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.

Temporary Resident Visa

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), also referred to as a “visitor visa”, is an official document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that is placed on your passport.

A valid TRV will show that you met the requirements for entering/re-entering to Canada as a student while the study permit provide you with a legal status to study in Canada.

Who needs a TRV?

A foreign national from a visa-required country will need a TRV to enter Canada.

When to apply for a TRV?

New students

If you apply your initial study permit from outside of Canada, you will receive the TRV along with your study permit approval.

Current students

  • If you are planning to travel outside of Canada (except United States) during your studies, you must have a valid study permit and TRV to re-enter.
  • If you are planning to travel to United States during your studies, you do not need a valid TRV to re-enter if you
    • Holds a valid study permit that was issued before leaving Canada.
    • Have a legal status to enter United States.
    • Only visit the United States.
    • Return to Canada before the end of the initial authorized stay (the study permit expires).

Note: A TRV is not required if you have no intention to travel outside of Canada during your study as long as you hold a valid study permit. However, keeping a valid TRV is highly recommended for any unexpected trips outside Canada.

How much does it cost to apply for a TRV?

Application fee: $100 CAD

How long does it take to apply for a TRV?

To check the processing time on TRV, click here and:

  1. Select “Temporary residence (visiting, studying, working)”
  2. Select “Visitor visa (from inside Canada)”

Note: Only valid Study Permit or Work Permit holders can apply for new TRV from inside Canada. The processing time does not include the time it takes:

  • for you to give your biometrics, and
  • for IRCC to receive your passport, put the visa in it and return it to you

What documents do I need to apply for a TRV?

Prepare the following supporting documents to include with your application:

  • The scanned copy of passport pages needs to show:
    • Page with passport number, dates of issue and expiry, name, date of birth
    • Any marked page, including stamps and visas from either Canada or other countries
  • The scanned copy of your current study permit.
  • Proof of next term enrolment:
    Confirmation of enrollment (mandatory), and Letter of acceptance (Optional)
    Transcript (mandatory)
    • Academic transcript ($29.40 CAD) and confirmation of enrollment ($17.85 CAD) can be ordered at Student Service Centers.
    • Letter of Acceptance was issued at the time of admission. You may request a revised one ONLY if your study plan changed during your study. Please email with your name, student number, the academic program and the reason for the revised copy.
  • Proof of funds available or means of support: you must demonstrate that you have enough funds to support your studies (tuition) and living ($10,000 student + $4,000 spouse + $3,000 per child) for at least one year. You may provide one or a combination of the following:
    • A recently dated official bank statement that includes your Canadian bank’s name, address and your name and address
    • A recently dated official bank statement from your parent’s bank in English or French along with a document showing their relationship to you (if the balance is in foreign currency, please provide the exchange rate and convert the balances to Canadian dollars)
    • Proof of Red River College Polytechnic account statement showing your tuition payment. How to print your RRC Polytech Account Statement?

You may need to provide one or more of the following additional documents (if the situation applies to you):

  • Medical exam, which may be required if you:
    • Have lived outside of Canada for more than six months in the past 12 months
    • You are planning to work with jobs that bring you into close contact with people (such as health sciences professions) or jobs in the agricultural field.
    • Find out if you need a medical exam. If needed, find the local panel physician to perform your exam
  • Schedule 1: Application for Temporary Residence [IMM5257B] form. You may complete this form if you answer “yes” to 3,4,5 or 6 in the “Background Information” section of the Application for Temporary Resident Visa [IMM5257] form.
  • Client Information: if you want to provide additional information and/or supporting documents that are not included in the document check list.

How to apply for a TRV?

Online Application Procedure (recommended)

  1. Create a IRCC Secure Account (MyCIC Account)
    Go to IRCC Secure Account.
    Follow the instructions to create your account.
  1. Add a TRV Application to Your Account
    Login to your IRCC Secure Account.
    Follow the instructions to create a TRV application.
  1. Answer Online Questionnaires
    The questionnaires will lead to a TRV application checklist that is tailored for you.
    Sample questionnaires
  1. Generate Document Checklist
    Compare your checklist with this sample.
  1. Fill out the Application Form
    Application for Temporary Resident Visa [IMM5257]
    If you cannot download the document using the link above, please check the CIC support page.
    Sample IMM5257 form.
  1. Upload Documents
    Upload the required documents.
  1. Submit Application
    Submit your application.
  1. Confirmation of the Submission
    You should receive confirmation of the submission from the IRCC Secure Account if you submitted the application successfully.
    Confirm Application Submission from IRCC Secure account
    Sample Submission Confirmation
  1. Passport Request
    If your TRV application is approved, you will receive a message to send your passport. You must mail your valid passport, and a copy of Original Passport Request letter to IRCC within 30 days from the date of the Original Passport Request letter issued.
    Where to send your passport?
    Sample of the Original Passport Request letter

Paper Application Procedure

If you choose to submit a paper application instead of an online application, please contact Red River College Polytechnic’s Immigration Advisor for detail instruction.

Amending and Replacing Documents

Sometimes you will need to amend a document because of incorrect information or replace a lost or stolen document. Find out more below:

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

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 Polytechnic 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.