Travel Itinerary for tourists
  • Proof of funds or financial funds – you will need to showcase that you can support yourself while in Canada. You will also need to show that you can pay for your studies as a student principal applicant. If you have a valid job offer, you may need to showcase only the job offer and a bit of funds to support yourself until your first paycheck.

You will also need: 

  • IMM 5484 – Document Checklist
  • IMM 5876 – Visa Office Instructions 
  • IMM 5707 – Family Information Form 
  • IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union 
  • IMM 5476 – Use of a Representative (if you plan on using one, optional)
  • Application for Temporary Resident Visa
trv application

What if I’d Already Been Granted Permanent Residency?

If you have made an application for permanent residency before, make sure to check the immigration status of that application before applying for a temporary resident document. With this in mind, if you have been a permanent resident (have been granted the status of a PR), you do not need to apply for a TRV. Instead, you need to apply for a Travel Document (if you are a permanent resident abroad). 

If not, and if you would like to renounce your Permanent Resident, you will need to go through the Voluntary Renunciation process first. For this, you will need to make a separate application, and only after it has been approved will you be able to apply for the TRV. In general, unless you have specific needs to do so, you should not renounce your PR status – as this status is not easy to reach, you may want to keep it as long as you can. 

When To Renew a Temporary Resident Visa?

If your temporary immigration status is about to expire and you are still not ready to apply for permanent residency or citizenship in Canada, you may want to simply renew your TRV. This can be done from inside or outside of Canada, and you can do this easily for as long as there is a need to do it. If you plan on staying in Canada or going there some more, you will need to pay attention to your multiple-entry TRV – if it is six months or less before expiry, you will need to start the renewal process. 

The same goes for your passport and all other documents that allow you to stay in Canada for a while, like your work or your study permit. Needless to say, your single-entry TRV is only valid for one entry, so once this is done, you are not able to enter Canada again until you are issued a new document. If you plan on staying in Canada longer or travelling there multiple times, you may still need to apply for a TRV and ask for it to be a multiple-entry TRV. This decision is at the discretion of the visa officer. 

Check Out How to Apply Temporary Resident Visa Canada (Tips and Documents):

Where Do I Submit My Application for TRV Renewal?

Now that you know when to renew your TRV, it is also useful to know WHERE to do it. If you are in Canada, you have two options – you can apply online or on paper. You should send your TRV application to the Case Processing Pilot office in Ottawa (CPP-O) if applying on paper. If applying online, you should do that on the MyCIC platform. 

If you are outside of Canada, you can also apply both online and on paper. We always suggest an online application, as you do not need to wait for the posting time. When applying on paper, you need to submit all the documents to your local visa application center (VAC). They will send your application and all the supporting documents to the Canadian Visa Office, and they will process your application there. Remember that you may need to submit your passport as well, so you should plan your other trips in the meantime accordingly. 


Can a Visitor Work in Canada?

If you only got a visitor visa from the Canadian visa office in your country, you should know that this legal document does not allow you to work. If you would like to work, you will need to have a valid job offer, and an LMIA assessment and will need to make an application for a work permit or a work visa. You may also need additional documents when making your application, so make sure to check out the entire application package of the program that applies to you. 

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Temporary Resident Permit for Canada?

Unlike permanent resident processing fees, the processing fee for a temporary resident permit is somewhat cheaper. These applications cost as little as CAD200 per person. This fee cannot be refunded, but the positive side is that you only pay for it after you’ve gotten the reply. If you do not want to pay, you will not be issued the official document and will not be able to travel to Canada. 

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Visa?

The cost of visas differs based on the visa type. For permanent permits and visas, you will need more than CAD1,000. However, for short-term, temporary resident visas, you should pay as little as CAD200. Beware that some visas may also ask you to pay the biometrics fee (CAD85) and that some may ask for supporting documents, each of which will cost. 

How Do I Become a Resident of Canada?

To become a resident of Canada, you will need to apply for a resident status. You can do this by following and applying for one of many immigration programs that Canada offers. Currently, the most popular program is the Express Entry program, which allows you to get your residence status in as little as six months if you are eligible and if you respect all the requirements of the program itself. 

Final Thoughts

When applying for a TRV visa in Canada, you should always consult the local visa office if you have any issues with the explanations or the documents that you are asked to submit. If still in doubt, you can always consult an immigration consultant. Besides this, you will also need your original passport (no passport holders), and you will need to give details about your employment, the reason for travelling, family size and family name, and all other details that the visa office may ask for. 

All these details are necessary for good and fast processing of your application. An authorized person at any visa office can give you more details on the immigration programs and options available to you. Follow our guide to stay informed and to learn how to apply for the TRV, but make sure to always check with VAC representatives, as the requisites for any type of visa change periodically.