About Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

What is a TRV

A TRV is an immigration document issued by the Canadian government in the form of a small sticker (counterfoil) placed in your passport that gives you a permission to enter Canada (or re-enter depending on the type of TRV you have). 

This immigration document issued by IRCC is different from your study permit: a TRV is used to enter Canada and, therefore, it is also called an entry visa, while a study permit allows you to remain in Canada as a student.

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 re-enter Canada.

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

Who needs a TRV

Not everyone needs a TRV to enter Canada. This will depend 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, Part 9, Division 5, 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 not needed if you have a valid study permit while you are inside Canada, it is highly advisable to keep your TRV valid at all times and extend it before it expires in case of sudden travels abroad.

Every time you arrive to Canada as an international student, the Canada Service Border Agency officer authorizes your stay by placing a stamp in your passport. So, check your passport and look for the stamp. If the officer placed a stamp in your passport and wrote in ink a specific date, then, this is the date when your temporary resident status will expire. If there is no stamp or a handwritten date, then, by default, your temporary resident status will expire six months from the day you arrived in Canada. 

Extending your temporary resident status

It is important to keep track of your temporary resident status and extend it before it expires. The application form is available on the IRCC website and it is titled Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Visitor or Temporary Resident Permit Holder [IMM5708].

Visitor Record

After you apply to extend your temporary resident status, IRCC will issue you a document called Visitor Record.

While your study permit allows you to remain in Canada as a student, your visitor record allows you to stay in Canada as a visitor. Both a study permit and a visitor record are Canadian immigration documents that are a proof of your temporary resident status in Canada.

Therefore, if you lose your temporary resident status as a student (this happens if you fail to renew your study permit before it expires) but you have a valid visitor record, although you will not be allowed to continue to study until you restore your status as a student and obtain a new study permit, you will still have a valid temporary resident status while you are working on your restoration.

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. To apply for a Temporary Resident Visa inside Canada, use the Application for Temporary Resident Visa [IMM5257].

Cost: $100.00 Canadian
Processing time: Processing time varies. You can check approximate processing times online

PLEASE NOTE: When applying online 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 online application.

When to apply

You need to apply for your TRV at least 3 to 4 months before your planned travels or after you get or extend your study permit. The processing time varies so it is important to allow yourself enough time to plan travels accordingly. 

In case you do not have enough time to apply for a new TRV before leaving Canada, you may apply for a new TRV outside Canada at your nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC). Please keep in mind that every VAC has different application and processing requirements.

Required documents

You must have a valid study permit before applying for your TRV. The new TRV will only be issued up until the validity of your study permit.

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
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?
It stands for a «unique client identifier» as well known as «client ID». It appears on all official documents from IRCC. It has four numbers, a hyphen and four numbers, example: 0000-0000.

 What is a document number?
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?
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.


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