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Ask Tito Mike by Michael Scott  

Temporary Resident Visa and options

by Michael Scott

Visitors from many countries require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) unless they come from a visa-exempt country. In recent months the Philippines was included as a country eligible for Electronic Travel Arrangements (ETA). This is true but only for applicants who have visited Canada in the last 10 years or hold a valid visa for the USA. In order to enter Canada applicants from visa required countries must still apply for a TRV as part of the process. The application is no longer available as a paper submission but is available online. It does not matter where the submission is made but rather if it conforms with the requirements set forth in the regulations under section 179.

The TRV does not guarantee admission to Canada, nor does it grant temporary resident status in Canada. This decision is made at the port of entry (POE). In order to be issued a TRV the applicant must complete the necessary online forms, pay the applicable processing fees ($100 CDN), and biometrics fee, and submit the necessary documentation, including photos of valid passport, proof of financial support, a photocopy of your flight itinerary, and any other documentary support required by the visa office responsible for your country or region. If there is no expiration stamp placed in your passport, your temporary resident status will expire six months from the date of admission. It is important not to confuse this time with the expiration date on the entry visa placed in your passport.

The multiple entry visa, which is usually issued for the life of the passport, allows the holder to enter Canada as often as necessary within the period of validity. This is the most standard type of TRV. Holders need to understand that any multiple-entry visa or single-entry visa is not a guarantee of admission. Each admission is subject to an examination by CBSA officers who require an explanation of the temporary purpose of the visit. If you are coming to visit, you are not coming to work, study, or find a marriage partner.

Following admission to Canada, the holder can apply for an extension of the six-month stay. It should be submitted online 30 days before the expiration and there is no guarantee that it will be granted. If you follow this instruction, you are able to remain beyond the expiration date under assumed or implied status awaiting the outcome of your application for a visa extension. You cannot work without obtaining permission to do so and you should be aware that, at present, visitors can apply for a work permit if they have an approved job offer (Labour Market Impact Assessment or LMIA job offer). This public policy is set to expire on February 28, 2025. It is important to ensure that you remain in status until your work permit application is approved.

In general, you should apply for a study permit before you enter Canada. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If you are in the country on a work permit, you can apply for a change to a study permit from inside the country. However, you must ensure that you are admitted to a course of studies at an educational institution on the list of Designated Learning Institutions (DLI), where graduates are able to apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). If this is not the case, then the course of studies has no value in supporting your future application for permanent residence inside the country. It is also important to note that visitors can pursue an educational program that is shorter than six months in duration and do not require a study permit.

It is also possible for sponsored partners or spouses abroad to apply for a TRV. Immigration can be flexible in such cases and will not refuse the request based on dual intent. However, it is important that applicants be aware that the intention of all temporary immigration, whether for a visit, for work, or for study, is to come to the country for a temporary purpose and return home once the purpose has been met. The more flexible adjudication has led to around 98 per cent approvals but applicants must be aware of the intent of their stay in Canada. You must tell the truth but be aware that your future choices are subject to change and flexibility. The TRV is open to applicants from visa-required countries, but you should be aware of your options as a visitor, student, or worker.

Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: