Many foreign nationals wish to come to Canada for tourism, to visit family members and friends, or for business reasons.
Visa-exempt foreign nationals do not require a temporary resident visa (TRV), also known as a visitor or tourist visa, to enter Canada, but they may require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if travelling to Canada by airplane.
Visa-required foreign nationals must apply for a visitor visa in order to be admitted into Canada.
Foreign nationals who enter Canada as a visitor will be allowed to remain in Canada:
- For up to 6 months after the date stamped in their passport; OR
- Until the date indicated in writing by the port-of-entry officer in their passport.
Parents and grandparents may instead of applying for a visitor visa, apply for a SuperVisa, which would allow them entry into Canada for up to two years.
Once in Canada, a foreign national with a visitor visa or with visitor status, may apply for an extension of their status with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Immigration Canada). When extending ones status, an Immigration Canada officer will examine a foreign national’s:
- Intentions for remaining in Canada;
- Length of time requested for their stay in Canada, including how much time they have already spent in Canada;
- Funds available to support themselves while in Canada;
- Political and economic situation in their home country; and
- Family and employment obligations in their home country.