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Every year, Canada welcomes nearly 20 million people from different countries. You can visit Canada as a tourist, see family and friends, or do business. However, whether you plan on visiting Canada for a few days or several months, you must meet some essential immigration requirements.​

There are so many reasons to visit Canada: with 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it’s hard to think of a more beautiful or varied country. From world-class ski resorts to charming towns and cuisine that takes you on a journey

You can come to Canada as a tourist. During your stay, you’ll need enough money to support yourself and everyone included in your application. Most travellers

must apply for a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport. Canada has a range of visas that allow you to come for a holiday or visit friends and family, as well as some special permits that will enable other activities like short-term study or business. Temporary resident visas can be good for one entry to Canada or for a period of time. Learn more about visitor visa options and how to extend your stay.

Do I need a visitor visa to enter Canada?

Most people need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada. Some people may only need a valid passport. Click here to find out if you need a visitor visa to enter Canada before you plan your travel. 

How long can I stay in Canada as a visitor?

Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada.

If you’re allowed to enter Canada, 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.

  • 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 services officer after you finish at the kiosk.

If you want to stay longer than your authorized stay, you should apply for an extension at least 30 days before the authorized end of your stay.

Canada Visitor Visa Requirements

Some of the basic requirements to get a Canadian visitor visa are:

  • 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.

Based on your situation, there may be other documents required to support your visa application. 

How can I extend my stay as a visitor?

If you want to extend your stay in Canada as a visitor (stay in Canada longer), you need to apply for a visitor record. A visitor record is not a visa.

A visitor record

  • is a document that gives you status as a visitor in Canada and allows you to stay longer

  • includes a new expiry date

    • that’s the new date that you must leave Canada by

It doesn’t matter if you entered Canada using a visitor visa, electronic travel authorization (eTA) or another document. You need a visitor record to extend your stay in Canada. 

I stayed in Canada longer than I was supposed to. How do I restore my status as a visitor?

In some cases, if it’s been less than 90 days since your visitor status expired, you can restore your status. Some of the basic eligibility requirements are:

  • apply within 90 days of having lost their status

  • meet the initial requirements for their stay

  • remain in Canada until a decision is made

  • have not failed to comply with any condition imposed automatically by regulation or by an officer, other than those stated below

  • have lost their status only because they have failed to comply with any of the following conditions imposed by an officer:

    • paragraph R185(a)
      The period authorized for their stay.

    • subparagraphs R185(b)(i) to (iii)
      The work that they are permitted to engage in, or are prohibited from engaging in, in Canada, including the

      • type of work

      • employer

      • location of work

    • paragraph R185(c)
      The studies that they are permitted to engage in, or are prohibited from engaging in, in Canada, including the

      • type of studies or course

      • educational institution

      • location of the studies

      • times and periods of the studies

  • not be the subject of a declaration under subsection A22.1(1)

  • continue to meet the requirements of a temporary resident and the requirements of the work or study permit, as applicable


Call us today at 1-844-727-8326 for an assessment to see if you are eligible to come to Canada, or complete our online assessment form.

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