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Temporary Resident Visa and Electronic Travel Authorization

If you are a foreign national and want to study in Canada for more than 6 months, there are steps you must take before entering Canada:

  1. You must obtain a Study Permit.
  2. In some cases you will also need a Temporary Resident Visa (Entry Visa) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). To find out whether or not you require a Temporary Resident Visa (Entry Visa, Study Permit or both) or an eTA, please contact the nearest Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate or visit www.nait.ca/help.

Note that this does not apply to Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents.

New entry requirement now in effect

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has recently announced an expansion of their biometrics screening program. There will be new immigration requirements for applications from foreign nationals, including for study permit applications.

If you have already received a study permit or Letter of Introduction, please upload it to your application in the MyNAIT Portal (by the noted deadline, if you have one).

This change will come into effect on July 31, 2018 for applicants from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and on December 31st, 2018 for applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

  • Study and work permit holders from visa-exempt countries are expected to secure an eTA to fly or transit to Canada.
  • Applicants who are issued an initial study or work permit  will automatically be issued an eTA along with their permit. For work permit or study permit renewal applications, the eTA will not be automatically renewed. If you wish to exit and re-enter Canada by air, you will need to ensure that your eTA is still valid by consulting the Check Status Tool. If your eTA has expired, you will need to apply for a new one as soon as you can.

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

A Temporary Resident Visa is an official stamp in your passport that you get from a Canadian visa office. It shows that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident. This stamp (officially called a “counterfoil document”) is also commonly known as an entry visa. In most cases, it is required to even board a Canada-bound flight. Depending on your country of citizenship, you may require a TRV to be admitted into Canada.

How do I find out if I need a TRV?

To find out whether or not you need a TRV, please check IRCC Entry Requirements by Country page.

Traveling with a TRV

There are two kinds of TRVs:

  • A single-entry visa allows you to enter Canada only one time. Once you have left Canada, you will need a new visa to travel back to and enter Canada. (The exception is if you only travel to the United States and/or St. Pierre and Miquelon. If you only travel to these places, your TRV will allow you to return to Canada.)
  • A multiple-entry visa lets you enter and leave Canada repeatedly while it is valid. You must arrive in Canada on or before the expiry date on your visa.

Both single-entry and multiple-entry TRVs are valid for a fixed period of time and cannot be used after they expire.

If you are TRV exempt, meaning you do not require an entry visa to enter Canada, you may still need to take steps before you travel from Canada. In some cases, you will need to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) done. To find out if you require an eTA, please check IRCC Electronic Travel Authorization.

Using and Renewing a TRV

The TRV is not a study permit. The TRV allows you to board a Canada-bound flight and enter the country, while a study permit allows you to remain in the country for the duration of your studies, and to work if you meet regulatory requirements.

When you apply for a study permit outside of Canada for the first time, you do not need to make a separate application for a TRV. The TRV will be automatically processed for you at the same time as your study permit.

In most circumstances, your TRV will be issued for the same length of time as your study permit. If your TRV is not for the same length of time as your study permit, you are not required to maintain it. However, in these cases it’s a good idea to renew your TRV in case you need to travel on short notice. It’s a good idea to renew your TRV at least two months before it expires, as processing times can be lengthy. If you are planning travel, make sure your TRV doesn’t expire while you are planning to be away.

Travel to the United States

  • If you are in Canada and have a valid study permit, work permit, or visitor record, you can re-enter Canada without  a TRV if you only visit the United States.
  • If you are in Canada as a visitor (that is, you don't have a valid study permit) you can still travel to the United States and return to Canada, as long as you return to Canada by the end of the initial period authorized for your stay in Canada (usually six months or less).

TRVs and applying to NAIT

  • If you are coming to Canada as a visitor (not on a study or work permit), your valid TRV will allow you to travel to Canada and if admitted, remain in the country as a visitor for up to six months.
  • A foreign national who enters Canada as a visitor may remain in Canada without a study permit to attend a course or program of study of six-months duration or less. The course or program of study may be part-time or full-time and should be completed within the period (i.e., up to six months) authorized upon entry. If you decide you want to study more than six months, you will need to apply for a study permit.

The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice.

Always refer to www.cic.gc.ca for the most up-to-date information, or contact NAIT’s International Student Centre at internationalcentre@nait.ca

Not sure where to start?  Find out how to apply and get your application going