About Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

What is a TRV

A TRV is an immigration document issued by the Canadian government. It is in the form of a small sticker (counterfoil) placed on a page in your passport. It is sometimes referred to as an entry visa or a visitor visa.

The document gives you the ability to travel to a Canadian port of entry and to be examined for entry to Canada. Having a visa does not guarantee the right to enter, as a Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) officer retains the ability to refuse entry to people who are inadmissible.

If you are a study permit holder, your TRV will say "student" visa in your passport.

Types of Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

There are two types of Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs) you could get:

  1. A single-entry visa: allows you to enter Canada only once during its validity. When you leave Canada, excluding travel to the United States and St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will need to obtain a new TRV to return to Canada.

  2. A multiple-entry visa: allows you to re-enter Canada repeatedly during its validity. You must arrive to Canada on or before the expiry of your TRV.
More information regarding types of TRVs.

More information regarding travelling outside of Canada.

Who needs a TRV

Not everyone needs a TRV to enter Canada. This visa requirement depends on your country of citizenship.

Exception: If you have a valid study permit and leave Canada to visit only the United States, St. Pierre and Miquelon, you do not need a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to re-enter Canada, provided that you re-enter Canada before the expiry of your study permit. (See the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation, Section 190-3f).

Keeping your TRV valid

All TRVs have an expiry date and cannot be used after they expire. Normally, TRVs are valid for the same length of time as your study permit.

Although a TRV is only required for entry, and re-entry, into Canada, it is highly advisable to keep your TRV valid at all times in case you need to travel abroad urgently.

If your passport with a TRV is lost or stolen

If your passport with a valid Temporary Resident Visa has been lost or stolen, you must get a new passport first and then apply for a new Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). Please make sure to provide a letter of explanation in your application about why you are applying for a new TRV.

You should not leave Canada until you get your new documents.

Applying

If you are currently outside of Canada
You must apply at the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC). Every VAC will have specific application and processing requirements.

If you are currently in Canada and have a valid study permit
You must apply either online or by paper through the Case Processing Centre in Ottawa

The application fee is $100.00 CAD.

PLEASE NOTE: When applying inside Canada, the title of the application form IMM5257 is “Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada”, even though you chose your place of residence as Canada. This is normal and you can proceed with your application.

Always download the most current version of the form from the IRCC website.

When to apply

You should apply for your TRV 1 to 4 months before your planned travel or immediately after you have extended your study permit. If you do not have enough time to apply for a new TRV before leaving Canada, and require re-entry, you may apply for a new TRV outside Canada at your nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC).

Processing time varies. You can check approximate processing times online. Note, in the hyperlinked drop-down menu, please select visitor visa (from inside Canada) for approximate processing times for applications being made within Canada.  Select visitor visa (from outside Canada) for approximate processing times for applications being made outside of Canada.

Required documents

If you are applying from outside Canada
Your nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC) will have all the application and processing details. Every VAC will have specific requirements.

If you are applying inside Canada and have a valid study permit
Additional documents may be required and can vary depending on whether you apply online or on paper. Therefore, be sure to always carefully read the application instructions.

If applying by paper, also see the document checklist [IMM5721]

Completing the application

Common questions when completing the application:

What is a UCI in the IMM5257 form?
It stands for a «unique client identifier» as well known as «client ID». It appears on all official documents from IRCC.

 What is a document number in the IMM5257 form?
It appears on all official IRCC documents. It is usually printed in black ink as one letter followed by 9 numbers.

 How to fill out the «employment» section in the IMM5257 form?
If you do not have a job, you can write «student».

 How to sign the form when applying online?
It is not possible to sign the form if applying online, so upload the form without signing. After uploading all your documents, you will later be asked to electronically sign your application by typing your name.

 Is it needed to upload the proof of a medical exam?
In general, most students in Canada do not need proof of a medical exam unless (1) they lived in certain countries for more than 6 months in the past 12 months, or (2) they wanted to work in certain health-related occupations. Read more.

Will I need biometrics? Find more information here.


The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by an immigration lawyer in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Always refer to www.cic.gc.ca for the most up-to-date information, or contact ISSAC.


Getting help

Use the International Student Guide to learn about life as an international student at the U of S including immigration matters and information on working and living in Canada.

International Student Guide

If you can't find what you need in the International Student Guide contact The International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC). We are here to help! Drop-in advising is available.

ISSAC