How to extend a visitor visa in Canada is a common question, especially among those visiting Canada for the first time or those who came to Canada on a TRV – Temporary Resident Visa. In reality, this may seem a bit difficult, but there are legal ways to do so, and to enjoy all the benefits that the country has to offer. After all, two coasts, mountain ranges, ski centers, and untouched wilderness are something that we universally enjoy, so why not stay longer?

If you came to Canada as a temporary visitor, you either came with an eTA (if the country you’re coming from needs one – the US is a notable exception here) or with a TRV. In both cases, you will be able to stay in Canada for up to six months. If you would like to stay longer, you need to apply for a visitor record – which is not a visa, but it gives you legal status in Canada and allows you to extend your stay. 

How To Extend Your Visit in Canada as a Visitor

In fact, a visitor record also has an expiry date. This is the date by which you will have to apply for a new visitor record or leave the country. When it comes to extending your eTA or TRV or even an existing visitor record, you will have to do that before your old document expires. This will mean that you need to gather additional documents and make your application before the deadline stated on the document you’re currently using to stay in Canada. 

To be able to extend your stay, you need to have a legal status in the first place. If this is the case, you will need to gather and submit all the documents before the deadline for your existing documents. You will also need to keep being admissible to Canada and follow all the limitations that come with your current TRV or eTA (no working unless you have a work permit and no studying unless you have a study permit). You will also need to stay in the legal waters and avoid offending Canadian law in any way. 

When Do I Have To Submit My Application?

As you enter Canada, you may already know that you will need to stay longer than the maximum of 6 months your eTA or TRV allows you to. If this is the case, you can apply for the visitor record or the extension immediately, and at the port of entry. However, if you realize that you will need to stay over your existing travel document, the best application time is slightly different. 

In this case, you will need to be able to apply at least a month before. The processing times for a visitor record differ, depending on how many requests there are, but you will need to apply AT LEAST 30 days before your current document. You will also need to be able to apply even earlier, and the best practice says that you should apply as soon as you know that you will need to overstay your current document. 

visitor record processing time

How to Apply for a Visitor Visa?

Of course, sometimes it may be necessary to stay for even longer times. In this case, if you are looking for a visitor visa for parents, you will need to apply for a super visa and you will need to do that from your current country of residence or country of citizenship. You will be granted a visitor status for up to 5 years at a time, and for up to 10 years with a single, multiple-entry document. However, for any other reasons, you will need a TRV or an eTA. 

If you already have one of these and you would like to extend your stay in Canada, there are two basic ways to do that. You can submit a paper application or an online application. Beware that if you are a permanent resident, and have finished with your immigration to Canada, expanding your PR status will be a different process. The visitor record is only possible for those on TRV or eTA. 

When applying, you will need to understand that your application will have to be separate for each of the family members who would like to extend their stay. You will need to provide your personal information and even some documents. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of what needs to be done to apply for a visitor record: 

  • gather all the documents 
  • pay the processing fee 
  • fill in the forms as soon as possible, and keep a copy for yourself 
  • submit your application, fees, and all other documents online or on paper

When speaking of the documents that you need for this kind of application, they are as follows (and you can find them all on the IMM 5558 E form): 

  • IMM 5708 – Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Visitor or Temporary Resident Permit Holder 
  • IMM 5476 – Use of a Representative – only if applicable
  • IMM 5475 – Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated individual- only if applicable
  • Proof of payment of the processing fees
  • Photocopies of all passport pages, including your passport number, the dates of issue and expiry, your name, your date of birth, all marked pages, and the page containing the stamp that you received on your last entry (current entry) into Canada
  • Photocopy of your travel and identity documents if you did not use a passport to enter Canada – if yes, this is not necessary, but you may still be based to provide them
  • Photocopy of your current immigration document, if you have it
  • Photocopy of your Marriage license or certificate – if you came in to visit a spouse, partner, etc., and only if applicable 
  • Proof of means of support – for the duration of the extended stay in Canada
  • Besides this, you will also need a credit or a debit card for online payment of the fees, if applying online 

In most cases, it is advisable to make your application online, as you are sure that you’ve sent all your documents. You will also be sure that you do not have to pay post fees and have a longer processing time because it will take more time to receive the application. With online applications, all your documents are received instantly and as long as you have your passport valid and have applied to the right immigration category in the first place, your application will proceed smoothly. 

If all goes well, you will receive a new document outlining the new conditions of the stay – the visitor record. If you do not receive it, you can apply for a new one (apply for restoration) within 90 days of the refusal date. During this time, you cannot work or study in Canada. Once you have received your visitor record, you can proceed with your activities as you normally would. 

Why Do You Require a Temporary Resident Visa or Visitor Visa?

Nationals of some countries can enter Canada with their passport and an eTA only. Nationals of some other require a TRV – Temporary Resident Visa, even for a short, tourist visit. If you would like to visit Canada for tourist purposes, to visit friends and family for a short time, or to do business (all for a period shorter than six months), you will need a TRV.

TRVs are generally issued by immigration officers or a Canadian visa office for periods of up to six months, and you will need to apply for an extension if you would like to stay longer. If you are travelling with a child, you will also need an authorization letter, if you are a sole parent travelling with the child. The Canadian immigration policy does not state that this document is necessary, but it will help you cross the border and expedite the (temporary) immigration process. 

When To Renew a Temporary Resident Visa?

A new application for a visitor visa can only be made from outside of Canada. You can do that by visiting your consular visa services or by making an application online. If you want a temporary status for study, you will need a letter of Acceptance, and if you would like to visit family, a letter of invitation may be necessary. 

However, if you are already in Canada and you have a legal status (an eTA or a TRV), you will need to apply for an extension of the document you used to enter Canada or you will need to apply for a visitor record. To do that, you will need to apply on paper or online (we recommend online – the processing times are faster, and there is no shipping time for your documents). The online application form also allows you to see whether you have uploaded all your documents. 

Check Out How to Extend a Visitor Visa After 6 Months in Canada?

Where Do I Submit My Application for TRV Renewal?

When applying for an extension of your stay in Canada, you can make a paper application or an online application. The latter is our recommendation, and whichever option you may choose, you can only extend your stay as a visitor, as a worker who can work without a work permit, or as a student who can study without a study permit. With this in mind, you can apply through your secure IRCC (Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada) secure portal. 

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

A Temporary Resident Visa is an official document issued by the Canadian government that allows you to temporarily visit and stay in Canada. You can do that as a visitor (tourist), a student, or a worker. This document does not allow you to stay in Canada indefinitely and it does not allow you to work or study unless otherwise specified. 

When applying for a TRV, you will need to do that OUTSIDE of Canada. You will also need to make sure that your documents are valid (especially the validity of your passport) and that your other documents are truthful. When applying, you will need to submit your application with all the required documents, including your biometrics (you will need to schedule a term with the nearest collection centre), and you will need to be admitted to Canada. Here are some documents required for a TRV (found in the IMM 5484 form): 

  • IMM 5257 – Application for Temporary Resident Visa 
  • IMM 5707 – Family Information 
  • IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union – if applicable
  • IMM 5476 – Use of a Representative – if applicable 
  • IMM 5475 – Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual – if applicable 
  • Fee Payment Proof 
  • Photocopy of your passport with your passport number, issue date and expiry date, 
  • your photo
  • your name
  • your date and place of birth 
  • Two passport-style photo 
  • Proof of financial support 
  • Photocopy of your marriage license or certificate – if applicable 
  • Purpose of Travel
  • Photocopy of your current immigration stats if you have one 
  • For minors only, you need also custody documents and a letter of travel authorization 

How Much Time Will It Take?

Every visa application, including Canadian work visa and study visa, has its own processing times. When applying for a visitor record to extend your TRV, you will need to apply as soon as possible. Currently, the visitor record processing time is around 50 days for online applications and 84 days for paper applications. When it comes to the application itself, please apply as soon as possible. 

The latest that you can apply is 30 days before your current document expires, but considering the processing time of 50 days, you can easily be left for 20 days, waiting for the extension, without the possibility to work or study. For this reason, apply as soon as you know that there are reasons to stay longer than the aforementioned six months. 


Can I Find a Job in Canada on a Tourist Visa?

Yes, you can, but you have to pay attention that foreign nationals on a tourist visa cannot work in Canada. If you do find a job, there will be several steps to undertake to change your tourist or temporary visitor visa to a work permit. You will have to apply for a work permit (which can be done online), and your potential employer will have to apply for the LMIA assessment (Labour Market Impact Assessment). If the LMIA status is positive, you can continue with your work permit application. 

How Much Does It Cost to Extend a Tourist Visa?

If you have already applied and gotten your tourist visa, you may want to extend it. The process is simple, and it costs CAD100 to extend it. Bear in mind that this is an application for an extension and that you are in no way guaranteed the extension. However, if you did not break any laws during your primary stay in Canada, you may be considered eligible for an extension. 

How Much Is the Medical Fee for a Canada Visa?

The medical fee or the medical examination is not paid to Canada. They are paid to the local doctor or the clinic that is on the list of the approved medical centres where you can take the medical examination to apply for a Canadian visa or residence status. The prices depend on the country and the clinic but in general, cost upwards of CAD200. 

How Many Times Can I Visit Canada in One Year?

Single-entry visas allow you to visit Canada a single time in a year. Even if you go from Canada to the US on a short visit, you will not be able to come back to Canada. However, having multiple-entry Canadian visitor visas will allow you to enter the country multiple times in a year. 

Final Thoughts

When applying for an extension of your TV, or to get a visitor record, please beware of the processing times and that only complete applications get processed in this time. As incomplete documents are one of the main reasons visitor record applications get prolonged or rejected, it is also useful to prepare all the documents beforehand and to ensure that you submit them as soon as possible. This will allow you enough time to keep working or studying (even without permits) or to simply enjoy the beautiful scenery – one of Cnada’s most notable landmarks.