Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

If you are from a visa-required country, you will need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada. Find out what it is, when you need it and how you get it.

About the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), also referred to as a “visitor visa” or “entry visa”, is a travel document that is placed in your passport and is used to enter or re-enter Canada.

It does not give you any status inside Canada and is usually issued for the same length of time as your study or work permit. A TRV allows you to travel to Canada (that is, to the border) while a study permit allows you to stay and study inside Canada. A study permit is the document showing your status inside Canada, but you must have a valid TRV in order to enter Canada if you are a citizen of a visa-required country.

Do I need a TRV?

If you’re a citizen of a visa-required country, you will need a TRV to travel to or re-enter Canada.

If you are from a visa-exempt country, you will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada by air (U.S. citizens are exempt).

Once you are in Canada, you are not required to have a valid TRV since it is only for entry.. However, it is highly recommended to always have a valid TRV in the event of an unexpected trip abroad. Otherwise you must apply for a TRV from outside Canada and it may take a long time, and you may not be able to return to Canada in time.

Getting a TRV

If you apply for an initial study permit or Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) from outside of Canada

You do not need to apply separately for a TRV if you apply for an initial study permit or a post-graduation work permit from outside Canada. When your initial study permit or PGWP is approved, you will automatically be issued a TRV along with your study or work permit, if required.

If you are in Canada

When you apply to extend your study permit or apply for a PGWP, you have to wait until you have received a new study permit or PGWP, then apply for a TRV from within Canada. Your TRV will normally be issued with the same expiry date as your new study or work permit.

It is best to receive your new TRV before leaving Canada. In general, processing times for applications outside of Canada are longer and you will need to provide more documents. Furthermore if you haven’t provided biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) you may need to travel to provide them.

Apply for a TRV well in advance of travel. Be cautious about booking travel plans before you receive your TRV. The published processing times do not include the time it takes to mail your passport to Ottawa - usually the process takes at least 1 month. If you must provide biometrics, apply for your TRV earlier to allow for this extra step.

Apply for the TRV

Before submitting your application

Sign up for the new Canvas application review course to go over required documents, learn how to fill out the form, avoid common mistakes, and be ready to submit your application.

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If your TRV expires before you return to Canada

You can apply for a TRV from outside of Canada with a digital copy of your study or work permit. Review our TRV tutorial, then review the TRV from outside of Canada guide since applications for TRVs from outside Canada are different. Be sure to include any additional documents required by your visa office.

To find the instructions from your visa office, go to IRCC’s TRV page, in the ‘Client Information’ section, under ‘Optional Documents’, select your country under the “apply on paper” section, then see the visa office instructions PDF. Make sure to write a letter of explanation and make it clear that you are applying for a TRV to return to Canada to continue studying or working.

Exchange, VIRS, visiting and unclassified students

If you will study at UBC for less than six months and decide not to apply for a study permit, apply for a TRV well in advance by completing the steps provided by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

Visitors

If you change to visitor status or your dependent family members are in Canada as visitors, you are not able to apply for a TRV in Canada. Visitors in Canada can only apply for a TRV through the Canadian visa office responsible for their country of citizenship.

Travelling during your studies

Travelling outside of Canada during your studies

You must have a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to re-enter Canada if you’re planning to travel outside of Canada during your studies. U.S. citizens are exempt from a TRV or eTA.
Before making any travel plans, review the requirements for travelling outside of Canada and the Travelling to Canada Guide for your return.

If you get a new passport

If you have received a new passport or you will renew your passport while abroad and your TRV is in your previous passport, you can continue using your TRV until it expires. You will need to travel with both your old passport with the TRV and your new passport. 

TRV validity and change of status 

TRVs are valid until the expiry date listed on the document, unlike study permits, which become automatically invalid 90 days after your letter of completion first becomes available. 

You can also continue using your TRV if it says ‘visitor’ (V-1), ‘student’ (S-1) or ‘worker’ (W-1), even if that is not your status. For example if you previously had a study permit and now have a Post-Graduation Work Permit, your TRV is normally valid if it has not expired. 

As of July 2021, you may be issued a TRV with a ‘V-1’ code, even if you applied for a study or work permit. This is not an error and you can use your TRV until the expiry date.

Travelling to the United States

You don’t need a valid TRV to re-enter Canada if you meet all of the following:

  • Have a valid study permit or work permit, or hold valid visitor status in Canada
  • Leave Canada to visit only the United States
  • Return to Canada by the end of the authorized period of your stay in Canada

You can reference the TRV exemptions from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations Section 190(3)(f). 

In addition, be sure to meet US immigration requirements. Note that we cannot provide US immigration advice.

If your passport containing a TRV is lost or stolen

You must first replace your passport if your passport with a valid TRV is lost or stolen.

Once you have a new passport, you can apply for a new TRV. Include a letter of explanation that contains the police report number and a brief explanation about why you are applying.

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