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Visa to Enter Canada

To cross Canadian borders as a foreigner, you must have a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). These documents will allow you to enter Canada and stay temporarily.

Do I need a visa to enter Canada?

Find out if you need a TRV or eTA by following all the steps on this page.

TIP: If you’re applying for a study permit and you need a visa to enter Canada, your TRV or eTA will be automatically processed with your study permit.

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

TRVs are also known as Entry Visas, and they are required by foreign citizens to enter Canada (unless you are from a visa-exempt country; then, an eTA is needed). With a TRV, you’re only allowed to enter Canada and, in case you don’t have a work or study permit, you’ll have visitor status in Canada.

Who needs a TRV?

You need a TRV if:

  • You need to present an entry visa at the port of entry (Canadian border or airport); and
  • Your country of citizenship requires a visa for entering Canada (see the list here)

How to apply for a TRV?

  • If you are applying for a study permit from overseas, the TRV will automatically be issued with your study permit.
  • If you are currently studying in Canada and your TRV has expired, you can apply for a TRV:
    • From within Canada; or
    • From your country of origin.

See this page for more information.

Electronic Authorization to Travel (eTA)

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) allows foreign citizens from visa-exempt countries to enter Canada. The eTA is electronically linked to your passport. You don’t need to carry a hard copy or stamp because the document is virtually connected to your passport.

Who needs an eTA?

You need an eTA if:

  • You’re a citizen of a visa-exempt country to enter Canada (see the list here)

How to apply for an eTA?

  • The eTA will be issued automatically if you are applying for a study permit overseas
  • If you need to apply for an eTA, the application can be done online,
    • There is a $7 CAD application fee
    • Your eTA is valid for up to five years.

See this page for additional information.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding your application, please contact the International Student and Immigration Advisor. The advisor can review your completed application before you submit it.

All the above information was retrieved from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Please visit IRCC’s website for more information regarding study permit extension.


DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared by a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This is not a legal document. Immigration laws and procedures change frequently, and so the requirements and may have changed since this document was prepared. Please always refer to for the most up-to-date information, or contact Red River College Immigration and Student Advisor. This document was prepared on Feb. 13, 2019.

If you are applying for a study permit, your visa to enter Canada will be processed automatically.


Find more information and supports for working in and immigrating to Canada.