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Canada: How do I obtain a temporary residence visa?

If you do not hold a passport for a visa-exempt country, you need to obtain a visa to visit Canada for any length of time. You will also need a visa if you are a resident of a visa-exempt country and plan to stay in Canada for an extended period. You must apply for a temporary resident visa from outside of Canada. Once you are in Canada, you may apply to extend your stay; however, you must submit your application at least 30 days in advance of the expiration date of your visa.

In some instances, you must present proof of health insurance or provide a letter of introduction from someone inside Canada along with your temporary visa application. You may also be required to undergo a medical examination, present proof of employment or offer of employment, provide a copy of your planned itinerary for your visit or conduct an interview with a visa processing officer to qualify for a temporary resident visa. In all cases, you will need to present the following documents. Allow sufficient lead time for processing; lead times vary according to your country of citizenship and other factors.

Necessary Documents for a Temporary Residence Visa Application:

  • Valid Passport or Other Travel Document
  • Two (2) Color Headshot Photographs
  • Proof of Sufficient Financial Resources for the Entire Duration of Your Visit
  • Non-Refundable Application Fee (Not Applicable for Long-Term Visitors from Visa-Exempt Regions)


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